Moonsorrow, Catacombs Devastate Australian Crowd



I’ll just say this right now — I’m writing this review hung over.

Why, you ask? Because I stayed up all night partying with some really awesome people, but I’ll elaborate more in a bit, since it’s a pretty cool story.

Moonsorrow are one of my favourite bands of all time. They are absolutely infallible; everything they have ever done is so close to complete and utter perfection you couldn’t measure the distance with a microscope.

So, naturally, when I read they were touring Australia, I bought my ticket the day they came out. I wasn’t too excited by the announcement of Perseverance, but my friends in Catacombs being announced as the first openers got me excited again. It’s awesome that they got the spot, even though I half-expected it. There aren’t many bands in Melbourne that would have fitted the bill better. Maybe Myridian.

The sound was spectacular. It was my first gig at the HiFi in a long while, and the stage production didn’t disappoint. Of course, it was best for Moonsorrow, but the supports also had very good production. The lighting was great as well, there were no bullshit blinding lights that make you wince every time the fuckers shine in your eyes. All in all, a fantastic job done by the HiFi.

Apparently, the crowd was the best on the tour, and I definitely could see why. Everyone was having a ball. I love feeling the happiness of a crowd as a really great band plays. People who bitch about live gigs (yes, they exist) can suck a dick.

Catacombs took the stage a little after doors. A local band I already knew pretty well, but hadn’t seen play in a while, they get better every time I see them. I’d been organizing a little guest vocals thing with them about a week prior, so I got to sing with them while they played Illogical. They’re an awesome band, play great music, and are great dudes to hang out with.

I deliberately skipped Perseverance and went to get food and cash for a shirt. I’m not a fan of DSBM at the best of times and having checked them out previously, they just seemed bland and boring. I still managed to catch their last song, which sucked. Their live performance was boring as shit and the music, weak. Like most DSBM, it was essentially the same chord for about 10 minutes; thankfully I only caught about half of that. On the plus side, not many other people seemed to like them either.

After a set-up that went way past the scheduled time, Moonsorrow took the stage. Being there with my friends, who are all massive fangirls/boys of Moonsorrow, seeing the energy of the crowd was amazing. Everyone who was there loved every moment, myself included. The set list was fantastic, especially the songs off Kivenkantaja, which is the album I’m most familiar with. Their live performance was also excellent, as expected, but I’d heard that some of the more intricate parts of their songs would be muffled out by bad stage production.

Thankfully, the engineers at the HiFi are amazing, and really brought brilliant sound quality as well, and while some bits were a bit too soft to really pick up, those familiar with the songs heard those bits in their head so they didn’t mind as much.

The instrumentation was spot on, and they were able to reproduce their very grandiose sound in a live setting. You have to take your hat off to that, man. That shit takes true talent. Not only that, but for a band that has a lot of really sad music, their live performance was really high-energy and so much fun to watch when I wasn’t headbanging. Janne [Perttilä, rhythm guitar, live musician for Moonsorrow and member of Barren Earth] was right in front of my friends and I, and seemed really happy to see us go crazy for them.

The blood all over them as part of the “costume” was a nice touch as well, and everyone’s vocals were right on point. Janne let a guy in the pit play the last few chords of “Kuolleiden Maa,” which made the end of the show awesome and memorable.

After the gig, my friends and I hung out outside the venue, where we ran into Ville [Sorvali, vox and bass] having a smoke.

Janne soon joined us, and suggested we go the venue’s VIP bar for drinks. Janne proceeded to bring me many beers from backstage, and we had a great time drinking the night away with Ville, Marko, Markus and Janne, punctuated with stupid photos and leaving for Cherry Bar for more drinks before finally heading home around 4:30. It was great just hanging out with motherfucking Moonsorrow, talking about random shit and just having a grand old time. At the end of the night, as I was heading home, I shook hands with the band and Janne gave me a hug, slurring his words as he yelled into my neck, since I’m maybe half a foot taller than him; “Thanks for being a friend!”

No problem, man. Come back anytime.

You know the drill. Check out Catacombs if you haven’t already. You can download their EP for free at their Bandcamp page. If you like melodic death metal in the vein of Dark Tranquillity and Amon Amarth, you’ll love Catacombs. If you like DSBM, check out Perseverance, I guess. Meh. But definitely go see Moonsorrow live. It will be an experience you will not soon forget. If you don’t know them, you should be ashamed of yourself.

This is my last gig for a little while, since I’m off on holiday to Beijing, but I’ll try to catch one there, or try and see The Melvins in mid-December. I’ll write something up between now and then, so until that day, Xander out.

Moonsorrow set list:
1. Tyven
2. Sankarihauta
3. Ukkosenjumalan poika
4. Rauinoilla
5. Kivenkantaja
6. Pimeä
7. Kylän pääsä
8. Jotunheim
9. Sankaritarina
10. Kuolleiden Maa

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