Metaldays - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Just as the sun was setting behind the Slovenian Alps, the Finnish sword bearers of Ensiferum took the main stage of Metaldays to the excited roar of a large crowd.

“Here’s a moshpit song for you!”
- Petri Lindroos (vocals/guitar)

Yes, Ensiferum was a band of and for the people, that much was clear. Furthermore, they were apparently a band for a special part of the people, namely the female population. Easily spotted in the front was a girl enthusiastically waving a sign saying “Petri, you will be mine” as if we were at a boy-band concert, and looking further out over the crowd, on the vast amount of crowd surfers sailing by, it wasn’t hard to see that the vast majority of these were also younger women. Sorry Emmi Silvennoinen, but if you’re looking for groupies you should probably look elsewhere…
Regardless of the sex of the audience, there was one thing they could all agree on, and that was to make a hell of a racket in praise of their favourite band! Shouting and singing could be heard all over the place, and the middle of the ground was quickly turned into a wild dust-ripping moshpit which lasted throughout the show, something which must have lead to some serious dehydration for some people.
Playing a snippet from Metallica’s For Whom The Bell Tolls towards the end of the already popular One More Magic Potion proved highly successful, but not as successful as the sing along friendly chorus of LAI LAI HEI. Also the finishing anthem, Iron, got a good sing, or rather hum along going to the "Da dadaDA Da dadaDA" part of the melody (you know you know which part I mean).

So the crowd was supporting Ensiferum and what they delivered, that much was clear, but what exactly was it they delivered?
Well, for one thing, they delivered one crappy, crappy soundscape!
Remember that I was standing in the front, so maybe, hopefully, things were better further back, but in the position that I was standing it was if the guitars weren’t even turned on during the first song, In My Sword I Trust, and Markus Toivonen’s backing vocals were much louder than Lindroos’ main vocals, something which was very annoying during the chorus.
By the second song, Guardians Of Fate, the levels had been improved quite a bit, but the bass was still a bit high and the overall sound was very muddy and drowned out many of the details of the music.
So the sound was against them, at least out towards the audience, but the band didn’t seem to take much notice of this on stage, as they mostly seemed to have a very good time playing. To be honest, the whole band was actually very much present and rocking, and even though it was as always Sami Hinkka that was the liveliest one on stage and the most entertaining one to watch, I was generally positively surprised by the level of commitment from the band, where especially Silvennoinen caught my eye with here intense headbanging straight from the start. Toivonen’s vocal performance, slightly backed by Hinkka, in LAI LAI HEI was also a delight this day.

All counted, there were of course things to improve upon, especially the sound (and I know this is always an issue especially at festivals where time for a proper soundcheck is close to none-existent), but I would still classify this as one of the most entertaining Ensiferum shows I have been at.
Also, having Twilight Tavern played just as twilight was indeed taking the festival in its embrace seemed very fitting.


In My Sword I Trust
Guardians Of Fate
From Afar
Burning Leaves
One More Magic Potion
Twilight Tavern

Latest uploads: