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The northern trolls from Finland are normally known for filling up the Markthalle to the point of exploding, but somehow it went wrong on this Monday. Having Samael and Rotting Christ as support, it was not only the organisers, who were expecting the show to be sold out. However, there were no more than 350 people in the audience. As the tickets were 25 Euros and it was the end of the month, this was no cheap fun and of course there were more shows (Disturbed played in the Sporthalle) going on in the same day, but there would be only one choice for those, who are into Finntroll and Samael. Luckily the crowd compensated their quantity with quality and the atmosphere was great.
A few exotic ones kicked the show to a start. Nothnegal is a Maledivian-Finish-American band, which just published an EP and are currently working on their debut album. The names of the Maledivians are simply too cute: Avo (vocals), Hilarl (guitar), Fufu (guitar) and Batry (bass), but the names are deceptive. Together with Marco Sneck (keyboard), the man, who is otherwise known for his escapades in Kalmah and Poisonblack, and Before-The-Dawn/Black-Sun-Aeon Mastermind Tuomas Saukkonen helping out on drums on this tour (otherwise it´s Kevin Talley from Dying Fetus, Misery index and Chimaira), Nothengal delivered their melodic Black-Deathmetal show. On one hand, it was a shame that there were only 80 people in the room when they played, but on the other, they had a small, but fanatic moshpit from start to end of their show.
Metsatöll is often described as the Estonian Finntroll, but this would not be fair to the Estonians. This quartet puts much more emphasis onto the folk aspect of their songs than their Finnish collegues. The instrumentally multitalented Lauri “Varulven” Õunapuu on the bagpipes and flute somehow gives their music a bit of severity and melancholy, which normally is not present in folk-Metal. Their texts go about the wars of independence from the Estonian past, which were fought against Russia and eventually prevailed.
The Estonians were a bit of a moodkiller in comparison to the temperamentfull Nothengal, but Rotting Christ built up the lost moshpit in a short period of time. Doing photos without a photo-pit was definitely not easy, but to have the Hamburgers full in action was enough compensation. If one has not been at the Greeks’ shows is bound to be smacked in the face with the dark atmosphere. Furthermore, there were some smaller problems with the light and sound within the first three songs. Their setlist offered a few classics and a lot of newer material, but nothing short of a satisfaction.
After a short re-build of the stage, the show went on with the co-headliner, Samael. The audience, which had already slightly increased, grew a bit more and having the people spread out a bit, they almost half-filled the venue. They rode through the history of the band with songs like “Solar Soul”, “Slavocracy”, “Black Hole”, and “My Savior”; then there was a little detour to the latest production, leaving the setlist immaculate. This, in turn woke up an interest to the upcoming album. Also the sound and light were optimal. A first-row headbanger.-girl, who got not just a bit too close to the bass player (she had apparently been stealing beer from other tables too) had to be sorted out.
Finntroll managed to get the most out of the jumping, moshing and partially with-growling fans. Even if the crowd did not react too hard to the songs from the newest album, “Nifelvind“, they were back in action when the older, folkier songs came. The singer, Vreth, dedicated the song “Nifelvind“ to the late Leslie Nielsen and somehow, it seemed fitting. Sound, light, setlist, entertainment; there was really nothing to complain about. Even though the crowd was considerably small, they played two encores –“ Jaktens Tid“ and “Det Iskalla Trollblod”- before they exited the stage.