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Nile + Melechesh + Bibleblack + Pressure Points + Goat The Head - 2/23/2011 - Nosturi - Helsinki

Five bands, man, this is going to be a loooong evening. With these thoughts in mind I started the mammoth marathon. If it were up to me, I would have coldly skipped the three first bands, since I hadn’t heard any of them beforehand, and was only really interested in Nile and Melechesh. Well, you never know what you might find amongst the warm-up acts.
The first band of the evening was a surprise act, only added to the Nosturi site during the day. Goat the Head was quite a sight; everyone was wearing orange overalls, the vocalist even having some sort of face-paint and a wolf pelt on his head. The band proclaimed to play ’primal Norwegian death metal’, which actually describes the music pretty well. However, when the vocalist grabbed an orange hand-held synth the sight was incredible surreal. It’s difficult to say anything about the songs themselves, mostly they consisted of double bass drumming and the vocalist grunting something incoherently. All-in-all, the combination of overalls, primal sound, strange vocalizing and synth beeping made for a really comical act, although a simple and slightly groovy one at that.

Pressure Points was clearly the odd one out this evening. Clean vocals and chill and mellow parts made the band stand out. “Music to rub tits to, for death metal fanatics”, as the band themselves put it. Although the songs were pretty complex and had varying vocals and rhythmic elements, the final result was still boring and bland. The band makes safe music: it’s non-disturbing background music. Once it’s over one can’t remember a single beat or part. An utterly pointless addition to the roster.

My expectations on Bibleblack were quite wrong; expecting low grunts, the vocalist was a surprise with his strong semi-clean vocals. The band plays fast-and-forward rolling metal. The band’s guitarists are known from bands like King Diamond and Memory Garden. Even though Bibleblack isn’t very brutal, it felt a really nice deviation after the boring Pressure Points. The demonic vocalist was quite good and the band’s music is technically competent but, at least to me, ultimately soulless. Sadly the band falls into the “3/5, okay-ish” category. They ended their set with a couple of awfully boring rock covers, another minus in my book.

At this point the empty hall in which Goat the Head had to open, was nice and packed with people. An acoustic intro creates an oriental feeling and Melechesh enters the stage to a cheering crowd. Immediately my attention is drawn to the guitarist who had fashioned a ninja hood out of his t-shirt. The band’s sound was a bit dry and thin, which is a shame. Some might argue that this type of sound suits a black metal band, but I prefer a meatier, fuller sound. The audience was really on fire and furious moshing ensued. The nice oriental breaks really brought some good relief from the constant barrage of drum artillery, which can get a bit boring having listened to it for hours on end. The band played a versatile set to an adoring crowd, but somehow they didn’t feel quite as electrifying as in last year’s Jalometalli festival. Might have just been the tiredness of the reporter, though.

Nile. What can one really say of such an incredibly talented and technically superior band? I’ve seen them live at least five times and even met George Kollias at the Finnish Metal Expo a few years back. Only bad thing I can say about them is that, for me, they are best enjoyed on CD at home, not live on a gig. The really low tunings and guttural vocals usually always make everything into a muddled blur, since no venue seems to suit the low soundscape of the band. The same was true even this evening. Even if one knows the songs and really likes the band, it all starts to sound the same, especially if one has been listening to gigs for five hours.
The venue was packed full, and the chants were echoing off the walls well before Nile entered the stage. Something that was different from my previous encounters with the band was the a-lot-bigger part of the bass player Chris Lollis. He was mostly responsible for the speaks and enticing the crowd to go nuts. He also sang a lot of the lead vocals, leaving Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade to play a smaller part in the vocalizing. To me, three vocalist of the same kind is a bit too much, honestly. Memorable parts of the gig were the phallic guitar of Dallas and the the story Lollis told. He claimed that last three times the band played here a guy had threatened to hurt them if they don’t play a specific song. So they dedicated the song to that guy’s mother, since she too had wanted to hear the “ARRA ARRA ARRA DAGON DAGON DAGON” song.
They ended their set with “Lashed to the Slave Stick” and didn’t play an encore. Even though they had almost 1,5 hours reserved for them they only played for about an hour. This wasn’t such a bad thing to me at least, since I was relieved to get home and sleep. There’s just no point to these five band marathons, especially if there’s a band that quite clearly doesn’t fit in and who the crowd almost detests (Pressure Points, I’m looking at you.). The two main bands played really good sets, but they could have very well just toured by themselves.




Pressure Points

Goat The Head

Report a cura di Markus Karppinen

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