Amorphis, Leprous, Nahemah
Block 33, Thessaloniki, Greece
Once more, the Finnish Amorphis were punctual with their meeting with their Greek fans, as they always do from 2002 and on, when they came for the first time for the tour of ”Am Universum” album. It was the fifth time I’m seeing them live and third the last four and a half years, since they got Tomi Joutsen on vocals. Once again they were great and with the best of mood as they usually have, when coming to Greece. This time, we found them accompanied by two other bands, making the whole package rather interesting, as all three bands had little things in common. Each time we are able to see a band bringing the whole package along, we must feel lucky, especially in these hard financial times we live, that have affected music also, among everything else. The gig started a little before 8 o’clock and finished about three hours later.
Nahemah from the city of Valencia in Spain, were the ones that opened the show. They used to be something like a symphonic black metal band in their beginning with ”Chrysalis” album but later on, changed their style in a more progressive death metal direction with their next two albums, ”The Second Philosophy” and ”A New Constellation”, released on 2001, 2007 and 2009. I can’t hide the fact that I felt a little disappointment, seeing them trying to do their best and below them were about 70 people in the beginning. Slowly and steadily, the crowd started getting bigger and the Spanish quintet played for a little more than half an hour. They left the stage under the applause of the crowd, but they didn’t seem to enjoy it that much. That’s the role of the opening band most times, harsh and not always fair. A good performance though.
Leprous from Norway is considered to be one of the hottest acts of today’s metal scene. Having been known mostly because they were the band by the side of Emperor’s Ihsahn, it was a nice way to see them now they are trying to make a good name abroad. Being a progressive metal band in the whole sense of the world, and wearing these official coats, they seem more than a group of gentlemen than a metal band. Wrong! Not only they started their show based on their latest masterpiece ”Bilateral”, but they also banged themselves through the whole duration of their fifty-minute set. They also contained songs from their previous album ”Tall Poppy Syndrome” and all attenders saw a band giving 101% and proving to be more than a perfect warm up for Amorphis. Listen to this band and it’s only profit you’ll gain, DEFINITELY!
Amorphis entered the stage a little before 10 o’clock and ”My Enemy” and ”Mermaid” soon exposed the fact that the set would be based on their latest album ”The Beginning Of Times”. ”The Smoke” from ”Eclipse” album is the one that interrupts the new songs, before they soon return with ”Crack In A Stone”. ”Tuonela” is one of the best albums they’ve ever done, so ”Greed” was welcomed by suprise and joy, ”Sampo” initiating the songs from the previous album ”Skyforger” and ”You I Need’ being the fourth and last song we heard from the new album. Perfect shaped band, with Tomi Joutsen’s voice becoming better each time they come, once this guy bangs his head, you see nothing else but his long dreadlocks covering the place. It was time for some old school suite on the gig with the intro of ”Karelia” and a sample of Rammstein’s ”Pussy” preparing the ground for ”Vulgar Necrolatry”, a song from their early days when they were called Abhorrence. A nice way to move your neck also, by the way.
Most people’s favourite Amorphis album is ”Tales From The Thousand Lakes”, so ”Into Hiding” was also one more that was welcomed warmly enough (more training for the neck also). ”Sky Is Mine” from ”Skyforger” interrupts the old ones, but it’s ”Alone” from ”Am Universum” and ”Magic And Mayhem” from ”Tales…” that close the main set. They soon return to play three more classics, with ”Silver Bride” bringng many smiles to the crowd, ”My Kantele” proving to be immortaly classic and ”House Of Sleep” closing the set after 80 minutes, in which 15 songs were played. One more great performance by the smiling children of the North as always. Professional, heavy, banging and comfortable, alongside Moonspell, they are the only once called atmospheric metal bands I can see every time they play. Until next time… PERKELE!
Report: Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras.
Photos: Stathis “Sethianus” Ntailianas.