One delayed flight and a mere sixteen hours in Finland (with about three of them spent on buses) – all for one gig at Torvi in Lahti. Was it worth it? Absolutely!
Opening the night was the magnificent Thyrien (10/10) . Having already seen them last year putting on an excellent show in support of Vorna in Jyväskylä, I went in with high hopes for the second show of theirs I’d get to witness and they absolutely didn’t disappoint.
As the small venue filled with the sound of their introductory track Far Beyond Midgard, Thyrien swiftly got things underway with their song Vengeance Through My Soul and it was indeed a mighty start to the show. Indeed, it was a powerful and intense show from start to finish, with every member giving the performance their absolute all.
My Victory, My Defeat was an early highlight, along with Forest Is My Throne, which are two songs that pack a real punch live. On CD they’re impressive enough, but in a live environment they’re really something special – there’s just the right amount of melody mixed with aggression and it makes for an all-round great mix. Another high point of the set was When The Horizon Burns, which saw several members enter the crowd and performing some of the song from there!
Thyrien’s set came to a close with their track Tinasormus. A cover of the Janne Hurme ‘classic’ (although I only discovered it was a cover several months after hearing it for the first time), Thyrien have really made this track their own and what made the rendition of this song even more special was the fact they even personally dedicated it to me, their ‘foreign visitor’, and the atmosphere in the venue was magical, with big grins on many people’s faces and many people singing along with them! What a performance and way to end a top-notch set.
Up next was Frosttide (9/10), who have recently put out their rather great new album Blood Oath so naturally their set heavily favoured it. Like I mentioned in my review of it, the introductory track is one of its strongest elements so it seemed only natural Frosttide would come onstage to it and it really added a lot of atmosphere as they launched into their first full track, Blood Oath.
One of the best things about Frosttide is that although the songs on CD are tremendous, they seem to be best enjoyed in a live environment because the songs have that extra ‘oomph’ to them and it was a very tight and well-rehearsed set as a whole – which was no surprise, considering they only recently completed the Paganfest 2015 tour! This is a band that is going places, make no mistake of that.
Headliners Kivimetsän Druidi seemed a little tame in comparison to the other two bands on the bill and it all seemed a little dull at times with the songs blending in and out of one another rather than leaving a lasting impression. On the one hand it was nice that the songs flowed so well from one to the next but it did give the feeling of them playing one continuous song which was a little disappointing as they’re an impressive band on CD. They weren’t bad by any means, but it did feel like they could have done better after the presence and performances of Thyrien and Frosttide.
Regardless of this, it was a truly magnificent night and it was spent in some absolutely wonderful company – I only wish I was able to attend the show in Helsinki with the same lineup on May 2!
Thyrien & FrosttideTorvi, Lahti - 24th April 2015
Photographer: Sallis Lindqvist