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Wednesday 9th October 2013
Islington Academy in London, UK
Reviews & Photography by Nicholas Dishington
Revoker begin as they mean to go on, diving head-first into what can only be described as hard rock infused metal. I've got to admit, the sound is a well-trodden path but the delivery is what makes this band stand out. Bouncing around stage like an ADHD kid full of e-numbers you can't help but get caught up in their energy. Tracks such as 'The Great Pretender' and 'Psychoville' fly by in a groove fuelled blur; it's all quite similar but catchy enough to appreciate even if you're unfamiliar with them. That said, it's surprising that most of the crowd aren't too involved in this; a few heads nodding here and there but nothing else. The vocals are beautifully clear, it's rare to understand every lyric for a band you don't really know but whether it's the sound technician's wizardry or vocalist Jamie Mathias, someone's doing a great job. It's a short set but really fun to watch and, with such catchy hooks, they are definitely accessible to the majority of people.
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A quick trip to the gents between bands serves only to support the Viking metal mood as the toilets have rapidly descended into a scene reminiscent of Valhalla. It seems like not just one or two people have prepared for tonight by getting completely trashed. This is metal for drinking though and the English need no better excuse than that. Greeted by the screams of "BATTLE! BATTLE! BATTLE!", the Finnish sextet open with the ominous, somewhat brooding 'For Your Own Good' from their latest album, ‘Turisas2013’. It feels like an odd start, not exactly high energy (especially considering the band that preceded them), but they quickly ramp up the power with 'A Portage to the Unknown'. To say that the aforementioned recent album hasn't been out long, the set is only peppered with a few tracks from it, playing a mix of classics with the odd new song here and there, such as 'Piece by Piece' and 'Greek Fire'. The sing-along moments, however, are here by the bucketload. A trio of tracks from the album 'Battle Metal' come in the form of 'As Torches Rise', 'One More' and the album's title-track, and definitely serve as a people-pleaser. However, with the party atmosphere they could probably be playing b-sides for all anyone cares. There's a surprising lack of Turisas inspired black and red painted faces in the audience, although there are a few and the odd plastic Viking horned hat but it's hardly the sea of Poundland garbed war-ready warriors I was expecting. The brilliantly named 'No Good Story Ever Starts With Drinking Tea' very much feels like the poster song for the night, a booze-fuelled romp to shout the words to while holding your beer up high. 'We Ride Together' and 'Stand Up and Fight!' provide yet more camp, uplifting fun before their encore cover of Boney M's 'Rasputin', a full-on, knees-up tune to celebrate the evening with. At only 13 songs, tonight's set feels a little short but the fact vocalist Warlord's lengthy between-song banter (mainly about drinking) is only rivalled by Tony Kakko, it makes things hardly surprising. One thing's for certain - if you're on the 12 step programme, Turisas are not for you.
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Turisas at Islington Academy, London, UK, 9th October 2013
Photograph copyright © 2013 Nicholas Dishington - www.metal-discovery.com
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