It’s been quite a while since Monuments last managed to visit the Nordic countries. For Finland it was actually 7 years ago! So the fact that they were coming back in this region was reason enough to make sure we were there! With them they brought a couple of friends and bands they really appreciate with Heart of a Coward and I Built The Sky, giving us a really cool night of damn good music in the middle of the week!
I Built The Sky (***1/2)
First up, from far away Australia, we got some great proggy instrumental music from I Built The Sky to get us somewhat warmed up already. If the masterfully written and played music didn’t do the trick for you, the band itself did their best to thaw the often rather timid Finnish crowd. Mostly with main man Ro Han cracking some jokes between songs, asking for a wall of death (which isn’t really expected on this kind of music) followed by him expressing his disappointment when it didn’t happen. Slowly the crowd did warm up to them, winning them over with their mesmerizing music and charming presence. A great little gem was discovered here for me.
Heart of a Coward (****)
Heart of a Coward was of quite another caliber. This UK metal outfit is quite on the rise and at their shows there’s a certain intensity and chaos that reigns supreme, giving it off a strong hardcore vibe. And tonight that was not a single bit different. As soon as they started playing, people started moving, banging their heads and even getting some moshpit action going. The band just radiated high velocity energy and vocalist Kaan Tasan showed a degree of passion, towering over the crowd standing on a box, really pulled in a lot of the attention. The feeling of unity and brotherhood was strong with the whole band getting quite close to the crowd and instigating the whole room to do synchronized headbanging or jumping. A truly energetic show of a band you should keep an eye on!
And then it was finally time for Monuments. They made us wait a bit longer, blasting some pretty hilarious tunes in between, to a point where ‘Pump Up The Jam‘ came through the speakers and drummer Mike was jamming along to the track. Then the late 80’s dance music hit ‘Theme from S’Express‘ introduced the actual show, I love it when a band doesn’t take themselves too seriously. The music itself is pretty serious though. Known as one of the big guns in the prog/djent scene, Monuments‘ music is intricate, groovy and catchy all at the same time. Throughout the set you could see the absolute pleasure these guys had on stage playing their music together.
Original drummer Mike is back behind the skins after recovering from long lasting injuries and new on vocals is Andy Cizek. Haven’t seen Monuments live before, I have no idea how he is compared to their former vocalist, but what I saw from Andy, he’s absolutely killing it. Going from emotional cleans to some of the best screams around, seemingly having boundless energy. The crowd ate it up like candy and the energy was electric. Andy got the whole crowd to raise their phones in the air with the lights on and I saw a wall of death actually happening this night. Monuments is back in full gear and I’m already looking forward to see more of them!
For more pics, go here.