Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews
Dimmu Borgir /
Hypocrisy / Norther
October 25, 2003
Review and Photos by Arto
The first infernal blizzard of this year stormed over Finland leaving
the whole ground entirely white and welcomed the Norwegian six piece
uncrowned kings of symphonic black metal, Dimmu Borgir. The band were here for two sold out
The line to get in was quite long, circling outside
the club. It consisted of people of all ages dressed in black, masked,
not so serious wanna be Satanists, gothics and other silly and amusing
looking personalities patiently waiting for the doors to open.
They kept the atmosphere up with the thunderous roars in the extreme
chilly windy evening.
Several sold out gigs, larger and more massive tours and bigger venues
are the obvious pieces of evidence of Dimmu Borgir’s incredible current
flourishing success. Having step by step, and year after year,
strengthened their already strong and solid status as the leading
and successful combo in the extreme / black metal genre. As
usual, there are always interesting opening bands with Dimmu
Borgir. On the previous tour the German thrash
legends Destruction opened now it was the long waited Hypocrisy, and of course,
Finland’s own Norther.
The evening was set off by the domestic Norther, ironically claimed to
be little brothers of Children Of Bodom for several obvious reasons. But being a little brother or not,
Norther still kicked
all the borders down by raging through a 30 minute set with melodic
keyboards dominating overall. Even though the space on the stage was
quite limited due to the extra drum set and other equipment, the Norther
dudes managed to set the corners straight with intensive action and
definitely had the domestic advantage to conquer the place. As far as
the set list is concerned, it consisted mostly of their latest studio
output Mirror Of Madness. For
example: "Betrayed", "Of Darkness And Light", "Unleash Hell", and finally a cover song of the 80’s Swedish hair-metal
band Europe’s "Final Countdown" concluding the Norther set.
Tägtgren has been quite visible here on the soil
of Finland during the last two years. He's been here with the techno-metal combo
Pain who has achieved incredible hype on the Scandinavian dance
charts as well as seeming to even appeal to the most fanatical
metalheads. But Hypocrisy’s visit for the first time to Finland had
been anxiously awaited for years in order to test the reactions and
acceptance of the local Finnish metal crowd toward one of the respected
and valued Swedish death bands. The years of waiting were
finally awarded as an opening second band on this night’s bill.
There was definitely an outstanding and positive reception by the
maniac audience packing the whole floor.
Even though much water has flown in the river during the last
decade, the deadly death metal assault of the early 90’s has got to
step aside by giving more space for the more progressive melodic riffs
and parts in the newer material. But however, Hypocrisy kicked
ass by delivering a solid and equal set of both new and older
material. For example, "Pleasure Of Molestation", the
newer stuff off from the Catch 22 album like
"Destroyed", the immortal classic alien oriented "Roswell 24"
wasn't forgotten from
their list either. The setlist as well as the performance were under
control, but the sound was a little
bit messy in one point of the 40 minute molestation.
After receiving such an overwhelming response from the crowd, Tägtgren
guaranteed to reconsider bringing Hypocrisy to
Finland more often.
When the Dimmu Norwegians visited the same Nosturi club a couple of
years ago, they had just released the Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia
opus that had gone like a rocket to the Finnish top ten chart
guaranteeing them a massive rush to the gig. Now the same thing
happened - Death Cult Armageddon
made a triumphant rise to the
top…rewarded in Helsinki by two sold gigs!
The atmosphere of the packed club started heating up becoming hotter than
hell with a darker feeling. The
tremendous maniac shouting kept increasing and rising beyond human pain tolerance as the lights were faded and
the dark characters of
the six masked black metallers emerged onto the stage with their hands
crossed in the air as a symbol of the evil brotherhood.
After the opening intro "Leper Among Us" roared out of the
loudspeakers, it was followed by "In Deaths
Embrace" off from Enthrone Darkness
Triumphant. The whole set
list was based, for obvious reasons, on the material of the new
excellent Death Cult Armageddon. But the overall sound quality didn’t
justify the mighty DCA on a couple songs.
For instance, the blackish "Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse" did not
the needed and deserved supercilious brilliance, although the clean majestic opera vocals definitely sounded excellent by giving
variety to the brutal vocal approaches by Shagrath. Galder’s appearance with the grimaces,
and his entirely shaved head,
definitely sent a cold ripple thru the spine. In general, the man
fits into the ranks even though Old Mans Child is his main target.
Once again the keyboard player Mustis remained somewhere in the darkest
and smokiest corner of the stage, occasionally his painted face
glimmered when the light hit him. The outfit has indeed definitely
found their own spots on the stage, well Shagrath typically shaking his
head with the mic stand, but other guys seemed to be in the exact
same place on the stage like on the previous gig. The enjoyable gig got
its non surprising, but prestigious conclusion when the well known tune "Mourning Place" blasted out.
It wouldn’t be any surprise if Dimmu Borgir will be
witnessed in some metal festival in Finland next summer….
Leper Among Us
In Death’s Embrace
Kings Of The Carnival Creation
Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse
The Blazing Monoliths Of Defiance
The Insight And The Catharsis
Raadbjorn Speiler Draugheimens Skodde
Official Dimmu Borgir