Ensiferum are currently on tour at the minute with special guests Amoral and Profane Omen. Ensiferum are promoting their newest release ‘Unsung Heroes’.
Back again to the dark and dingy Moho Live in Manchester City Center, although it does have complete new decor. The venue is filling up nicely. There is a buzz in the atmosphere tonight as the fans collate around the stage marked with the strokes of Ensiferum. Profane Omen a band from Lahti in Finland step up to play. They perform a mixture of earlier songs to songs off their latest album ‘Destroy’. ‘Wasteland’ drew you in, with vocals from Jules Näveri that are powerful, aggressive and in your face. This is their first time in the UK and I can guarantee they have made an ever lasting impression. Their energy is incredible, riling the audience up with their pulsating rhythm and intrusive guitar solos. The solos from guitarist Williami Kurki have a lighter tone, with a real rock and roll bite to it which breaks up the heaviness of drums, it was really quite refreshing. Williami finishes the set with a penetrating harmonic solo in the famous pose of Jimi Hendrix. Profane Omen aim to please with their lively set and contagious head banging.
I was really curious about what Amoral had to offer as they started as a death metal band, with the cliches that death metal bands have attached to them being from Helsinki. They changed their direction in their 4th album ‘Show Me The Colour’s’ to a more progressive melodic metal sound but still keeping their essence of death metal.
Amoral were welcomed to the stage, with a roaring crowd of fans. They kick start with their more recent work, as vocalist Ari Koivunen introduce their second song ‘Exit’ from their album ‘Show Me The Colour’s’. Guitarist Ben Varon brings a great influence of 80’s metal, a massive clue is his fiery tiger print Jackson guitar that just oozes appeal. ‘Random Words’ initiate the technicality that is still focused within their whole accompaniment. Ari’s vocals can retain bellowing vocals needed for their earlier music and can easiler change to melody for their newer material however Moho Live acoustic’s drown out the vocals and heighten bass drum. There is always a struggle in this venue and can be disappointing as the true talent of a band can be lost. Drummer Juhana Karlsson shines through with passion and intensity. The spirit of Amoral leave the audience ready and waiting for Ensiferum.
It wouldn’t be Ensiferum if there wasn’t an entrance of their folky orchestral instrumental beckoning them to the stage as the eyes of fans watch in awe. They appear to the intro song ‘Symbols’ from their just released album ‘Unsung Heroes’. This leads perfectly into ‘In My Sword I Trust’. Being a five piece band with lots of equipment it looked a tight squeeze. I was surprised they would be playing in a venue like Moho due to their theatrical performance, they are in need of space. There was a mix in the crowd tonight with younger fans to extreme die hard fans. I feel the older enthusiasts were a little disappointed in the amount of new material played like ‘Burning Leaves’, ‘Phojola’ and ‘Unsung Heroes’. These were still highly enjoyed as the crowd roared for ‘Burning Leaves’, the band and the audience really came out of their element and embraced the moment. The venue filled with the backing harmonies, this made up for the lack of vocals. The levels through out were terrible.
Drummer Janne Parviainen was the one to be heard and can I say a suburb percussionist. There was however vitality in tonight’s show, if there is a band with stamina it’s Ensiferum. To end the set was ‘Iron’ the crowd went wild as the circle pit brewed. People were that enticed that they went off on their own to a free space and moved to the rhythm. Some actually looked quite surreal but shows just how much people appreciate Ensiferum.
The encore begins as the horde are chanting for Ensiferum to return, with ‘Twilight Tavern’, ‘Lai Lai Hei’ and the famous ‘Battle Song’. The sound was a lot clearer and lead guitar was heighten during the solos instead of drowning into the black abyss. The encore is what truly brought a entertaining night to it’s end.
Set List Eniferum
In My Sword I Trust
Guardians of Fate
Blood is The Price of Glory
One More Magic Potion
Hero In A Dream
Lai Lai Hei
All pictures courtesy of John McGibbon Photography.