Sunday, 11 October 2009

Gig Review: Ensiferum - JBs Dudley - 09/10/09

It's a crisp, dry and cold autumn night in Dudley, the perfect night to be inside getting sweaty and thrashing about to one of Finland’s finest folk metal bands. Despite the chill there's a decent queue outside the venue waiting for doors to open, showing the willing and hardiness of the folk metal crowd, who'll do anything to listen to music you can bang you head and quaff ale or mead to (though sadly the venue tonight doesn't sell mead!)

But before Ensiferum grace the stage we are to be treated to another of Finland’s finest, if lesser known, bands: Tracedawn. Formed in 2005 and having released their sophomore effort last month; Egoanthem, Tracedawn are definitely one of the better examples of the new breed of MeloDeath bands to be making their name on the scene. Despite their short set time they manage to pull a decent crowd down from the bar to the stage and keep them interested with their clean, technical sound. Expect to see big things from this band in the future!

Next up were Metsatöll, a folk metal band from Estonia (don't worry, I didn't know Estonia produced metal bands either) replete with an assortment of real folk instruments (bagpipes, flute, bodhrán and more) most of which seem to get drowned out by the rest of the band. I'm sure if I had known any of the songs by this band I would of enjoyed their set far more, but songs in a foreign language presented as a wall of sound aren't my idea of a good time.

By the Dividing Stream signals the arrival of tonight's highly anticipated headliners: Ensiferum, and from the crowd reaction this is a set a lot of people are really looking forward to, myself included. For our expectations we're treated to a lengthy set which includes a healthy mix of old favourites with more than a few tracks from the new "From Afar" album, a move some bands wouldn't be able to get away but such is the quality of this new material that it is embraced by the fans with the same fervour as any of the old classics. The end comes all too soon as Petri asks for help from the crowd on the title track from 2004's Iron (hearing a room full of drunken metal fans shouting "Dun dun dun dun!" at the top of their lungs was worth the price of the ticket alone!) and with that the show comes to an end and with it the UK leg of the From Afar tour. I think it's safe to say that as far as all in attendance are concerned, Ensiferum can't come back soon enough!

You can check out the bands at their respective Myspaces:

No comments:

Post a Comment