I remember getting the press release for this tour upon its announcement and thinking “That’ll be an interesting pairing” – i wasn’t wrong! Read on to see how events unfolded…
The show (and the tour) was intended to be opened by Swedish punk upstarts Obnoxious Youth, but they had to pull out right at the last minute. The daunting task of opening for two of rock’s freshest acts fell upon the shoulders on one young man… and an acoustic guitar! Panic not dear reader, as it was in very safe hands: Daniel Bay, longtime friend to In Solitude, did a humble job of performing some heartfelt and emotive acoustic hymns to lost love and regret. Chatting to Daniel after the show, i explained how i felt it was a brave move considering the crowd he was playing too, but it’s one that paid off, as those that arrived early enough to catch the performance were appreciative and captivated, and something he was relishing as it was his first tour outside of his native Sweden.
“And now, for something completely different!”
Beastmilk have been making something of a stir in the world of rock and metal over this last year or so and many a site and magazine had their debut “Climax” pretty high up in the 2013 year end polls – and rightfully so. Bringing together an intoxicating mix of punk sensibilities, 80’s darkwave and big choruses, it was a delight to have stumbled upon the band, as it was outside this writer’s usual musical spectrum.
One of my only criticisms towards “Climax” is that it possesses a fairly ‘thin’ sound, but this has been addresses for the live arena with the recent (and excellent) choice of adding Linnea Olsson (formerly of The Oath) and its worked wonders. The show was one of mesmerising brilliance, as the tribal rhythms, moody lighting and an energetic band served to transfix the audience.
Starting the set-list with the wonderfully entitled “The Wind Blows Through Their Skulls”, the band wasted no time in setting the tone and expectations for what was to follow, very high, as Kvohst’s unique vocal style was on fine form and the venue lended itself very well to the style of music – each instrument being pin sharp and perfectly audible, whilst each of the band members were clearly on form.
We were treated to little snippets of post-apocalyptic poetry between songs, which added greatly to the atmosphere and gave a novel way of introducing each track. With not the greatest amount of songs to choose from, “Climax” was essentially played in its entirety yet in a revised order than its CD counterpart – this way ensuring everyone’s favourite track got an airing, but we were also treated to a couple of earlier demo tracks which have benefited from the addition of a second guitarist and being honed within the live environment.
Beastmilk raised the bar very high for the headliners tonight, and put on one of my favourite shows of the year – i really cant wait to see where they take us next.
In Solitude had their work cut out to follow their touring partners, and it was clear to see from the very first note played, the challenge was ‘accepted’, and the next 65 minutes was to be the metal equivalent of a gauntlet being thrown down!
Setting the scene even before the band came on stage, white lilies were placed upon the stage and amplifiers, whilst incense sticks were lit around the venue which created a heady atmosphere, and was completely in contrast to the thrashing bombast that opened the show and the gathered disciples simply lapped it up.
Calling upon all three albums worth of material ensured that the variety was there in terms of set-list variety, but the set was understandably aimed at more material from their excellent recent release “Sister”. “Death Knows Where” & “Horses in the Ground” were played with grand conviction, but it was the title track “Sister” that was the absolute highlight of the set, with the band pouring all their hearts and energy in to the track – a genuine spectacle to witness.
Speaking which; the band didnt stand still – not once! Constantly moving or headbanging, it really was an energetic performance and one where you just didnt know where to look next. Vocalist Pelle, much akin to Kvohst from Beastmilk earlier, was an interesting prospect to watch, as his performance was as much with his body as his voice. If any criticism was to be made, it would with the mix at some points in the set – the more subtle aspects of Pelle’s voice were lost in the mix, and especially when addressing the crowd.
The prospect of this tour on paper was one of excitement, but actually witnessing it was something else indeed – two bands, each forging their own very unique path and both at the pinnacle of their game. If any of the other shows on this tour were as dynamic and animated as this (and i expect they all have been) then Europe may well not know what hit it!
Charismatic brilliance, from all involved.
REVIEW BY: Jason
BurningFist would like to thank PHIL VIDAMOUR PHOTOGRAPHY for the fantastic images, all used with kind permission.