One of the most beloved and popular bands in the Finnish scene has to be Fear of Domination. With their infectious mix of industrial/dance music with high quality and engaging melodeath, they’ve conquered a lot of hearts and are simply dominating. Since we last caught them live (at Saarihelvetti 2020), they released a couple of new tracks showing an intriguing direction they’re taking their music, including an overhaul of their looks with some pretty cool looking masks instead of their signature make-up. And recently they found a replacement for vocalist Sara, who stepped away to focus on other things. And this show at On The Rocks was the very first one for Jess as the new live vocalist. A lot of things that made this a show we simply did not want to miss out on!
Opener of the night were the noisemakers of Detset, a new band that is picking up speed with their blend of rock and metal with catchy hooks and hard-hitting riffs. With some dudes from other popular bands and having heard a couple of very interesting singles, it was about time for me to catch them live. When they kicked off their show with a highly funny service announcement intro bit, people were still slowly trickling in or getting their drink on, which resulted in a quite empty floor in front of them. But they did not care one bit and performed as if they were playing in front of a packed room. Vocalist Sami asked for the most attention, spending most of his time on the box at the edge of the stage, delivering a passionate performance, backed with the highly energetic musicians with him. While at first the crowd didn’t respond all that enthusiastic at all, the longer these guys pummeled us with their damn catchy bangers of songs, the more people warmed up to them, with near the end actually having convinced some people to get more up close and bang their brains out. Helsinki got introduced to Detset and hopefully many more visits will follow!
Fear of Domination (****)
In comparison, by the time Fear of Domination was about to start their set, the floor filled up quite a bit more. With a creepy sounding intro, the 6 guys and their latest addition under the form of Jessica Salmi came on stage, greeted with the usual enthusiasm you can expect from their fans. And everything just felt right, from the new stage outfits to their sound, it was like coming home a bit. Jessica sounds absolutely great and while we all are going to miss Sara, she seems like the perfect one to fill the big shoes that she left. And while the same relaxed smoothness might not be fully there yet, it was clear that she felt at home with the FoD guys, ready to win over the hearts of the fans. A nice little moment came to pass with the band at the same time welcoming Jess to the crew and thanking Sara for the many years, with a very pregnant Sara popping up greeting the fans and showing her continued love for the band. Awesome to see that for once there is no drama involved in a line-up change of a band!
Besides the new outfits and new live vocalist, this was a Fear of Domination show as we’ve come to expect when seeing them live. Energy through the roof with vocalist Saku regularly coming really up close the crowd seeking connection, funny interactions and jokes between the band members throughout, lots of hair whipping through the air and of course a whole bunch of dancing involved by both the band and the crowd to the infectious beats and grooves. With some of the classics and fan favorites like ‘Sick and Beautiful’ and of course their rendition of The Bloodhound Gang‘s ‘The Bad Touch’ dancing and singing along was almost a requirement. Throw into that some of their latest singles like ‘Rust‘ and ‘Amongst Gods‘, that are absolute bangers, and it was just one hell of an industrial/metal party! Talking about those singles, after hearing these live for real now, we’re really looking forward to the next full-length album that is promising to be pretty epic! And hopefully some more gigging in support of the release will follow… we’ll be ready for sure!
For more pictures of the night, go check out our photo report here.