Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews

Susperia / Destruction / Dimmu Borgir
Nosturi Helsinki Finland
May 22, 2001

Pictures and pictures by Arto Lehtinen

DESTRUCTIONWhen two leading extreme metal bands from different metal genres and from the two separate decades are put together and sent out onto the same tour,  it is evident that this sort of package will successful. This is especially the case because both the bands get their own audience; Destruction appeal to the old school thrashers without getting out to tour with Dimmu Borgir the German thrash metal legends would have never ever had an opportunity of visiting Baltic countries and finally to end up to Finland. To be honest it was about TIME to get Destruction to these latitudes.

Besides two main bands, the Norwegian's, Susperia, had been booked to fill up the opening slot to warm up the audience. During a 30-minute set they mainly concentrated on doing the stuff from their debut album Predominance and received the damn good respond from the entire packed club. As a matter of fact the band basically rides on the reputation of the band's drummer more or less. When drummer Tjoldav, being the former Dimmu Borgir battery man, rose to stand up cheering the audience and without any doubts got the wildest and loudest hails from the Finnish audience. Unfortunately, the utter crap sound quality ruined Susperia's set quite badly and in general the sound policy during the whole night was really awful - to be honest, total shit for every god damn band. Was the mixer deaf or just helpless or what?! No, instead there was a kinda simple and logical explanation for these worthless sounds. The bands were supposed to come to Finland by ship from Baltic countries, but of course a ship had got broken in the harbor of Tallinn and all the logistic plans, sound checks and generally the whole schedule got of course fucked up and the bands didn't have that much time to put the finishing touches on the sounds…Fortunately they didn't cancel the gig or there would have been a massive riot and fight in the front of the club. Anyway, Susperia tried to do what they could.

After a desperate long roadie break the thrash metal trio took the stage by opening the set with "Curse the gods " off from Eternal Devastation. As stated above, the sounds were already utter crap for Susperia, so Destruction also suffered from the same miserable lousy sound problems. Despite the hollow and dry sound quality, they thrashed and provided what the true old school thrash metal is all about. Kinda needless to say, but the atmosphere in the pit was literally insane as the crowd was thrashing slamming like maniacs. The set mainly consisted of the tracks from their 80's albums for example "Mad Butcher, Bestial Invasion, Total Desaster live without sense"… Every one reading can guess if they did any tracks off from "Release from Agony" or "Cracked Brain"…Despite the set was more into the stuff, but however the Germans did at least two tracks from "All Hell breaks on Loose". It gotta be admitted newer tracks for example Butcher strikes back fits damn well to the bill beside the old stuff..

Afterwards after doing the gig Schmier used to walk around the gig venue talking to people and and giving autographs, he even revealed Destruction will come back to Finland within this year with Kreator and Sodom. Hopefully that will come true in every aspect.

Dimmu Borgir have enjoyed the loyal following here since the " Enthrone Darkness Triumphant " album and even the latest output "Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia" went direct to the Finnish national top 40 chart spending several weeks there. Despite this, the band has a conflicting reputation amongst  metal fans for one reason or another, but there was no a sign of any kind of skeptical conflicting opinions in the audience when the band entered the smoky and dark stage. Instead the atmosphere became heat and even passionate when people welcomed the band by rising their hands and fingers up into the air.

But trying to keep up some sort of note of played tracks became utter frustrating, cos surprise surprise the sounds were quite awful making the job more and more difficult. Both Shagrath's voice and Nicholas Parker's drum working literally crushed the guitar sounds which were entirely lost and obviously Mustis with his keyboards had been forgotten somewhere to the darkest and smokiest part of the stage cos nothing could hardly be heard. Something could be made out of the set cos the Dimmus did a bunch of tracks off from their latest album like "Blessings Upon The Throne", "Puritania". Fortunately this time they avoided doing any cover tunes like they used to play Accept's "Metal Heart" previously.

Silenoz's part in singing cleaner parts sounded pretty ok which definitely gave a welcomed nuance to the overall impression of the gig even though Shagrath's blackish delivery has obvious strongest approaches. As all of know Astennu dismissed the band a while ago, but it gotta be admitted the front man of Old Man's Child as a replacement fitted the line up perfectly and hopefully he will remain to the band a little bit longer… Hmm obviously Dimmu Borgir's gig had been caught up by believers' attentions as well, cos a middle aged looking man, stylistically dressed up in a clean suit was witnessed walking all around the venue. Probably he was there enjoying the Norwegian black metal like almost other 900 people there.

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