define( 'WPCACHEHOME', '/customers/b/1/3/' ); ranka kustannus – Musicalypse Music journalism and photography Mon, 02 Mar 2020 12:20:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 ranka kustannus – Musicalypse 32 32 (2020) Blind Channel: Violent Pop Mon, 02 Mar 2020 07:00:10 +0000 Artist: Blind Channel
Album: Violent Pop
Release: 06.03.2020
Label: Ranka Kustannus


Musicalypse has been following Blind Channel since prior to their debut album, Revolutions, back in 2016 (see below). Even though most of us are a fair bit older than their target audience, the quality of music has never held them back from appealing to us, and their live shows are always so full of energy that it’s always been worth it to check them out. Their newest album’s titles is taken from their self-proclaimed genre, Violent Pop, and is released on March 6th, 2020.


The album opens with “Gun,” fulfilling Niko Moilanen‘s promise in our last interview that each album starter for (at least) the first three albums has a theme – the first album was “Bullet (With Your Name On It),” followed by “Trigger,” and now, of course, it culminates in the weapon itself. These have been some of the band’s most aggressive songs and “Gun” keeps up the tradition of a heavier, harsher intro with an almost djent-y vibe at times.

Many of the songs on this album have already been released as singles, so the next few tracks should be familiar to fans. “Over My Dead Body” was already released back in 2018, starting fast and hard but with gentler boy-band vocals in the verses. “Died Enough for You” is a bit emo lyrically and the hardest to get into as someone in their 30s but it nevertheless still makes an impact and likely makes a good connection in younger folk.

“Fever” is the newest release, which took a few listens to appreciate fully, but has a great catchy chorus and makes good use of the old adage, “cry me a river,” and will be really easy to groove along to live. “Timebomb” is another older single that features young Finnish songwriter and solo artist, Alex Mattson, though we’ve admittedly never been clear on what his influence is in the song. “Snake” featuring GG6 [aka Henrik Englund Wilhelmsson, Amaranthe] is a strong, harsh, and accusatory song about cheaters, full of anger coupled with excellent rhythms and really good rapping, some even done, surprisingly, by GG6 whilst growling.

High, choral vocals open “One of Us,” which is again one of the heavier, almost a touch thrashy, songs on the album, contrasting the choir style with a hint of drop beat and some of BC’s harshest vocals outside of what GG6 did in the previous track. “Enemies with Benefits” is already a clever wordplay that we’ve surprisingly never seen before, taking a slower tempo and including a lot of ambient sounds to create a really strong and modern atmosphere. “…drown ourselves in water under the bridge” is also another clever lyric that stood out on multiple listens.

The tempo picks up a bit again with “Love of Mine,” with a nice combination of heavy instruments and great electronic backing music. The harsher vocals in some of these songs adds a new layer that BC hasn’t tested out much prior to now but certainly works for them. “Feel Nothing” is a bit slower in tempo again, more melancholic but still powerful and emotive. The album feels to have burned out a lot of its anger at this point, now in a place that’s a bit more sad and jaded. The album ends with “Lanterns,” with the most straightforward hip-hop verses and an emotional feeling and works great as a closer. Lyrically it references the music industry and some of their experiences, like with Royal Republic (below). This track has a more positive outlook in the end, leaving the album on a nice note, but stops quite abruptly. It seems like there could have been more, but alas, all good things must come to an end, and this was a great closing song, like at the end of a movie.


If I have a real complaint about this album, it’s how short it is, clocking in at just over 35 minutes in total length. While the songs, as I already said, aren’t lyrically suited for someone in my personal life situation, the compositions and execution of the music are very strong across the board and the band is keeping up their style, blending genres expertly. Violent Pop may have the most rapping of all the albums so far, but balances this out with some of their heaviest sounds as well, making a complete package that works as an excellent next step for these guys. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing the release show at The Circus on April 25th, 2020!

