01-04-2017 – Evil Drive

01-04-2017 Evil Drive
Supports: Enthrone the Unborn, Crucify the Faith
Starts: 01-04-2017
Bar Loose
Helsinki
FI

Text & photos by: Juho Karila

As I was walking towards the venue, I was getting excited about the show. I didn’t know much what to expect, due I only know CtF before and I had heard Enthrone the Unborn only by name before. Evil Drive didn’t ring a bell but since the theme was melodeath/core/growls, I was expecting something within those lines while not holding up expectations.

Crucify the Faith

Once I got in to the venue, I was surprised by the lack of audience, even if it was the weekend and showtime was drawing near. After a short while the band got up onto the stage and their lively and energetic groovy metal surely woke up the audience, or so I thought as I focused on capturing the best of their poses while I tried to pay attention to how they acted on the stage. A few things stood out to me, and one, to my surprise, was how stationary they were, except the singer, Aki Juvonen who jumped and rocked the stage totally. His antics made me smile because I knew he was a big fan of Profane Omen and the energy of his performance reminded me of Jules Näveri.

The rest of the band just seemed to be really tense and focused in their instruments, without even trying to make contact with the small crowd who had came to see them and at times it was hard to believe this is one of the bands we thought to be best performers in last year’s Emergenza Festival. Somewhere near the end of the set, we saw some more headbanging and movement but to my dissappointment, the bassist remained in the furthest corner with less light. Aki managed to save most of the show but still at times, I felt like I was watching a school band in a semester’s ending party, rather than a band about to take over the world.

Later during the night I heard that they had a substitue guitar player, which always affects the dynamics but still CtF wasn’t on the top of their game this night.

Setlist: 1. Trouble in Paradise, 2. This Generation Falls, 3. Make It Through, 4. The Strong Will Survive, 5. New Breed, 6. Unreal

Enthrone the Unborn

When the second band got up onto the stage, more people had got in and it was clear that it was my problem, rather than a problem of a smaller band, that they had slipped past me without noticing before. During the first song, I realized that the singer, Make Kivistö is also the singer of Pain Confessor. That gave some hint of what the band is all about and their catchy melodeath caught me off of my feet, making me regret even more that I haven’t been paying more attention to them.

Their show relied much more on the whole group’s shoulders than the previous one and the small stage looked like too small for them. Even if all of them were concentrating in enjoying playing live, and there was no doubt in that, letting the music speak for themselves worked them perfectly. The singer held a few speaks in between the song while the show rolled forward in its own weight. Also their sound was much clearer and brighter than what CtF had. During the songs, there wasn’t much contact with the audience but they still managed to look like they lived and breathed their music straight from the heart; there wasn’t any signs of doing this in routine. They sure are a band I’m going to see more and keep a close eye on.

Setlist: 1. Burns Within, 2. Halcyon, 3. Where the Flames Grow Downwards, 4. Chapel, 5. Two Reflections, 6. Serum visions

Evil Drive

The main act was the biggest curiosity for me and I found myself really looking forward to them, due them having a female vocalist, and she growls. I’ve always liked it when people break the rules of tradition and take roles which are not what most do and I believe that there’s a gap in the metal scene for more growling females.

Second surprise they offered is how also the others stir up the pot and give the finger to what is traditional as they played melodic metal with thrashy vibes, which sounded like what could had been if Iron Maiden made a collaboration with Anthrax. It was fast and aggressive, so the frontwoman was a well made choice because Viktoria Viren‘s voice sent cold shivers down my spine.

Their performance was also really convincing, the lead role in gathering the masses was left, obviously, for their singer but everybody did their own part and it didn’t take them much to get the audience to their side. Despite to this, early during their set, the vocalist motioned the others to cut a song during the intro and she simply refused to continue until people had come up in front of the stage; wow!

While the music was aggressive, apart from the occasional melodic guitar-lead sections, and the woman of the band looked like she was going to jump down and bite everyone in the neck in a friendly way, they all were clearly very much enjoying themselves. It was no wonder, because the small downstairs club had got a really nice amount of audience to witness a show you don’t see every day.

With a smile, they conducted their set with such professionalism, I could easily imagine them tackling the outdoor stages of Tuska or Nummirock one year.

The night truly exceeded my expectations.

 

08 April 2017