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Sunday, 13 November 2011

Live & Dangerous 18: Turisas, Chthonic, Kiuas

Turisas, Chthonic, Kiuas (Cardiff Great Hall 2)


Coming from the Great Hall 2 (which is just the Great Hall but with areas curtained off) this was going to be a modern metal showcase with 3 genres on show tonight. Kiuas have always been something of separate entity to many other power metal bands as they are from the darker side of power metal not the magic and fantasy of bands like Dragonforce and Hammerfall. Having never seen them with their original vocalist but having heard all the albums I was curious to see how new vocalist Asim Searah would be able to handle former frontman Ilja Jalkanen's wide raging vocal range, however fates conspired and this will have to wait as apparently he was stuck in their native Finland so could not be in Cardiff however instead of cancelling the band played a full force speedy set with guitarist Mikko Salovaara handling the vocals with the growls coming from bassist Teemu Tuominen. Both had adequate voices for a short set and they played with ferocity and genuine enjoyment, a great set that was a triumph over adversity. 7/10


The band that was really the odd-one-out on this tour were able to raise the heat in the room as well as permanently damage my hearing (but not in a good way). Taiwanese black metal band Chthonic played a set full of furious keyboard backed black metal that had the addition of the traditional Asian instrument the erthu. Many of the bands songs blended into one with only their most recent tracks standing out, with bassist Doris being the focal point of the band (unless you like keyboard players in masks that summon vampires) the rest of the band were visually arresting but not particularly enjoyable musically. This was mainly due to the appalling sound quality and the horrendous feedback that stemmed from singer Freddy's mic. These two factors were instrumental in decreasing my enjoyment of this somewhat generic band. 6/10


A band that is still on the upward path of their career original battle-metallers Turisas brought their epic brand of Nordic metal to Wales once more. Supporting their great new album Stand Up And Fight the band played the best tracks from this album with the title track, Hunting Pirates, The March of the Varangian Guard, The Great Escape and Take The Day! Making up the bulk of the set with classics such as One More and To Holmgard And Beyond filling in the gaps. New faces were about with the new bassist filling Hannes shoes nicely and keyboard player (the band’s first since 2007) Robert Engstrand adding an extra layer of depth to the older songs. The band played a concise set before returning for an encore of the Disco classic Rasputin and their own classic set ender Battle Metal. All of which were received by a pumped-up Cardiff audience who sang along to every line showing that the disappointment of Manowar was just a blip. Another great show from a fantastic metal band. Hail Turisas! 8/10

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