A few short days ago Ensiferum and Korpiklaani visited the Baltimore Soundstage with very special guest TrollfesT on May 27, 2015. Well I definitely am going to admit that is Baltimore was a good place to be a metalhead the last week of May. The city was host to Maryland Deathfest, but Finnish folkmasters Korpiklaani and Ensiferum came to visit it as well. All week the city was brimming with metal heads and it was nice to see such a full venue on a Wednesday evening to come out for this folk metal show.
Some tours just put together perfect line-up where the bands all compliment each other and get the crowd prepared and excited for who’s up next. This was definitely one of those line-ups and for all the metal heads scattered across the US that had the opportunity to go to 70,000 tons of Metal 2015- this was a nice reminiscent musical evening for them and well for me.
TrollfesT was the fist to hit the stage. Kicking off the night of folk metal in a very light, fun, absolutely chaotic, and straw hat wearing sort of way. This band is absolutely a must see live and enormous goof balls on stage, so I am pretty sad that I wound up missing them on the cruise- damn early set times -either way it was really great to have the chance to see them open for Ensiferum. This set was simply goofy mayhem. The band’s musical style, range of instruments, use of a fictitious language (“trollspark”) and of course SIZE add to the mayhem- currently at seven members three of which focus on percussions. At a smaller venue, like the SoundStage, that many people can hardly fit on the stage, but it ultimately the close quarters just made the whole performance more intimate and allowed for some entertaining antics by the band- like having bass player Lodd Bolt carried by the crowd to the bathroom. The set included a bunch of tracks from their most recent release Kaptein Kaos and of course Brumlebassen.
So it is fair to say that TrollfesT ramped up the crowd, and put everybody is in pretty good spirits. Absolutely perfect energy for Korpiklaani to be welcomed into. To be expected Korpiklaani came out and delivered an absolutely killer set. Just like Ensiferum they are on tour to support their most recent release Noita. Not sure if they were feeding off their own excitement from the albums new material, but the set from start to finish was amazing. The best part for me was how much new material they played. I mean not to say that it wasn’t great to see them play the classics like Vodka but this set included seven songs from the new album. Let me repeat that…. seven songs! If you haven’t listened to the new album yet- do it.
TrollfesT and Korpiklaani are most certainly on the lighter side of the folk metal genre- making you want to grab a beer whereas Ensiferum is grand, majestic and battle ready. Ensiferum is also on tour in support of recent release- One Man Army. So of course their set included both new and the old. Ensiferum, is one of those bands I can never believe how big they sound especially when I see their number on stage. Even live, the choir portions of the songs sound so complete. Ensiferum has a great blend of technically perfect guitars, enchanting melodies, and of course the most adorable accordion player you’ve ever seen. The set satisfied all of your mosh pit and fun folk metals desires and closed with a very special encore covering Judas Priest’s Breaking the Law with Netta Skog on vocals.
Since this was one of the final dates on a rather lengthy tour- five weeks- it was pretty obvious that these bands truly liked each other on and off the stage. Each performance included at one point or another a guest appearance from one of the other bands… which of course were all met with smiles. Truly this was a great show and tour.