Another one of those packages that got delayed time after time again due to the pandemic… Bloodred Hourglass was supposed to play in Helsinki with MyGrain, Oceanhoarse and Balance Breach for a couple of years and now finally is the time! Oceanhoarse had to drop out still after all, but got replaced by the doomsters of Marianas Rest, completely a really solid line-up of up-and-coming greats of the Finnish metal scene! Place to be was Vanha ylioppilastalo (or the “old students’ house”), a fancy old building in the center of Helsinki that hasn’t really been the home for metal shows before. And here is how the night went…
First ones to grace the stage, were the young guys of Kemi’s metalcore stars on the rise, Balance Breach. Them being somewhat favorites of this site, we were really looking forward to catch them live again, as their shows are always very energetic and simply fun to see. And again they really delivered! While at first things sounded a bit off and shaky, the sound tech guy quickly adjusted to the weird acoustics of the venue, making them sound as good as they usually do. Vocalist Aleksi jumped around again as he does every time, while screaming and singing his heart out and the other guys were really throwing themselves into the show as well. They really were the perfect opener for this night and before we realized it, they were already wrapping up, leaving the stage ready for the next act.
Marianas Rest impressed last year with the release of their album ‘Fata Morgana‘, reminding us of their country mates of Swallow The Sun with their solemn and doomy brand of melodic death metal (for our album review go here). We hadn’t had the chance yet to catch them live and boy, did they deliver! The comparison to StS held up, while they still had their own identity and sound. A dark atmosphere was created with the light show and mesmerizing soundscapes, while the band was clearly completely in trance playing their music. The sight of vocalist Jaakko Mäntymaa was a quite impressive one with his completely blacked out demonic eyes and beastly growls and screams. This band kind of stuck out among the rest of the bill with their way slower paced music, but it was definitely very appreciated, both by us and the by now quite sizeable crowd.
It’s been since SaariHelvetti 2020 that we last saw MyGrain on stage (report here), around the time they released their latest album ‘V‘. That album was absolutely killer (review here) and we couldn’t wait to finally hear some of those tracks properly live now that we are more familiar with them. Tracks like the melodic and damn catchy ‘Haunted Hearts’ or ‘Out of This Life’ with its crunchy and groovy Strapping Young Lad-inspired opening riffs were a through pleasure to see them play live! Just like their brand of melodeath is rather unique, their live show and especially the lights they used were made to match, with at first mostly purely white lights used to create a certain atmosphere and energy by highlighting only certain spots or flashing around frantically. While the band as usual kicked absolute ass musically and technically with blistering guitar riffs and solos, backed with grooving rhythm section, vocalist Tommy ran away with a good chunk of the attention with his emotive and passionate singing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: these guys are something special and I feel this is only the beginning. We’re looking forward to all the stellar music they’ll shoot at us in the future!
And then it was time to see one of Finland’s most popular and more exciting metal acts to take control of the stage! Bloodred Hourglass has somewhat reinvented themselves with their most recent album ‘Your Highness’, really showing what a modern metal band could do and sound like. Besides the rather impressive album, they really showed off their potential for greatness and bigger stages last year with their official release show at Black Box Mikkeli (find the report here), with a bigger and longer show than they ever did with a stage production that surpassed anything they had done before. And while that was a great show, BRHG doesn’t need a big stage to impress. As soon as they were about to start, the crowd in the now quite busy venue were getting palpably excited. So when they ran on stage and immediately kicked off with one of their latest album’s top tracks ‘Drag Me the Rain’, the place exploded. Every single band member really threw themselves at it and vocalist Jarkko more than once ended up jumping on the amplifiers in the security zone to get closer to his fans. The setlist was perfectly balanced between their older work with fan favorites like ‘Alysia’ and ‘Waves of Black’ or set closers ‘Valkyrie’ and ‘Where the Sinners Crawl’ and their more updated sound with some of the top tracks from ‘Your Highness’ with ‘Nightmares Are Dreams Too’ and the highly emotional ‘Tell Me About Yesterday Tomorrow’ featuring Jarkko‘s first ever clean vocals. Yet again a stellar show by a band that has been on a quick rise to fame that has in our opinion no limits!
Drag Me the Rain
We Form the Broken
Nightmares Are Dreams Too
Waves of Black
Tell Me About Yesterday Tomorrow
The Unfinished Story
Where the Sinners Crawl
For more pictures of the night, go check out our photo report here.