Rating: 9/10, 4.5 stars

1. Gun
2. Over My Dead Body
3. Died Enough for You
4. Fever
5. Timebomb ft. Alex Mattson
6. Snake ft. GG6
7. One of Us
8. Enemies with Benefits
9. Love of Mine
10. Feel Nothing
11. Lanterns

Check out our past material from Blind Channel here:
2019 report: DEAD BY APRIL & BLIND CHANNEL w/ EMBER FALLS – Nosturi, Helsinki, 20.04.2019
2019 gallery: DEAD BY APRIL & BLIND CHANNEL w/ MY FAVOURITE NEMESIS & EMBER FALLS @ Nosturi, Helsinki, 20.04.2019
2019 festival: ROCKFEST – Hyvinkään Airport, Hyvinkää, 07-09.06.2019
2018 album release show report: BLIND CHANNEL w/ IKINÄ: Blood Brothers Release Show – Tavastia, Helsinki, 23.05.2018
2018 album release show gallery: BLIND CHANNEL w/ IKINÄ @ Tavastia, Helsinki, 23.05.2018
2018 interview: BLIND CHANNEL – Joel Hokka & Niko “Nc Enroe” Moilanen, Helsinki, 2018
2018 Blood Brothers review: (2018) Blind Channel: Blood Brothers
2018 festival: ROCKFEST – Lentokentta, Hyvinkää, 06-09.06.2018
2017 report (Eng, link inside to Fin): MACHINAE SUPREMACY w/ BLIND CHANNEL, ONE MORNING LEFT – Nosturi, Helsinki, 27.05.2017 (English)
2017 gallery: MACHINAE SUPREMACY w/ ONE MORNING LEFT & BLIND CHANNEL @ Nosturi, Helsinki, 27.05.2017
2017 report: AMARANTHE w/ BLIND CHANNEL & EMBER FALLS: Maximalism Tour – The Circus, Helsinki, 08.04.2017
2017 gallery: AMARANTHE w/ EMBER FALLS & BLIND CHANNEL: Maximalism Tour @ The Circus, Helsinki, 08.04.2017
2017 report: ROYAL REPUBLIC w/ BLIND CHANNEL – Nosturi, Helsinki, 04.02.2017
2017 gallery: ROYAL REPUBLIC w/ BLIND CHANNEL @ Nosturi, Helsinki, 04.02.2017
2016 album release show behind the scenes: BLIND CHANNEL: Behind the Scenes at the Revolutions CD Release Show @ Virgin Oil Co., Helsinki, 01.10.2016
2016 album release show report: BLIND CHANNEL w/ EMBER FALLS: Revolutions Release Show – Virgin Oil Co., Helsinki, 01.10.2016
2016 album release show gallery: BLIND CHANNEL w/ RUST N’ RAGE & EMBER FALLS @ Virgin Oil Co., Helsinki, 01.10.2016
2016 Revolutions review: (2016) Blind Channel: Revolutions
2016 interview: BLIND CHANNEL – Niko & Joel; South Park, 2016
2016 festival report: SOUTH PARK – Eteläpuisto, Tampere, 10-11.06.2016
2016 festival gallery: SOUTH PARK – Day 2 @ Eteläpuisto, Tampere, 11.06.2016
2016 festival report: EDGE:NORDIC FESTIVAL – Nosturi, Helsinki, 09-10.09.2016
2016 festival gallery: EDGE:NORDIC @ Nosturi, Helsinki, 09-10.09.2016
2016 festival behind the scenes: EDGE:NORDIC FESTIVAL: Backstage at Nosturi, 09-10.09.2016

]]> BRYMIR – On the Rocks, Helsinki, 28.02.2020 Sat, 29 Feb 2020 09:00:28 +0000 The Finnish pagan metallers of Brymir have slowly and surely been captivating audiences progressively more and more with each album. They were a staff favorite in the 2019 festival season and their newest album also received a few votes in our end of the year staff nominations for Wings of Darkness. More recently, they’ve passed through Helsinki on a short Finnish tour, playing at On the Rocks on February 28th, 2020.

Follow the set as a playlist on Spotify:

The show was set to start at 22:00, with the opener, Misterer – a thrash metal band from Helsinki, finishing up their set around 21:30. The stage change-over took longer than expected, and the intro didn’t start playing until 22:20. The beautiful and ambient music was very theatrical and built up a lot of excitement as the show began. The band came on stage to “Gloria in Regum,” under dark, colorful lights. The front rows immediately put their fists and beers in the air. We were pleased to see that the venue was quite full, with just enough space for a small moshpit but not much else on the floor.

