Blood-soaked and ready for war, Finland’s Moonsorrow instill a furious doomy promise in their show. They said they were expecting a pissed up and crazy crowd in Ireland but in actuality the audience is quite tame. Professing to be from Jotunheim, where nobody can survive the winter, the mass of bodies sway back and forth to the time of their beat. It’s a little Viking, a bit doom, and a bit death metal. But with a band name with ‘sorrow’ in it, I don’t thinking they’re covering the Barney the Dinosaur theme tune.
As far as pagan metal goes, there would only be a handful of bands that Ireland would be exposed to, such as Turisas, or Dublin locals Primordial. I feel that the band are a little too unknown here, as not many seem to be that much behind the group. But you gotta start somewhere if you want to make it big. The pace picks up when they jam a tune out of their new album Jumalten Aika. Moonsorrow also pull out the opening track from their first album Suden Uni called ‘Ukkosenjumalan poika’, and it seems unlike anything they’ve played previously. It has more groove and depth but overall very enjoyable.
There is a lament about the death of Prince and surprisingly the death of the singer, Ville Sorvali’s grandmother just the day before. He’s got guts if that was a joke! A captivating set unfolds before The Button Factory, with a highlight being Korpiklaani vocalist Jonne Järvelä joining the band during the medley of “Ruttolehto”. Impressive stuff as it’s their first show in Ireland in a long career. They’ve actually been everywhere else, including India, China, USA. About time they darkened our shores a bit more often.3/5
Following swiftly is the main act Korpiklaani, fellow Finnish comrades Moonsorrow. As always…. they run out like the hammers of hell and waste no time before jumping into ‘Viinamaen Mies’ from teir new album Noita. From the get-go, the audience are jumping and jollying in a most ferocious manner. Singing in their native Finnish, it makes no odds what the language is; because everyone loves it. Four songs in and they bust one out from their latest album. Cue a monstrous violin solo from Tuomas Rounakari. There’s a steady flow of bouncing heads from the start of each song to the end… and the odd mental moshpit.
One or 2 tunes from Noita are very “Sabbathy” and I known I’m not the only one thinking that. There’s even time for a polka jig (every time I see this band they never fail to deliver a cracking show!) There are no shortages of fans who know the words and I can see a few familiar faces here. The last time i saw them was the Ronnie James Dio stage at Bloodstock last year. They were every bit as brilliant as they are now. Utter showmanship one and all. The crowd interaction never ceases. Although the singer Jonne Järvelä has not much English, he gets his thanks across. ‘Sahti’ whips the floor into a frenzy as accordion player Sami Perttula rips out a solo.
But the real treat is when they chuck out a thrash metal tune … or as close to thrash as pagan folk metal can get. It is an odd blend, I’ll admit. But it works well and the audience lose their shit over it.. but none more so than the signature tune ‘Vodka!’ as they start their encore. It’s like their equivalent of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ or something… everyone knows that one song… followed by ‘Beer, Beer!’ A savage way to end a show and everyone is cheering and applauding for the band. They last played here supporting the mighty Sabaton in the Academy. I was first introduced to them back then, and I liked them from the start. A much needed shot in the arm of the EU circuit of the same bands touring all over Europe again and again. A thoroughly enjoyable gig! 4/5
Pilli On Pajusta Tehty
Sumussa Hämärän Aamun
Minä Näin Vedessä Neidon
Kylästä Keväinen Kehto
Check out the full gallery from the show below, curtesy of Down The Barrel Photography
Words – Shaun Martin
Images – Down The Barrel Photography
© OVERDRIVE 2016