NICOLE / MEDEIA
This gig was the second half of a two-day club festival titled Metal Beast 2, and sadly the only half I was able to take part in. The event didn't have a greater cause or idea behind it, and it was only the second time it took place - last year the event was still a small one, just one day long and had only three bands participating. I hope that this trend will stay the same and push the event to be an even greater one the next time.
As we got to the club quite late, we didn't have to wait long until the warm-up act Akma got to the stage. The settings were set up properly, so the waiting was well bearable. These young fellows started pretty straight away with their mix of grindcore, technical death metal and other extreme metal influences, and they really seemed to be enjoying their time on stage and performed energically despite the small audience. The band seemed to have some of their friends among the audience, which shattered the band's concentration a bit but also seemingly made the band rather stress-free. The audience seemed to warm towards the band by the end of the gig, but there was no pit despite the vocalist's many attempts. Between the song the vocalist spat out pretty much the worst lines of discussion ever and the gig witnessed a quick appearance by a not so well-built superman, which again rises the band's age to the discussion. Their music was quite good, they have imbued some rather original choices in their compositions, know to take it slower at times and have the talent to execute their ideas. If they only gave more serious approach and zeal to their music both in the composing and performing, they might actually become something noteworthy. More people came in front of the stage as the gig went on, so I guess others noticed this too.
After a short break Medeia climbed on stage, and a good amount of audience gathered in front of the stage. Their first song was kind of a warm-up for both the band and the audience, but by the second song the audience had given in to the energy and rage the band was showing on stage with their dark extreme metal. The whole band really seemed to have it going, and especially the vocalist Keijo Niinimaa displayed his experience (he sings in the grindcore-band Rotten Sound) in getting the audience go insane even though Medeia's music isn't of the most instantly appealing kind. The gig balanced well between the band's darkest and fastest material, ranging from atmospheric sludgy parts to grindcore-esque beatings, and the simpler and more technical material. They even played a couple of new tunes that seemed really promising, and at least got me waiting for what the band will come up with on their second album that they're currently recording in the studio.
A special mention goes to Laura Dziadulewicz for standing behind the keyboards through the whole gig despite being armed with walking sticks, and to Keijo for rushing from behind the microphone back to standing behind the sales desk (where he stood before the gig, too) before even having the time to wipe his face from the sweat. The sales counter hold one rather peculiar item being sold: titled as "Keijo Art", a bible that Keijo had written on and scribbled with mystical notes all around it whilst being drunk in the morning was being sold with the price of 66,6 euros. To all of our surprise it hadn't been sold even after Nicole finished on stage. If I was a rich bitch I would have the bible on my shelf right now, but as things are as they are, I settled for buying their EP.
Despite the tour of Medeia and Nicole being a co-headlining one, as of this night Nicole was without a doubt the headlining act. The front of the stage was packed full, and as the band started with their faster material the audience executed pretty much as large a pit as was possible. I guess that most of these people were familiar with the band's material, they got such an enthusiastic and warm welcome - they play some kind of technical death metal of a brand that some people call mathematical (think about a heavier, simpler, more angsty and much less ambitious Meshuggah) so it's not too likely for a someone new to the band to really get into their music right away at the gig's beginning. The audience seemed to enjoy the whole gig despite it's long lenght, which felt long even without the encore-songs. I would've enjoyed a smaller portion of this kind of expression, especially as the band's performance seemed quite dull and they spoke pretty much nothing between the songs, but the fans enjoyed every minute of it. To me the gig got stale and dull towards it's end, as the band's material seemed to follow the same formula throughout all the songs. I had only heard a couple of tracks from the band before the gig, but it can still be safely said that the band could've performed better and could have executed a tighter gig.
Overall I don't have much to complain about with the event, especially considering the cheap tickets. The event seemed well organized, there was only a really short wait between the bands, and the service worked well despite the amount of people packed in the bar. The only annoying thing were the glass pints and people taking them to the pit. Due to the people being drunk some of their pints fell on the floor, and by the end of Nicole's show there was glass shards pretty much everywhere around the stage. During the whole time (the three gigs) I didn't see anyone cleaning up the shards, either. I hope that the bar will serve people with plastic pints the next time the place holds an extreme metal gig, or at least cleans up the shards.