Finland has many quality metal bands, of which quite a few big names are thriving in a little sub genre called melodic death metal. Bands like Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum are known around the world for their melancholic spin on the often epic genre. One such band that hasn’t really received a whole lot of attention outside of their country is Bloodred Hourglass. They have a new album coming soon and in our opinion this might be a true step up in their career. To celebrate the upcoming release, they had a couple of release shows in Finland. Supported by the recently returned myGRAIN and Damnation Plan, we were in for a good melodic death time!
Damnation Plan (***1/2)
To open the night, Damnation Plan was invited. For those who didn’t know the band yet, once the band got on stage, they might have seen a familiar face behind the microphone. The frontman is no one less than Asim, who joined Wintersun on guitars a couple of years back! With Damnation Plan you get to see (and hear) him sing more and realize that he’s quite the talent in the vocal department as well. While Asim used to only handle the soaring clean vocals, he is now taking up the harsh ones as well, since the second vocalist Tommy Tuovinen left the band and he is actually doing a really good job there as well. What we got, was an hour of easy digestible but definitely well-written melo death with maybe a touch more melody than your average band in this genre. One noteworthy moment was when they brought their own spin on ‘Don’t Talk To Strangers’ by Dio, where Asim dedicated it to the heavy metal legend as it was through him that he discovered his love for metal.
Next up was myGRAIN, one of the few bands that earlier mentioned Tommy Tuovinen didn’t quit on after having a health issue coming to surface. This time we got the amount of death metal and harshness a notch up compared to the opener but there were still plenty of very melodic and sometimes even melancholic sounding bits. Throughout the show, Tommy proved again his amazingly wide range of vocal styles and how he seems to come to life when being on stage. Add to that a band that clearly throws their whole being into a show from start to finish and you end up with a high octane energy show. It’s a good thing that this band made a comeback last year, because it’s a pleasure to see these guys (and girl) on stage.
Bloodred Hourglass (****)
And then it was finally time for the main event of the night! Bloodred Hourglass isn’t a particularly new band, having been around for over a decade, and has quite the following already in their own country. Now with their upcoming record ‘Godsend’ it seems to me that they might be ready to take the step to make a dent in the international waters. Just like when I’ve seen them before live, the show was topnotch: no frills but all thrills. Vocalist Jarkko demands your attention and radiates an aura of a ruler dictating his people from the stage, but with an obvious humble and grateful attitude towards those who support the band. The musicians surrounding him were either in a constant state of whipping their hair till kingdom come or visible inner ecstasy of playing the sometimes intricate music. And that music easily invokes people to bang their head or go even more wild, even when you don’t know them that well, which is a good trait.
This band really doesn’t need a schooling anymore in how to put down a convincing show and with a slightly more professional look and now more professional and catchy sound (without losing any of their “oomph”), I’m sure Bloodred Hourglass can rise towards the top!
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