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Finntroll - Photo by Denis Radacic
Finntroll – Photo by Denis Radacic

Wrath Of Fenrir/Red Descending

Amplifier Bar

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Described as “St. Patrick’s Day on crack,” Helsinki folk metallers Finntroll are easily the leaders in their field. Over the years, as the popularity of Viking/folk metal has grown, so too has Finntroll’s fan base. On their  latest tour of Australia, touring their sixth LP, Blodsvept, Finntroll braced the cold (jokingly referred to as a Finnish Summer) to show Perth for a second time why they’re considered the most entertaining folk metal band you’re likely to see live.

Kicking off the night were the local Viking-themed Wrath Of Fenrir. With most of the crowd heading into the venue and out of the cold early, Wrath Of Fenrir unleashed their energetic brand of battle metal (an ideal choice to open for Finntroll; the influence was abundantly clear, but the style nevertheless their own). The crowd was the most enthusiastic and boisterous you’ll likely see for an opening act. The band was clad in animal skin and Viking attire, the effort put into providing an all-round show both musically and visually was phenomenal.  To further sweeten the deal, two “mascots” in medieval garb joined them onstage (also ducking and weaving through the crowd), hoisting their flags high. Wrath Of Fenrir are truly a spectacle: if you’re a fan of brutal folk metal, do not miss.

Red Descending were up next, expertly blending symphonic and melodic death metal. Having been in the local scene for quite some time now, this four piece, featuring two members from Wrath Of Fenrir, played a brilliant set. The energy from the bands and punters did not let up, despite the short change-over and back-to-back sets for two members (Nick Bean, drums and Bernard Shaw, bass: these guys made it look easy). They have been down a keyboardist in recent times and relied on the mixer for the orchestration, effects and keys. Given the tiny Amplifier stage, this is not such a bad thing; they certainly couldn’t fit much more up there! Claim The Throne’s party-starter Jessie joined briefly to provide backing vocals to much applause. The energy levels remained high, and everyone on stage was clearly having as great a time as the crowd.

After what seemed like quite a break, given the bitter cold and lack of outside bar this evening, Finntroll hit the stage to a rousing reception. Resembling characters from World Of Warcraft, they seemed very happy to be back in Australia. A faulty lead briefly interrupting the set, charismatic vocalist Vreth (aka Mathias Lillmans) easily wove the technical difficulties into the set. The onstage banter was hilarious, and his mosh commands were obeyed at every stage by the insanely energetic and vocal crowd: apparently much better than our East Coast counterparts, according to the band.

Churning out a number of songs from their latest release, Blodsvept, whilst not ignoring their brilliant back catalogue, only their first album was left from the set. Solsagan, from the dark and commanding 2010 release Nifelvind, really got the crowd moving, as did the versatile display of work from other favourites, Jakten’s Tid and Ur Jordens Djup. As the night’s end drew closer, the band decided to skip the break before the encore and just play the damn songs (with six now onstage, and nowhere to hide, it was an easy choice). “Who needs 5 minutes of silence anyway?” joked Vreth. Closing with the ever-popular Trollhamaren, the audience was left breathless. With a response like this, there’s no doubt Finntroll return readily. Thank you Perth!


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