I have listened to Ajattara for many years, but this was merely my second time seeing them live. The previous time I saw them was at Qstock Festival in 2009, and that time they played a fully acoustic gig. This time I was to see the group in their normal state - fittingly in the shady basement-floor of Nuclear Nightclub, which provided a spot-on setting for the group's violent music. In case you're unfamiliar with Ajattara, their music could be described as strongly rhythmic and more or less simplistic black (or dark) metal, with additional death metal-brutality and a dose of atmospheric synth-work. Catchy, violent and powerful music, shortly said.
Ajattara begun playing at midnight, after an intro sample of Anton LaVey's speech (which continued to serve as the gig's outro as well) which created a devilish atmosphere. They had no warm-up acts, which made the audience rather distant for first couple of songs. The band, however, was in top-notch shape right from the beginning - especially the vocalist Ruoja seemed to give his all on stage, both vocally and through his presence that radiated hostility. His gestures emphasized both the songs' rhythms as well as the lyrics, and it was clear that he knows what he's doing. The lighting was really well planned as well, and the mix was spot-on aside of the vocals drowning to the music during the opening song. Thumbs up to those in charge.
It seems that the group's line-up had changed once again; they had a new drummer, no second guitar, and there were two pleasingly clad female vocalists who lent their voices to half (or so) of the songs. Despite these changes (which may have been made to last for just this one gig, I don't know) the band seemed to be at the peak of their performance; they really gave their all on stage, and, despite the slow start, the audience soon succumbed to the music. When Ruoja commanded the audience to shout, they did so.
I heard only positive comments about the gig when it ended after lasting for an hour, and there was a good amount of people shouting for the band to come back to the stage after the last song. They didn't return, and although I could've easily listened to a few more songs, the sudden end fits their style and left the audience hungry for more.
The set list was pretty much flawless, as it spanned from their '01 debut album "Itse" to their newest album "Murhat" from earlier this year, and they even played a song or two from their acoustic album "Noitumaa." It held a good dose of variation that came seamlessly together, while keeping the audience from knowing what they'd next be subjected to. The gig left me more than satisfied, and was easily worth the 10 euros.