Vocalist Viktor Gullichsen chatted pleasantly with the crowd, greeting everyone and doing a great job getting the crowd hyped and cheering before introducing “Ride On, Spirit.” Every other time I’ve personally seen Brymir, I haven’t been familiar with their material. Having now listened to their latest album many times, the live performance was elevated to a whole new level. Joona Björkroth and Sean Haslam on guitars each got chances to show off their skills soloing early on. They continued with the new material into “Sphere of Halcyon,” more intense and full of blast-beats and intense atmosphere. Gullichsen’s voice was powerful and diverse in “And So We Age.” It’s easy to appreciate the strength of their incredible, emotive soundscapes, combined with the oldschool skill of rad guitar solos, rhythms that are 100% metal, and vocals covering the full spectrum of what makes this type of music awesome.

They split from the Wings of Fire path and went back to 2016’s Slayer of Gods for “Pantheon of the Forsaken Gods,” with really intense drums with a ton of double-kick and an even bigger moshpit. The song that followed, “Starportal,” had every hand in the air, chanting every time the crowd was prompted. On the Rocks hasn’t been holding back the stage props lately, as “Vanquish the Night” had huge dramatic fog blasts in the beginning. Even though songs like this are quite hardcore, the synth sound adds a different dimension to the sound, creating beauty in the harshness.

“Laments of the Ravenous” slowed things down a bit but didn’t ease up on the intensity; the backing chants by the band are particularly memorable in this song. Seeing Gullichsen’s passion really helped elevate it in the live setting as well. The band grouped up to headbang in sync as more fog blasted… it was a great performance. They kept the great feeling up for “Chasing the Skyline,” one of their most epic tracks. Gullichsen checked to see if the crowd was still breathing midway through; the answer was yes, but only barely. The two guitarists had a moment in the spotlight to shred together as opposed to one-by-one.

The show reached an epic finale with “Wings of Fire” and the band passed out Patrik Fält‘s broken cymbal before leaving the stage. Fält didn’t leave the stage though, changing cymbals and staying seated as the encore intro played, getting the crowd clapping and teasing them with a few beats. The band came back to finish up the show with “For Those Who Died,” a song with everything you expect from Brymir. The guitarists had another face-off, literally facing each other, before soloing together again to the crowd. It was an explosive conclusion to the night… and they weren’t even done yet, offering one more song, their biggest hit, “Ragnarök,” which gave the crowd one last chance to go crazy before they wrapped up for the night.


Is it weird to just say, “fuck, this band is cool”? It’s really a shame that I’ve only discovered them recently, but better late than never! The whole show was a ton of fun – the performance was powerful, the music was great, the crowd was active… I had no complaints.

1. Gloria in Regum
2. Ride On, Spirit
3. Sphere of Halcyon
4. And So We Age
5. Pantheon of the Forsaken Gods
6. Starportal
7. Vanquish the Night
8. Laments of the Ravenous
9. Chasing the Skyline
10. Wings of Fire

11. For Those Who Died
12. Ragnarök

Photos: Laureline Tilkin, Tuonela

]]> ICON FOR HIRE w/ CYAN KICKS – On the Rocks, Helsinki, 23.02.2020 Tue, 25 Feb 2020 07:00:16 +0000 American indie band, Icon for Hire, were not a band we expected to play in the Nordics any time soon, so you can imagine our surprise and enthusiasm when we heard they would play at On the Rocks in Helsinki with the local pop-rockers of Cyan Kicks as openers! Needless to say, we were there on February 23rd, 2020, to hear what they had to give during the Icon Army Tour!

Check out the full gallery HERE.
Follow the night’s set as a playlist on Spotify:

I was a bit late arriving, learning that Cyan Kicks had already started but I got in just in time to catch one of the singles, “Satellite” before they went straight into “Riddle.” The music was tight and clean, minus the usual On the Rocks sound muddle. Vocalist Susanna Aleksanda‘s hair glowed neon yellow in the stage lights, and while I may have heard a few notes waiver in “Satellite,” she warmed up quickly and was an enthusiastic front for the band. The instrumentalists had pretty good energy and we caught the bassist doing a jump kick at least once. “Endgame” featured a mystery rapper who came out for his part and then disappeared into the night as the band finished their set with “Gasoline.” While it was a pretty strong closer, I may have preferred a faster final song, as this isn’t the easiest track they have to help you let loose. They surprised us with some stage fog and Aleksandra let the front row sing the “gasoline” lines into the mic for her as a nice touch in the end.

