W/ GothMinister and PoisonBlack
The 25th of October 2006
Nosturi, Helsinki, Finland
Review and Pics by Arto Lehtinen
The Autumn gig season of The HeadBangers Ball series continues after the successful Spring season. A number of different kinds of metal concerts and gigs (i.e. Anthrax, Satyricon…) were more or less sponsored and advertised by the Finnish version of HeadBanger’s Ball on the local domestic MTV channel. All those gigs arranged during the spring were mostly sold out or otherwise entirely crowded. When the Italian band Lacuna Coil finally made it to Finland for the first time, tickets were once again sold faster than anyone expected. As a matter of fact, even though the promotion of the band has been tremendous, the single song from KARMACODE has been in rotation for one of the tunes on a reality TV-series on Finnish TV…this has no doubt helped reach a lot of new fans.
Somehow, it wasn’t surprising to realize the age construction of the audience being quite young. The older metalheads must have felt quite ancient amongst teens when standing in the audience. The older people had rather gathered near the bar to enjoy the cold and refreshing drinks. But seriously, Lacuna Coil definitely appeals more to the younger generation who had conquered the frontline of the stage and the floor. It was basically hilarious to pay attention to young teen chicks having packed against each other in front of the stage with painted faces trying or pretending to be as true gothic as they could that even Sisters Of Mercy guys would get more pale and jealousy.
But before the damn-hot-looking Cristina with her company entered the stage, a couple of mandatory opening acts had been booked to warm the audience up. Especially the first one, GothMinister, definitely did not warm up the audience. On the contrary, they caused a deadly boring coma feeling and atmosphere with their ridiculous wanna-be gothic nonsense approach. The mainman of the German gothic monsters had borrowed the outlook from King Diamond and managed to mix some Marilyn Manson into his look. The stuff was something…hmm… it could be described as b-class horror gothic with all kinds of synthesized elements mixed up. To have more visible and control over the half dead audience, an eccentric ladder raised-platform had been placed in the middle of the stage which the vocalist climbed onto several times. Despite the lame attendance, what the opening band has to deal with due to the early timing of the gig, the vocalist appeared to be thrilled about having an opportunity to play in Finland as he promised to return with GothMinister. Well hopefully not.
Then it was PoisonBlack, featuring the former Sentenced frontman Ville Laihiala. The newest output of this outfit titled LUST STAINED DESPAIR was catapulted to the Finnish national chart landing at second place. That was pretty much expected from them. Due to the chart result, the club was getting pretty much packed when the Northernmost dark and dismal rockers entered the stage. Of course, the audience kept their wide eyes open on the band’s guitarist/vocalist Laihiala. The man’s charisma and manners still show strong credibility though having to focus on guitar playing behind the mic. It could of been limiting, however Laihiala handled the gig with professionalism and with the experience gained from the long career and performances with his old band. To be honest, even though the other guys play an important role on the stage and albums, their status on stage was more on the background as a kind of static role. The set consisted equally of songs picked from the last two albums. A nice gig, despite the sound wasn’t in the right shape and balance.
The Italian six piece Lacuna Coil have gained massive success with their most recent output KARMACODE catapulting them to another level of the success. That success could be witnessed when the Nosturi club was pretty much packed by hundreds of all kinds of ages of people before the Italians got on the stage.
When the curtain dropped, both guitarists and bassist stood on an upper raised platform and had their faces covered with weird looking gauzes. Obviously the purpose on having gauzes was to symbolize the artpicture of the frontcover of KARMACODE. However, vocalists Cristina and Andrea showed up to the stage sharing the signing duties between each other.
After the first two songs, the gauzes were removed and the show continued more traditionally, but in the Lacuna Coil way. The six piece has definitely adopted the dominating American mallcore mannerisms and styles to their stage appearance. Too bad the whole band kind of rely on mallcore elements for the stage appearance, especially influenced by Korn’s liveshow. When the hair was spun 360 degree around and legs had been placed altogether and the heads were banged up and down at the same time and in the same way with the back bended forward. Well it reminded slightly of Korn’s stagemanners though.
As for the set list, the night’s songlist had been built on material mostly from the new KARMACODE album which was no surprise. Even though the latest output played a strong role with nine songs, stuff from UNLEASHED MEMORIES and COMALIES were not entirely abandoned. For example “Swamped” and “Entwined” belonged to the set whereas a couple of songs from the first full-length album had been included.
When following the six piece in action on stage it was more than obvious the band is an extreme tight and well coordinated live machine. Touring as effectively as they have done, especially in The States, has brought a lot of both stage experiences and above all these Korn type stage manners to the performances on the stage to Lacuna Coil. Good or bad, but however it worked well and suited Lacuna Coil pretty well.
Scabbia is definitely one of the most beautiful and well dressed ladies in the female metal world. Several males must be having wetdreams about Cristina Scabbia. For the Helsinki gig, this fine lady had dressed in a mini skirt and white shirt with a tie. Yes, seeing this from the male perspective she looks absolutely hot! She was an extreme energy and vital moving all around the stage and sharing the vocal parts between Andre Ferro. Both frontpersons definitely have a tight charismatic grip to be able to control the audience and above all young teens, who went totally beserk. Both guitarists and the bassist remained more in the background giving room for the vocalist pair to handle their job.
After one hour playing the whole band withdrew to the backstage to gasp for some air and meanwhile the audience began yelling the band back. After a while, the whole six piece entered back and did a cover tune by Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence”. To be honest, the song fit the sound of Lacuna Coil with other songs more than well. Basically, it is a well chosen song for KARMACODE as a matter of fact. The night was concluded the massive hit single which has been on various and several charts.
To sum up… Of course it was nice to witness the Italian gothic/metalers (or whatever they are now) on the stage as they have risen up to the level of success with several other female-fronted metal bands. For the younger audience, seeing Lacuna Coil and Cristina Scabbia live on the stage was more than a huge experience. For a long time metal gig-goer, it was quite a routine gig on the long list after all.
What I see
Fragments Of Faith
To Live is To Hide
To The Edge
Enjoy The Silence
Heavens A Lie