GIG REVIEW: ENSIFERUM, Fleshgod Apocalypse & Heidra Live at Musikzentrum, Hannover
Ensiferum stopped over at the Musikzentrum in Hannover on 7th April as part of their “Return of the One Man Army” tour, with two support bands in the luggage: Fleshgod Apocalypse and Heidra. I was totally surprised that there were so many people in the venue just from the beginning of the event, almost to the point that there was not enough space to get a drink or to arrive the wardrobe chilly. This was a bit annoying since the event was shifted from a bigger venue (the Capitol) to this smaller one. Nevertheless, the music was the important thing here!
Danish folk metal band Heidra opened the evening; it was nice to watch the audience be full of energy just for the first band. Heidra did their stuff well with catchy riffs and a powerful singer. I could see a keyboarder hidden in the corner, but I couldn’t hear anything from the keys, which was too bad.
After this, the Italian technical/orchestral death metal guys of Fleshgod Apocalypse began to perform. They had an enigmatic start with the orchestral intro “Marche Royale” off their new record ‘King’, with darker lights and the opera background singer on stage. She came on-stage with a carnival mask and a kind of royal staff slowly while the intro went on. This was a simple but cool beginning for the show. The intro eventually faded out and the rest of the band entered the stage to begin the orchestral technical death hellfire. It’s always a joy to see Fleshgod Apocalypse live, because you can see their crazy playing skills and hear the awesome singing of the opera singer, background singer/bassist Paolo Rossi and frontman/guitarist Christiano Trionfera. Also, their setlist was an impressive mix; a greater portion of it was of course from the new record, but they played more songs from their two previous albums as I expected.
However, I was disappointed with the sound of the venue. I know that it’s difficult to mix bands with as many instruments and voices as Fleshgod Apocalypse at a venue with a high ceiling, but it’s just a great pity that it wasn’t accomplished this time around. That may have been one reason why the audience didn’t interact while Fleshgod Apocalypse performed. Only at the songs “The Violation” (very fast and powerful) and the last song ”The Forsaking” (slower, melancholical but a groovy headbanger song) did the people give some feedback with one small circle pit and a few fits of headbanging. Nevertheless, it was a fine performance with a great setlist.
It was then time for Ensiferum to take the stage. They of course played a lot of songs from their new album ‘One Man Army’, but didn’t forget about their older albums like ‘Ensiferum’ or ‘Iron’. Their setlist had a nice mix, but unfortunately, their sound didn’t. I don’t know want was happening in that area, but it was really too bad. However, the audience response to Ensiferum was something to behold: headbanging and circle pits everywhere! It seemed like they were waiting just for the band’s folk metal. Fast Shreds on the dual guitars and a thumping double bass coupled the voice of Petri Lindroos motivated the people constantly, gaining themselves much cheering from the audience. It was fun to see that synergy between the guys on-stage and the audience.
Two folk metal bands and a technical death band on one tour is perhaps an uncommon combination. I had the feeling that the people in the venue appeared for folk metal only. That might’ve been detrimental to Fleshgod Apocalypse, but they did a great job on-stage. The venue was unfortunately overfilled in my opinion, but that didn’t affect the people in the venue. Unfortunately, the sound in the venue didn’t do justice to any of the bands here. However, all three bands gave us a fine evening indeed.