Friday, September 28, 2012

The Many Instruments of Metal

Guitars, drums, and keyboards (to a lesser extent) are all to be expected in metal. Very close to every single band uses them. Hell, they're the steadfast instruments of most genres of music. But that's not to say they're the only ones. Metal is an extremely diverse genre, and there have been a lot of influences from a lot of unexpected places. This includes the actual instruments.

So brutal.
Symphonic metal is so named because of its orchestral element. Most symphonic metal bands use full orchestras to play the backing or even the main riffs of their songs. Just look at Dimmu's new album. These are instruments a typical non-metalhead wouldn't expect to find within the boundaries of metal. Obviously orchestras are made up of many string, brass, and woodwind instruments that on their own aren't even close to metal. Combined with a metal riff though, they can make something beautiful. Yes, I'm not too "manly" to use the word 'beautiful'. Jeeze.

Folk metal is another unexpected combination that works well, especially considering how popular it currently is. It takes folk instruments, most of which I'm sure you've never heard of, and adds them to the standard metal repertoire. The glory of folk metal is how different each band sounds. Eluveitie uses flutes, bagpipes, and a hurdy-gurdy, while Korpiklaani uses a violin and accordion. I really enjoy songs that start off with a catchy folk beat and switch to a jarring metal riff.

Not really a conventional metal band.
There are also bands in more conventional metal genres that add new instruments. Most of the time it's a keyboard, which has become so popular now it can be mentioned in the standard instruments. I'm looking at you, Dragonforce. A few bands add some more unconventional instruments though. I've been trying to remember the band forever, they're a death metal band with a violin player. I've been looking for a bit but can't seem to find them, so maybe they never existed in the first place and I'm just going crazy.

Metal is one of the most open and accepting genres of music out there. Many different bands use influences from the weirdest places and make it metal. I didn't even touch on bands that use computers as an instrument, with synthesized beats, drum machines, voice changers, and much more. That's just one of the reasons why metal is the best genre ever.

-Zombie Viking

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Hate Whiny Vocals

As I was getting in to metal, the route I took was straight to death metal. I listened to some progressive and folk metal too when I was first starting out (and got back in to folk metal later on), but even then I didn't listen to anything without harsh vocals. Most people say they can't stand growls and screams, well I can't stand whiny vocals.

Sweet tats bro! So br00tal
I actually had to acquire a liking of clean vocals. I can stand Dragonforce, Sabaton, Korpiklaani, and anyone who's voice doesn't crack as they're singing. This made it significantly harder for me to get in to power metal. I do enjoy power metal, but there's a really fine line between epic and annoying that too many bands seem to cross. If you're going to sing clean vocals, sing like a man! Of course, when I want to find an example I can't.. so I'll just post an example of a good power metal band instead, Sabaton.

Obviously, since metalcore is the personification of everything wrong with metal, it has its fair share of annoying vocals. Metalcore especially feels the need to insert whiny vocals in every damn song, no matter how good their vocalist is (and some are actually good, I'll admit it). Clean vocals in these songs sound like kids going through puberty. This is possibly because most metalcore bands haven't reached puberty yet.

If you're going to do something, do it right.

-Zombie Viking

Monday, September 24, 2012

Metal Mondays: Eternal Decay

I don't know what's going on here..
Eternal Decay
Genre: Melodic Black Metal
Country: Israel 

Eternal Decay is a small black metal band from Israel. When I say small, I mean both their popularity and actual band size. The band is only three people. Now normally three person bands have two guitarists (one of which also does vocals) and a drummer. But Eternal Decay has a drummer, keyboardist and guitarist/bassist/vocalist. Must be hard to play two guitars live.

I actually found out about this band while mindlessly browsing through Youtube. The following video appeared:

This is probably the most random metal video I've ever seen. There's a few pictures of the band mixed in with "evil" looking things and the most broken English I've ever heard in a song. And I loved it. I immediately ordered the album which was only available through Ebay for some reason. The coolest part is that the band actually shipped me the album straight from Israel. They included a bunch of cool things like a sticker and pamphlet detailing the band. This was also all cheaper than a typical album that hadn't been shipped half way across the world.

