I recently headed over to Nummijärvi in Finland to attend Nummirock Metal Festival, and what a weekend it was! A whole host of great bands spanning over the course of three days, held in a beautiful forest next to a lake and of course, lots of alcohol for good measure – what more could you want?
Although it wasn’t possible to review the whole festival, a band whose performance I simply had to write about was Whorion, who played the Fosters Live stage just after 10pm on the Friday. Despite the fact it had been raining for most of the day, things had brightened up by the time they took to the stage and the rain thankfully stayed off throughout the whole performance.
Coming onstage to Gates Of Time from their new album The Reign Of The Seventh Sector, it really built the atmosphere up and up, and the song immediately led into Immaculate – and without trying to sound completely corny, it was a rendition which truly was immaculate! A particularly good approach that Whorion too was the fact they began to play without frontman Ari onstage, due to the first section of the song featuring guitarist Ep on vocals, which meant that when Ari did join the rest of his bandmates, it was as if all hell broke loose in the best possible way, especially when coupled with the firebreathers on either side of the stage! To say he is a commandeering and powerful frontman is an understatement, and the way he takes complete control of the stage is something to behold.
Indeed, one of the best things about Whorion is the fact that whilst the band moves together as one unit rather than as individuals doing their own thing, each member also has many opportunities to shine as well. If you focus on one particular element of the music, it’s very clear that each instrumental or vocal line has been constructed with each individual member’s ability in mind, tailor-made for the person rather than something written as a broader listen – and that’s why it just works.
Whilst it was great to hear the new songs, it was also fantastic to witness the older songs again and another highlight was their rendition of Great Mass Suicide. This is a song that just seems to have so much more of a kick in a live environment, and it sounded massive performed from a bigger stage than the last one I witnessed it performed on.
There was only one slight (and perhaps a little nit-picky) problem with the performance and it was the song that featured their touring vocalist as a solo singer (during Whorion’s recent European tour, they had a stand-in vocalist Eero). Whilst it was interesting to see a new spin on things and hear a distinctly different vocal approach, he lacked stage presence compared with the rest of his fellow bandmates, which was a shame – perhaps it was just nerves, but he only really remained stood in one place onstage and didn’t add much to the performance visually.
That’s not to say it was all bad, however, because for Whorion’s final song Arrival Of Coloss, he returned to the stage for a dual-vocal attack with Ari and quite simply, having the two vocalists paired together really did work! Performing as one of two vocalists seemed to give him a lot more confidence, and it added a whole new dimension to the song which was already one of epic proportions, and it really ended the set on a high.
Whorion is a band that is on top of their live game and if their performance at Nummirock is anything to go by, they’re just going to keep getting better and better. If you haven’t seen this band live yet, then you simply must rectify this.