…if at “Escapextasy” the poison-of-choice was dark velvet sensuality, caressing so tenderly, you get goose-skin and chills down your back, then now with “Lust Stained Despair” this poison turned into straight-forward and indifferent gloom with some distant notes of romance, but no other emotional context.
Tavastia was excitedly waiting to celebrate the long-awaited release of the new Poisonblack´s art piece “Lust Stained Despair” – it was indeed a promising event – a band with very sound names in it, yet having hardly toured, now is fully back in order, with refreshed lineup and 13 whole new songs. The air was tense and the anticipation grew by the minute with every new drink ordered! I´m only wondering if the audience came to see what became with former frontman of another famous band, buried alive last autumn, or to actually listen to Poisonblack as an independent band… – it wasn´t at all clear from the audience´s behavior, but a lot of curious faces, hungry eyes and alert ears were there for sure (what a nerve-wrecking evening this must´ve been for the band with so much expectations to fulfill!)
Now, who chose the band to open the night (“April”)?! It was just so inappropriate, instead of warming up for such profound band as Poisonblack, has instead totally spoiled the mood for it – too simplistic, loud, obviously American-influenced and yet totally shallow – I think this left venomous metallers from Poisonblack to do double the job, when they finally came on.
Since the album itself was released to Finnish music stores only in the morning of the same day as the concert, obviously most of the audience didn´t know what to expect except one single song, which came out earlier as a promo-maxi cd (“Rush”) along with the video. So ¾ of the concert almost no one could respond fully, sing or act along, as all were breathlessly following the music, trying to figure out weather it´s acceptable or else… Although Tavastia floor was completely filled, very few people actually showed signs of support, most of the audience were standing quiet, resistant to the poison. On the other hand, musicians themselves were clearly extremely satisfied with their new work, enjoyed and delivered each tune as number one hit, no less!
Ville´s both voice and appearance were in excellent healthy shape; acting on stage was vivid, natural, relaxed and so honestly enjoyed – so for one, I´m sure audience was impressed and pleased with their idol´s comeback. On the contrary, since new and old songs were played so similarly, so fast and hardly recognizable, the audience was of course confused and will need time to get used and make up their minds about this act and the new album. The applauds were given, but with great effort and encouragement from the band – who must get a lot of credit for this, being under as much pressure as they surely were that night, having stayed so cheerful and rocking wasn´t easy! Even the audience´s front rows weren´t as wild as usually this most dangerous area is, left alone that the entire floor upstairs was practically empty as well and a few people were leaving even before the band finished.
First 11 songs flew by very fast and after the first couple of weak “We want more!” shouts here and there, the band came back at once and played the next two pieces just as fast and left, got the set done and over with. I was left confused, unconvinced and deeply nostalgic for my copy of “Escapextasy”…
So to state with an honest heart, there was no love at first sight, sadly enough, for the new Poisonblack… having gotten over their new sound and look, the next best thing was “the Darkest Lie” and already mentioned “Rush” (on the album itself another touching song would be “Pain Becomes Me”, but unfortunately we weren´t offered a live version of it). It is only natural to favor the one received first and that was in 2003 when JP (Leppäluoto – Charon frontman) was the poisonous voice behind this band, who somehow was unarguably convincing that yes-yes-yes, “to live is to love the pain”, “pleasure and pain… now they´re the same” and that love IS infernal… but in Ville´s manner of performance and singing those emotions didn´t come through, moreover, with the melodies played rougher and heavier – understandably in the musical style of “Lust Stained Despair” – the magic of original Poisonblack remained there with “Escapextasy” in the past. At some moments I could even hear the phantom of JP´s vocals at the background, and some of the audience felt the same, but only a phantom it remains and so it will take time to appreciate the new content of this band.
If I didn´t know which band´s concert it was, I wouldn´t easily guess: there are individual musicians I know, there´s the sound and vocals I´ve heard before, there are songs I know the lyrics to, but nonetheless, I´d never figure out that all of that put together will make Poisonblack band I once knew.