I can say that I personally wrote their bio on, which is kind of cool if you think about it. I can't say though that I've seen them live. Apparently they did come here recently, but I didn't find out about it until afterwards. Hopefully they come again.

As I said previously, this band is very much lacking in listeners. It's some solid melodic black metal with a good vocalist, interesting drum beats and a symphonic undertone. Be sure to check them out!

-Zombie Viking

Friday, September 21, 2012

Winter(sun) is Coming

That title was the best pun I ever made in my entire life..

So Wintersun is coming to North America for the first time ever. To promote their new album that took 8 years to make. I would love to go, as I'm sure a few of you understand. If I do go, you can expect a full in-depth concert review like I did for Korpiklaani/Moonsorrow/Tyr.

However, they're going to be in Toronto on December 13th, which is right in the middle of exam week for me. As much as I like Wintersun, I do potentially have the opportunity to see them again in the future. I don't have a chance to write another exam if I screw up. I don't have my exam schedule currently and I won't until a few weeks before it starts, so I can't say yet for sure if I'll be going to this concert or not. If I have a few free days around December 13th, you can expect to see me there.

I'll keep you guys updated for when I have an answer for sure.

-Zombie Viking

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Metal is Not to Be Taken Seriously

Metal, like many other niche products, does not take itself seriously. People who bother to find and listen to it obviously already like the product, so there's no need to impress anyone. Musicians can just relax and release what they enjoy making. Since we're such a great community of people, this usually leads to carefree and humorous music.

A good place to start is with Dragonforce. I've had countless people ask me how I can listen to them. They've called Dragonforce garbage, untalented and unoriginal. But they're just taking it too seriously. How can you honestly look at a group of guys with their hair down to their anus and analyze every single note they're playing? Sure, every song sounds the same, they constantly mention fire, ice, and dragons, and they have 5 minute solos, but that's what makes them funny! Dragonforce is literally the epitome of lulz when it comes to metal. They've unfortunately taken a more "we're going to actually play music now" approach with their new album and vocalist though. Despite that, the music they make is still pretty epic and retains the laser-powered guitar solos that they're known for. It's just now backed with real power metal.

Sure, there are many satanic, political and generally antisocial bands out there, but it's just to scare away the mainstream. When a typical person looks at black metal, they see Gorgoroth, Burzum and Taake scowling back at them (my post on crazy black metal musicians is here). A trve metalhead though (see what I did there?) knows that just under the surface lies Immortal in all their panda-faced glory. And who can take Immortal seriously? They don't even take themselves seriously.

I'm being so serious right now!
Anybody who just generalizes metalheads into one big group of no-humour satanists is dead wrong. Metalheads are the nicest people ever (why else would we help people up who fall down in mosh pits?) who don't take their music too seriously. We're just here to have fun. Anyone who gives you the wrong impression is probably either a genre whore, 12 year old, or a scene kid.

-Zombie Viking

Monday, September 17, 2012

Metal Mondays: Blackguard

There aren't too many big name metal bands from Canada. Rush is pretty cool but they're not exactly metal. Kataklysm is the only thing that really comes to mind, but I personally prefer the vocalist's side project Ex Deo. Being from Canada and not really listening to death or thrash kind of limits the amount of local bands that I care to check out.There's some good stuff here and there, but none of these bands will ever make it big. Sad but true. That's why Blackguard is such a breath of fresh air in the Canadian metal scene; to me at least.

Also, mead.
Genre: Melodic Death Metal with folk influences
Country: Canada

These guys (and girl) make some quality melodeath. They've released two albums so far under Blackguard and one under their previous name, Profugus Mortis. Best of all, they come from Quebec, Canada. I hear there's quite a metal scene over there. This is another baby band, started in 2001 and releasing their first album in 2007, but they've already started making a name for themselves. They were until recently signed to Nuclear Blast and even got their own music video.