These guys certainly have their own sound and style, both musically and visibly. If I have a complaint about the show, it’s only that the songs all sound a bit the same, making it hard to tell them apart when they’re not in the chorus. That said, it is a good sound and style and we hope to see and hear more of it in the near future, and hopefully more albums!

Icon for Hire was meant to take the stage at 20:30, but it seemed that they may have had some minor setbacks in getting the sound right, resulting in a small delay. The touring drummer was first to take the stage and vocalist Ariel Bloomer‘s trademark pink hair was hidden beneath the hood of her outfit as she came on stage for “Make a Move.” She revealed her face in “Pulse,” which had a design painted vertically over her right eye. She was fierce and strong immediately, looking like a seasoned and passionate performer, taking instant control of the stage. Naturally, the band is centered around Bloomer and guitarist Shawn Jump (whom I almost didn’t recognize with brown hair). Jump did his part to get around the stage but wasn’t as naturally comfortable or showy as his counterpart. Already by the third song, “Cynics & Critics,” Bloomer was both singing and rapping like a seasoned professional.

They greeted the crowd, getting some big cheers and giving a shout-out to Cyan Kicks and invited the crowd to join their gang of misfits who don’t fit in: the Icon Army (which is also the name of this tour). Bloomer announced “Venom” as a single from their new album, which comes out later this year.

The lights were unusually good for what you usually get at On the Rocks, getting very dramatic for “Supposed to Be.” Bloomer had no trouble getting the crowd to move and scream, and easily got everyone hyped up for Jump’s guitar solo.

The crowd kept shouting their love to the band between songs and Bloomer told us about her eyelashes and how her hair rips them off sometimes when she headbangs. She then talked about “Hollow” and how an interviewer had asked about all their songs being about mental health and went on to say that she feels at home and welcome here, as if she’s among friends. You can tell she meant it when she said she puts her real bare self on stage every night – that may explain the force of her performance. I also noted that Jump was fully on DJ duties in this one.

Bloomer thanked the crowd for being into it and bringing out her emotions, and laughed as someone threw up their horns for an acoustic song from Still Can’t Kill Us, the album that almost killed them. She asked all the people who feel to weird/different/broken/etc. to fit in with everyone else to sing along if they know the words to “Too Loud.” The drummer did a solo and then apparently blew out his kick drum, so Bloomer asked the crowd if there was anything special they wanted to hear; someone asked for “Happy Hurts,” which means I unfortunately missed a golden opportunity to hear “Rock n’ Roll Thugs.” She teased that the Finns only like the emo songs but gladly obliged, though Jump asked if she was sure after already opening the song. It was a nice moment that was uniquely special to the Helsinki show.

Bloomer then announced that the next song, “Counting on Hearts,” was for the fans, as an indie band who doesn’t have a big team or label to support them. Then they got really excited about us being the third crowd ever to hear the newest song, “Blindside.” Not knowing all that much of their material, I enjoyed the new songs and thought they fit in well alongside the rest of their material. Bloomer then sadly announced that they had only one song left and that the crowd needs to let loose all their crazy energy, singing loudly along with “pain didn’t change me / I changed my pain” for “Demons.” They didn’t make us wait long for an encore, giving us a song for the oldschool fans: “Off With Her Head.” They then realized they promised to play “Get Well” but had not, so that was the real last song of the night. Jump even sang a little bit in this one!

As this is only their second time playing in Finland – with the last time being back in 2014 for the Rock n’ Roll Thugs Tour – Icon for Hire said they’re hoping to come back again soon and we hope they do! They played like the stage was so much bigger than the reality while simultaneously making the whole venue feel warm and welcoming, truly as though we were all among friends. Cyan Kicks was an ideal opener for these guys, pulling in a more-or-less equal-sized crowd and the reasonably early start-time was nice for a Sunday night. Icon for Hire really laid everything bare on stage, making for a very memorable performance.

1. Make a Move
2. Pulse
3. Cynics & Critics
4. Venom
5. Supposed to Be
6. Iodine
7. Hollow
8. Too Loud (acoustic)
Drum solo
9. Happy Hurts (acoustic)
10. Counting on Hearts
11. Blindside
12. Demons

13. Off With Her Head
14. Get Well

Photos: Janne Puronen

]]> BEST TOUR EVER pt.1 @ On the Rocks, Helsinki, 30.12.2019 Sat, 04 Jan 2020 06:59:27 +0000 Best Tour Ever pt. I at Nosturi, 2019, with Wheel, Shiraz Lane, Arion, and Lost Society.
Photos by Patty Gonzalez.
Read the gig report HERE!

