Amorphis and Soilwork in Toulouse!


Event: Amorphis & Soilwork: Co-Headlining European Tour 2019
Written by: Darkside Momo
Published: 18.02.2019

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Amorphis & Soilwork: Co-Headlining in Toulouse by Darkside Momo (42)


Amorphis & Soilwork: Co-Headlining European Tour 2019


Another nice tour package coming here in Toulouse, South France? Once again, something not to miss!

Funnily enough - for me at least - is that the audience (around 400-500 people at most, I'd say) were here more for Soilwork than they were for Amorphis. To each his own I guess, but let's not spoil the fun already;)


Nailed To Obscurity





I never checked this German band beforehand, so this was a very first contact with them for me. I must say that I was really pleasantly surprised!

Nailed To Obscurity play some kind of melodic death / doom that's really, really reminiscent of Novembers Doom, but maybe a bit sped up, and more focused on a melancolic vibe (while I feel November's Doom to be more on a despondent / lightly depressed one). Live, they're really enjoyable; tight and focused, they were really at ease onstage (kudos to their frontman Raimund Ennenga), easily inflincting their melancolic mood upon us...

Wait... Not! They were obviously happy to be there, and the audience reacted well, so it was without doubts more uplifting that introspectively morose. Definitely, their set was a great way to start the evening!




Jinjer





That's already the fourth time that the Ukrainian band Jinjer play in Toulouse in one year's time, but I'll readily admit I managed to miss the first three (well, one of those occurrences was with Arch Enemy, so meh for me). So, first contact here too.

They had the most massive sound of the evening, befitting their 'modern' metal - that's a mix of metalcore and djent with some more technical part thrown in. But well, massive sound or not, the guitar and bass seemed to be here only to support the drums (good!) and vocals. Speaking of which... Tatiana Shmailyuk took center stage and is a good frontwoman indeed, but her vocals are certainly much more impressive than her stage presence - I regret not having been there to hear her put Allissa to shame like she certainly did! Hell, she could actually give Candace Cucsulain (of Walls Of Jericho fame) a run for her money.

But... all in all, they were good, really good, but not really interesting apart of Tatiana's impressive performance (well, to me and my friends, but others in the audience definitely enjoyed their set)...




Soilwork





As I said, Soilwork are the band a lot of people were awaiting. Starting with a barrage of furious lights - that was some violent backlighting here made taking good pictures really difficult at first, but sure it was punchy audience-wise - came in and wasted no time to present us their new album Verkligheten. I must say, it does sound like typical Soilwork, maybe a bit better than usual actually.

Yet...

Well, first off, the sound was thin; the bass was just absent, it felt like there weren't any low-end sounds, and the guitars were so thin they definitely lacked all edge and bite. Definitely not what you'd like to hear from a metal band, but Soilwork seem used to the fact. For shame, really, as the Bikini can boast such a awesome sound...

And, adding insult to injury, Bjorn "Speed" Strid didn't sound good. Maybe he got a cold or something, I don't know, but while his growls were decent enough, his cleans generally lacked power and often felt out-of-tune. Add to this the fact that he didn't felt over-enthousiastic - yep, he's not the overactive frontman you'd need for an energic subgenre of metal such as this, compared to, say, At The Gates one week ago - so it doused the audience's cheeriness a bit. Some moshing did occur nonetheless, as both guitar players were genuinely enjoying it. But even Strid and Sylvain (he's French, remember?) joking about if we were a static Japanese audience or something didn't really lift the mood.

Truth be told, I wasn't really expecting or wanting anything, so I wasn't disappointed. It wasn't that bad, honestly, just unbalanced and average - yet by all accounts better than their Hellfest 2017 performance . Die-hard fans were pleased anyway, so...

Setlist:
Intro (tape): Verkligheten
1. "Arrival"
2. "The Crestfallen"
3. "Nerve"
4. "Full Moon Shoals"
5. "Death In General"
6. "Like The Average Stalker"
7. "The Akuma Afterglow"
8. "Drowning With Silence"
9. "The Phantom"
10. "The Nurturing Glance"
11. "Bastard Chain"
12. "As We Speak"
13. "The Living Infinite II"
14. "Witan"
15. "Stabbing The Drama"
16. "Stålfågel"




Amorphis





And finally, Amorphis. They were the ones I was waiting for, as their Hellfest 2018 set was really great. I wasn't that surprised to see the same stage decorum as last year, but I didn't mind at all as this was obviously nice.

