Pumpehuset, Copenhagen - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the band took their present name back in 1999, some of it has even passed in the relatively shorter time since the last time we saw them, last year at Metaldays.
Now they were back, with their latest album simply called Turisas2013, and a new European tour in support of it.
While I haven’t yet warmed up to the album as much as I have to their earlier material, I certainly wasn’t about to miss out on one of their legendary shows, especially not now when they almost kicked off their tour in my own backyard! After all, doesn’t the chorus of the concerts opening song Ten More Miles proudly state;
“Who will be there when the sky turns grey? Turisas – You can count on us!
Who’s gonna push you through heavy days? Turisas – Rugged and robust!”

With that in mind, what could go wrong?

“God aften København, this is going to be one fucking night to remember!”
- Mathias ‘Warlord’ Nygård (vocals)

After being warmed up by Starkill, the audiences’ loud chants were now filling the small hall of Pumpehuset, praising the coming of the Finnish heroes. These chants were answered by the “Who is I...” speech which was once again followed by a musical intro, leading into the band taking the stage to loud cheering and going straight into the above mentioned Ten More Miles.
The smaller stage at Pumpehuset was obviously too small to properly house this band, but ticket sales had suffered due to the concert being placed at the same day as the When Copenhell Freezes Over event – even so, Turisas had managed to just about fill this room, that’s at least what the pressure and the warmth told me!
Nygård greeted us in Danish, and he was very positive about the show, saying that the first show of the tour (the day before in Gothenburg) had only been a rehearsal for this, and that this was where the party really started! There really was only one thing he wasn’t all that impressed by – Turisas likes to drink domestic beers in all the countries they visit, but in Sweden they had been given Danish beer (personal note: no problem there as Swedish beer stinks in comparison) and when coming here they were offered Heineken! What was wrong with this picture?

Even so, the band performed their war paint off!
For how long they played isn’t known exactly, but the set ticked in at 12 songs, and even though there was a nice selection from each of the four albums, that simply was too short and left too many favourites out!
Still, the performance left nothing and no one wanting – the band was sweating and panting, headbanging and smiling, in short doing everything a great show should be doing. The hardest time seemed to be had by drummer Jaako Jakku who was sweating so hard his paint went into his eyes and caused him some discomfort – he was a trooper though, wiped his eyes, smiled and played on. Even standing up at one point. Also, I can’t imagine that the leather flyers cap worn by live-keyboardist Kasper Mårtenson was considered a good apparel choice by him at the end of the evening.
The songs and the sound worked their magic as well, and once again Olli Vänskä was allowed space to work his violin magic on us – this section of the show has been missed for a while, possibly because we’ve only seen Turisas at festivals for a few years, but it was a welcome addition this evening as he played a slow and moving piece together with Mårtenson who was set to piano sound, a piece that worked as a prolonged intro for Five Hundred And One, where the party kicked back into gear again. Vänskä also got to do partial vocals on No Good Story Ever Starts With Drinking Tea, the heavily Alestorm inspired song form the latest album (I’m still not sure that Alestorm wasn’t actually in the studio doing choruses for that one...)

If the band members were sweating their war paint off, well, so was the audience! Or, at least they would be had they had any on.
Strangely enough, Turisas had not, as far as I could see, inspired anyone to paint their faces red and black this evening even though this usually is a pretty common trait amongst their fans, especially the younger ones which there were plenty of here this night.
Paint or no paint, people were still ready for a moshpit war, and a little further back the choruses were loudly enhanced by the local drunken choir – everyone joined in this evening to show their love for the band, giving Turisas an epic response to their already great show!
I admit, after the last show coupled with my feelings for the latest album, I was afraid the many changes was beginning to take a toll on the once so forceful band, but seeing them here on the small stage of Pumpehuset, all close and personal, these fears were put to shame.

Fear usually rise from being confronted with something unknown, and present day Turisas does have a lot of unknowns for an older fan like me, but who knows, maybe Nygård and the boys are a new metal Messiah, and one day in the future this will be looked back upon as a turning point? Does the singer not prophecies this himself in the lyrics for the new album opener, For Your Own Good?
“This is all for your own good, you will come to see.
I don’t expect you to thank me now, but I do all this for you.”

I don’t know, maybe that’s reading too much into it. What I do know is that I do thank Turisas for reinstalling my full and utter belief in them this night, and the only regret I walked away with was that the meeting wasn’t longer.


Ten More Miles
Take The Day!
To Holmgard And Beyond
The Land Of Hope And Glory
For Your Own Good
Five Hundred And One
Battle Metal
No Good Story Ever Starts With Drinking Tea
We Ride Together
Miklagard Overture
Stand Up And Fight
Rasputin (Boney M cover)

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