I actually found out about this band through a Canadian show called Todd and the Book of Pure Evil (which I have previously posted about). Todd was wearing a Blackguard shirt throughout the episode and some pretty awesome music was playing in the background. I searched up the band and sure enough that awesome song came up again in the results. I bought Firefight shortly after when I saw it in a store and am very happy with my decision.

Blackguard plays a typical enough flavour of melodeath. If you've listened to Dark Tranquility or In Flames you know roughly what to expect for the majority of the song. However, they build on top of that sound and add in folk elements. A keyboard is the majority of this sound, but there are also some genuinely folky parts. They're fun to listen to. And apparently also fun live in concert, if I ever get a chance to see them. Chances are high though since they do quite a bit of Canadian tours. If only I had found out about them sooner...

Blackguard is a Canadian band with promise. They have a solid melodeath foundation and build on top of it with good ol' folk metal. They enjoy what they do and I enjoy listening to them. If you haven't already, check them out!

-Zombie Viking

Friday, September 14, 2012

Musician Spotlight: Peter Tägtgren

Peter Tägtgren is one of those guys that's just able to do everything. You've almost definitely listened to something that he helped create in one way or another- whether you know it or not. He's been making awesome music since 1990 and in that time has become a huge part of the metal scene. Yes, the metal scene. Like, as a whole.

He also sorta looks like Johnny Depp if you look at him from the right angle.. in the right light.
Peter is best known for being the mastermind behind the huge death metal band Hypocrisy. He created the band after living in America for a bit and becoming involved with the death metal scene here. He returned to Sweden and created one of the most kickass bands ever. How's that for a vacation? Hypocrisy has been around for 22 years and released 12 albums. Also, Horgh (of Immortal fame) has been the drummer since 2004. Me likey. Hypocrisy has played all sorts of death metal from traditional to a more melodeath sound and back again. That's great and all, but it's not until you realize how much other stuff Peter has done in that time (while keeping the damn band alive, mind you) that you start to become amazed.

He also has a side project that I am a huge fan of: Pain. Well, if you call Pain a side project.. It's been just as active as any band in the time it's been around. Pain has released 7 albums since 1996 when it was formed. Peter basically just goes back and forth from Hypocrisy to Pain to record an album or go on tour. Also, he was the only member for quite some time and I'm pretty sure still makes the majority of the music. The reason why I like this band so much is because it's so different from the majority of what I listen to. Pain is industrial metal, grouped in with the likes of Rob Zombie and Nine Inch Nails. Peter sings clean vocals to round out the different style; something I bet most metal vocalists aren't able to do. The first few albums were almost entirely electronic before shifting to a more traditional rock-ish sound. Still great though. To hear the difference in these two bands, just listen to the songs below.

Same guy. He has also appeared as a guest musician in countless other bands including: Bloodbath, The Abyss, Lock Up and War.

Of course, this is not all Peter spends his time doing. For he lives his life the metal way. 24/7 metal. Metal in the morning, metal in the night. Etc. etc. He also owns The Abyss studio and has produced quite a few albums. You may have heard of some of the bands he's produced albums for. I'm going to post a list of them because lists make stuff seem longer and more impressive.
The Abyss, Naglfar, Death Organ, Dark Funeral, Fleshcrawl, Hypocrisy (obviously),  Setherial, Marduk, Pain (obviously), Dimmu Borgir, Abruptum, Therion, War, Amon Amarth, Dispatched, Love Like Blood, Enslaved, Raise Hell, Thyrfing, Immortal, Borknagar, Children of Bodom, Old Man's Child, Rotting Christ, Susperia, Grimfist, Grave, Celtic Frost, Noctiferia, Sabaton, Tarja, Overkill, Abigail Williams, Belphegor, Legion of the Damned, Kampfar, The Unguided, Loudblast, Septicflesh
So yeah. Chances are you've heard something that Peter Tägtgren has been a part of in one way or another. I thank him for everything he's given to the metal industry. He's quite an interesting person and a genius musician. Also he owns a small town in Sweden, so that's pretty cool too. Keep on rocking!

