Dark Tranquillity / Ensiferum (Vanha Ylioppilastalo, Helsinki) – 22/05/2022

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Swedish melodeath legends Dark Tranquillity and Finnish folk metal party gang Ensiferum joined forces and embarked on a huge European co-headlining tour during April and May. Adding to that a couple of promising bands to warm up the crowds, we knew this was a tour we couldn’t miss out on. So when they got to the Finnish shore for a couple of stops there, we made sure we were there at the Helsinki show on a sunny Sunday eve!


Gwendydd

First band to take the stage was the Bulgarian metal outfit Gwendydd. The relatively young, almost all female band just recently released their brand new second album ‘Censored‘ via Drakkar Entertainment and the setlist ended up consisting mostly out of songs from that album. Their sound has a very modern feel and simply kicks some serious ass. They might have come across a little bit “green” on stage, having to find their footing in the beginning, but once they were a couple of tracks in, they really started to let loose. Which turned the show into having a sort of infectious energy with hair whipping around constantly, killer riffing and vocals and actually some engagement by the people that already showed up this early. From what I could see, they won over quite a few new hearts and souls by their performance here and they really deserve it! A band worth your time checking out!

Marianas Rest

Back in March, the very first rock/metal show happened at this venue and the Finnish doomsters of Marianas Rest were there as well! I remember being quite impressed by their gloomy music that was clearly inspired by Finland’s greats of Swallow the Sun, but totally with their own identity. The show this time around was again absolutely solid, with time simply flying by while getting mesmerized by their atmosphere building and emotional songs. They were a bit more limited in usage of the stage since there were still 2 big bands coming that had already gear on stage, so the impressive looking banners and backdrop wasn’t part of the show this time around. And while I really enjoyed their show, and plenty of other people clearly did as well, they felt a bit out of place looking at the other more energetic and somewhat less gloomy bands. But Marianas Rest is always a welcome sight in my book, so no complaints here!

Ensiferum

Who doesn’t need a bit of Ensiferum in their lives from time to time? I loved them when I was big on folk metal and such, still having a special spot in my heart. It had been since SaariHelvetti 2020 that I got to see them live, so it was about time for another booster shot of these energetic viking dudes. Right out of the gate they opened the set with 2 of their most energetic and heavy tracks on the latest release: ‘Rum, Women, Victory’ and ‘Andromeda’, which both got sang along to on the top of everyone’s lungs! The pure energy that these guys radiate is truly infectious and I was happy to get ‘One More Magic Potion’ to lift me up. And for those who are more into their older stuff, no worries, they provided with a great set of oldies to wrap up the gig with tracks like ‘In My Sword I Trust’ and ‘LAI LAI HEI’! It got me going and most definitely the crowd as well, because from quite early on there were some killer looking dance circle pits to be sighted!

Setlist:

Rum, Women, Victory
Andromeda
One More Magic Potion
Into Battle
For Sirens
Run From the Crushing Tide
Treacherous Gods
In My Sword I Trust
Lai Lai Hei
From Afar

Dark Tranquillity

To my big surprise, as a quite avid melodeath fan, I had to come to the conclusion that I never saw Dark Tranquillity live before! I was all too happy to rectify this injustice and was really psyched to finally experience what my friends have been raving about. And how right they were! This band is one of the most energetic, most wholesome and most straight-out entertaining melodeath bands in existence. Every single person on stage has a certain excitement and positive energy while they’re cranking out their stellar music that it just has to make you smile. And frontman Mikael Stanne pushes that a bit more over the edge. He was just beaming the whole time, clearly being back home where he belongs: on a stage in front of this fans. His energy and positive vibe simply pulled me in and didn’t let me go for the rest of the show or even night. And just like before with Ensiferum, Dark Tranquillity quickly made some proper circle pits arise that never seemed to slow down. From what I could see, the venue was absolutely packed. One thing is clear: Dark Tranquillity, you simply need to come back as soon as possible!

Setlist:

Identical to None
Transient
The Lesser Faith
Monochromatic Stains
Forward Momentum
Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)
A Drawn Out Exit
Punish My Heaven
Atoma
The New Build
Phantom Days
Encircled
ThereIn

Encore:
The Treason Wall
Lost to Apathy
Misery’s Crown

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