Do we really need to introduce Ensiferum? Everyone knows this band, one of the flagships of Viking metal in Europe. And what better place to see them than in the legendary Tavastia club, in the heart of Helsinki, the most metal city in the world?
Tavastia is a relatively small venue, with just 700 standing places, but it has seen pretty much all the Finnish metal and hard rock bands ever, from HIM to Nightwish. It also features an interesting design, with 3 bars over 2 floors, all facing the stage.
In early August, it was the turn of Ensiferum to walk that mythical stage, after an opening act by death metal veterans Kalmah.
Kalmah’s performance was as enthralling as you can expect from them. They selected some of their most melodic songs, in order to get the audience ready for the main act. Heroes To Us and Seventh Swamphony surely got the mood going. As the beer flowed and the music grew louder, so did the audience, and by the time Kalmah’s performance was over, the atmosphere was electric.
After a quick change of stage, some low chanting could be heard starting from the upper part of the room. That quickly became a general cry, not dissimilar to the battlecry of a horde aboard a drakkar on sighting the French coast.
From the start ‘til the finish, the quartet blasted most of their hits, with a particularly good selection from Victory Songs. Two Paths and From Afar were also well represented, and it was very quickly clear that everyone in the room was more than keen on shouting “Get out of our sight/The war has no need for traitors” along with Petri Lindroos and his gang.
But nothing perhaps screams “The Finnish way” as much as the very quiet Tumman Virran Taa. A purely choral masterpiece, sung by 700 people at the top of their lungs to prepare for The Longest Journey.
All in all, and judging by the numerous half-naked people with war faces painted on, drinking at the exit of the venue, this was clearly a concert that all could enjoy, and reconnect, for just 3 hours, with a fantasized past of pillaging, plundering and exploring.