It seemed that this Northern metal package also brought the winter to the Netherlands. After weeks of almost spring feeling the temperature went down and snow has covered the country.
The snow is almost gone in the meantime and the temperature increased again, but what stayed is the very positive impression of the show from Amorphis and Avantarium.
Amorphis decided to play this mini tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of their milestone albums - "Tales from the thousand lakes". The band decided to celebrate this moment together with their fans and with the special guest they invited for the tour. Swedish shooting star Avatarium is returning back to Tilburg for the opening slot.
Avatarium played their first show outside Sweden and their second show in total in Tilburg. This took place in spring as part of the Roadburn festival. In the meantime Avatarium played a few more shows and returned to Tilburg as special guest for Amorphis. And again the show was something special, since the 013 was the first venue they actually played twice.
At 20:00 the band entered the stage and started directly with the mighty "Moonhorse" into the show. What a riff. Unfortunaltely the venue was half empty, what changed during the set. Avatarium managed to get more and more people from the bar/smokers area towards the stage and at the end of the show the 013 was pretty crowded. A good sign which shows that the five-piece band is still increasing their fanbase with every show they play.
The setlist contained seven songs including the two new songs "All I want" and "Deep well". Not to forget the band highlights like the mentioned "Moonhorse" and "Avatarium".
Compared to the first show in Tilburg the Stockholm-based band performed more tight and it was also obvious that they have played a few shows together since I have seen them the last time. The stage acting reached another level compared to earlier this year. Marcus Jindell was, next to his excellent guitar play, animating the audience a couple of times and also Jennie-Ann Smith seemed to feel much more comfartable in her role. It's anyhow great to see hoe she 'lives' the songs while performing them. But I also want to mention Anders Iwers on bass and Lars Sköld on drums. Both provided the solid foundation for the songs together with the sphereful keyboards sounds of Carl Westholm.
Avatarium did a great job as being the opener and maybe next time they come back as headliner with a new album in the backpack.
Than it was time for the headliner. I have to say that it was my first Amorphis show. I followed them from the "Tales of the thousand lakes" days, but for whatever reason I never managed to see them live. This changed now.
After a shorter break the guys from Finland entered the stage. As said in the beginning it was the 20th anniversary of the milestone album which built the base for this tour. And knowing that Amorphis started as a death metal band everybody expected a heavy night in the 013.
The 90 minutes showed what kind of development the band made during time. Having a more dark metal approach today the beginning phase of the band was focussing in heavy riffs and deep growls. But already in those days the keyboard has been intergrated and the music included also a melodic framework.
However, the first part of the show was reserved for the "Tales..." album. Amorphis played the entire album - meaning all the ten tracks from the original release. This included also songs like "First doom", "Forgotten sunrise" and "To father's cabin" that haven't been performed live since 1995. So it was really a special evening.
While saying this I have to add that after those ten classic death metal tracks Amorphis went even further back in time. The intro "Karelia", "Sign from the North side", "The gathering" and the Abhorrence cover "Vulgar necrolatry" are taken from bands debut that was released in 1992. Really oldschool stuff what the six Finns played that night. And while I was listening to all those songs I was thinking that it would be actually something good to re-record the "Tales..." album since those songs are really good and could get an extra charm by a new production. Or a live album would have been a good idea too.
The last part of the show was paying attention to some highlights from the "Elegy" album that was released in 1996.
Obviously the band enjoyed playing those songs very much. It seemed to me that playing these shows are balancing a bit what they might miss a bit in the modern 'growl-less' approach of Amorphis.
I guess what pushed the band even further have been the enthusiastic reactions in the audience. It is amazing how many people came to an oldschool Amorphis show. The 013 was not totally sold out, but it was quite crowded giving the evening the right ambience.
To sum up. Amorphis took a very good decision to play this anniversary mini tour, since it was an exciting view back into the early days of the band. The show was highly entertaining and I can't imagine that there was anybody in the audience who didn't enjoy those 90 minutes. It was the right energizer after the Christams days and I hope, that it wasn't a once in a lifetime thing.