Well, what to say? They were great once again - nothing surprising, really - but maybe a bit samey in the long run, as while their songs are all different, they certainly more or less stick to the same overall formula. The setlist itself was an expanded version of the Hellfest one, with sadly only one oldie (classic "Black Winter Day") replacing the two we had last year (the excellent "Against Widows" and "The Castaway"). Anyway, thanks a lot for "Hopeless Days", guys!

The sound, while good, still was nowhere as perfect as I've already heard in this temple of sound (yep, the Bikini can indeed be that good). This certainly didn't prevent the band from enjoying their time - as usual, kudos to Tomi Joutsen, who's not only a great frontman always giving himself to the fullest, but he's also a fantastic vocalist to boot. Cleans, growls, he does them all with perfection, don't ever doubt about it!

So yeah, we have a great time (but no moshing). Seriously, Amorphis's sense of melody is just overwhelming live. But well, if you don't like them, you might not be convinced anyway - even if they're great, their laid-back attitude (Tomi notwithstanding, obviously) might be a bit offputting - but if you like their music, they definitely area band you should see live sometime soon!

(And just as a last note, once again that fun hummpa cover of "House Of Sleep" blasted in the speakers after their set!)

Setlist:
1. "The Bee"
2. "The Golden Elk"
3. "Sacrifice"
4. "Message In The Amber"
5. "Silver Bride"
6. "Bad Blood"
7. "The Smoke"
8. "Wrong Direction"
9. "Daughter Of Hate"
10. "Heart Of The Giant"
11. "Hopeless Days"
12. "Black Winter Day"
Encore
13. "Death Of A King"
14. "House Of Sleep"


(note that, as I had so many Esa Holopainen photos from Hellfest, I focused more on the others this time around)


Once again many thanks to Antoine for the accreditation!



 



Written on 18.02.2019 by Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.


Comments

Comments: 16   Visited by: 57 users
18.02.2019 - 20:54
musclassia
Nice review man! I think you guys got slightly shorter sets than we did in London, but on the flipside Jinjer didn't play at the london show so that might've affected it (not really complaining tho). Have to say I was slightly surprised with how restrained the audience seemed to be for Soilwork (although I was a bit further back), and also how into it they were for Amorphis. I saw Amorphis in Seattle last September and there was some moshing, but I just assumed that was American crowds diverging from European ones, but there was quite full on moshing going on the whole way through Amorphis' set; never had any when I saw them on the Circle and Under The Red Cloud tours, maybe Queen of Time has increased their exposure and audience? Not complaining, just was surprised. I thought the set was pretty solid, although I have to say it does seem like the tracks that have embedded themselves into their setlists from Cirlce and UTRC aren't really my personal favourites from those albums (except maybe Sacrifice); I wish The Four Wise Ones had become more of a staple instead of Bad Blood and Death of a King. Soilwork was fine, but as someone who only really likes them through The Ride Majestic and only kinda likes Verklighteten, they didn't blow me away by any means.
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18.02.2019 - 21:59
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by musclassia on 18.02.2019 at 20:54

Nice review man! I think you guys got slightly shorter sets than we did in London, but on the flipside Jinjer didn't play at the london show so that might've affected it (not really complaining tho). Have to say I was slightly surprised with how restrained the audience seemed to be for Soilwork (although I was a bit further back), and also how into it they were for Amorphis. I saw Amorphis in Seattle last September and there was some moshing, but I just assumed that was American crowds diverging from European ones, but there was quite full on moshing going on the whole way through Amorphis' set; never had any when I saw them on the Circle and Under The Red Cloud tours, maybe Queen of Time has increased their exposure and audience? Not complaining, just was surprised. I thought the set was pretty solid, although I have to say it does seem like the tracks that have embedded themselves into their setlists from Cirlce and UTRC aren't really my personal favourites from those albums (except maybe Sacrifice); I wish The Four Wise Ones had become more of a staple instead of Bad Blood and Death of a King. Soilwork was fine, but as someone who only really likes them through The Ride Majestic and only kinda likes Verklighteten, they didn't blow me away by any means.

