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It would have been the party tour of the year: Graveworm and Finntroll together on one stage! That would´ve meant excellent, brute and melodic black metal plus superb humppa black metal. But unfortunately the Finns just couldn´t bring themselves to travel with the graveworms around singer Stefano Fiori from South Tyrol through the country and so they got Finntroll´s fellow countrymen Ensiferum on the black metallic board. A wise decision as it eventually turned out to be in the K17 in Berlin.
The Norwegians from Communic had troubles to present the songs from their debut “Conspiracy In Mind” against those superior powers. Too little interaction with the crowd (sole exception: the keyboarder), too little action on stage. When things started to get going with songs like “Oceans Bed” too long breaks between the songs prevented that the spirits stayed high. Only at the end the band around singer and guitarist Oddleif Stensland managed to score at least a bit with the title track of the debut and their progressive power metal with loans from Nevermore
About half a year after their guest appearance with Kataklysm the nice Italians Graveworm honoured the capital with a visit to present their modern approach of gothic black metal that was achieved with their “(N)Utopia”. The morbid “Deep Inside” provided the basis for the brute chunk “I – The Machine” which showed the men from South Tyrol considerably heavier on the guitars than in the past. Honi soit qui mal y pense that because of this eye candy and keyboarder Sabine Mair was placed at the edge of the stage…
„Hateful Design“, the title track from the latest record and „Never Enough“ were further evidence of the qualities of the modified band sound. Classics like “Awaiting The Shining” or crushers like “Renaissance In Blood” let the temperatures rise notably which couldn´t and surely didn´t want to be stopped by the permanent hair propellers from the whole band. Absolute mood high point of the performance was the very rarely played “Fear Of The Dark” cover from Iron Maiden at which, just as through the whole show, vocalist Stefano shone with his extremely differentiated vocal skills. This performance almost couldn´t be topped anymore.
But Ensiferum pulled off the trick to delight the already overjoyed crowd even more. Norther singer Petri Lindroos proved to be an adequate substitute for the buzzed off Wintersun mastermind Jari Mäenpää despite the cowskin patterned cowboy hat. The cheerful “Ferrum Aeternum” provided the basis for the following anthemic heroic folk metal with wistful men choirs and epic keyboards which gave the fans a 90 minute ecstasy. Whether “Tale Of Revenge”, “Lai Lai Hei”, “Hero Of A Dream”, “Windrider”, “Guardians Of Fate” or the intro from the self-titled debut at the encore as well as the über-song “Battle Song” every chorus, every melody, every cry was rightly cheered on. Although the sword-bearers - which is the translation of Ensiferum – almost keeled over at the end they together with Graveworm gave Berlin a sensational gig that probably won´t be forgotten by anyone despite some sound problems!
Ingo Gießmann, translation: Kathleen Gransalke
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