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A very successful ticket sale had the US-Canadian tour circus drop by at the bigger Kultturitalo instead of Nosturi Klubi. Local hobby historians explained to me that this place was a legendary Rock venue back in the 60s and 70s. But this time, the very same day only a few hours earlier, it hosted a classical concert, and there was an obvious contrast between the Metalheads and elegantly dressed and slightly nervous “culture house” employees – I could not help smiling... As you could see from the t-shirts, most of the pretty young fans had come to see Trivium and probably never heard of Annihilator before...
Sanctity It was strange to find out only at the venue – and not only for me - that there was a third band playing. Sanctity neither appeared on posters nor on tickets, even stranger because they have the same record company as Trivium. The label later explained that only up in the North there was a problem... and indeed, the guys from North Carolina, USA, are way too good to be ignored. The handful of songs from their debut “Road To Bloodshed” surely was enough to attract some new Finnish fan following. Even the sing-along part (“Why don´t you fade away” at the song “Zeppo”) taught to the audience via on-the-spot-crash course worked out nicely. No wonder, you cannot resist Sanctity´s groove, and with “Beneath The Machine” enthusiastic fans filled the space in front of the stage.
Annihilator “Operation Annihilaton”, sung by Waters himself, was the powerful opening for this energetic show. The Canadians also played “Clown Parade” from the new album “Metal”, but then Jeff Waters , Alex Landenburg (dr), Brian Daemon (b) and Dave Padden (voc, git) focused on classics, very well sung by Dave: „Never, Neverland“, „Refresh The Demon“, „The Fun Palace“, „Set The World On Fire“ - and despite the massive sound wall you could hear the audience cheering! All hands were in the air, even people sitting in the top rows joined in. A special surprise happened at “King Of The Kill”, Annihilator were joined by guest guitarists Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom) and Trivium´s Corey Beaulieu – total party on and in front of the stage!
Finally “Alice In Hell” mutated into “Alice in Hell-sinki”, and Sanctity´s Jared was honored with delivering the legendary scream-growl of that part. No wonder the audience shouted for more, but unfortunately... A pity, too, was that Jeff´s typical grimacing was hidden by his hair and the nice “Metal” backdrop by those huge PA towers. And perhaps I should have walked away, like some Die-Hard Annihilator fans did, and there might be 10 out of 10 Elks now... yet...
Trivium A long bombastic intro, then the Americans started with “The Crusade” from their new album, singer and guitar player Matthew Kiichi Heafy impressed the audience with some words in Finnish. And I could basically understand why Trivium drew so much audience: A great mix of Thrash, Melodic Death and Power Metal, spiced with harmonic chorus and an impressive light show... but... “Ember To Inferno” was their third song, and it was indeed an Inferno they unleashed. Now I understood why security gave free ear plugs to people in the first rows. It was WAY too loud, therefore you could hardly ever hear that filigree guitar work or other details. A basic thundering of the double bass drum covered up most of that and vibrated in my stomach.
Even with ear plugs I could no longer stand it after “Requiem” from the first Trivium-album, the pure bombardment with sound waves caused head- and stomach aches. Sorry, guys! The sound was OK, though, from outside the hall... and more and more fans also gave in. I have no idea how many endured the full 1,5 hour show, but I am pretty sure that they had a full week of tinnitus!