Thanks!
Well, Jinjer weren't bad by any means, but I could have done without them. On the other hand, a longer Soilwork show could have been to tedious for me...
As for songs, that's always the problem, they can't please everyone... (I certainly would have loved to have the slightly older "The White Swan"... "Sacrifice" is awesome, but indeed "Death of a King" and "Bad Blood" could be replaced by some others... oh well)
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18.02.2019 - 23:42
Bad English
Masterchief
I am proud that you mised jinjer and arch e, and its Weird, amorphis should gather more then 1000 folks, Nice set list. Nto is great band
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18.02.2019 - 23:44
Darkside Momo
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Written by Bad English on 18.02.2019 at 23:42

I am proud that you mised jinjer and arch e, and its Weird, amorphis should gather more then 1000 folks, Nice set list. Nto is great band

on all this we agree
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19.02.2019 - 01:30
musclassia
Written by Darkside Momo on 18.02.2019 at 21:59


As for songs, that's always the problem, they can't please everyone... (I certainly would have loved to have the slightly older "The White Swan"... "Sacrifice" is awesome, but indeed "Death of a King" and "Bad Blood" could be replaced by some others... oh well)


I have to say I've seen a few songs from Eclipse and Skyforger live, but only one play of the title track from Silent Waters, nowhere near enough presence for that album in their setlists! Weaving the Incantation, A Servant, White Swan, Black River, any of them would be great! I can understand why The Beginning of Times got left by the wayside (although I would love to see a few off of that one live), but not sure why Silent Waters seemed to disappear from their performances
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19.02.2019 - 03:02
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by musclassia on 19.02.2019 at 01:30

I have to say I've seen a few songs from Eclipse and Skyforger live, but only one play of the title track from Silent Waters, nowhere near enough presence for that album in their setlists! Weaving the Incantation, A Servant, White Swan, Black River, any of them would be great! I can understand why The Beginning of Times got left by the wayside (although I would love to see a few off of that one live), but not sure why Silent Waters seemed to disappear from their performances

Honestly, I dunno. Could be they're not happy with it now, or maybe the songs weren't that well received by the audiences?
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19.02.2019 - 20:59
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Many thanks for the excellent article, I definitely enjoyed reading it.
I still bugs me that I missed the gig in Cologne due to a birthday party, so your concert review comes in quite handy. It's at least some kind of substitute for the missed experience.

Written by musclassia on 18.02.2019 at 20:54

[...] maybe Queen of Time has increased their exposure and audience?

Most probably: yes, absolutely.
I'm quite an old fan of Amorphis, I loved their first three albums and hardly missed out any of their tours or nearby festivals between 1994 (with Tiamat) and 1996 (e.g. Summerbreeze).
But somehow, all of their albums after Elegy couldn't impress me anymore. Last concert featuring Amorphis I attended was in 2007, but to be honest, I didn't want to see them anymore at all costs, I've just been there due to the supporting acts Insomnium and Swallow The Sun. Both of them were pure fun, but as expected, Amorphis just bored the pants off me. I sadly missed the growls or at least anything that could still remind me of their early death metal orientated works.

Anyway, from that very day onwards, I accepted that the 'good old times' were gone and I began to ignore Amorphis - completely.

Everything changed when I stumbled upon last year's 9/10 review of Queen Of Time. That rating alone arouse my curiosity and I listened to the first available track I could find somewhere. I loved what I heard, instantly purchased the CD - and it's still in my top three of 2018.

Meanwhile, I talked to some old friends of mine who share similar stories. Most of them learned to love Amorphis in the early 90's and lost touch and interest somewhere between Elegy and Far From The Sun - but most of them returned to the band after hearing Queen Of Time. And that's not primarily thanks to Anneke van Giersbergen's appearance but thanks to some kind of a 'back to the roots' feeling.
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20.02.2019 - 00:31
Darkside Momo
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Written by Starvynth on 19.02.2019 at 20:59

Many thanks for the excellent article, I definitely enjoyed reading it.
I still bugs me that I missed the gig in Cologne due to a birthday party, so your concert review comes in quite handy. It's at least some kind of substitute for the missed experience.

Thanks!
Written by Starvynth on 19.02.2019 at 20:59

Meanwhile, I talked to some old friends of mine who share similar stories. Most of them learned to love Amorphis in the early 90's and lost touch and interest somewhere between Elegy and Far From The Sun - but most of them returned to the band after hearing Queen Of Time. And that's not primarily thanks to Anneke van Giersbergen's appearance but thanks to some kind of a 'back to the roots' feeling.

