Birmingham was being invaded by a trio of Finnish powerhouses tonight and what better way to get the party started than with the eccentric Industrial battering ram of Turmion Katilot. As they appeared on stage, in front of their minimalistic backdrop, they launched into their set and delivered an absolutely blinding package from start to finish. Bringing their unique brand of Disco Metal to the Resorts World Arena each member of the mob was dressed to kill; they stalked the stage as if they had a real point to prove and prove it they did. With only a brief set with which to accomplish their objective, they wasted no time and launched into one hypnotic track after another, serving us up the likes of ‘Verta Ja Lihaa’ and ‘Sikio’, they only broke once to whimsically announce to the crowd that it felt weird singing to them in Finnish tonight, a fact that didn’t seem to bother a single soul inside the cavernous arena at this early hour.
As the stage was turned around in quick time, a feat which I truly commend the roadies on as it really was lightning fast, we were then treated to a genuine lesson in Power Metal courtesy of Beast In Black. ‘Blade Runner’ kicked things off and the strings of Heikkinen and Kabanen were mesmerising with the crunching power coming from the thicker strings of Molnar, an anchor to the soaring and entrancing six strings he accompanied. Papadopoulos orchestrated the whole event with delicate and decadent vocals and a range which any golf club would be jealous of. How Papadopoulos managed to reach the highs along with nailing the deeper end of the range is something you have to witness in order to believe, at times it seemed as if multiple vocalists must have been in attendance rather than just one set of lungs being able to generate the differing outputs.
As the band punched its way through the set with well-choreographed moves and cliched rock poses, all of which worked with genuine ease, the crowd swelled and the audible appreciation being thrown back at the stage became louder and louder which only seemed to spur the band on to add more power and gusto to their anthems, ‘Beast In Black’, ‘One Night In Tokyo’ and the magnificent set closer ‘End Of The World’. Beast In Black are due to grace our shores again for a headline tour early next year, and on the back of that performance that is one tour, you do not want to deprive yourself of.
As soon as the ringing of the Beast had faded out, a black curtain dropped to obscure the view of the stage for all but a few of the seated crowd at the far sides, all in order for the stage to be transformed ready for the symphonic demi gods to attack, and attack they did. As the curtain dropped to the floor we got our first glimpse of Tuomas et al with the stage lit up with pyros a plenty and we were then carved open with ‘Noise’. From start to finish Floor hunted the stage with beauty and power in equal measures, Tuomas conducted from the back with Emppu and Jukka keeping the wings warm, manning the fretboards with intricacy and elegance. The set was a magnificent mix of classics and newer offerings, it was awesome to see the likes of the powerhouse ‘I Want My Tears Back’, the anthemic ‘Dark Chest Of Wonders’, the fan favourite ‘Nemo’, the awe inspiring ‘Ghost Love Score’ and the simply stunning ‘Sleeping Sun’ sitting alongside the likes of ‘Tribal’, ‘Harvest’ and ‘Elan’, each track received a deafening response from the sold out Birmingham arena.
The whole set from the Finnish masters was compulsive and spellbinding, absolutely captivating from the opening chords to the final kick drum and they signed off with a track which pretty much summed up the entire evening, encapsulating everything we had been witness to in Birmingham tonight, ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’. Perfect, simply perfect. Kiitos