Apr 232010

On the night of April 21, The Finnish Metal Tour 2010 played Seattle’s El Corazon, and two of your NCS Co-Authors were there to bear witness and file this report — along with a big batch of our amateurish photos.

With the likes of Finntroll, Moonsorrow, and Swallow the Sun on the bill, we expected nothing less than excellence on stage, and that’s what we got. Which brings to mind a question we’ve had before:

How does a country with only 5.4 million people produce so many awesome metal bands? We still don’t know the answer. But whatever the explanation, here’s hoping it doesn’t stop. Judging by the reaction of the full house at El Corazon, we’re not alone in feeling that way.

Before the procession of Finns took the stage, two local bands got the growing crowd nice and warmed up.

BLOOD AND THUNDER

This five-piece Seattle band plays Gothenburg-flavored, melodic death metal, driven at a galloping pace by some flashy keyboard and guitar work. They’ve got some good song-writing chops, too. The songs were memorable, and we’ve been drawn to the band’s MySpace page to listen again.

They’re one of those rare bands whose lead vocalist is the guy behind the drum kit, and his evil, death-metal vocals make a nice contrast with the memorable melodies. We were told that the band has finished tracking a debut album, to follow an EP released last year. We definitely want to hear it. A strong start to the night!  (our concert notes continue after the jump, plus lots of photos at the end . . .)


7 HORNS 7 EYES

This was the third time we’d seen these dudes this year as local support for a national tour, and they continue to impress in a big way. Every time we hear them, we adjust the description of their music, but we think we’ve just about got it down now: technical, somewhat blackened, melodic mathcore progressive death metal. Got that?

This is music you can get lost in just as much as you can bang your head to it. It’s a creative blend of styles that works really well, and their live playing continues to be sharp as tacks. We’re hungry for the album they’ve got in the works.

SWALLOW THE SUN

Alexis has been singing the praises of this band since the last time she saw them live, but the experience was a first for me. Man, was she right!

Anyone who’s heard the band’s albums knows that they have a talent for melding doom and death metal into a concoction that is by turns mesmerizing, beautiful, and brutal. And they bring all of that to the stage — meticulous playing that creates an array of shifting moods, and is shitloads of fun to watch. They sure has hell had the crowd at El Corazon in a trance, broken only by the wildly enthusiastic response as each song ended.

If you have the chance to see this band in the flesh, don’t pass it up. It’s the kind of performance that sticks with you.

MOONSORROW

This is another band Alexis had seen before (and raved about), but it was another first for me. And again, I was really fucking impressed!

Moonsorrow has been around since 1995, and their musical style has shifted over time, but it has always been distinctive. Stylistically, the songs combine black metal, death metal, and pagan metal, with keyboard-generated sounds of folk instruments. The result is a galloping fusion of neck-snapping fun, and the crowd response was boisterously enthusiastic.

These dudes bound around the stage with hair flying and heads banging, and they are a hoot to watch. They played a long set, and no one wanted it to end.

FINNTROLL

Finntroll also combines elements of black-, death-, and folk-metal, but to my ears at least, the sound has a more pronounced black-metal influence than in Moonsorrow’s case. It just sounds more evil. The combination of that strain of grim nastiness (particularly in the vocals) with the bouncing rhythms of folk metal and hammering death-metal riffs is striking and, as it turns out, really infectious.

Though the hour was late, the crowd at El Corazon stayed wholly into this performance, and it was another one that will stick in the memory a long time.

And now, more photos.  Lots more.

BLOOD AND THUNDER

7 HORNS 7 EYES

SWALLOW THE SUN

MOONSORROW

FINNTROLL

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