Turisas : Live at Nottingham Rock City

It’s cackblabbath.online’s first visit to the newly refurbished Nottingham Rock City Main Hall. Refurbished maybe a bit over the top; the main thing that has changed is it has got bigger, thanks to opening up the balcony further and getting rid of one of those sight blocking staircases. I don’t think anyone was expecting marble columns and chandeliers though…

IMG_7070 (2)Opening up tonight’s eclectic bill are Astrohenge. It’s nice and early as always on a Thursday at Rock City and Astrohenge are a band just about as far away from Turisas as you could wish to find.

A bare chested stripped back image married with a thunderous spacey soundtrack, the band put on half an hour’s instrumental doom without offering a word to the crowd. They put out some big atmospheric spacey tunes which are almost complimented by the largely empty and newly spacious surroundings. For all the down and dirty heavy bits there are plenty of mental sounding boogie-doom sections thanks to the inclusion of keyboards too.

The big lurching riffs of Astrohenge certainly don’t win everyone over, but there are a few red and black decorated warriors out in the crowd nodding appreciatively. CB will be keen to catch them again soon.

Revoker have been quiet recently. They are on the last dregs of their debut album tour, as frontman Jamie confirms when he lets us know that the band are about to head into the studio to cook up album number two.

IMG_7151 (2)The Welsh metallers waste no time in introducing some new material to the slowly swelling crowd. If new song ‘Generation Genocide’ is anything to go by, it won’t be half bad.

The crowd get a first chance to move to some of Revoker’s more straight ahead metal racket. The over-polished gleam of their recorded work is blasted away in place of a great raucous show and gets Nottingham suitably warmed up for the headliners.

It is Turisas’s fifth appearance at Rock City and since capturing everyone’s imagination and helping stoke the battle metal movement some seven or eight years ago, they’re still going strong.

The wolf skin battle attire has faded more into denim and leather over the years, but the red and black greasepaint remains. It’s a popular look too, as punters with everything from Pantera, Led Zep and, well…Turisas t-shirts don the red and black stripes and wield their plastic axes.

Hitting the stage to their usual mix of 90’s cheesy dance anthems, Turisas’s  entrance is perhaps a little muted to what we are used to. Simple plain backlighting accompanies a sober start to proceedings and it all seems slightly serious. About three songs in, the lights come on and the tempo increases to full on party mode. The chants of “Battle Metal” and “Tur-i-sas” get louder and the axes start fly.

IMG_7253 (2)Turisas have an affinity with us Brits; we both love to drink. In honour of this they play the usual show closer ‘Battle Metal’ mid-set so that we can remember it and before “We pass out in the toilets, or something”. Thoughtful chaps…

Carrying on the drinking theme, Warlord asks the Nottingham for a drinking song. After an indecipherable chant of many different songs, Turisas select an enthusiastic bunch near the barrier to present Nottingham’s favourite drinking song. They look confident but all they come up with is something on the lines of “Nottingham is full of fun”. Metal.

Turisas decide that they are the best candidates to come up with the tunes and unleash their own beer flavoured song in ‘One More’. The speedy thrash based ‘No Good Story ever starts with Drinking Tea’ and the “manly men” dedicated ‘Stand up and Fight’ ensure that the band go out with some real punch.

‘Rasputin’ is a short but effective encore to the night’s joyous proceedings before the sweaty red and black masses are kicked out into the cold; marking another successful night for the Finnish beer army and their loyal followers.