Kalmah + Shade Empire + Mors Subita – Nosturi, Helsinki – April 28, 2018

Finnish melodic death metal band KALMAH has recently been on a 4 dates tour across Finland (Oulu, Vaasa, Tampere and Helsinki) to promote the release of their latest album “Palo“: we were at Nosturi, Helsinki to witness this event. The supporting acts were SHADE EMPIRE and MORS SUBITA.

The heavy rituals of the evening started with MORS SUBITA from Oulu. Their brilliant modern and aggressive melodic death metal invaded Nosturi´s stage as a storm. The setlist was almost entirely focused on their latest album “Into the Pitch Black” recently released this year: “As Humanity Weeps” opens the show with sonic devastation, raging death vocals and lyrics about how vile the human soul can be. MORS SUBITA live set proceeds furiously with searing vocals, twisting melodies, fierce drumming, fast riffing and some industrial samples: my personal highlights of the evening are “Defeat” with its crushing violence from the beginning until the end, and the even more ferocious “I, God with its grand guitar solo, black metal-inspired drum beats, and a slower bridge section where the vocals deliver sheer rage. Setlist: As Humanity Weeps / Dead Sun / Defeat / Alas / Vultures / The Sermon / Degenerate / I, God / Into the Pitch Black.

The second act of the evening was SHADE EMPIRE from Kuopio. They delivered a set of extreme metal deeply infused with a number of different genres, blending them smoothly into something that is both easily listenable yet still very much black metal inspired: a thought provoking, balanced triumph of symphonic black metal I would say. I enjoyed two tracks in particular:”Thy Scent“, with that saxophone which adds a welcoming feeling to SHADE EMPIRE´s highly energetic symphonic style, and “Anti-life Savior” with its soaring guitar melody that matches perfectly with the beautiful keyboards. I have been positively impressed by the whole band but I would like to point out the enjoyable skills of the new front man Henry Hämäläinen, who delivers superb vocals which work along side the instruments as another layer that adds to SHADE EMPIRE´s wonderfully crafted balance. Setlist: Lecter, Wanderer, Chemical God, Traveller of Unlight, Anti-Life Saviour, Dawnless Days, Serpent-Angel, Ruins, Thy Scent.

There were lots of expectations in Helsinki regarding KALMAH´s “Palo” release gig, due to the long five-year wait since their previous album “Seventh Swamphony. The setlist turned out to be a perfect blend  of new tracks taken from their latest release and older ones such as “The Groan of Wind“, “Seventh Swamphony” and “Swamphell” with their immensely enjoyable balance of blackened thrash and melodic death/power. In their long and acclaimed career, KALMAH has always mastered the art of mixing aggression with emotion. Some of the new tunes have somehow a deeper heaviness, with less emphasis on lead guitar parts, allowing the rhythm section to stand out. Among these, I particularly enjoyed “The World of Rage” for instance with its fast-paced approach and strident guitars, “Blood Ran Cold” which unleashes majestic guitars by the Kokko brothers, “The Evil Kin“, whose dirtier riffs allow keyboardist Veli-Matti Kananen to shine with his great symphonic keyboards, which contribute to create a more atmospheric or trance-like feeling, and last but not least I adored “Take Me Away” with features a different tempo, somewhat of a power-ballad in its intro, with some interesting slower melodies and the guitar work expands very harmonically. There is no doubt that KALMAH will continue to push boundaries both live and in the studio and I can´t wait to experience their next live performance.

 

Setlist:

  • Mehto
  • Bitter Metallic Side
  • Swamphell
  • The Evil Kin
  • The Groan of Wind
  • The World of Rage
  • Pikemaster
  • The Stalker
  • Seventh Swamphony
  • Take Me Away
  • Blood Ran Cold
  • Heroes To Us
  • Moon of My Nights
  • Hades

Photo gallery:

 

 

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