-Zombie Viking

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

PSA: No One Cares If You Don't Like a Band

I'm tired of seeing people complain that a musician left a band. Stuff happens guys, people move around. It's basically the equivalent of complaining that someone switched jobs. Are you really expected to work at the same job for 20 years? Well that's what musicians do.

Yeah! Wait, what?..
Yes, Jari left Ensiferum and Petri is there now. That doesn't mean the band is now crap. It's a new band now with a new style. Petri may not be as skilled technically as Jari but that doesn't mean that everything he plays on guitar is terrible. Anette is currently the vocalist of Nightwish and she has been doing a great job. She sings in a different style than Tarja, which doesn't mean she's bad. If you want to listen to Tarja, listen to old Nightwish or her solo albums she started releasing. Nightwish is a new band now with new members. That means it should be looked at differently than their first few albums. And can everyone please stop complaining about Rafał and Krimh. It's very tragic what happened with Vitek and Covan, but Decapitated is and always will be an amazing band.

Seriously, no one ever complains when the bassist leaves.

-Zombie Viking

Monday, September 10, 2012

Metal Mondays: Graveworm

Their bodies are all connected. The band is actually just one big mass of musician.
Genre: Melodic/Symphonic Black Metal
Country: Italy

Graveworm has been around for quite some time but is still painfully unknown. They may not make the most original music ever, but they seamlessly blend beauty and brutality. Keyboards provide the ambience while the guitars are chugging out fast and heavy riffs. This is all background to the powerful vocals of Stefan Fiori.

Stefan is actually one of the most powerful metal vocalists I've heard. I'm not sure why this alone hasn't gotten the band some more recognition. He goes from deep growls to extremely high pitched screams multiple times each song. Just listen to the first 30 seconds of Bloodwork to see what I mean.

He wears the most unfitting things during performances though.
Graveworm was actually the most played artist in my library for quite some time (according to at least). It's not that I would choose their songs to play, it's just that I never really skipped any. Ever. I was fine with listening to every song I had by them and the listens just piled up. Currently they are my seventh most listened to band of all time (of alllll timeee), right behind Korpiklaani and Amon Amarth.

I did mention that the band has been around for quite some time (since 1992), and in that time they've changed quite a bit. Graveworm started off as a gothic metal band with some tinges of black metal. Then around Engraved in Black they fully shifted to a melodic black metal sound. Finally, a couple albums later with Collateral Defect they started to shift to a more death metal style. And on Diabolical Figures, the band became fully immersed in death metal while still keeping a bit of their black and gothic heritage. If you listen to an album that you don't particularly like but can hear some potential, just pop in another and you'll get almost a completely different sound.

Graveworm is probably best known for doing metal covers of non-metal songs. Well, it's not that they're known for that per se, it's just what every non-metalhead looks up. Their most popular (according to Youtube) is their cover of Holding Out For a Hero by Bonnie Tyler. Here is Graveworm's I Need a Hero.

Whether you like beautiful or brutal, gothic or death metal, Graveworm has you covered. For such a wide array of music they've put out and such a powerful vocalist, their lack of popularity is questionable at best. The least you can do is go and check them out.

-Zombie Viking

Friday, September 7, 2012

Where Has the Stupid Gone?

Youtube comments just aren't what they used to be. I had planned to make a "stupid comments on metal Youtube videos" post, but no one seems to be posting anything funny anymore. Where have all the Justin Beiber comments gone? Why is no one arguing about religion? All that's left is people preemptively telling everyone to enjoy the song and not start any flame wars. Where's the fun in that?! I haven't been going out of my way or anything, but I've been casually searching the comments of videos I've watched over the past couple months and this is all I've found.

