Amon Amarth x Machine Head ‘Vikings and Lionhearts tour 2022’ (Jäähalli, Helsinki) – 21/09/2022

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Last time we caught Amon Amarth in Finland was when they brought their fiery show to the exact same venue before the pandemic, so having them come back there finally after all those year AND with a brand new album was already a big reason for us to not want to miss out on this night. But then added to that, they got into an arrangement for a co-headline show with no one less than Machine Head! They’ve tried to get to Helsinki several times the past years but now finally made it and it’s been way way too long! And if that was not enough, the brand new melodeath supergroup The Halo Effect came along to warm up the crowd as the opening act. A very exciting night that we had been looking forward to for quite a while…

The Halo Effect

Finally, the lights at the Helsinki Ice Hall Black Box got dimmed and with an atmospheric intro the guys of The Halo Effect came on stage under roaring approval by the fans who showed up early to catch the Swedish melodeath supergroup. Featuring only ex-In Flames members, they already proved their worth with an excellent debut album, now it was time to prove themselves to the Finnish crowds. The melodic riffing kicked in and Mikael Stanne ran on stage with his usual infectious excitement about being in front of his fans. Having only the one album, the setlist wasn’t really much of a surprise, which wasn’t bothersome at all with the solid slab of classic Swedish melodeath we were getting served. Stanne ran around like somewhat of a madman throwing horns in the air, banging his head to their music and simply enjoying himself while showing what an excellent vocalist he is. The rest of the guys sought out their fans as well from all sides of the stage, with Peter Iwers visibly being happy about letting his bass lines loose on us, Niclas Engelin cranking out tasty guitar solos together with Patrik Jensen (who was replacing Jesper Strömblad who sadly couldn’t be there today), turning the show in a perfect warmup for the 2 metal giants following them.


Days of the Lost
The Needless End
Feel What I Believe
A Truth Worth Lying For

Machine Head

It had been over a decade that this writer saw Machine Head live, having missed their last tour due to it being cut short by the pandemic. Much to my delight when they were announced to be getting here after all, even though it wouldn’t be with the extensive setlist they toured with earlier. Robb Flynn and his buddies clearly were in a really good mood, which comes to no surprise with their excellent recent new album ‘ØF KINGDØM AND CRØWN, of which they played ‘BECØME THE FIRESTØRM‘ as the show opener, immediately kicking in on a high gear. The rest of the set we got surprisingly little from that new album with instead old classics like ’Ten Ton Hammer’, ’Old’ as the wildcard track and of course ’Davidian’ besides more recent favorites like ’I Am Hell (Sonata in C#)’ (with a shit ton of pyros), ’Darkness Within’ and show closer ’Halo’. Robb tried to rile up the Finnish crowd to actually surprisingly great success with some of the biggest circle pits I’ve seen in the country of late and seemed ”fucking impressed” with Helsinki. Before ’Darkness Within’ he shared how music saved his life countless times and that this track was about that and how he hoped it could do the same for everyone there since we’re one big family, to then go into the chilling acoustic intro backed by the voices from most of the crowd singing along to the lines. As much as Machine Head can blow you away with their heavy grooves, as much they can set down an atmosphere that is like no other. Was everything perfectly played or sang? No. But did we really care or even want that? Again no. This was Machine Head in top form and everything sounded and felt right. Please come back again soon!


Ten Ton Hammer
I Am Hell (Sonata in C#)
Darkness Within
Now We Die
From This Day

Amon Amarth

And then it was time for co-headliner Amon Amarth to close an already successful night. Some extra levels were added with the big viking helmet with the drum kit in the middle and some huge viking statues arose on both sides of the stage. Once it was time for them to take over, the curtain dropped and almost immediately the whole venue was engulfed in flames shot almost from all sides on the stage and over the crowd. Opening with ‘Guardians of Asgaard‘ and then ‘Raven’s Flight‘ set the pace quite high from the beginning and then at ‘Deceiver of the Gods’, an almost reaper-like viking Loki appeared on stage to bug the guys with his spear and presence. Johan thanked the Finnish crowd for being back with this many supporting them and expressed how happy they were they were finally back, before going further with tracks like ‘The Great Heathen Army’ from their recently releases album of the same name, ‘Put Your Back Into the Oar’ getting the crowd engaging into a so-called “rowing moshpit” and of course the classic ‘Twilight of the Thunder God’! No matter how much you like Amon Amarth or what you think of their more recent work, there is simply no denying that they deliver on an epic show time after time, making you feel ready for battle afterwards. I don’t think I’ll ever get truly bored with their shows and am looking forward to when I’ll be able to catch them again live.


Guardians of Asgaard
Raven’s Flight
Deceiver of the Gods
Crack the Sky
The Great Heathen Army
Destroyer of the Universe
Put Your Back Into the Oar
Cry of the Black Birds
The Pursuit of Vikings
First Kill
Shield Wall
Raise Your Horns
Twilight of the Thunder God

For more pictures of the night, go here.

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