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2014-12-31 DE – Essen - Weststadthalle

Next to others also AMORPHIS joined the exquisite circle of bands celebrating a rash of anniversaries. Founded back in 1990, the Finns have already passed the 20th and face the 25th anniversary. In between it is about time to celebrate 20 years of Tales From The Thousand Lakes, the band’s sophomore that can be described as the breakthrough album for AMORPHIS. And AMORPHIS invite the fans to celebrate with them. With a special Tales From The Thousand Lakes 20th anniversary tour in December, where the album will be played in its entirety as well as some rarely performed songs. Known for their New Year’s Eve shows in their home country, the last day of this anniversary tour leads AMORPHIS on the last day in 2014 to Essen, Germany, for a stop at the Weststadthalle.

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But, regarding the opening and show times it emerges that tonight’s show would be rather a show on New Year’s Eve instead of a New Year’s Eve show. Seems like AMORPHIS and the Leif Edling’s new Doom Metal band AVATARIUM want to be done early to welcome the New Year with a proper party anywhere else. In fact the show was done at 9.45pm and the last one kicked off the venue at 10.15pm. No after-show party, no NYE party for the crowd. And the Turock opened its doors not before 1am. That was quite disappointing and definitely not what I was looking for and expected from tonight’s entertainment.

Saying this :: AVATARIUM :: entered the stage on time at 7pm and kicked off with the almost 10 minutes monolith Moonhorse. Singer Jennie-Ann Smith not only attracted attention with her beauty and outfit, much more with her stunning voice and emotive performance. Quite a charismatic lady. She reminded me a bit of the great Jarboe. Leif Edling, by the way, did not partake in this tour. He got replaced by former In Flames/Tiamat bass player Anders Iwers. Sound wasn’t the best, quite droning and bass-overdriven but didn’t really harm the grandeur of music. Many people were also amazed about the use of a Theremin, which is quite unusual for Metal bands (Prog Rock fans might have seen such instrument more often). AVATARIUM closed with the title track of their debut album Avatarium and broken drum pedals ;) Great show anyway!
Setlist: Moonhorse, Bird Of Prey, All I Want, Tides Of Telepathy, Deep Well, Pandora's Egg, Avatarium

Change-over, a cold beverage and a quick look at the merch later an enthused crowd welcomes :: AMORPHIS :: who start with Thousands Lakes. The Weststadthalle is now pretty crowded and yeah, the Turock would have been too small. Sound is still bad, but fun and pleasure to see the Finns playing all those old tracks overweighs. As announced, AMORPHIS played the full Tales From The Thousand Lakes album in order the songs appear on CD and close the regular part with Vulgar Necrolatry (an Abhorrence cover version of guitarist Tomi Koivusaaris Death Metal band). If you ask me, enthusiasm could have been stronger to get the Finns back for an encore. Well, never mind. AMORPHIS came back to play a couple of songs from the successive record Elegy. Man, that’s the way you can really end a year with… musically… you know, damn...
Setlist: Thousand Lakes, Into Hiding, The Castaway, First Doom, Black Winter Day, Drowned Maid, In The Beginning, Forgotten Sunrise, To Father's Cabin, Magic And Mayhem, Karelia, The Gathering, Sign From The North Side, Vulgar Necrolatry // Better Unborn, Against Widows, My Kantele, Folk Of The North

As already mentioned, right after the show the security pushed the crowd off the venue. No chance to meet the bands, to get something signed, whatever. No chance for a longer chat with friends and a beer, whatever. Just a quick “bye bye” and a “happy new year” and everybody went its own way. Ok then, with this last show in 2014 the NOCTURNAL HALL crew says goodbye too. Happy New Year to you all, have a great party and see you in 2015!


story & pics © Dajana & Dajana Winkel • Photography