Text & Photos by: Juho Karila
It was a night of Folk Metal as the Estonian giant Metsatöll came to celebrate their 18th anniversairy. Not only it was a special show for the band but also personally for me; I had waited many years for a chance to see them live but there had always been something blocking my way. Not this night.
I had seen the group once and they didn’t convince me that time so I raised my eyebrows at them being the support for this special occasion. Last time the group were quite phlegmatic on the stage so this time I wasn’t expecting too much, which proved to be the best choice.
They suprised me positively, though, as the small stage suited them very well and there was a theatrical feeling on their show, from ripping up a book on the stage, to their posture. They were clearly excited to be on the stage and managed to win the audience to their side after the first few songs, which they basically rushed from one to another without making much contact to the audience; a style reminding me of Nightwish. Even if their performance was better than anticipated, they didn’t clearly convince me as everything else was copied from other bands too. Half of them wore pointy ears, like Finntroll, some had “muddy” bodypaint -makeup just like what we had seen the trolls do. At one point I found myself counting bands who had already done musically the same as these guys and the lack of originality made me feel even more sorry for the band. I heard too clearly the influence of Ensiferum, Battlelore, Wintersun and the aforementioned Finntroll, and all of that made me feel like this band would be at their best on a private party with only small amount of friends. At this rate, they just don’t make it to the bigger stages.
I got to admit that Vetten Äpärät filled the stage and their presence was okay, average good but I would had wanted to see a little more interaction with the crowd to make the best of their bad situation.
Setlist: Coming Soon
I knew the main act would make a difference and it also showed with the amount of people who had gathered to see only them on this Saturday night; many were thinking alike. As the show begun, we didn’t need to think twice if they were going to redeem our expectations; they topped them. With a strong and mixed set of total of 18 songs, they delivered us nearly 90 minutes of metal, which sink straight to the heart and deep. Having only 4 members, in contrast to the support, they had no troubles in keeping the crowd on their side and I had troubles to stay focused on my tasks because the gravity of the show just made me wanting to bang my head all the time.
What I really liked, other than their music, was how they acknowledged their audience and embraced them in a sense of belonging and I could tell how genuinely happy they were to be there for the metal loving Finns. Due the limited space on the stage, they didn’t move that much but I saw them coming and posing to all directions, to honor the guests of their mighty feast. The speeches between songs were kept short and the music did the talking, but they didn’t need anything else due their immersive charisma, obviously brought my 18 years of experience.
Metsatöll struck me with awe and it took a couple of days for me to recover from what I saw; only one band has ever succeeded in doing the same so far. The band was Dark Tranquillity in Nummirock 2016. I simply don’t have a bad word against their show. Professionals know how to do their game.
Setlist: 1. Külmking, 2. Metsalase veri, 3. Must hunt, 4. Küü, 5. Kivine maa, 6. Tõrrede kõhtudes, 7. Sõjahunt, 8. Kuni pole kodus, olen kaugel teel, 9. Saaremaa vägimees, 10. Vimm, 11. Isa süda, 12. Merehunt, 13. Raiun kui rauda, 14. Minu kodu, 15. See on see maa, 16. Lööme mesti, 17. Oma laulu ei leia ma üles (Heli Lääts cover), 18. Lahinguväljal näeme, raisk!