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Sunday, January 8, 2006
BB King's Bar and Grill
New York City, NY USA
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* Review and photos by Shaq
Fans of either of these bands, myself included, have been waiting a long time to see them make their way over to the United States. Along with the announcement of this short run of dates on the east coast came phenomenal anticipation and energy. Both bands came into town not knowing what to expect from a New York City crowd, and that crowd was ready to deliver all night long.
The fact that these polka-metallers have gained much notoriety in the States despite singing in a foreign language speaks volumes about their abilities. As could be expected from a band with such a unique style, Finntroll came about after a night of drinking and experimenting with the now infamous mixture of humppa style polka, heavy guitars and brutal vocals. To date, Finntroll have released four studio albums, and have gained prominent slots in the European festival circuit. And now, nine years after their inebriated conception, Finntroll have come to take the United States by storm.
As soon as the introduction music (Bakom Varje Fura) came over the sound system, the crowd went wild. Finntroll chants were almost deafening as the members began to filter out onto the stage. Once they were on stage and ready to go, the almighty Finntroll worked right into “Födosagan” and kicked things into high gear. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a live performance of their special breed of metal, but I wasn’t disappointed in the least.
You could tell from their faces that they were openly happy with the response they got from our metal scene. Having never been to New York before, I’d imagine it was hard for them to predict the things to come, but I think it’s safe to say we left a lasting impression on the trolls. Being that there were only two bands on the bill tonight with no local openers in sight, Finntroll were allowed to play for an hour, a privilege not given to most openers. In fact, they even had an encore, which is more than a rarity for an opening band making their debut in the country. Their setlist consisted primarily of songs from “Jaktens Tid” and “Nattfödd,” with some oldies thrown in for good measure. All of the band members put on a high intensity performance, running around stage and headbanging furiously. I can only hope that these guys will come back real soon.
Bakom Varje Fura
Slaget Vid Blodsälv
Det Iskalla Trollblodet
Sodom is a name that is known to almost every metal fan. They debuted in 1984 and along with Kreator and Destruction went to become the symbol of the finest German thrash. Since then, despite revolving lineup changes with the exception of frontman and bassist Tom Angelripper, Sodom have consistently released strong thrash albums every couple of years. However, despite this elite status within their genre, Sodom were never able to truly break through in the United States. In fact, this was to be their first headlining tour of the country at all, which is a downright shame for a band that has been thrashing for over twenty years.
Nevertheless, Sodom came prepared to make this New York City crowd thrash harder than ever before. Sodom burst onto stage to the tune of “Among the Weirdcong” and the crowd began to chant along to the entire thing. Much like with Finntroll earlier, you could immediately tell that the band was excited with the tremendous response from the crowd. Clearly their arrival had been eagerly awaited, but better late than never, right?
In an effort to make the most of their headlining premiere in the area, Sodom began to thrash through their entire catalog, with songs from almost every one of their major releases. There were many times in between songs where Tom would just stand in awe of the crowd response. In fact, there was one point where Tom went to the back of the stage and returned holding his own video camera and began recording the crowd, which I found to be a very cool move, as did the erupting crowd.
When Sodom returned to the stage for what was to be the first of two encores, they burst into a thrashing version of “Surfin Bird,” which is among my favorite metal covers of all time. Also during this first encore, Tom made an announcement that around May they plan on releasing a new studio album for us. Following this announcement, Sodom began playing “Nothing to Regret,” a song from that upcoming album. From what I could tell, the German thrash trio is going to unleash yet another solid album for us fans if this song is to be any indication of its quality.
In the end, Sodom performed a slightly shorter set than I had predicted, which is the only real complaint I can fathom for the event. There were several songs on the setlist that had been crossed off, as well as one or two that were simply not played. This couldn’t have been due to a time constraint since the show ended at around 10:45PM, the earliest I’ve ever been out of a show that I can remember.
Regardless, this is one of the best shows I’ve been to in awhile, and both bands delivered stellar performances. The show goes to prove that the United States is ready for both of these bands and that metal is still alive and well in our fair city.
Among the Weirdcong
The Vice of Killing
Napalm in the Morning
Outbreak of Evil
Remember the Fallen
The Saw is the Law
Nothing to Regret (new song)
Ace of Spades
I would like to thank Heather Smith at Century Media Records for the press pass.