This is the best the internet has to offer. Thanks for sucking the humour out of Youtube comments everyone. Now it's just a mass of one word comments that mean absolutely nothing. I already know that the song is awesome, that's why I'm listening to it. I want to see people discuss something completely unrelated. That's why I read the comments.

If everyone who reads this can go start an argument on a random Youtube video, I will be one very happy person. I only wish to make the internet a funnier place. To bring it back to its former glory. Go my minions, go spread anarchy. *queue evil laughter*

-Zombie Viking

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Venue Hunting: 70000 Tons of Metal

That's quite a bit of metal.
70k Tons of Metal is one of the most unique metal festivals around. It features over 40 bands, is 5 days long and... is on a boat. It's a heavy metal cruise; what's more awesome than that?

I'm sure it's something like this.
The ship departs from Miami and takes a trip to the Caribbean before coming back. During that time, you get to experience bands playing almost nonstop, always open bars, metal karaoke (yes you read that right) and getting to see some of your favourite musicians just walking around on a ship. Seriously, when these guys aren't playing they're just hanging out with you! Eating supper, enjoying the dock day in the Caribbean, or just rocking out during another set, you will meet members from your favourite bands.

The real highlight of the cruise is of course the performances. There are three stages with bands playing from 10am to 4am. You just go wherever you want and there will be some great metal playing. Some bands even play twice so you won't miss anything. All of this of course leads to some shenanigans like throwing Joakim Brodén of Sabaton into the pool when he takes a stage dive.

 The next voyage is January 28, 2013. There will once again be around 40 bands and the site states there will be 2000 guests. The full list of bands hasn't been released yet, so here is everyone that was onboard the 2012 trip:
  • Alestorm
  • Amorphis
  • Annihilator
  • Atheist
  • Cannibal Corpse
  • Channel Zero
  • Children of Bodom
  • Coroner
  • Dark Funeral
  • Edguy
  • Eluveitie
  • God Dethroned
  • Grave Digger
  • Hammerfall
  • In Extremo
  • Kamelot
  • Moonsorrow
  • My Dying Bride
  • Nightwish
  • Overkill
  • Pentagram
  • Pestilence
  • Riot
  • Samael
  • Stratovarius
  • Suffocation
  • Tankard
  • Therion
  • Tristania
  • Venom
  • Virgin Steele
  • Whiplash
It goes without saying that everyone aboard this cruise is awesome. Fans, bands and crew alike, everyone is just there for some metal and a good time. I strongly urge you to look up some videos of the event, it's unlike anything else.

In fact, Sabaton liked the experience so much that they decided to make their own heavy metal cruise. The Sabaton Cruise will sail December 9th-10th. It's a much smaller deal, with only three bands playing, but I'm sure it's still pretty awesome.

-Zombie Viking

Monday, September 3, 2012

Metal Mondays: Krampus

Readers B. and SummertimeSadness suggested I check this band out (thanks!). No wonder I had never heard of them, the band is two years old! It's still just a baby. I had no idea what to expect except that they were an Italian folk metal band. I looked them up and it turns out Krampus is a creature that follows St. Nick around on Christmas and punishes bad children. So basically this is a Christmas-themed band. Not the best name ever but I suppose it isn't terrible. So I continued on and punched the band into Youtube.

Observe, Krampus.
Being named after an existing thing, the band wasn't the first thing that came up in the results list. A few results down though, and past all the scary pictures, was the band's first music video for their song Kronos' Heritage. Not a very Christmas-y song..

