In Flames (Jäähalli, Helsinki) – 14/12/2022

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For a long-time melodic death metal fan like me, a bill headed by In Flames and as supporting guests At The Gates, Imminence and Orbit Culture, celebrating both the originators of the genre and the new generation, is simply something I can’t miss out on. And with In Flames’ recent singles of the upcoming new album sounding more like In Flames of a decade ago, it was getting me even more excited. Not that an In Flames show is ever even remotely bad, but still… So off I went to Helsinki to Jäähalli, ploughing through some decent amount of snow to get there.

Orbit Culture

Finally, I get to see these guys live! Sadly, I had to miss out on Orbit Culture‘s last visit to Finland when they played John Smith Rock Festival, but this made up for it somewhat. That they get to tour with 2 melodeath legends of their country is simply amazing and hopefully turned into a lot of new fans. Without remorse, they cranked out ‘Saw‘, one of the tracks that made me notice them, quickly followed by ‘North Star of Nija‘ and ‘Strangler‘, one for one killer tracks that shows who they are and what they’re all about. Niklas thanked the crowd for being there in between tracks, expressing how much of an honor it is to be in Helsinki. But no time for too much talking, more music! ‘The Shadowing‘ still hit that sweet spot, and they left everyone behind breathless with their most aggressive track to date, the latest single ‘Vultures of North‘. Hair whipped around, heads were banged and fists were raised, this was a metal show that kicked ass in every sense. If only we could have enjoyed each other’s company a bit longer than 5 tracks… But hey! See you this summer at Tuska!


North Star of Nija
The Shadowing
Vultures of North


You might think Imminence is a bit out of its place being the one metalcore band on the bill, but since there has been a lot of cross pollination between melodeath and metalcore in the recent decades, I definitely approached their show with an open and curious mindset. And they really convinced me! For your average metalhead it might not be their cup of tea, but man, do they play a decent set of heavy music. Going in rather blind, I was pleasantly surprised by the use of violin in some of their songs, played by vocalist Eddie Berg. It adds a really fun touch, and it’s rather impressive that they opted for playing it live and not simply using a backing track. And with the rest of the band really throwing themselves into their performance, it turned into a really exciting set. It was their first time here, but they are already coming back this Summer to Tuska and in spring for a small club show tour in Finland! You can bet I’ll try to go!


The Sickness
Chasing Shadows

Heaven in Hiding

At The Gates

And then it was time for the first of the 2 melodeath legends on this bill! I’ve seen At The Gates now a couple of times already and every time they turn it up to 11. And today was no different! Quite soon after Tomas Lindberg and his bandmates took over the stage, a huge mosh pit started to form that didn’t go away throughout the whole set from what I could see. While of course melodic, I’ve always perceived At The Gates as the more harsh band among its peers and with Lindberg barking his lines in his distinct vocal style, I just couldn’t shake the hardcore music feeling it gave me. Absolute legends that you have to see live at least once in your lifetime if you’re any bit of a metalfan! I prize myself lucky to have seen them as much as I have by now, and from the roar that came from the crowd, everyone there probably thought something similar.


Spectre of Extinction
Slaughter of the Soul
At War With Reality
To Drink From the Night Itself
Under a Serpent Sun
Heroes and Tombs
Touched by the White Hands of Death
The Mirror Black
Death and the Labyrinth
Blinded by Fear
The Night Eternal

In Flames

And then finally, it was time for the main act of the night and clearly the band that most people were there for. In Flames brought the masses out of their homes and the floor in front of the stage was crammed full of excited fans. A band of a legendary status like In Flames and the more accessible nature of their more recent work, is almost a sure thing to fill up some of the biggest venues. And while they could go crazy with their stage production, this time around they kept it rather sober, letting the music speak for itself.

As usual there was a riser over the length of the stage for Anders Fridén and guitarists Björn Felotte, Bryce Paul and Chris Broderick next to him to stand on, looming over the crowd. Some big ass light fixtures in the air to add some extra light effects and a simple backdrop. Nothing more is needed really, because the band and the music is entertaining enough of itself. Anders was caught regularly with a small smirk on his face caused by the reaction of the crowd, and you could see Björn, Chris and Bryce more than often point and smile at their fans, or throw up some horns. And on top of that, what a setlist it was!

Coming strong right out of the gate with one of the amazing singles of their upcoming new album ‘Foregone‘ with ‘The Great Deceiver‘, followed by old school track ‘Pinball Map‘ and one of my personal favorites, and the track that gave me my first taste of In Flames, ‘Cloud Connected‘. The whole set was a great mix of the old and the new and the crowd clearly responded really well to it. More often than not the mass of people was simply pulsating like a mastodon-sized monster with thousands of heads, and mosh pits, headbanging and crowd surfers were ever present. In Flames quite literally came, saw and conquered Helsinki without remorse.

In February they release their new album ‘Foregone‘, of which many people have been saying already “In Flames is properly back now” and I truly hope that they will be back in Helsinki next year as well, in support of their new release.


The Great Deceiver
Pinball Map
Cloud Connected
Behind Space
The Hive
Only for the Weak
Foregone Pt. 1
State of Slow Decay
The Mirror’s Truth
I Am Above
Take This Life

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