Amaranthe (Black Box Helsinki) – 02/03/2024

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Two mastodons of the metal scene joining forces to take over venues all over Europe is something we usually don’t let pass us by. So when modern metal giants Amaranthe and power metal titans Dragonforce announced their massive co-headline tour, we knew we had to experience what was sure to be quite the spectacle. So off we went on a Saturday night to Helsinki’s Black Box in the Ice Hall venue…

Infected Rain

Opening this celebration of heavy music, they brought in Moldova’s superstars Infected Rain. Having seen them mostly on smaller club stages, I was looking forward to seeing what they’d do with a more arena sized one. Honestly, it was not much different, except for somewhat of a distance between the band and crowd due to the size of the stage. It was also the first time I got to see them with the new line-up, and while it’s still a bit weird to see them with only 1 guitarist, you wouldn’t have noticed if you didn’t know. New bassist Alice fits in perfectly with the rest of the band, while Lena Scissorhands and Vidick bring some killer energy to the stage as usual. Even though most people probably were there to get a good spot for the other two bands, the energetic performance seemed to connect with a lot of people. I’m sure that they made some new fans, joining their constant growth in popularity that comes with every new release and tour. Talking about new releases, it was fun to get to hear tracks from their latest stellar album ‘TIME‘ live for the first time. A bit over half of the set was made of tracks from that album with ‘PANDEMONIUM‘, ‘VIVARIUM‘, ‘DYING LIGHT‘, ‘NEVER TO RETURN‘ and ‘BECAUSE I LET YOU‘, which was a great introduction to how the band sounds right now. A pity that there wasn’t more room for some of their other banging tracks, but their European summer shows at festivals like Tuska will surely satisfy the need to hear more of them!


The Realm of Chaos
Sweet, Sweet Lies


It had been ages since I last saw Dragonforce ripping it up on a stage. I believe it’s even been so long that I’ve never seen them with Marc Hudson on vocals. If I’m completely honest, despite absolutely loving the band, live they never convinced me and their crazy fast guitar parts didn’t really sound good last I saw them. So I was ready to be proven otherwise, that they can actually bring their crazy music live as well. And they completely blew it out of the park! The fast-paced and crazy power metal turned the whole room into one big party quite quickly, and the whole stage radiated a high level of fun and energy towards us. Everything felt right, the guitar solos followed each other in rapid succession, the stage production with humongous arcade machines, fantasy sword mic stands and later in the set blow-up dragonheads was top-notch, and you could see and feel that every single person on stage was having the time of their lives. Especially, their new live guitarist (and quite popular social media content creator) Billy Wilkins was having a grin from ear to ear the whole friggin’ time! The setlist had a nice selection of songs from their new album ‘Warp Speed Warriors’ with ‘Power of the Triforce’, ‘Doomsday Party’ and their take on Taylor Swift‘s ‘Wildest Dreams’, but still focused more on somewhat older tracks finishing hard with all-time favorite and power metal classic ‘Through the Fire and Flames’! After this show, I can’t wait to get to see them live again, it was so damn much fun…


Revolution Deathsquad
Cry Thunder
Power of the Triforce
Soldiers of the Wasteland
The Last Dragonborn
Fury of the Storm
Doomsday Party
My Heart Will Go On (Céline Dion cover)
Wildest Dreams (Taylor Swift cover)
Through the Fire and Flames


And then we’re at the main event of the night with Amaranthe! It’s pretty clear that the majority of people showing up tonight were there for this show. The room was packed, and when the lights went out, you could feel the anticipation go up significantly. A cool intro set the mood for a show of course featuring a bunch of tracks from their just released ‘The Catalyst‘ album, and with a bang and a lot of fire, they kicked off with ‘Fearless‘ and ‘Viral‘ from ‘Manifest‘, followed by the Amaranthe classic ‘Digital World‘ and ‘Damnation Flame‘, one of the singles of the new album. After that they took some of the heat away, but kept the energy high with ‘Maximize‘, ‘Strong‘, and the popular E-Sports theme song ‘PVP‘. What a ride, and we’re barely halfway the set at this point. You can see that these guys are like a well-oiled machine, and new harsh vocalist Mikael Sehlin fits in perfectly with the rest of the band. Some tracks of the new album still drop by, but of course classics like ‘Boom!1‘, ‘Amaranthine‘ and universal party classic ‘Drop Dead Cynical‘ come on by. And that was basically the mood throughout the whole set, a party from start to finish. We could see people of all walks of life dance their hearts out, sing their throats raw and really be sucked into the show. Whether you like Amaranthe or not, there is no denying that they have become a massive band in the metal scene and even beyond!


Digital World
Damnation Flame
The Catalyst
The Nexus

That Song
Drop Dead Cynical

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