Moonspell, Rotting Christ, Silver Dust – Tavastia Helsinki Finland

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Moonspell already established a strong and loyal fanbase on the Finnish soil back in 1996, when the second album IRRELIGIOUS hit the stores. The Portuguese’s first visit to Finland happened in that same year along with Rotting Christ and Samael as a headliner. The whole venue was totally packed. Since then Moonspell has constantly played here either at festivals or gigs of their own. Until now, Moonspell and Rotting Christ returned to Finland with a swiss band, not Samael, but Silver Dust for two gigs, which both of them were sold out. These bands and their music fitted perfectly to the dark, rainy and cold Friday night in Helsinki.

The Swiss Silver Dust was an entire strange, but exciting acquaintance. The four-piece took the stage with the brave grip and performance. The singer, Lord Campbell,  appeared to be a strong character as he didn’t turn out to be apologetic or shy at all.  His movements were carefully measured. His way of using the voice was time-to-time reminiscent of Serj Tankian’s delivery. Of course he had a personal style of his own. How he empathized with his performance and the music of Silver Dust was live was well-rehearsed and planned.  The band’s stage presence can be described as theatrical and bombastic.  The storyline of their songs was based on some kind of the theme of a horror story. There was no standard backdrop screen. Instead they had a video board to which all kinds of videos and pics were shown. The audience politely followed Silver Dust’s playing and show. Apparently, the band knew how to make some move in the crowd. The crowd was asked to get down on squat. The crowd did that and jumped up until Lord Cambell gave the permission. Silver Dust did a well-done job as an opening act and reached for attention and interest that rather an unknown band needs in new territories.

The legendary Greek metallers Rotting Christ ain’t no stranger on the Finnish soil. The band has played quite a few times in the past. Seeing Rotting Christ play in the full-packed venue in Finland was a new experience for them. Rotting Christ didn’t start wondering that, just taking the stage with a strong and aggressive grip. The band got adrenalised goosebumps by the energic and even crazy crowd. The audience lived up to the raw and fast stuff of Rotting Christ. Even pits broke out on the floor. Rotting Christ sounds more or less bombastic and even apocalyptic on albums. When playing the material live, they sounded raw and had a more straightforward approach in the sound. The four-piece was on fire onstage. The heads spun around, and the response of the Finnish crowd totally psyched the whole band. Both the second guitarist and bassist were in a hyperactive mood thru the set.

The 45-minute set contained songs picked up from six albums. Surprisingly the set had two songs from their latest effort HERETICS. Whereas the song from the PASSAGE  TO ARCTURO presented the more old school era of Rotting Christ. The gig was concluded by the legendary “Non Serviam” . Rotting Christ offered one hell of a rampage as well as the Greek passion for playing and performing. That just testified their dedication to the music and playing.

Moonspell started the 90 minute set of the dark/gothic metal journey when the vocalist Fernando Ribeiro arrived at the stage by having a storm lamp in hand. The opening phase of “Em Nome Do Medo” emerged out of speakers. It was followed by “1755” and “In Tremor Dei” sung in their mother language. The on-going tour is still the part of the most recent Moonspell album 1755. The album is based on the massive earthquake that happened in Lisboa in 1755, sweeping the whole city off from the map. The set had four songs from that particular album. For obvious reasons, the same amount of songs had been picked up from the breakthrough album IRRELIGIOUS. Songs from other albums played an essential part of the set. Whereas “Vampiria” and above all their everlasting battle hymn “Alma Mater” off from WOLFHEART woke the crowd up from the trance. Fernando Ribeiro thanked the Finnish crowd several times and recalled the era Moonspell worked in the Finnish studio and got many friends. The audience was more calmed down and enjoyed the gothic oriented atmosphere and hymns of Moonspell more in a trance.

Fernando Ribeiro’s performance and onstage movement show he is a strong character dominating the show a little bit, leaving other members in the background. However, he is the frontman who communicates and interact with the audience. He succeeded in that splendidly.  The whole five-piece put their souls into the gig and the music. The concert was truly enjoyable to follow and listen. Especially the sounds were crystal great and clear.

Both Rotting Christ and Moonspell deserve the most ultimate respect and kudos for being die-hard workers in the scene, by being on the road all-time and releasing amazing albums. Hopefully, they will carry out one more tour together and have Samael as well, but who would be a headliner then ?!    

1.Em Nome Do Medo
2. 1755
3. In Tremor Dei
4. Opium
5. Awake!
6. Night Eternal
7. Abysmo
8. Breathe (Until We Are No More)
9. Everything Invaded
10. Evento
11. Mephisto
12. Vampiria
13. Alma Mater
14. Todos os santos
15. Mute
16. Full Moon Madness