05.04.2008

To Holmgard and beyond!

Yesterday I was, for a first time since long ago, on a metal concert. And it was awesome!
When few days back I spotted posters proclaiming that "Turisas" is coming to town I knew that this is the time to finally fulfill a dream of mine and join the fellow headbangers for an epic evening.
Turisas have been one of my favorite bands for a long time now. I have found them on last.fm, while reading about another great band "Ensiferum". As I found out, both come from Finland - I am wondering what is with this country that it breeds so many excellent bands - most of my favorite bands comes from there.
Of course I was a bit shy at first with my decision. I do not have any metal friends in Stockholm and I wouldn't like to drag my wife to the concert, knowing that she would not enjoy this at all. Well, world belong to the courageous, or so they say, so I bought a ticket and headed to Klubben hoping that I want be consumed by flesh eating satanic norwegian Loki worshiping pagans.
I was quickly calmed and even a little bit disappointed by the fact that all people seemed to be quite normal. On top of that, I was actually feeling more at home than anywhere in Stockholm. All foreigners are quick in observing that Stockholmers are clothing themselves a tad bit eccentric.
Well people outside the Klubben with a few exceptions were all clothed in black, sporting metal themed t-shirts. I felt like I was in Krakow in "Rotunda", more than in Stockholm. Nice.
So after waiting for 30 minutes concert started with a support band called "Månegarm". I will just say that it was a serious down to earth guitar shredding and cookie monster singing. In other words serious business. Of course I was stunned in a short time, and be saying stunned I mean in literal sense deafened by a wall of sound and hellish growls. I guess orcs of Mordor would be proud of this guys. That being said, after the third song I have started to really enjoy their performance. Maybe that is way death metal bands can survive? I can hardly imagine how I could listen to that music at home, but at the concert they were fantastic!
So finally there was a time for a serious ear-drum kicking by "Turisas". They jumped on the stage, clothed in furs and hides with faces painted in red and black. If that is how Vikings looked when they were descending from their boats to put towns and villages to fire and sword, I can imagine the fear their victims must have felt.
I know that most peoples would consider this funny and stupid. I say to hell with you. I enjoyed this theatrical costumes and a play they were making on the stage. This really added a nice touch to the story of Varangians.
Fuck the guitar Solos!

So know I will tell you why I like "Turisas" and metal so much. It is because of whole experience around this music. It is, in my opinion, unlike any other kind of music I know. Metal, at least the one I am listening to, is inspired by fantasy, sci-fi and often, as in case of Turisas history. It is not concerned too much with contemporary problems and I am fine with that. It tells the stories of heroes and villains, of battles and horrors. The music is usually very energetic and convey, at last for me, strong emotions. And that is what I love about it.
The Turisas concert was promoting their new album "The Varngian Way". The album tells the story of vikings going to Novogrod (Helmgard) and further down south until the gates of Byzantium. It has everything I expect from such a work. There are battle songs, crazy "party" song "In the court of Jarrisleif" and last but not list epic "Miklagard overture". I enjoyed it immensely while listening on my media player and I enjoyed it even more on concert. That is true that my eardrums would be pierced to pieces if I were not protecting them, but I think it was an amaaizing experience to scream and wave my hands and applaud the band. And I couldn't not to do this. I may be overextatic about the whole thing but it seems to me that guys and a gal from "Turisas" were having as much fun as the public. It was a great evening and I am happy I was there.

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