To be honest, I was pretty disappointed when I first heard it. The songs starts off nice enough, but when the metal kicks in it lacks the kick. The guitars are pretty soft and try to be more catchy than brutal. The part that really bugged me though was the flute and violin, their folk instruments of choice. It just sounded like it was trying to blend in with the metal, instead of how it should be. Folk metal bands should make metal that sounds folky, not folk that sounds metaly. The breakdown just really bugged me. Not to mention the clean vocals. The vocalist isn't really the most powerful currently, though I think with some practice he definitely has potential. The clean vocals just didn't hit a chord. He's hard to understand and those sections sound completely different from the rest of the song. In my opinion it ruins the mood.

I went back the next day to listen to the song again and check out some of their other stuff. Something about it just stuck in my head. The clean vocal parts that were so out of place the first time were suddenly catchy. This is nothing new for me, I've hated some of my favourite bands the first time I heard them. It was always something catchy that made me go back and eventually add their songs to my library. I realized that Krampus isn't supposed to be a heavy folk metal band. The music is intentionally supposed to sound docile and beautiful, not be all up in your face. The clean vocals are a good example of that beauty, fitting in with the overall idea of the band if not necessarily that particular song. The flute and violin are constantly providing background music, as opposed to being at the forefront playing a folk tune. That is why I initially thought there was a lack of folk sound in there. I decided to check out the other songs they had posted on their Youtube channel too so I could get a full impression.

My Siege and Aftermath are both much faster songs. Every single frigging comment is comparing them to Eluveitie and I kind of agree with that. Krampus has the fast guitar and drum accompanied by a persistent barrage of folk in the background that Eluveitie is known for. The vocalists also have the same screaming style. Why couldn't they have made a music video of these songs? It gives a completely different image of the band. I am glad that the clean vocals are not in every song. They're fine once in a while, but this guy really has some screaming talent that should be developed a bit.

Painting lines on your face = folk metal

In conclusion, Krampus shows quite a bit of promise and I think will be a great band once they develop their sound a bit more. There are currently plenty of comparisons with Eluveitie, but they have the ability to create their own style. The band is still extremely young and will have plenty of time to find their spot in the folk metal scene. Maybe they'll even be the top video result for "Krampus". I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this band, especially when their second album is released. After they've toured, gotten some new ideas and fine-tuned their instrumental ability a bit more, they'll be a force to be reckoned with.

-Zombie Viking

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Korpiklaani/Moonsorrow/Tyr Concert Impressions (UPDATED)

I was excited when I heard Korpiklaani was doing a North American tour for Manala. They're a band that just likes what they do and has a good time. I went with my girlfriend who doesn't listen to metal and my friend who is getting in to metal. They both enjoyed it.

Metsatoll. Seen here in front of things saying 'Tyr'

The first band up was Metsatoll. It was a bit confusing because they had all the Tyr banners up. For the first bit I was wondering when Tyr got a new vocalist.. and a bagpipe player. The music itself wasn't bad. The sound quality was horrible though. I couldn't even hear the guitar for the majority of their set. The bagpipes and flutes that were being played also barely made it through the noise of the drums. The Opera House is mostly at fault here, they really should have calibrated the sound more with the soundcheck before the show. Despite that, the band got really into it and the bagpipe player even got to sing his own song. Man he had a deep voice. Also their bassist consistently had the biggest smile on his face. It's good to see a band having a good time (which seemed to be a theme for the night).

Tyr, performing in front of the same set.
Their bassist is huge.
Next up was Tyr. The rhythm guitarist looked so out of place with all his tattoos and punk haircut. There were also quite a few punks in the audience, it was pretty weird. They all seemed to come in a big group with their leather jackets and weird haircuts. Anyway, it was during Tyr that the crowd really started getting into the show. Which is great because it was only the second band! Everyone was sort of still for Metsatoll, but that's expected for the first band. For Tyr though, the whole crowd erupted into a mosh pit, even for the slower songs. To be honest, I'm not the biggest Tyr fan. I've only heard one of their albums and some songs from the newer one. It was fun though singing along to By the Sword in My Hand and Hold the Heathen Hammer High. The sound quality was slightly better for this band, but it was still hard to make out some of the notes for the songs I wasn't familiar with.

