Powerwolfs ‘The Sacrament Of Sin Tour’ has continued into late fall, and joining them this time around is Gloryhammer. Powerwolf can be best described as “Vampire satanist catholic werewolf priests”; the second can be summarized as “A space prince fighting neutron evil sorcerers while riding a space unicorn”.
So. There we were, queueing in front of The Circus, which, despite the name, is simply an underground venue in central Helsinki. About 1000 people can fit there, over 2 floors, with sofas and bars and a pretty big pit. And on that night, the role of warming up those thousand people was devoted to Gloryhammer.
Can this really best described it? Probably not. Angus McFife is at his top, jumping around, running around, waving his mighty (and glorious) hammer, crushing evil goblin kings, fighting with his keyboard player, “refueling” the Hootsman guitar player with a pint of beer and whatnot. What Thomas does best, though, is perhaps interacting with his audience. That, in my opinion, is what a warm-up band really does, and what Gloryhammer does to perfection.
A simple example: for Questlords of Inverness, he asks a member of the audience to “ride on the wind”, which he translated as “go to the nearest bar”, and “hail to the king”, which again he translated as “bring us back some drinks to refuel the Hootsman. All that because the Hootsman is powered by neutron stars and neutron stars are powered by alcohol. Now it all makes sense!
Although the lights could have been managed better, Gloryhammer still is that joyful act that no one can watch without a smile on their face, and it always delivers on what is expected: great heavy space glorious goofiness.
After changing the stage, the unsuspecting audience could discover what is basically a small stone-looking church. Complete with statues of werewolves dressed as nuns in niches and a chalice where all other bands would have proudly put a bottle of water (or, more likely, beer). Oh, did I mention too that there was a giant LED cross in the background of the stage, just between the eyes of the werewolf fabric?
Powerwolf is this kind of band that you can never really rank as “serious” or “goofy”. Is it cheesy to have werewolves statues? Is it cheesy to have fake snow? Is it cheesy to sing that “Demons are a girl’s best friends”? #RememberMarilyn
Regardless of those considerations, you cannot take away from Powerwolf their energy, or their will to make you sing with them and partake in “the heavy holy orgy” that they display. Attila even took the time to teach some singing because he wanted to have a good choir with him. How many bands would have their singer sing, alone, with no music, on stage, for 10 minutes, just to get the audience to sing (approximately) right? If Thomas is a king of crowd interaction, Attila is the (unholy) god of it.
More surprising perhaps is how much the keyboard player is involved in creating this whole atmosphere. Dressed as a priest, complete with a stole, he is the one running around the whole stage and encouraging the crowd at every second (even unbeknownst to Attila who then screams “no, don’t sing now, I said first listen then sing”). All in all, the unholy metal werewolf satanic catholic vampire orgy went extremely well and you could tell that everyone was pleased.