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amorphis12Essigfabrik, Cologne, Germany
2nd February 2019
Amorphis + Soilwork - Co-Headliner-Tour - Support: Jinjer + Nailed To Obscurity

Connoisseurs of Metal sit up and take notice - Finland’s Metal Kings AMORPHIS and Sweden’s Melodic Death Metallers SOILWORK arrived in Germany early 2019 on an European co-headlining tour for eleven shows! But that’s not all! Support for these two grandees of the Metal genre are Ukrainian band JINJER and the German Metal institution NAILED TO OBSCURITY - all in all, it is a first-class European co-production! Last weekend, the tour stopped in Cologne’s Essigfabrik.


Nailed To Obscurity

At around 18.20 on a bitterly cold Cologne Winter’s evening the sold-out Essigfabrik was already more than half-full when German band NAILED TO OBSCURITY opened this evening’s 4-band Metal feast. Now signed to Nuclear Blast Records and delivering many songs from their new album, ‘Black Frost’, this dynamic and capable five-piece pretty much delivered on everything that the Saturday night’s crowd wanted - extremely powerful riffs and forceful yet melodic vocals from Raimund Ennenga, loads of hair and shape-throwing - it was exactly what was needed to warm everyone up.

Setlist
01. Black Frost
02. Feardom
03. The Aberrant Host
04. Tears of the EyelessPlay Video
05. Desolate Ruin

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Jinjer

Next on stage were the four members of the Ukrainian band JINJER. Led by Tatiana Shmailyuk - she continues to prove her range as a singer - demonstrating clean vocals and guttural roars to an enthusiastic crowd. The band was compelling to watch as well to listen to. Tatiana roamed the whole stage confidently, encouraging the enthusiastic crowd to clap along, with bassist Eugene Abdiukhanov head-banging his curls cheerfully alongside her. Songs from their last album, ‘King of Everything’ (Napalm Records), as well from their recently released EP, ‘Micro’, were welcomed with loud applause.

Setlist
01. Words of Wisdom
02. Ape
03. I Speak Astronomy
04. Dreadful Moments
05. Teacher, Teacher
06. Who's Gonna Be the One
07. Pisces
08. Perennial
09. Sit Stay Roll Over

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Soilwork

By now the Essigfabrik was completely full, the atmosphere in the hall was of the Saturday night variety, hot, rowdy, boisterous - perfect for the appearance of Sweden’s SOILWORK. With many SOILWORK T-shirts in the audience, it was clear that they would be well received, but even for those who are not so aware of much of SOILWORK’s Melodic Death Metal energy, they are one of those bands that simply deliver time after time on the live stage. This was no exception - they delivered a blistering set of pure Metal energy, showcasing many songs from their new album, ‘Verkligheten’ (Engl. ‘Reality’), with songs ranging over vast expanses - covering everything from melodic guitar driven pieces to real Deathcore growl fests.

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Singer Björn Strid is a great front man - striding across the stage, inviting the audience to sing and clap along. His strong, powerful voice was accompanied by the skills of the two guitarists and drummer Bastian Thusgaard. Songs were lifted to yet another level with the considerable bass prowess and supporting vocals of new addition Rasmus Ehrborn. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable firestorm of a performance, and rewarded by a great response from the appreciative crowd.

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Setlist
01. Arrival
02. The Crestfallen
03. Nerve
04. Full Moon Shoals
05. Death in General
06. Like the Average Stalker
07. The Akuma Afterglow
08. Drowning With Silence
09. The Phantom
10. The Nurturing Glance
11. Bastard Chain
12. As We Speak
13. The Living Infinite II
14. Witan
15. Stabbing the Drama
16. Stålfågel

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Amorphis

And now to the headliners in this Metal evening - Finland’s mighty AMORPHIS. Riding on the huge success of their 2018 album, ‘Queen of Time’, the Essigfabrik, like many other venues on this tour, was completely sold out. To their many devoted fans (myself included) this band simply cannot do anything wrong and are - incredibly, after nearly 30 years - just getting better and better. The atmosphere in the hall was awesome - so many excited fans - and the band was greeted with an enormous roar of pleasure as they came on stage and launched gloriously into ‘The Bee’, the opening track of the aforementioned album.

amorphis01

For the next 75 minutes - although it flew by in a flash - they entranced us with their progressive Melodic Death Metal. From the new songs, such as the striking and energetic ‘Heart of the Giant’, to old favourites, like ‘Silver Bride’, songs both new and old were lapped up by the crowd, everyone was singing, each piece receiving huge applause. As a spectacle the band also looked great - singer Tomi, clad in tight flared trousers and a bullet belt, pacing and growling and tossing his hair around the stage like a metal God; guitarist Esa’s Viking tattoos glistening in the red light, Olli-Pekka coolly striding about with his low slung bass and headband and keyboardist Santeri providing amazing sounds from up high - it was a visual treat.

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All too soon it was over, although the band were soon enticed back on stage for a short encore. Overall, a great night in Cologne for Metal fans.

Setlist
01. The Bee
02. The Golden Elk
03. Sky Is Mine
04. Sacrifice
05. Message in the Amber
06. Silver Bride
07. Bad Blood
08. Wrong Direction
09. Daughter of Hate
10. Heart of the Giant
11. Hopeless Days
12. Black Winter Day
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13. Death of a King
14. House of Sleep

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All Pictures by Judith Reumont
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