Last spring Firewind were on the road supporting Kamelot in Europe and now Gus G. and his mates are on their first headlining tour. At the first part of the tour StormWarrior were their special guest and opener Kiuas is with them on the whole tour. And actually I was quite curious to see the Finnish band Kiuas, coz I haven't seen them before.
The guys kicked off with The Decaying Doctrine of their latest album The New Dark Age. They also kick off the album with this track and the up-tempo tune is a good way to get into Kiuas. They are powerful, riff-based and have catchy hooks! Singer Iljy Jalkanen reminds me a bit of Andy B. Franck - vocally - and as the German singer he's always in motion and tries to entertain the people. They continue with the fast, thrashy Of Sacrifice, Loss & Reward, but the song has also some mid-paced parts. Jalkanen varies here from aggressive parts to melodic passages and his clear powerful voice makes it easy to follow them and get hooked up by the hook lines. After this one Iljy welcomes the audience in German, but confess that he speak almost no German and adds 'my German sucks, but we kick ass!' And they do! Next they presented Of Ancient Wounds from their second album Reformation and then presented 2 songs from their debut Spirit Of Ukko - first Warrior Soul and then the title track. Too soon their set came to an end with Across The Snow. The hymn-like power metal is spiced up with some folk elements, a dash of aggression and even semi-acoustic parts. I hope to see them soon again! And with more stage time! Thumbs up for the Finnish!
During the change over more metal fans arrived and when StormWarrior entered the stage more people had gathered in front of the stage. The Hanseatic started into their set with Heavy Metal Fire. Singer / guitarist Lars Ramke and his mates were out to promote Heading Northe and so headed straight into Metal Legacy. Their fans were loudly singing along, while others waited for Firewind. After Thunderer, a song from their debut they offered the title track of their latest CD. Many fans welcomed their 80's, Helloween-ish metal and with The Holy Cross and Into The Battle they finished their set.
Finally it was time for Firewind! With Into The Fire they kicked off. Right from the start the Greek rocked the house and especially guitarist Gus G. showed impressively his skills. Singer Apollo was switching sides and tried to cheer up the fans. But I guess that even when he would just stand on stage the fans would have gone crazy. Time for Head Up High and Kill To Life - fans already singing along and partying. After Allegiance they returned to The Premonition album with Angels Forgive Me, one of the highlights for the fans. Drummer Mark Cross embedded his solo in The Silent Code. No doubt Mark is a great drummer, but the solo sounded too familiar... A quite typical powerful drum solo. One more from their latest piece of work and then it was time for the instrumental Before The Storm where the guys could show their skills while singer Apollo got a short break. Soon after they eased up a bit, time for My Loneliness. After the single Mercenary Men they stormed through 2 more songs before Between Heaven & Hell from their debut brought them closer to the end of the set. But they came back for Maniac. They might played one or two more tracks, but I had to catch my train. Anyway, good show of the Greek!
My personal resume, I wished Kiuas would have played longer. The Finnish were really cool! Firewind did a great show with songs from all their albums, but especially the tracks from The Premonition were welcome by the fans. I know that StormWarrior have a lot fans, but I saw Helloween in the mid-80's and StormWarrior sound to me like they want to keep this alive - which it does for many, but not for me.