Ensiferum, Metsatöll - Nottingham, England, 7th October 2009

Event: Ensiferum: European Tour
Written by: Baz Anderson
Published: 08.10.2009


Ensiferum, Metsatöll - Nottingham, England, 7th October 2009 by Baz Anderson (38)

A small venue for a big band. Ensiferum have proved dynamite in intimate environments in the past, would tonight be the same?

Tracedawn were the first band of the evening playing only to a handful of people watching. The Finnish guys seemed happy to be on stage and getting their music out, and the ten or so people that were watching gave their appreciation. The band crossed metalcore with melodic death metal and played their instruments well. They were a good quality opening band, but apart from the last couple of songs they did not inspire anything worth remembering. In different circumstances this band could be great.

Metsatöll aren't known in this country. It therefore took people by surprise when one of the guys kept switching between all kinds of crazy instruments including some bagpipes. This gave the band's show a feeling of being genuine and earthly honesty, which more bands really could take note of and do. Metsatöll are obviously an experienced band and seemed extremely solid and confident in their performance. They played a heavy kind of folk metal that had the off progressive flair too. The audience had grown and had clearly been won over by the band, who also seemed extremely happy to be on stage. The band finished with a long, slow, droning song which although quite nicely hypnotic may not have ended the show on an energetic bang it perhaps should have.

Ensiferum, the band we were all there to see. Well apparently they didn't want to see us, or that is how it felt. The band launched into "From Afar" and then "Twilight Tavern" to huge crowd reaction and enjoyment, and continued to play a set that included every single song on the new album From Afar apart from "Stone Cold Metal" - of which they may have played, but instead it lost out when the audience was given the choice of it or "LAI LAI HEI". Just two songs from "Victory Songs", none from "Dragonheads" and the little rest was made up of songs from the first two albums, which inevitably were the songs that created the most energy and enjoyment of the night.

New album From Afar is a great album, but it contains much longer songs that are not as initially catchy as the rest of the Ensiferum catalogue. This therefore makes it not the best kind of music to air in the live environment. Of course some songs sounded fantastic, but playing both the 10+ minute songs was a little overkill and slightly dampened the energy. Ensiferum played in London the previous night, and apparently this was a great show. It therefore seemed that the band just were not interested in playing this tiny room after that. It has never seemed more like a band were on stage as part of a job than actually enjoying being there. Is this a product of a band that tours too much? Or a band that have just lost enthusiasm in general?

Of course songs like "Windrider" and the closing song "Iron" were little glimpses of the band's greatness and reminders of their 2007 tour, where even in the tiniest venue they had the enthusiasm, energy and will to try and make some new fans. Tonight it just felt like the band were in the office one more time and made no striking effort to connect with the audience or even try and make it a memorable night. The setlist wasn't just weighted towards the new album as you would expect, it was absolutely dominated by it which meant that real favourites such as "Into Battle" and "Treacherous Gods" were omitted. It can never not be an enjoyable experience to see Ensiferum live, let's not detract away from the band's greatness, but I'm sorry, tonight the band disappointed in a big way.


By The Dividing Stream
From Afar
Twilight Tavern
Little Dreamer
Elusive Reaches
Heathen Throne
Guardians Of Fate
Tale Of Revenge
Smoking Ruins
Slayer Of Light
One More Magic Potion
The Longest Journey

For an interview conducted with Petri Lindroos of the band before the show, visit this location.

Many thanks to Dante of Spinefarm for the accreditation and interview.
Written, and photos by Barry Anderson


Written on 08.10.2009 by Member of Staff since 2006.


Comments: 11   Visited by: 219 users
08.10.2009 - 15:29
Down Under Staff
Hmm, doesn't sound too promising for when they come over here. Hopefully they've brightened up by then and gotten over whatever was annoying them that night.
"Scream for me Melbourne!!!!"
- Bruce Dickinson

"I don't see any god up here"
- Yuri Gagarin (while in orbit, 1961)
08.10.2009 - 18:12
That's unfortunate you got a blazé performance from them. It was seeing them open for Amon Amarth last year that made me a fan. Prior to that I had described their music as the bastard love child of Children of Bodom and Great Big Sea. Everybody has off nights, but it sucks when you're the one who paid to see it.
You can't fight evil with a macaroni duck!
08.10.2009 - 20:40
The Shape 1973
It is not a good venue, the sound is normally awful and the stage is too narrow so bands have to fight for space, should have played Rock City.
Just because you believe in your strong morals it doesn't mean they are correct
09.10.2009 - 02:10
They better buck the fuck up when they play raleigh next month, i've been waiting 6 long years to see them live.
I will not reason and compare, my business is to create.
09.10.2009 - 05:04
Hmm i was so dismayed at not having the money to see them, though it seems it would have been a waste of money.
'I'd rather die than go to heaven' - Murderface
09.10.2009 - 11:50
Account deleted
Can't wait to see them in my country, yay!
11.10.2009 - 00:22
I felt the same way when I saw them last. The first time I saw them they were fucking flawless and it was one of the best shows I seen. Next time when they came back fucking terriable and they didn't even ignite half of the energy they did the previous time I saw them. The worst part of all though is that they didn't even play any of the guitar solos. I don't suggest anyone go see this band live , they need to get there shit back together. I'm glad to know though that I'm not the only person who had this happen to them though haha i feel slightly less cheated.
11.10.2009 - 22:06
Great pics though I liked the kilts with the finnish flag more

14.10.2009 - 05:17
Until the End
Ensiferum have been dead for quite a while now, pretty much ever since those first 2 albums.
22.10.2009 - 06:04
It must had been fucking awesome
Nothing is unreacheable
23.10.2009 - 22:16
Erotic Stains
Written by Robstar on 22.10.2009 at 06:04

It must had been fucking awesome

Apparently it wasn't if you read the article.

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