[foogallery id=”44657″]

]]> EMBER FALLS – Bar Loose, Helsinki, 31.08.2019 Sun, 01 Sep 2019 06:00:24 +0000 It’s no secret that we love Ember Falls over here at Musicalypse, so when a show was announced at Bar Loose on the last day of August 2019, there was no question that we’d be going. It’s been a long time since we’ve been to the basement club downtown, so we were able to revisit this underground venue at the same time.


Ember Falls was playing alongside Rosecraft and Humavoid, but our night was busy enough that we were only able to watch the headliner. We arrived in good time and enjoyed the upstairs bar before descending into the basement for showtime.

First things first… Bar Loose? Not an awesome venue. The upstairs is a nice bar, but the basement has a very strange shape and – based on what we know of Ember Falls’ sound tech and his skill – probably not a very good sound system. The room has a sort of exaggerated C-shape with the stairs to the upstairs in the middle, which perhaps causes some weirdness in the way the sound moves. As the stage changed over, the bar had to cut the music so the sound booth could call over to the band. It was properly “underground.”

Photo by Janne Puronen
Ember Falls, Nosturi 2019

The band started up with “COE” but the sound was admittedly pretty rough. The music was coming through decently, but we were quite certain that we were hearing Thomas Grove’s voice because he was belting it out with his own power, not at all amplified by the mic. This made the first song pretty muddy overall, but it was impossible to tell if the band could hear how rough it was because they were giving 100%. The sound was still finding itself a bit as they went into “One More Time,” and I wondered if the guys were still warming up a bit too or if the song seemed a tad sloppy just because the sound quality was so thoroughly messed up. I also noted that Calu did the second verse on his own, which was a nice little change-up from the norm, giving that part a gritty live boost.

By “Rising Tide” the sound and band had both tightened up (at least as much as circumstances would allow), and the crowd started to wake up and get into things, which was perfect leading into the new and still-unreleased song, “Divine.” We caught this the first time earlier this year and we remain as intrigued as before, if not more. My thought process through the entire song was that… this sounds familiar, which song is this? Wait, this isn’t a song I know! Thus it’s easy to conclude that these guys have really nailed their own sound, and we can’t wait for this song to come out.

“Falling Rain” still does it for me every time I hear it; I will probably go to all of Ember Falls’ shows as long as this song remains on the setlist (and probably still beyond that). It’s always been cool to see how easily I’ve been able to connect with the lyrics in some of their songs for reasons that I can’t even define, but this is definitely one of those songs. Another favorite is “The Cost of Doing Business” – a great call-out to people who seek to profit and don’t care about what gets sacrificed in the process – and it seemed that the crowd knew this one too, as the floor became a haze of sweat and raised fists.

There was an extended intro with what sounded to me like an organ playing and a beeping that could’ve been a heart monitor, leading into their new single, “Heart Shaped Black Scar.” This was easily one of the tightest songs of the night and all I can say is that they totally nailed it and it was everything you want to hear from a new single by a band you like. Full 10/10 for both new songs!

They ended the night (naturally) with their big hit, “Shut Down with Me.” This song is so great that its impossible not to get hyped up when those first notes play. They do tend to mess around with it and go crazy a touch too much so it often has messy moments, but nevertheless it’s a fantastic live track and always really powerful. These guys were at full energy from start to finish as well, which is another one of their big draws. Between Grove’s gorgeous voice, Calu’s awesome growls and rhythms, Oswald rocking out and making bass look so cool, Jay V’s incredible solos, and Ace always killing it on the drums, you know that these guys are going to give you a good night every time. The stage was far too small for what they’ve got going on, even with One of Haze (Mikko McMenamin) no longer in their roster.


My final thoughts are always more or less the same: why is this band not bigger? Everything they do, they do so incredibly well, from music to lyrics and vocals, all the way into their stage appearance and energy. There is nothing I don’t love about this band. They interact so well with the crowd and just make you want to party and get out all that energy you had pent up from the week. I’m a bit of a broken record at this point – I love this band and you should definitely check them out if you like combining electronica with heavy fucking metal!

