DECEMBER 3rd 2011
NORTH AMERICA TOUR
Review by Metal Mom
Photos by Char Tupper
Well its Saturday, but traffic into Vancouver was crazy, so took more than 1 hour to get there. But figured I had lots of time as tickets, and venue both said 8pm. Unfortunately we got there at the tail end of the local band SCYTHIA a prog/neo-classical metal band. They took the stage at 7:50 but cant really say what their set was like since I missed it.
Next up on stage was a band called FORGED IN FLAME, a metal/stoner rock/progressive band out of Cleveland, Ohio. The members are Gary Kane (vocals), Jay Bonnell (guitar), Cyril Blandino (bass), and on drums we have Jon Vinson. First what caught my attention as I stood up front, was the drum set, it was so bright, it looked more like a neon set of drums, unique, but don’t know if it took away from the rest of the guys. And I felt really bad for the singer, Gary, he was sick, but hold on, it didn’t make any difference to his singing, he had it mastered. But at the end of their set, he did thank NyQuil for getting him through.
Up next was a Baltimore band, POLKADOT CADAVER, very interesting name, and didn’t know what to expect. But I think you could call them avant-garde metal and experimental rock. When I saw them hit the stage, I thought by the looks of the guitarist and bassist, I was about to hear some Devildriver style music. Not so. But very high energy . The singer had a totally different look about him from the rest. Which I have learned in years gone by, you cant judge by how they look up there. Had a great voice, and I enjoyed. But what caught my attention, and you wont believe it, but they played a Michael Jackson song, “Billy Jean”, and let me tell you Todd did an excellent job. He asked if anyone liked Michael Jackson, and just about the whole room said NO, but as he sang, I noticed there wasn’t one person standing still, they were all moving and enjoying. A little diversity was good.
ARKONA, now this is the band that surprised me, and in a good way. I really enjoyed them. They are from Moscow Russia and they play pagan metal, folk metal, with some black metal as well. Their style is unique, and one that is well put together, their lyrics are heavily influenced by Russian folklore and Slavic mythology, and their music incorporates several traditional Russian musical instruments. The name of the band "Arkona" refers to the last pagan Slavic city-castle. The members in this band consist of - Maria "Masha Scream" Arhipova (vocals, keyboards), Sergei “Lazar” (guitars), Ruslan “Kniaz” (bass), Vlad “Artist” (synths, drums), and Vladimir “Volk” (wind ethnic instruments). Their singer, Maria "Masha Scream" Arhipova, is one of a few successful female vocalists to sing in a death growl style. You could tell everyone in the Rickshaw was thoroughly enjoying their set, the only problem, it was way too short. Musically they were well accomplished, and the vocals, well to see this woman sing in such deep brutal growl, was amazing, and complimented their music perfectly. There was not a person that was not clapping, or moving, it was impossible to stand still for them. I hope they return soon. Really enjoy finding a new band to listen to at a show.
Now for the headliners…you know them well - folk metal band from Finland - KORPIKLAANI. Didn’t know what to expect either from these guys, especially after the last show in Vancouver, where the couch and the food was thrown out at the fans. In all fairness though, that show was the last on their tour. Everyone was safe this night, they played a great set. And there are so many smiles during their set, from the fans and from the members of the band., you can tell they love what they do. And it didn’t matter either if they sang in Finnish or English, the fans drank it all in…good one, drank it all in, as anyone who is familiar with KORPIKLAANI , knows they have plenty a drinking songs. Tequila and Vodka being among the songs that were sung. Jonne at one point asked for a drink of vodka, which of course a fan happily supplied. They also had a new violin player this time around, Teemu Eerola, he did an great job, considering the others are such veterans of playing shows. This is just the type of music that everyone enjoys, its happy, its fun, and everyone enjoyed the show. Their set was far too short as well, but I think when you are having a good time, you don’t want it to end. If you didn’t get enough of KORPIKLAANI, then check out their latest release Ukon Wacka, that came out early February 2011, and continue with the party, a be a happy little boozer.