MAY 8th 2014
Review By: Metal Mom
Photos By: Char Tupper

Venue: The Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, BC
Date: May 8, 2014

Fourth show in less than a week, that’s great, but sadly it started early, and when you get off work at 5:30, get home, gather up the gear, and head out, its not likely I make it for an early start. So only got the chance to see the last ¼ of a song from the band WINTERHYMN, what I heard I liked a lot, more of a power metal meeting the brutal death / black metal. Wish I had seen and heard more, they sounded really promising.

Next is VARG, which means “wolf” in both Swedish and Old Norwegian, but they are from Germany, and by the way, has nothing to do with Varg Vikerness. Varg, I thought was Turisas when they first stepped on stage, as the face paint is the same colour. Oops, my mistake. Varg, is a lot more heavier sounding, more a melodic death/black metal. And during their set, they were teaching us some German language, for example Prost, meaning Cheers. They played many songs, some in their own language, and the crowd enjoyed, I am not sure if there was a mosh pit for them as I was up front, but didn’t get pushed or shoved around. It’s a little different from the normal bands that played previously on Paganfest, not to say they were not good, just more heavier. It was a first for me, and I enjoyed.

CHTHONIC was up next, now this band, they are great, but did not fit the Pagan bill, way too metal, if there had been another band of this stature on Paganfest, it would have been more fitting with this band. They are really great to watch, lots of energy around the stage. And of course because there is this  petite little girl up there playing guitar, all the guys were up front. That’s fine, but don’t be rude. She is up there to play the music, to give it her all for everyone’s enjoyment. She is NOT a stripper. But they played an amazing set, everyone was cheering, some moshing happened, and I thoroughly enjoyed the songs they played.

Band up next is TURISAS, now this band I expect to see on Paganfest, without a doubt they fit the bill perfectly. The instruments, the vocals, and the movement, the songs, speak Paganfest. The band incorporates symphonic power metal with a touch of prog, punk, death metal, and put this all together and Turisas has a sound all their own, called Battle Metal.  The floor had filled up a lot more at this point, some crazy pagan dances were held in the mosh pit as well. In case you were wondering Turisas got their name from an ancient Finnish God of war. There guys on stage are so energetic, original, and stimulating to watch, and listen to. They played and executed their set to perfection to everyone’s enjoyment. A great set for sure.  

Up next is the headliner, now from past experience, (couches thrown out, food tossed) LOL, I knew better than to stand up front, just in case. So I ventured to the back, and sat and got a birds eye view. Although, looking around, yes I was dead tired from the shows previously and the travel time, but I wasn’t falling asleep, there were some sitting and they slept, and I don’t even think they were drunk. I am sorry, but KORPIKLAANI, is not a band to miss when they come into Vancouver, always their set is such high energy, so entertaining, and catchy, a band that makes you want to dance, and sing along of course, but this time around, the energy didn’t seem to appear, and the first 4 songs they played, I didn’t recognize them. Usually they start off with one of the best to get the crowd going. They never disappoint when they are here, and I will say, I wasn’t disappointed, just surprised, for me anyway.  They have been doing this now for a long time, and know how to please a crowd. Mainly folk with some metal added in, they are well known for their drinking songs, and they didn’t disappoint, a lot of the fans were singing with them tonight. Looking around the room, except for the sleepers in the chairs, everyone was having a blast, that’s what you can enjoy with Korpiklaani, a great time, with great music, and fun. Can’t get much better than that.