God Forbid, Caliban
November 6th 2004
Tavastia Club Helsinki Finland
Review and Pics by Arto Lehtinen
It was definitely surprising to notice two gigs in a row had been booked for Machine Head in the same club. On the other hand, it isn’t an unexpected surprise to see the SOLD OUT labels nailed on the main entrance door on both nights. Machine Head has always enjoyed a loyal and even fanatical fan base up here in the northern territories. Previously packed gigs especially for the fifth album THROUGH THE ASHES OF EMPIRES was welcomed amongst the Finnish fans by picking up so many items from stores that the album got catapulted to the nation?s chart for weeks. Machine Head have got a whole bunch of new younger fans in recent years who were at least now able to witness their idols in action.
As for the opening bands, God Forbid from The States and Caliban hailing from Germany, both were damn good as well as interesting in every aspect. Both of them had without any doubts deserved their places on the tour criss-crossing Europe.
Even though God Forbid had switched the opening spot for Saturday by kicking off this night?s “attitude metal” journey, there were definitely more people aware of God Forbid?s material than Germany?s Caliban. People kept shouting Caliban’s name all the time. In general, God Forbid?s energic and ass-kicking set caused a ballistic and raging pit going from one side the other. The five-piece went through their new album GONE FOREVER with an intensive uncompromising delivery including the tracks Anti-Hero, Better Days and so on.
The band?s full of hate performance brought them more fans from Finland for sure. At least the band was definitely spellbound about the received attention in Finland as the guitarist later had posted to the GF site giving a big thanks to the Finnish audience by praising their gigs in Helsinki as the best one played on the whole European tour. At least it became clear that frontman Byron Davis was definitely anti-Bush as he expressed his own opinion on Bush by saying ?Fuck Bush?.
Germany?s Caliban opened up on Friday whereas they hit the stage after God Forbid on Saturday. It was a weird situation for Caliban to terrorize between God Forbid and Machine Head because both those bands are more known. Despite being the second one to the stage between two US bands, the German metalcore tornado ripped every soul apart by giving a lesson in violence with how to make a circle pit and the audience definitely did. The band?s violent aggressive metallic core onslaught without any doubts brought them more fans interested in the German Caliban.
After two awesome supporting acts the headliner of the night, Machine Head, hit the stage while the opening intro taken off from the Omen soundtrack ’Ave Satani’ was still roaring out of loudspeakers. Immediately followed by the opening track from the fifth Machine Head album (Imperium), a real raging chaotic neverending pit began and stayed raging through the whole show. Though the floor was on fire because the audience was going nuts and smashing each other, but there were a few peaceful moments when “Burning Red” and “Descend The Shades Of Night” calmed the bloody sweaty crowd.
Phil Demmel?s role in the band has definitely grown a lot and brought the needed vibes to the band?s stage perfomance as communicating and taking the audience. To be honest, without Phil Demmel, Machine Head would have sunk down to in a sea like an old ship.
The set consisted a lot of material from the first classic BURN MY EYES like “Old”, “Davidian” and of course ?Take My Scars? and ?Blood, Sweat, Tears? from other outputs and other killers made the Finnish machine heads going extreme wild all around. In the middle of the show the four piece Bay Area metallers did a solid medley containing several well-known metal battle hymns like Pantera?s “Walk”, Maiden?s “Number Of The Beast”, Sepultura?s “Roots Bloody Roots” etc.. When Block was about to roar out of loudspeakers, the band?s frontman encouraged the Finnish audience set a real amazing unbelievable looking circle pit. Though I’ve seen plenty of gigs in that club during over ten years, I’ve never seen that kind of wild circle pit going on the floor. Even the soundboard was nearly destroyed by kids in the tremendous pit.
The whole band was in damn good strike and especially Demmel constantly jumped all around on the stage whereas the bassis Adam Duce had his own place on the left side of the stage. The audience?s wild reaction brought a wide smile to Flynn?s face and he thanked the Finnish audience in the end by doing a short Stairway To Heaven version in order to express his thanks. In general the Bay Area attitude metallers were in damn fiery strike thru the whole gig and sounded damn tight and damn metallic aggressive indeed. Hopefully the machine heads will be witnessed on the soil of Finland really soon.
Big thanks Hanna Jarvinen from Bonnier Amigo for photo passes
and Phil Demmel for the great hospitality.