Well, I discovered Amorphis with Elegy myself, and even if my interest in them drifted on and off, I never had any problem with the Tomi Joutsen era albums, as they're clearly all following the template Elegy did.
As for 'a return to the roots', I think they already did it with Under The Red Cloud, maybe even before
Anyway, I can't talk about Pasi Koskinen live (never saw the guy), but Tomi is a good frontman and a fantastic singer and growler.
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20.02.2019 - 12:25
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by Darkside Momo on 20.02.2019 at 00:31

Well, I discovered Amorphis with Elegy myself, and even if my interest in them drifted on and off, I never had any problem with the Tomi Joutsen era albums, as they're clearly all following the template Elegy did.
As for 'a return to the roots', I think they already did it with Under The Red Cloud, maybe even before
Anyway, I can't talk about Pasi Koskinen live (never saw the guy), but Tomi is a good frontman and a fantastic singer and growler.

You are absolutely right, Under The Red Cloud did already reveal the most obvious 'back to the roots' vibes.
But how could I know? I still disgracefully ignored them back in 2015... In fact, I didn't know a single track of Under The Red Cloud before I heard Queen Of Time.
In retrospect, for me Eclipse was the first enjoyable album after a massive time span of letdowns, Far From The Sun marking the peak of it. Probably not by coincidence, since Eclipse was the first album with Joutsen.

I can't say much about Pasi Koskinen either, most concerts I attended featured their very first vocalists Tomi Koivusaari and/or Ville Tuomi. By the way, it's quite strange that Ville Tuomi is listed as 'studio musician' only in the MS database. He was their main vocalist throughout their breakthrough Tales From The Thousand Lakes tour.

I can just guess that Tomi Joutsen was good dope for Amorphis' (live) performance, whereas Pasi Koskinen wasn't.
But who am I to judge that? All I have are blurred memories of gigs 12-25 years ago - and your recent review.
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20.02.2019 - 14:29
Darkside Momo
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Written by Starvynth on 20.02.2019 at 12:25

You are absolutely right, Under The Red Cloud did already reveal the most obvious 'back to the roots' vibes.
But how could I know? I still disgracefully ignored them back in 2015... In fact, I didn't know a single track of Under The Red Cloud before I heard Queen Of Time.
In retrospect, for me Eclipse was the first enjoyable album after a massive time span of letdowns, Far From The Sun marking the peak of it. Probably not by coincidence, since Eclipse was the first album with Joutsen.

I can't say much about Pasi Koskinen either, most concerts I attended featured their very first vocalists Tomi Koivusaari and/or Ville Tuomi. By the way, it's quite strange that Ville Tuomi is listed as 'studio musician' only in the MS database. He was their main vocalist throughout their breakthrough Tales From The Thousand Lakes tour.

I can just guess that Tomi Joutsen was good dope for Amorphis' (live) performance, whereas Pasi Koskinen wasn't.
But who am I to judge that? All I have are blurred memories of gigs 12-25 years ago - and your recent review.

Ah, I had forgotten Tomi did the first vocals , but I didn't know about Ville Tuomi (as for the edit, suggest it with a truthworthy link and it'll be accepted )

And yeah, Far From The Sun is easily the band's worst. Am Universum had "Alone", at least (still no Amorphis, but it's a really great song nonetheless). Agreed on Eclipse; Tomi's recruitment did a lot for Amorphis, even if they've been playing safe (but consistenly really good) since
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20.02.2019 - 16:57
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by Darkside Momo on 20.02.2019 at 14:29

Ah, I had forgotten Tomi did the first vocals , but I didn't know about Ville Tuomi (as for the edit, suggest it with a truthworthy link and it'll be accepted )

And yeah, Far From The Sun is easily the band's worst. Am Universum had "Alone", at least (still no Amorphis, but it's a really great song nonetheless). Agreed on Eclipse; Tomi's recruitment did a lot for Amorphis, even if they've been playing safe (but consistenly really good) since

Does this photo count? It shows Olli-Pekka "Oppu" Laine, Tomi "Koippari" Koivusaari and Ville Tuomi having fun with their last bucks (before Relapse bamboozled and exploited them) somewhere in Germany, 1994.



Paris, August of 1994. That guy to the right is Tuomi:


Actually, it's not that easy finding 'trustworthy' sources somewhere, internet was no big thing back then...
Besides, he just performed the less prominent clean vocals and only in Europe. They toured the States supporting Entombed a couple of months later with no additional vocalist as far as I know.
But I could name legions of 'untrustworthy' sources just like metal archives, wikipedia - and my hazy memories.

