Live Photos and Gig Review Credit: Margarita Khartanovich (Photographer/Live Gig reporter Myglobalmind Webzine
Finland and Sweden have always enjoyed very special relations, in which Finns would speak of Swedish bands only in the context of mean tricks ridiculing neatness and “metrosexuality” of Swedes. Although melodic death metal band Arch Enemy has managed to earn the respect and popularity among rugged Nordic metalheads. The gig in Tampere was not sold out but it was packed with those who knew very well what the band was about. The anticipation to see the new vocalist, Alissa White-Gluz, and to hear the songs from the new album “War Eternal” made the atmosphere in Pakkahuone similar to the one on Christmas eve when you are about to unwrap your presents.
The opening act Insomnium from Joensuu (eastern Finland) was a very wise choice as it combines Scandinavian death metal and traditional Finnish tunes with elements of folk, doom, trash and progressive. It’s possible to call their style of music “smart metal” – all the band members have Master’s or PhD degrees and their approach to music is nothing less but a scientific experiment. The level of their professionalism is very impressive keeping in mind that Insomnium is more like a hobby to them rather a full-time job. If you check the video for their song “Mortal Share”, you can understand why Century Media Records signed them.
And then there were the sounds of Tempore Nihil Sanat (Prelude in F minor), an incredible instrumental masterpiece from the new album that makes you thrill with delight and bend the knee to the human beings coming on stage that very moment. And now the question: Angela or Alissa? Or Johan? If you had a chance to see Arch Enemy with all of these gifted singers, basically you have managed to experience three different spirits of the same band. Johan Liiva brought British punk moods to the overall sound and attitude of the band and could have probably made Arch Enemy something like metal Joy Division. At the same time Angela Gossow, that stunning German warhorse, gave the band what Michael Amott was searching for – the driving energy. Is Alissa White-Gluz the right person to replace Angela who has become the essential element of Arch Enemy by now?
The show in Tampere proved that Alissa could not only be seen as Angela’s substitute – she has made Arch Enemy look hotter than ever before. She added a huge amount of sex appeal to the whole band. Alissa is definitely a badass girl with balls, not being afraid of stepping in front of brilliant musicians and incredible men and taking the responsibility of heating up the audience of a bigger amount of demanding and rugged men. Can you imagine how it is even possible? Perhaps, Angela couldn’t take it any longer and decided to leave the front row for this exact reason.
Finns will remember that night as the night when a Swedish music genius, fantastic songwriter and guitarist Michael Amott destroyed all the dull stereotypes about Swedes. Music is all that matters in the end. Speaking of which I can’t but mention such an element of Arch Enemy show as the screens. Who the heck needs them? I believe the idea behind them was to encourage the audience to sing along as you could read the lyrics of the song from them. It looked lame as metal is not about the cheap tricks. Metal is about honesty, skills, darkish philosophy, exposed insides. Did the screens help create the atmosphere? No. They distracted from what was going on the stage. If the band left them out, no one would miss them.
Tempore Nihil Sanat (Prelude in F minor)
You Will Know My Name
Under Black Flags We March
As The Pages Burn
Dead Eyes See No Future
No Gods, No Masters
Dead Bury Their Dead
We Will Rise
Yesterday is Dead And Gone
Blood on Your Hands
Fields of Desolation
Enter the Machine