1. COE
2. One More Time
3. Rising Tide
4. Divine
5. Falling Rain
6. The Cost of Doing Business
7. Heart Shaped Black Scar
8. Shut Down with Me

]]> (2019) Cyan Kicks: I Don’t Love You Sat, 24 Aug 2019 06:00:45 +0000 Artist: Cyan Kicks
Album: I Don’t Love You
Release: 23.08.2019
Label: Ranka Kustannus


During our efforts to keep on top of what’s new in Finland, we’ve come across Cyan Kicks. This four-piece is made up of Susanna Aleksandra (vocals), Niila Perkkiö (guitar), Leevi Erkkilä (bass, backing vocals), and Pietari Reijonen (drums). Releasing singles fairly consistently over the last year or so, it was time for these songs to all come together into an album, enigmatically called I Don’t Love You, which came out yesterday.

Firstly, this is definitely not an album for metalheads per se, but perhaps more for those fans of electronic metal or pop rock. It’s got 13 songs, which is more than usual these days, but the songs average about 3 minutes in length, thus keeping the album at a tight 41 minutes. Their catchy electronic sound and upbeat vibe is constantly delightful throughout the album, and there are still some heavy moments, keeping the album from treading into one-note realms.

If you’ve been following the band, singles “Feathers,” “Gasoline,” “Rockabye,” “Satellite,” “Tidal Wave,” “Heart,” and “Mistake” may all already be familiar to you, and since that’s half of the album right there, if you likes all or most of these songs (and really, why wouldn’t you?), there’s no denying that you’ll likely be happy to have them all in one tidy collection.

The rest of the album definitely keeps pace with these hits. I might’ve personally put something a touch more energetic in the first song slot, but opener “Endgame” nevertheless has some decent power to it. “Criminals” is the next new entity, though it sounds a bit too similar to some of the other singles. “Gravity” steps it up a bit though, with a heavier sound coupled with their signature electronic beats. “Riddle” is a bit on the slower side to allow for a little more dynamic ebb and flow of the overall album, while “Saint” is the one song that keeps escaping my notice on each listen-through.”Heart” is the kind of song that I could imagine would be full of passion live (unlike many ballads from this year) and I had to mention it because it has some of the sweetest vocals from Aleksandra. The slowest song on the album is likewise the title track, “I Don’t Love You,” which is beautiful and ambient. The album ends strongly with another familiar single “Rockabye,” thus wrapping things up nicely and leaving you kind of wishing it wasn’t over just yet.


I Don’t Love You is a lot of fun, uniform in sound but still diverse enough not to feel totally one-note. The main target group for this band is likely under 30 (aka not me), but nevertheless, even past that age range, there’s definitely something going on there that’s hard to place but nevertheless enjoyable to hear. The electronic sound is fresh to my ears (though I don’t listen to a lot of pop music in general) and the lyrics seem to have more depth than your average modern pop song, which is maybe the biggest seller (even if the target audience – as I said – is a fair bit under my own age). I’m very interested to see how these songs translate live, hopefully we’ll be able to attend their album release gig later this month!

Rating: 8.5/10, 4.5 stars

1. Endgame
2. Tidal Wave
3. Gasoline
4. Criminals
5. Gravity
6. Satellite
7. Riddle
8. Feathers
9. Saint
10. Heart
11. Mistake
12. I Don’t Love You
13. Rockabye

]]> BLIND CHANNEL w/ IKINÄ: Blood Brothers Release Show – Tavastia, Helsinki, 23.05.2018 Sat, 26 May 2018 06:00:28 +0000 One of Musicalypse’ favorite up-and-coming bands, Blind Channel, are back on the scene with their sophomore album, Blood Brothers, out and ready to be heard. While their album release tour has already begun, the official release party took place on May 23rd, 2018, at Tavastia in Helsinki. Having had such a great time at the Revolutions release show back in 2016, we wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Full gallery coming soon.
Listen along to the setlist on Spotify here:

We arrived during the break between Ikinä and Blind Channel, having unfortunately been running too late to catch Ikinä. However, we heard from Essi and Lene that they were, simply, outstanding.

We were pleased to see that both bands had a great selection of new merch – it was a good place to spend some money, and I appreciate that both bands were willing to play around or full-on ignore the ‘black shirts only’ rule.