And if all else fails...


Edit: Thanks to Bad English for quickly and unbureaucratically accepting the lineup edit.
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21.02.2019 - 16:50
Darkside Momo
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Written by Starvynth on 20.02.2019 at 16:57

Edit: Thanks to Bad English for quickly and unbureaucratically accepting the lineup edit.

Haha, well, was going to do that now, but he's been faster
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22.02.2019 - 01:05
nikarg
Old Nick
Nice article Momo! Just like you, I'd mainly go to this for Amorphis since none of the other bands particularly click with me. I really cannot believe that there were only 400-500 people attending. How is this even possible?

I am a fan since the early '90s like Starvynth and Tales is for me their absolute masterpiece but I also enjoy the Joutsen albums even if they are a bit high on lactose

p.s. great photos too!
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22.02.2019 - 15:47
Darkside Momo
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Written by nikarg on 22.02.2019 at 01:05

Nice article Momo!

p.s. great photos too!

Thanks!
Written by nikarg on 22.02.2019 at 01:05

Just like you, I'd mainly go to this for Amorphis since none of the other bands particularly click with me. I really cannot believe that there were only 400-500 people attending. How is this even possible?

French audience, I'd say. Maybe I missed one hundred or so, but still. You'll see that for Arch Enemy (coming here once again in July) there'll be 1000+ people
Written by nikarg on 22.02.2019 at 01:05

I am a fan since the early '90s like Starvynth and Tales is for me their absolute masterpiece but I also enjoy the Joutsen albums even if they are a bit high on lactose

I discovered them with Elegy back then, so this one really stuck with me - and explains with I liked the Joutsen era. I favored Tales for a long time, but I'm now thinking that The Karelian Isthmus is better overall (kudos to ylside for that).
And I'm not intolerant to lactose
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23.02.2019 - 21:37
FYA
Destroyer
Not gonna lie - I know Amorphis since 'Circle' and back then it wasn't my cup of tea. I remember that 'Hopeless Days' was my favourite, but somehow I quickly lost any interest in them. Then randomly 'Sacrifice' started to play on YT and I was like 'Whoa! Who are they?!'. And I got shocked, since it became one of my fav. Amorphis songs. Then I decided to listen to their old works and actually they're in my top of the top list. One thing that 'doin me a fascinate' is 'Alone' - I thought it's new song for me, but somewhere in back of my head chorus was known. Till now I got no idea how and where I've heard it.

But let's talk about this tour - I had a pleasure to be in Kraków. Quick rundown:

Nailed To Obscurity - it's fine, I still have to listen to it more. Their performance was correct.

Jinjer - no god, please no. I don't really like them. I was concerned about them - nu metal/metalcore added to Soilwork and Amorphis? It makes no sense. Unfortunately - I had to leave during their performance. I really dig their instrumental work, also - Tatiana as a vocalist is good. It's fun to see a petty girl growling like a possessed by a demon. But somehow - those two can't fit together in my ears. I just can't.

Soilwork - holy father of gods. The worst sounding performance of the night. Couldn't hear ANYTHING. Every frequency was dominated by distorted guitars. No melody, no bass, drums somewhere and random voice by Bjorn. And because of that I can't tell anything about his vocals (alluding to OP words).

Amorphis - when they came up into a scene, my leg pain went away. Everything went away, because of Amorphis. And I need to say that it was one of the best sounding shows I've ever been. I could hear EVERYTING clearly - bass, keys, guitar, vocals, drums. Ofc. I am not a big fan of 'Queen Of Time' so I had more pleasure during their old songs. It's nice to see that Tomi is doing backing growls, but I have hope that one day he will solo sing 'Black Winter Day'. And also - only 1 'pre Joutsen' era song? I don't expect 'Divinity' or 'The Gathering', but still...

Overall - I'd like to go for another Amorphis show, but with more 'old' setlist :V

PS. I need studio recording of 'House of Sleep' humppa version.
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24.02.2019 - 13:35
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by FYA on 23.02.2019 at 21:37

gig rundown

Yeah, on the whole we're more or less on the same page
As for Amorphis doing some old stuff, at Hellfest we had "The Castaway" + "Against Widows", and a few years ago they did play "Vulgar Necrolatry", so... It can happen I guess!
Written by FYA on 23.02.2019 at 21:37

PS. I need studio recording of 'House of Sleep' humppa version.

I don't know any other version than the one I linked to on youtube, sorry
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