Amplifier Bar, Perth WA
May 26th, 2019
Supports: Troldhaugen and Silent Knight
Korpiklaani, the folk metal masters from Finland finished off their Wayfarers Australian and New Zealand Tour in Perth. They say the best is saved ’til last and so it was for a night of metal, a good dose of violin, piano accordion combined with thundering drums and distorted guitars.
Before we get to Finland’s finest we need to pay homage to Perth Power Metal supremoes Silent Knight. I haven’t seen the boys play for quite a while but the most noticeable thing about their performance wasn’t just how incredibly tight they are as a band, lead singer Jesse Onur Oz has developed into a genuine frontman. Usually happy with delivering his impressive vocal performance from a safe place out of the spotlight he was front and centre engaging with those who were smart enough to turn up early. The boys played a tight opening set or power metal standards that delighted fans and impressed newcomers.
Sandwiched between Silent Knight and Korpiklaani were Troldhaugen, I must admit I knew absolutely nothing about this band. But if you can imagine a slightly insane Egyptian Pharaoh leading a bunch of slightly less insane Egyptian Sphinx playing some of the most off kilter completely mad electronic-anthemic-cartoonish-brutally heavy metal you’ll get some idea of what Troldhaugen is all about. Entertaining doesn’t even begin to describe the show the Wollongong quartet delivered. I thought I’d seen it all, but I’d wasn’t ready for the mix of vaudeville and metal served up at Amplifier Bar on a sleepy Sunday night.
But at the end of the day, we were all here to see Korpiklaani. The six Finns hit the stage like a folk metal typhoon. Dreadlocked lead singer Jonne Järvelä worked the stage like the pro he is. Mixing greetings in English with Finnish lyrics it didn’t take long for the punters to be completely at his beck and call. Musically they land somewhere between hardcore and jaunty. Violins and piano accordions will do that. But what impressed me the most was the sheer fact that the language barrier didn’t matter – it literally wasn’t there. Australian punters adorned in denim and leather hung on every Finnish word singing them all back with complete confidence.
The crowd was whipped into a frenzy as mosh pit opened and there was some mad crowd surfing, albeit briefly. It’s hard to imagine where Korpiklaani came from, the idea is so ridiculous – heavy meal folk music, I’m mean come on! Kalle Savijärvi’s chugging guitar with the sing-song of Tuomas Rounakar’s violin, it’s just so mad it works! Add to that the “Ming The Merciless” inspired look of accordion maestro Sami Perttula stalking the stage it was at times difficult to try and take it all in. I guess the best way to describe a Korpiklaani gig is, completely off the charts beer soaked good time.
The six Finns took us on a journey of epic proportions, belting out classics and crowd favourites combined with a ton from their latest offering Kulkija. After a solid two hour set we were treated to an encore of Beer Beer and Vodka there was more than one Happy Little Boozer in the house – I’ll drink to that!
Reviewed by Gareth Williams (@notgareth)