Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Finntroll, Moonsorrow, And Swallow The Sun Concert Review

Finntroll, Moonsorrow, Swallow The Sun, Minos
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Station 4, St. Paul, MN
Death metal outfit Survivors Zero was supposed to round out the Finnish Metal Tour, but delays in approval of their work visas forced them to pull out of the entire tour. Stepping in to open the show was Rochester’s Minos, a relatively new folk metal band. This was their first show with new drummer James Hamersly, but unfortunately I arrived right as the band was walking off the stage.
This was Swallow The Sun’s second appearance at Station 4, and this larger crowd was much more enthusiastic and familiar with the band. Somehow promoter The SwordLord convinced both Swallow The Sun and Moonsorrow to perform longer than usual sets, so Swallow The Sun absolutely crushed the stage for nearly an hour with their powerful, emotional doom. The band’s imposing stage presence matches the mood of their music, and they ripped through a nice selection of New Moon. “Sleepless Swans” and “These Woods Breathe Evil” sat well alongside older songs such as “Descending Winters” and “Plague Of Butterflies”. The set ended with “Swallow”, with its devastating riffs having the impact of an aural sledgehammer. Don’t miss them when they’re back in town in September with Katatonia. Go here to read the review of Swallow The Sun’s latest album, New Moon.
Click picture for more photos of Swallow The Sun (15).

Click to watch Swallow The Sun play “Sleepless Swans”.

Click to watch Swallow The Sun play “Swallow”.

Click to watch Swallow The Sun play “Plague Of Butterflies”.
Moonsorrow turned out to be the biggest surprise of the night, as the folksy elements of their black metal sound were toned down on stage under the weight of the guitars. I don’t know who can remember the tongue-garbling Finnish names of their songs, but the band played a full hour’s worth of career-spanning selections. Their show is both entertaining and impressive for the high level of intensity maintained throughout their lengthy songs. Judging from the amount of merchandise sold, Moonsorrow has built a dedicated fan based in town and it’s easy to see why. Seeing Moonsorrow live gave me newfound appreciation for the band, they are certainly one of the best folk-style metal bands out there.
Click picture for more photos of Moonsorrow (14).

Click to watch Moonsorrow play “Köyliönjärven Jäällaä”.
Finntroll certainly had a challenge ahead in matching the performance of Swallow The Sun and Moonsorrow. They were the most energetic and on stage tonight, but their heavy folk influences simply don’t interest me that much. The crowd was clearly here to see Finntroll so their headlining status was warranted. Like Moonsorrow, all of Finntroll’s songs are sung in Finnish so titles of songs that were performed escape me. Finntroll seemed to playing in top form, but I quickly lost interest in their style. Nevertheless, the audience response was huge for this band and there’s a large contingent of people whose opinion of Finntroll differs from mine.
Click picture for more photos of Finntroll (9).
The SwordLord, promoter for this concert, interviewed members of Finntroll and Moonsorrow at the venue and featured the conversation was featured on the Root Of All Evil radio show on KFAI. Head on over to The SwordLord’s Myspace blog for details on how to listen to this insightful interview!
Swallow The Sun will be returning to Station 4 in St. Paul as direct support to Sweden’s Katatonia on Saturday, September 18. Additional support will come from Israel’s Orphaned Land and Minneapolis Sleazy Rider Records recording artist Cold Colours.

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