Metalcamp - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

After the grave disappointment Amorphis caused at Metalfest earlier in the summer, and then me subsequently missing them completely at Rockharz (ok, this was not intentional), I wasn’t at all sure what to expect from the Finns, but based on former greatness I was very willing to give them a shot.
If it would be aimed for the stars or for the forehead was up to them...

Visually, they were doing the same thing as on the previous festival, with several banners depicting images from the latest album, The Beginning Of Times, and as the into for Battle For Light began rolling out of the speakers I must confess myself a bit afraid that we would bear witness to a replication of the previous disaster, but luckily my fears were turned to naught.
Already as the band entered I could sense a completely different vitality and fire in the band. If it was the beautiful surroundings of Tolmin that did it, or if they had just had a really bad day the last time around I cannot say, but whatever the reason was it was heartily welcomed!
When the band had gotten as far as Against Widows, all of the musicians were running for full throttle again, and it was a delight to witness; singer Tomi Joutsen was windmilling those mighty dreads of his in a way that demanded us to follow in the same style, and the rest of the musicians could be felt equally much through their playing as in their general presence on the stage.

Amorphis was, not surprisingly, blessed by a large audience, and they were appropriately positive in their response to the band. I have already mentioned the wild headbanging which Joutsen invited to by leading with a good example, but there was also moshing when the music allowed for it. When it didn’t, arms were instead raised to the sky, horns held high, and a thousand or so voices sang along to their favourite metal anthems. The old favourite My Kantele even saw something I can only describe as a dancing-mosh, if ever there were such a thing.
And why not? The band was showing an exceptionally good crowd-contact this evening (or was it just me who starved for it from the last time around?), and Joutsen was happily sending little comments about this and that between songs, and held our interest during the songs by a spectacular performance (not that the songs weren’t interesting enough in themselves, as anyone who has heard this band should know).

So, was there really no end to the positive change seen in the band? No, not really, not seen. But heard was a different matter...
Very regrettably, someone (Metalcamp or the bands own sound-guys I do not know) had completely messed up the sound, and with such intricate music as this band weaves, a good sound is near essential for a complete experience.
Now, it wasn’t that the mix was completely off, or ok it was, but nothing too serious; the main problem here was that the entire sound was too damn low! When you’re at a live-concert you want to feel as much as hear it, and you certainly want to hear the band over the immediately surrounding crowd, but here this was pretty hard to do. I tried moving around for a bit, and the sound was better when standing straight in front of the stage than if you were positioned only a little bit to either side, but it could still be a lot better. If we move into details I would have really liked to have the guitars in a more prominent position as well, they were somewhat drowned out by the other instruments...

Even with this going against them though, my only comment is that Amorphis was right back in the position where I want them; lively and intriguing, dominating the stage upon which they stand. And if there were doubters left in the crowd, I’m sure that the great sing-along for the finale in House Of Sleep quickly converted them into true believers.


Battle For Light
Sky Is Mine
The Smoke
My Enemy
Against Widows
You I Need
Towards And Against
My Kantele
Silver Bride
Crack In A Stone
The Castaway
House Of Sleep

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