Blind Channel was set to take the stage at 21:00, and they came out to an intro track before Niko “Nc Enroe” Moilanen shouted, “Dance, you rebels!” and they went straight into “Trigger”, the first track from the latest release. Right from the first notes, the energy was turned up to 11, but from the crowd, it was quite hard to find a good spot, as the mid-range of the mix was lost. We wandered around the venue a while, trying to find the optimal place, though it became difficult to navigate as the floor filled up with dancing fans.

By the second song, “Alone Against All”, the crowd had become so loud that it was getting hard to hear the band over them. It’s also become clear that the band has gotten comfortable and familiar with their material. “Deja FU” was played wonderfully, and both Nc Enroe and Joel Hokka were able to play around with the vocal lines, adding stylish embellishments here and there at their whim. It sounded great.

“Like a Brother” made for a nice live track, and the autotune in the vocals that rubbed me slightly the wrong way on the album actually sounded quite decent in a live scenario. Both vocalists seemed comfortable with the high notes, and had clear, gorgeous harmonization. Spaz Caroon, who is Enroe’s younger brother, did a shirtless guest appearance in “Elephant in the Room” – a song on which he had also made an appearance on the album.

By the time we hit the not-so-new-anymore single, “Sharks Love Blood”, the mix had finally balanced out. It took some time, but from here on our we could comfortably stand more or less anywhere and enjoy ourselves. The song was introduced with red lights and had some of the only fog pyros of the night. After that, it seemed prudent to slow down for a bit, so the band played their live debut of “Scream”, the song they wrote in honor of the late Chester Bennington [Linkin Park].

After a few more songs, there was another guest appearance: Johnny Parkkonen [ex-Santa Cruz], who came on stage to do some pretty nice guitar solos in “Giants.” This was by far the best song on the new album, and probably the best live song as well – it was very fun and dramatic, in a good and not overstated sort of way.

The first three quarters of the set was basically perfect and I was pleased to see that now that they have some more material, they’ve figured out how to put a good setlist together. However, I have to admit that I’m a bit tired of “Don’t” and would’ve liked to hear something else, such as “My Revolution” – possibly the best song on their first album that was sadly left out. Fortunately they only played the first verse/chorus or so before moving on. I don’t think I’ve heard their version of “Can’t Hold Us” live yet (or if I have, it was only once), so that was a nice addition. The latter had perhaps the cutest ‘circle pit’ of young girls. The metalhead in me was tempted to show them how it’s done, but in the end, I didn’t really want to be responsible for trampling anyone to death.

They followed this with “Out of Town” – it’s a nice song but proved to be rather drawn-out and repetitive, so it was good that they finished the main set with “Darker than Black.” Okay, maybe they haven’t mastered the art of perfecting setlists just yet, but they’ll get there. The encore began with a rather impressive drum solo by Tommi Lalli and then they played “IDFU”; Spaz Caroon also returned for this song. Again, this was disappointing, as “I.D.F.U.”, which while admirable in spirit, isn’t their best new song and I would’ve again liked to hear something else. However, they did end with “Wolfpack”, which is the best single from the new album, so at least they still closed things out on a high note.


It’s been an absolute ton of fun watching this band go from having no albums, learning the ropes of live shows, touring with many bands, and finally releasing two of their own albums. Though this release tour is short and sweet around Finland, these guys will be at a ton of festivals this year, including RockFest and Tuska, so rest assured, this will not be the last you hear about Blind Channel from us. They’ve really stepped up their game and all I really see is vast improvement in their already excellent live presence. I see these guys going nowhere but to the top, and we don’t want to miss any of the journey!

Ikinä Setlist:
1. Terapiaa
2. #elämää
3. Jalat kantaa
4. Kryptoniitti
5. Sahara
6. Et Pelkää
7. Turbounelmii
8. Kylmääkin kylmempää
9. Vaatteet päältä
10. Magic Mike
11. Bileet

Blind Channel setlist:
1. Trigger
2. Alone Against All
3. Deja FU
4. Like a Brother
5. Elephant in the Room (ft. Spaz Caroon)
6. Sharks Love Blood
7. Scream
8. Enemy for Me
9. My Heart is a Hurricane
10. Giants (ft. Johnny Parkkonen)
11. Bullet (With Your Name on It)
12. Don’t [Ed Sheeran cover]
13. Can’t Hold Us [Mackelmore cover]
14. Darker than Black

15. I.D.F.U.
16. Wolfpack

Photos: Miia Collander