The Easter weekend in Helsinki was absolutely merciless! Between painting the eggs and signing postcards, I was also busy choosing which band to see – this time it was especially tough, between Amorphis and Turmion Katilöt. My selection criteria: Amorphis is incapable of a bad show, whether small club or summer´s biggest festival. For Turmion Katilöt you can never have any expectations: they WILL break them. And I must admit that this unknown is very attractive, so I threw my bondage outfit on and make my way to Gloria.
The grotesque aspect of this event was that Gloria is basically a theatre, with heavy red velvet curtains, comfortable velvet chairs and a semi-circular stage. In contrast to Tavastia, Gloria was not overcrowded, which was equally nice as unusual, as I would never imagine watching an extreme metal concert sitting in a velvet armchair with my feet up. Surprisingly, mostly regular dressed people wondered around, drinking their beer, not so many Metal-heads and maybe just a couple of Goths…
Deathchain Not a newcomer, since this name comes up every time with Turmion Katilöt, so clearly a long-term cooperation, but must be for other reasons than their musical compatibility, because Deathchain did not have anything to really make a strong impression at the first sight. Every time I left and returned back into the audience, the sound had almost not changed, and neither did the band´s behavior. The singer looked somehow confused and tense, occasionally headbanging, but mostly just walked back and forth between the mike and the drum-set - no attempts at all to interact with the audience or make any other contact. As always with this kind of bands, they have their 2-3 die-hard fans in the front row, who know all the lyrics and headbang to every riff, but among the other 10 random people before the stage, the whole floor looked just empty and unpersuasive, so I am sorry if you´re into this band, but then please write to me and explain your reasons!
Turmion Katilöt After such a quiet start, the audience was ready for the action! The floor before the stage got full pretty quickly, although you could still get closer to the front with minimal damage. And half an hour behind the schedule – action time baby! So hopefully you´ve left your morals, principles and mamas at home.
What I like about this band (and in Finland there is no other such creature, rest assured!) is that you cannot not care, one way or another it will bother you! Language plays no role here, lyrics are something secondary in this case, there is a lot more than poetry to think about! And you WILL think about it, it WILL make your pulse rise, it WILL raise at least some wondering and so you will discover something new about yourself.
Normally, Gloria (the same as Nosturi) uses the first floor for the underage audience and the upper floor for the bar and backstage. To my surprise age was not any issue that night, and the adult visitors were fighting for their spots in the front row just as eagerly as the hyper teenagers. I don´t even know what disturbed me more, younger generations being so excited about this act, or older men in obviously just-came-from-work suits, but all equally cheering, supporting, singing along, headbanging, dancing, ENJOYING... It is impossible to be indifferent to the Katilöt! And impossible to take decent pictures also, because no one would ever give up their places near enough to the stage to take a quality close-up.
By the time I actually battled my way through, it was time for an encore, when the band usually does the more extreme part of their show towards the end. And there am I, so ready for juicy photos, when Spellgoth returns on stage without the famous miniskirt on, but with a leathery-spiky belt-alike holding construction for his ‘masculine pride´ if I´m allowed to say so... If you already have had some Turmion experience, you´ll know the lack of undergarments the singer always has and rumors of his multicoloured piercings in his most precious area (aka “Christmas-tree” according to some insiders) are not exactly rumors anymore, although I still did not manage to count precisely how many ornaments are there in total. The audience, especially the front rows could not have asked for more! The regular Katilöt´s stage action, the electrical devices and hot sparkles, Bengal fires in the most sensitive places, finger-length needles, leather whips (which get longer and stronger with every show) and classic handcuffs, and not a single scream or a drop of blood – everybody wins and leaves happy, although no obvious cheering for a second encore…
The downside of the night was a too short setlist, although of course all the favorites were there and so well arranged with the show program, a theatre actually fit very nicely after all.
Turmion Katillöt`s setlist:
Verat ja Lihaa
Mista Veri Pakenee
Marina Sidyakina, transl. Kathleen Gransalke, photos: TK, Pekka Saarinen