Moonsorrow's set, seen here from the balcony.
Before Moonsorrow came on, we decided to take a break from the floor and head up to the small balcony that was there. I don't normally do this, I don't think I've ever even been to the balcony in all the times I've been to the Opera House, but I was glad we did. It was at this point that I could see just how packed this place was. Now Opera House isn't the biggest venue ever. It can hold a few hundred people comfortably in my opinion. This was definitely not the venue that this show should have been held at. The floor was literally full, there was no more room for anyone to enter. The back area with the bar was also pretty packed. It was crazy.
You can see here just how packed the floor was.
Moonsorrow was literally a wall of sound. I would best compare it to when I saw Enslaved in concert. It's impossible to actually make out any specific sound. The vocals are completely lost except for a few parts. It's more of an experience than a song, you 'feel' the atmosphere without really hearing the music. Moonsorrow turned out to be the token heavy band. There always seems to be one band on the tour that's so much heavier than all the others. They weren't really as fun or smiley as the other bands and I couldn't really get in to them as much. As time went on though, I started to make out more notes of their songs and was able to enjoy it a bit more. Don't get me wrong though, I was headbanging the whole time. I do have to give them this: all of Moonsorrow's songs had a very different feel. Each song sounded unique.

Korpiklaani. You can also see the awesome bouncer in this photo.
Last up was of course Korpiklaani. The floor was still completely full but we were able to squeeze our way in and got a good spot one or two rows back from the front. The set up for the band took quite a while because they just had to have four displays instead of two like all the other bands (technically Metsatoll had none). When they finally came out, the crowd went wild. I was thrown every which way and was instantly covered in sweat. I sweat from places I didn't even know I could sweat from. Honestly, I've been to a few concerts and I've rocked out pretty hard, but I've never been this much covered in sweat. Throughout the set, people were doing every kind of dance they knew. The mosh pit went from moshing to everyone linking arms and kicking their legs in the air while one guy did a Russian dance in the middle. Around the corners of the crowd people were linking arms and dancing around in circles. It was fun.

Just having a good time.
For the actual music itself... it was great. They played every song I would have hoped they'd play and then played some more. Tequila, Beer Beer, Vodka, Happy Little Boozer, Wooden Pints, they played almost all their drinking songs. They played Rauta, Ievan Polkka, Tuonelan Tuvilla and Ruumiinmultaa from Manala. Plus the new violist, Tuomas Rounakari even had a violin solo. Not too many bands seem to do solos like that so it was pretty awesome. I'm not too sure if Korpiklaani just turned down the volume or if I was already deaf by the time they came on, but the sound quality was much better than the previous bands. I could make out every instrument, including the violin and accordion. Jonne (the frontman) broke his finger earlier on the tour so he wasn't able to play guitar. It didn't seem to affect the sound though, one guitar proved to be just as good as two. It just meant that he got to take a break off stage whenever an instrumental song or section was being played.

Tuomas during his violin solo.
The band just had fun on the stage, it was quite a sight to see. From Jonne making Kalle (the guitarist) sing one of their songs to Juho (the accordionist) actually showing some emotion and headbanging a bit, everyone seemed to be having a good time on stage. There was plenty of dancing and prancing about. Tuomas even did a little dance throwing his legs up in the air during a couple sections where he wasn't playing. And the band never missed a beat, all the songs sounded great.

Overall, this was a pretty darn good concert. It wasn't the best I've ever been to, but it was far from the worst. Most of the bands had a good time on stage and so did the crowd. If I could change something, it would be moving the show to a bigger venue, fixing the sound issues of the first few bands, and replacing Moonsorrow with a more folky band (not saying they're not good, just that they didn't really fit in with the rest of the bands). Korpiklaani definitely put on the best show and I would see them again if they came back. I'm still sore from the concert.

-Zombie Viking

P.S. Thank you Jonny for taking pictures. I used some of them.