After hearing the news that Finntroll would be embarking on a tour in celebration of the tenth anniversary of their Nattfödd album and that they would be playing said album in full, it went without saying that this was a tour that must be attended – least of all, since this was pretty much the album that got me into metal in the first place.
Openers Profane Omen (7/10) got the night off to a great start and were everything you could want from a support act. Their frontman worked hard at engaging the crowd – at one point even telling us all to shake our asses and dance! – and although the crowd remained fairly subdued throughout, they played a tight and enjoyable set. It’s always good to see a band so passionate about their performance and it really set the mood well for the rest of the night.
Up next was Hatesphere (6/10) and although they had more support from the crowd, they lacked the stage presence of Profane Omen and the songs weren’t the most engaging, with some of them sounding similar to one another. However the support from the crowd did help to move everything along and their performance came to a close with a small mosh pit during their final song!
Of course, the night ultimately belonged to Finntroll (9/10), and the atmosphere was incredible from start to finish. It was a definite treat to hear the songs from Nattfödd that have been absent from their sets in the past, such as the awesome Fiskarens Fiende, and a good thing about them performing the album in full was the fact that fan favourite Trollhammaren was performed fairly early on in the show for a change, which worked really well. The whole room went mad and it descended into chaos after the introduction alone, and then everyone was able to calm down and catch their breath during title track Nattfödd!
Something that really made the performance interesting was some of the newer members of the band, who weren’t in Finntroll when Nattfödd was first released, helped to give the tracks a fresh spin. Hearing more complex and technical drumlines courtesy of new drummer Heikki added to some of the songs made them magical, and although at times the vocals felt a little weak, it was an all-round great performance and really paid tribute well to the album.
The second half of the set saw the band visit their other material and it was a nigh-on perfect setlist with fantastic inclusions such as Svartberg, Skogsdotter and Solsagan. It was so apparent to see how much fun the band was having onstage, whether it was from members mirroring each others movements, playfully teasing one another or even sharing a joke mid-song, and it made the show all the more enjoyable to watch as a result.
Finntroll finished things off with Under Bergets Rot, which was a much better choice of closer than the usual Trollhammaren or Jaktens Tid. It was impossible not to grin as the song got underway – least of all when keyboardist Aleksi started jokingly hitting the side of his instrument in response to all the guitarists hitting theirs for effect, much to the amusement of his bandmates – and it was a good way to end the set because it was so easy to dance and move about to. It really was like one giant party to bring an end to proceedings and to say this was a great night is an understatement. It was nice to see a relaxed onstage feeling coupled with a musically tight performance and it was a fantastic way to celebrate ten years of an incredible album. Now here’s to the next ten!