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It´s exciting to witness how different bands from different Metal genres transform the "unplugged" idea. The 4th Sytyke Klubi, organized by Inferno Magazine and Alakerta Helsinki, offered a new variation: Finnish Folk Metallers Battlelore transported the audience to a campfire in Middle-Earth...
... and many came from all corners of the world - well, indeed the locals seemed to be the minority among the guests from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, the USA - Alakerta even had to add english versions of their door signs...
Battelore had decided on close audience contact and ditched the stage, playing literally "among the people". Just the camp fire in the middle was missing.
Such vicinity to the crowd, the first interruption of the band´s indefinite hiatus and the first unplugged show ever - there were some reasons for their nervousness, which gradually vanished with every song. The band kept explaining how odd it felt to play such a show...
Somehow I was reminded of Estampie hearing their version of Folk/Pagan Metal unplugged: acoustic guitars and a low keyboard created a warm sound, the voices of Kaisa Jouhki and Tomi Mykkänen (who even delivered occasional growls) were in perfect harmony, and several - slightly exotic - percussion instruments, e.g. a rainmaker, added a certain drive. And finally - I could not believe it - a totally underestimated instrument in Metal music premiered - the TRIANGLE!!! Yes, this was something I had always been waiting for...
I got gooseflesh hearing House of Heroes, The War of Wrath, Enchanted and the fast We Are The Legions, which received some "Irish Folk Song" treatment. The arrangements worked so well I´d say they could compete with the "originals" - how about an unplugged album? The audience was enchanted from the first second and even managed to clap along with more complex rhythms. As a surprise we received The Green Maid - which they had never played live - and the first Battlelore song ever that led to a record contract March Into The Battle (or so, hope I got the title right). Then the program was over - and the guys+girls in deep trouble...
... because the audience wanted MORE and simply refused to let them leave - that´s the disadvantage when playing so close to your fans... Again nervousness broke out, the band discussed the situation and finally came up with an improvised encore Buccaneer´s Inn, which worked out perfectly - great gig, great likeable band we´d enjoy to watch once again. Which means, please play more of such unplugged-sets!
The final Sytyke-Klubi:
45 DEGREE WOMAN
Wednesday 22.8.2012, 8€, K18
Alakerta is opened 18:00 – 24:00 h, Bands play at 21h; when the weather is OK the terrace opens already at 15 h
Klaudia Weber, photos: Sandy Mahrer
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