Date: February 24th 2011
Location: Metropolis in Montreal
Bands: Barren Earth + Rotten Sound + Ensiferum + Finntroll
The show starts with a band I discovered a few weeks ago, Barren Earth. During my listen of their album “Curse of the Red River”, I felt a kind of depressing and/or melancholic ambiance, something I was curious to see if they could bring this into a live show. It’s something that I thought would be hard… but I was wrong. This band has some sort of way to pull you into the melodies of their songs and let you float in their strange world. It’s really catchy; you cannot escape the flow that passes through you when they play their songs. This is not the kind of band you want to see if you’re up for an all brutal show, with killers’ solos and kicking ass riffs. I really like what this band brings in a show, something I was not used to. Give them a try on their MySpace and see for yourself if you like this kind of band. If you like them, go see them… it’s magic!
The second band is Rotten Sound. Could someone explain me what this band was doing in this show...? We had a melodic death metal band at the beginning and two folk bands at the end and they put a grindcore band in the middle. This was really a bad matchup for this band. Ok, they come from Finland, but still, they could have tried better to fit a band that would suit the show better… As for the show itself, it was ok. Nothing special, it was generic like most of the grindcore band you could think of. They had some heavy riffs but nothing spectacular. Maybe in another show with a different crowd I would have had a different opinion about those guys but they did not impress me at all. I would not recommend this band to anyone, except if you’re a huge fan of the genre. At least their performance was ok…
Ensiferum comes up as the third band. I had already seen this band twice and I was eager to see if they could bring again this hype and energy they had on previous shows. It was their second tour presenting their latest release “From Afar”, which I find really good by the way. They played a lot of song from this album like “Twilight Tavern”, “From Afar”, “Smoking Ruins”, and more. They also played their classic songs like “Iron”, “Token of Time” and “Victory Song”. Their show was really awesome, the sound was really clean and we could hear each instrument clearly. These guys were and are still beasts on the stage. This show was excellent from the beginning up to the end… well almost. The only downside I could find to this performance was that they played their last song “Iron” and then just jammed for about 5 minutes… I mean come on!, instead of just doing anything on stage, why not play another song? Except for this little “weak” moment, I loved their performance. The crowd was really into this show, singing in most of their song especially on “Lai Lai Hei” and “Twilight Tavern”. It was really awesome. If they ever come to make a show near your hometown, go for it. It’s really worth it, even if you’re not a big fan of the genre.
The headliner of this tour was Finntroll. Another weird thing of this tour was the order of the line-up. I don’t know what’s the popularity of Finntroll vs Ensiferum but here in Montreal, Ensiferum wins by a big margin. I had this strange feeling at the end of the show and I couldn’t stop making this comparison between this line-up and two cars. I felt that Ensiferum was like driving a Ferrari and then after driving this car, they give you a BMW. It’s still nice, but you know, you feel disappointed after driving a Ferrari. This is the feeling I had after the show. They putted the best performance in the third slot and not at the end. Even before Finntroll started about 30% of the crowd left. It felt like the room was almost empty. The crowd was packed at Ensiferum and now we had a lot of space. It was another thing that “killed” the show a little bit. For their performance, it was great. The people that stayed (including me) were really into it but as I said, the place felt like it was empty.
I had a really nice time at this show, and I really like the initiative of Finntroll to make a full Finnish line-up for a tour. I hope they can come back for another year with a different line-up!