Wednesday, January 16, 2019

by Jorge Patacas


Some months ago, Amorphis and Soilwork announced a European co-headlining tour which sounded very exciting since both bands have released new albums recently and they are in a great moment of their careers, so it was a perfect time to see them live. The sixth show of this tour, which also has the great Ukrainian band Jinjer and the Germans Nailed to Obscurity as special guests, was going to be held at Rockefeller, a venue located in the city centre of Oslo, Norway.
Outside there was snow and it was cold and dark as usual during the Nordic winter, but that changed immediately when entering the almost sold-out venue, which has two additional floors apart from the crowd standing in front of the stage. There were attendees in the first floor which includes seats and the second floor where you can only stand.
Nailed to Obscurity who just released their fourth album “Black Frost” via Nuclear Blast was the first band to take the stage at 19:20. This five-piece band founded in 2005 in the municipality of Esens (North of Germany), plays Melodic Death Metal in the Insomnium or the most atmospheric Dark Tranquillity vein. They have doomy passages and climates that create the perfect mood for their songs, not to mention the outstanding growls by their singer Raimund Ennenga who also delivered some clean singing. Very good band to see live! Check them out when you have the chance!

Immediately after the Germans left the stage, many roadies came in to get everything ready for Jinjer. By 20:10, the Ukrainians who came back from their Latin American tour one month ago, took the stage and captivated the audience from the first note. The band is sounding better than ever with the current lineup consisting of Roman Ibramkhalilov on guitar, Eugene Abdiukhanov on bass, Vladislav Ulasevich on drums and the charismatic Tatiana Shmailyuk on vocals. She caught the attention of the audience with her powerful voice, going from the most brutal gutturals to the softer and melodic parts. She does a great job as a frontwoman as well, moving along the stage and interacting with the audience and the response was great. The band keeps evolving and changing their sound which it’s very hard to describe, there are progressive and very technical parts involved, some Metalcore, some Death Metal (those blast beats by Vladislav are just great!), there’s also some Nu Metal and Alternative influences and even some inlays of Reggae (!), which makes them stand out from the crowd. The 40-minute setlist included songs like “Ape”, “Dreadful Moments”, “Teacher, Teacher” and “Perennial” from their new EP “Micro” which has just been released as well as older songs such as “Pisces” cheered by the audience and “I Speak Astronomy” which deals with a really interesting topic about the energy we release to the universe. They came out from a country which has been and is still going through difficult times, but they found a way to stand out and being signed to a label such as Napalm Records and toured the world.

I was able to see Soilwork in the past and always in different countries, but this time was the best without any doubt. The energy they displayed on stage that night was amazing. Bastian Thusgaard on the drums is playing great; he has perfectly learned the lessons he took from the previous drummer Dirk Verbeuren (now in Megadeth). Also Bjorn “Speed” Strid is on his best days as a vocalist, he already showed his great clean vocal skills with the Night Flight Orchestra a couple of months ago when they played at the smaller venue John Dee, located right next to Rockefeller. This time he delivered aggressive and clean vocals as usual in Soilwork with highlights such as “The Nurturing Glance”, “Stålfågel” and “Witan” from their new album “Verkligheten” just released by Nuclear Blast, “Nerve” and “Bastard Chain”. Another classic they brought back to the setlist is “As We Speak” from their great album “Natural Born Chaos” (2002), which got a very good response. However, the classic “Stabbing the Drama” (2005) was chosen to end the show and everybody in the crowd was chanting the chorus at the same time. Amazing.
Thirty minutes later, when the clock ticked 23:00, the Amorphis background was already behind the drum kit and the Finnish band entered the stage before a very enthusiastic audience.
The sound at this venue is nearly perfect for a live show, and that’s one of the reasons why the main bands from Inferno Festival play here.

Tomi Joutsen is just amazing, showing his skills and talent as a vocalist by delivering both Death Metal growls and clean vocals, while the rest of the members did a perfect job on their respective instruments, and it’s worth to mention that the return of the original bass player Olli-Pekka Laine is a perfect fit.
The band was having a great time on stage and you could notice that not only by watching their faces, but with Joutsen’s comments on how the concerts from this tour are being sold out or almost sold out in every country, which is of course good news!
Amorphis has defined its sound when Joutsen joined the band back in 2004 and they still putting out great albums which are usually part of our list of the best of the year. Their latest one, “Queen of Time”, was no exception for the rule; it’s a great album and they played some of the tunes of it such as the opener “The Bee”, “The Golden Elk” and “Daughter of Hate” mixing them with some older stuff like that gem called “Black Winter Day” from the “Tales From The Thousand Lakes” album released in 1994.
While their melancholic sound and their melodies were still ringing in our heads, we went home with a smile in our faces despite the raw cold weather outside. Looking forward to seeing these four bands live again!



01- Black Frost
02- Feardom
03- The Aberrant Host
04- Tears of the Eyeless
05- Desolate Ruin



01- Words of Wisdom
02- Ape
03- I Speak Astronomy
04- Dreadful Moments
05- Teacher, Teacher
06- Who’s Gonna Be The One
07- Pisces
08- Perennial
09- Sit Stay Roll Over



01- Arrival
02- The Crestfallen
03- Nerve
04- Full Moon Shoals
05- Death in General
06- Like The Average Stalker
07- The Akuma Afterglow
08- Drowning With Silence
09- The Phantom
10- The Nurturing Glance
11- Bastard Chain
12- As We Speak
13- The Living Infinite II
14- Stålfågel
15- Witan
16- Stabbing the Drama



01- The Bee
02- The Golden Elk
03- Sky Is Mine
04- Sacrifice
05- Message in the Amber
06- Silver Bride
07- Bad Blood
08- Wrong Direction
09- Daughter of Hate
10- Heart of the Giant
11- Hopeless Days
12- Black Winter Day

13- Death of a King
14- House of Sleep



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