Amorphis // Eluveitie // Dark Tranquility // Nailed to Obscurity // Live Review // The Academy // Dublin
Admittedly driving for two hours after working all day, watching 4 bands, and driving a further two hours home before a 7 am start may not have been the greatest idea; but with 3 of the 4 bands on the bill being firm favorites of mine, this Tuesday night show in The Academy Dublin was not one I could miss.
At exactly 6 pm Germany’s Nailed to Obscurity took to the stage, which had limited space due to the aforementioned 4-band bill. Kicking off with ‘Black Frost’, the title track from the most recent album, they looked and sounded fantastic. Atmospheric lighting set the mood for the melodic death doom, with the band’s trademark of thick rhythm guitars and a haunting lead overlay. Frontman Raimund Ennenga had a commanding stage presence, superb vocal delivery, and effective crowd engagement. The amazing instrumental outro of ‘Desolate Ruin’, from 2017’s King Delusion, signaled the end of their all-too-short 30-minute set. Hopefully, we will see a return to Ireland in the near future with a headline tour.
After an incredibly efficient 15-minute changeover, Dark Tranquility bounced onto the stage, with Mikael Stanne looking like he was enjoying every single second. He announced this was a different set for the band, with songs such as ‘Hours passed in Exile’, and ‘Cathode Ray Sunshine’ from 2002’s Damage Done album making an appearance, along with set staples such as ‘Lost to Apathy’. They had great sound and contagious enthusiasm. By the time they finished their set with the classic ‘Misery’s Crown’ the crowd was in a frenzy. Definitely one of the best performances I have seen from the band.
I’ll admit, Eluveitiewas not a band I was familiar with, or indeed a genre I listen to, but I was determined to have an open mind and was certainly intrigued by the number of people, (9) and variety of instruments on the stage. Thankfully a drum kit had been removed, leaving them a little more room. During their set, the atmosphere, both on and off stage, was electric, with the band seamlessly switching roles and instruments. Vocal duties were the contrasting styles of Chrigel Glanzmann and Fabienne Erni. The latter’s powerful voice was particularly evident on ‘Anu’ when she had the audience captivated.
I have seen a number of bands who have incorporated traditional folk instruments into metal music but the usual get lost in the mix live, this was not the case tonight for Eluveitie. The violin, flutes, and even the hurdy-gurdy, were all there contributing to the lively dynamic show. Despite not being a fan I enjoyed the show; in particular tracks such as ‘A Rose for Epona’ and ‘L’appel des montagnes’. The band left briefly but returned after chants for more, the crowd wanted to hear ‘Inis Mona’ and they got their wish as it was the last song of the evening complete with bagpipes from Matteo Sisti. After 70 minutes of dancing and singing along, the crowd dispersed to get refreshments before headliners Amorphis took to the stage.
Opening with ‘Northwards’ it seemed to take Amorphisa couple of songs to shift the crowd focus from Eluveitie’s vibe to their own, but by ‘Death of a King’ they were on top form. As with all of the bands that evening, the sound was absolutely brilliant, and Amorphis played flawlessly; each song sounded album perfect. Tomi Joutsen’s clean and guttural vocals remain strong and distinctive, and he is a rock-solid frontman. The setlist was a classic one; ‘ Silver Bride’, ‘Wrong Direction’ and of course ‘Black Winter Day’ from Tales from the Thousand Lakes, and ‘My Kantele’ from Elegy. Santeri Kallio delivers enchanting keyboard parts on both.
Sadly the set seemed far too short, and after a crowd sing-a-long to ‘House of Sleep’ the band left the stage. Whilst people stood waiting for the return for a possible encore, the lights came on and soon we were ushered from the venue. I would have loved to have seen a longer set from Amorphis as they certainly have the back catalog of amazing songs to fill it, but overall 4 quality bands on a Tuesday night isn’t a band way to start the week, even if I did need a lot of coffee to get me through work the next day.