Article by Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjala
Pictures by Marko Syrjala
It’s been a long time since Finland has been treated with such a great package tour as this. Therefore, it is a bit strange that although this show was originally supposed to be in the Old Ice Hall of Helsinki, at the last minute, it was moved to a smaller venue. However, the night with four bands and Kreator as the headliner was a successful event. The Circus has a capacity of 1200 people, and the show was totally sold out. Metal-Rules.com attended the gig to witness Soilwork, Sepultura, and the mighty Kreator in action.
This is an exciting package of three big names, each of which could do a headlining tour independently. For example, Soilwork enjoys a loyal and truthful following in Finland. They have done some shows in Finland and gained a strong fanbase. That could be noticed when the venue was totally packed when Bjorn Strip, aka Speed, led the band to the stage. Despite the departure of long-time drummer Dirk Verbeuren who has since teamed up with the Mustaine mega-squad, Soilwork still keeps going strong. The setlist turned out to be an excellent balance of the new and older material, pleasing the fans. To be honest, the sound was kind of distorted, not giving a fair and balanced quality of the band’s stuff.
The Ride Majestic
Above the Sentiment
Bastard Chain The
The Chainheart Machine
Two Lives Worth of Reckoning
Late for the Kill, Early for the Slaughter
Stabbing the Drama
Sepultura’s new MACHINE MESSIAH has received an extremely positive response. Seeing them as an opening act for Kreator was a good way to promote the album to a larger audience. As for promoting the new album, four new songs ended up on the setlist, such as “I Am The Enemy,” “Phantom Self,” etc. Of course, the classic songs were the necessary ones, such as “Desperate Cry,” “Arise,” and “Inner Self.” The band sounded good and tight. The drummer Eloy Casagrande especially deserves credit, proving to be truly an inhuman drum machine, beating the battery with intense skill. The older songs especially suffered from a second guitar lack as they are missing the tightness and a robust approach to telling the truth. The audience didn’t react to Sepultura’s set as it was supposed to expect. Oddly, the song “Roots Bloody Roots” cut through the air that the floor turned into a riot area.
I Am The Enemy
Roots Bloody Roots
It feels insane that five years have passed by since Kreator last played in Helsinki. The band had then released PHANTOM ANTICHRIST, and the show was at the Nosturi club in front of 700 Kreator maniacs. Finally, the band has released a new album titled GODS OF VIOLENCE, presenting Kreator at its best and proves why they still are one of the most influential and successful European thrash bands ever.
The show opened a bit surprised with the title track of HORDES OF CHAOS followed by “Phobia” from the often forgotten OUTCAST album. A couple of new album tracks followed. “Satan is Real” and “God of Violence” are both great live tracks, and when the band did the classic “People of the Lie,” the crowd went crazy. Right from the beginning, it was clear that the band is on fire. Petrozza’s aggressive singing is as dramatic and compelling as ever, and his beautiful guitar playing and energetic performance are deadly efficient throughout the whole performance.
It’s great that sometimes these older bands can also surprise, and that’s what Kreator did with their old, but not forgotten, a gem from the band’s debut ENDLESS PAIN. “Total Death” was last time performed live in 1986, and it now sounded as brutal and powerful as it did back in the day. The main body of the set was based on the band’s latest two releases. GODS OF VIOLENCE was present with five tracks, including my new favorite Kreator song, “Fallen Brother,” and PHANTOM ANTICHRIST with three tracks. Also, the band played the title tracks of VIOLENT REVOLUTION and ENEMY OF GOD. The rest of the set consisted of the mandatory classics. “Extreme Aggression,” “Flag of Hate,” “Under the Guillotine,” and the set’s last song, “Pleasure to Kill,” made all “old school” fans happy in the audience. My opinion is that some of those tracks could be easily replaced with something more interesting material instead. However, I don’t think that the band will ever dare to do it.
The stage show was simple but very workable. Powerful lights and smoke plumes, headbanging, killer riffs one after another, and blazing guitar solos were the elements of which this show is built. During “Phobia,” Mille used a smoke cannon. I can’t remember if Kreator has ever used any “effects” like that in the past. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it was a cool thing anyway.
As mentioned earlier, Mille was on fire through the set, but the rest of the band was not at all weaker. Sami Yli-Sirniö might not be the most active person on stage, but his guitar playing is just beautiful to absorb. The man has an incredible sense of guitar melody, and his contributions are a substantive part of the band’s current state and sound. Drummer Jurgen “Ventor” Reil and bassist Christian “Speesy” Giesler are among the genre’s strongest rhythm sections. Special mention goes to Speesy’s old school “thrash metal battle vest,” which kind of sums up what thrash metal is all about. All in all, Kreator was just as good as expected, if not even better. Tonight’s show proved that they’re still the kings of the thrash metal genre, at least in Europe. Long live Kreator!!!
Hordes of Chaos
Satan Is Real
Gods of Violence
People of the Lie
Enemy of God
From Flood into Fire
World War Now
Hail to the Hordes
Flag of Hate
Under the Guillotine
Pleasure to Kill