The Black Crusade: Old Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland

Spread the metal:

Machine Head -Trivium – DragonForce – Arch Enemy – Shadows Fall

The 14 of December 2007
The Old Ice Hall
Helsinki Finland

THE BLACK CRUSADE rampaged on European soil with a massive band offering. All in all, five different bands landed at Finland for two gigs arranged in Tampere and Helsinki. The first night in Tampere was described afterwards as a real chaotic event especially when Machine Head unleashed the aesthetics of hate into the air. When arriving at the old Old Ice Hall, people were standing in lines anxiously waiting to get in on time to witness the first band which was supposed to kick the night off at 6.30pm. When taking a rapid glance at the attendance, it was quite obvious  there were a plenty of young kids having rushed to conquer the frontline in order to have good places to stare at bands.

When the first band hit the stage, the whole Ice Hall looked embrassingly empty. The floor area appeared to be half packed whereas the seating area were practically empty. Bit by bit people arrived. Of course the Black Crusade was absolutely not sold out, not even to close. But despite that, it didn’t effect the intense atmosphere during the performances. Huge circle pits could be witnessed more than once during that night.  As reported earlier, Machine Head’s guitarist legendary Phil Demmel had to sit out the tour, but an unexpected surprise may happen for sure.

Shadows Fall, being the first band of the night, had been scheluded to open the night. Unfortunately the five piece had been given an apx. 25 minute playing time which was, quite needless to say, criminally short. Unfortunately the 8000 seat old hockey hall looked pretty empty even though the frontline had been conquered by a legion of young metalheads. Despite the lack of attendace, Shadows Fall, and above all, Brian Fair let hell loose by terrorizing the ice hall. Fair’s long dreadlocks kept spinning all around when the man banged his head. Shadows Fall is culminated by Fair’s perfomance, whereas other guys rather remained in their own spots on the stage. Unfortunately, the band managed to do apx. five songs before leaving the stage for Arch Enemy. Hopefully they will be seen in Finland again on some club tour.



When Shadows Fall had finished, a group of roadies handled all the changes extremely quickly. The backdrop got changed to Arch Enemy’s and a few other minor changes on the stage were carried out to be ready for Angela and the guys. It was funny to pay attention to how above all amongst several photographers were extremely keen on taking cool looking pics of Angela. However Angela was full of pure anger & energy as always on the stage. She literally growled from the depth of her lungs with extreme brutal delivery. Chris Ammott’s return beside his brother was something that Arch Enemy definitely needed as his absence was like a missing piece of puzzle. Like Shadows Fall, Arch Enemy had more or less 30 minutes to do the most wellknown hymns to concluce the set with “We Will Rise”. But frankly putting Arch Enemy as the second band on the stage was kind of strange as they would have deserved to switch places with DragonForce and a longer playing time for sure. Next time !  





Dragonforce once again with their third time in Finland within one year. At least they must have gained plenty of new fans by this effective gigging commitments. But in general the past year has been the most hectic time for the six piece extreme power metallers as having gained a lot of new fans and conquered new territories. At least the dragon metallers seem to have no signs of getting tired of being on the stage. The outfit offered the same kind of craziness that they are known for. The guitarist duet Li and Tottman have an excellent way communicating with each other by kicking each other’s asses. However, the rest of the guys appeared to have the same type of insane going on the stage all the time. The singer remembered to throw opened water bottles into the audience. One of the hilarious things was testified when guitarist Tottman and bassist  Leclercq switched the instruments and kept playing without missing any note. Due to the band’s hyperactive performances on the stage, keeping the list of played songs could be forgotten as their gig was unique and hilarious indeed. Tight and virtuoso playing could be testified when Herman Li played tricks with his instruments. The power metal approach presented by this UK six piece didn’t appeal to several “brutal” metalheads, but the band got damn good respondes after all.




This was the second visit by Trivium to Finland within 2007. The Floridians toured with long time Canadian thrashers Annihilator last spring and did a solid gig. For obvious reasons, Trivium was second headliners judging by the name of the touring package.

The Trivium guys appeared to be a wild stage band like on the previous gig with Annihilator. Both Heafy and Beaulieu used to share all the vocal duties. Heafy’s Helfiend influenced singing style definitely fits better to the stuff of Trivium whereas Beaulie’s dry and utter boring metalcorish style sounds pretty tired to be honest. The band kept running all around the stage like a punch of maniacs.

Matt Heafey reminded the young audience of the late Death frontman Chuck Schuldiner as it was six years passed by since his premature death. Therefore he dedicated “Rain” for the memory of Schuldiner. It is interesting to know how many of those young kids are aware of who Chuck Schuldiner was and what he had created. Not so many anyway. In general the four piece did a number of songs equally picked up from both the albums.

Even though the band seem to have divided the metal map (for and against), they sound damn energic on the stage. But good and bad news for Trivium haters – they won’t be doing any gigs for a year. Instead the four piece will be entering the studio to work on the follow-up to THE CRUSADE.






Machine ‘Fucking’ Head! Several other bands playing before the night’s headliner made the audience shout it loud all the night long. Machine Head finally got on the stage to bulldoze the Finnish audience down. Before the band entered the limelight of the stage in Helsinki, the group went thru unexpected things. Phil Demmel was forced to sit out of a few dates of the tour because of the family issues and therefore had to fly back to San Francisco. Guitarists from other touring bands decided to fill up Demmel’s spot up till the gig of Tampere. For the gig of Helsinki being the last one on the whole tour, Demmel made a real triumphant comeback to the Machine Head rank to finish the tour. It has to be admitted Demmel’s task was nothing but admirable and he definitely deserves the respect for coming back despite his personal issues. Besides Demmel has become the leading force and the important part of the whole Machine Head world beside Rob Flynn.

The four piece unleashed one hell of gig in Old Ice Hall, ever seen in that place before. Hundreds of people went beserk arranging a real ballistic gig experience as the whole floor was literally burning up. The more peaceful moment was when “Descend The Shades Of Night” got played. It could be noticed that song had more emotional feelings for Demmel.

Machine Head was in vicious form during their 60 minute set even through it was plagued by unexpected technical problems. Although the ice hall was pretty empty, the atmosphere went beyond a standard metal gig in IceHall. Rob Flynn outspokenly thanked the Finnish audience and commanded the crowd to split half in order to arrange a massive looking circle pit during “Davidian”. Finally Demmel took and dived into the audience after the song, fortunately the kids caught him and didn’t let him crush to the floor. Frankly Machine Head came, conquered and dominated that night.  

1. Clenching The Fists Of Dissent
2. Imperium
3. Aesthetics Of Hate
4. Old
5. Halo
6. Take My Scars
7. Descend The Shades Of Night
8. Davidian





Five bands during one night is a huge package indeed. Unfortunately, every band didn’t get equal playing time. But at least we got something. It can be expected to see some of those bands touring on their own. These kinds of packages are in a way great for smaller bands to get new fans. Hopefully Shadows Fall will be seen in Finland later…..But Machine Head bulldozed!!