It’s been over 2 years since I had last seen Turisas headlining their own tour. With the recent release of their excellent new album ‘Turisas2013’ they finally returned to the UK.
I will admit that I expected a pretty packed show. Imagine my surprise when it was far from that, I guess the new album had divided opinion way more than I thought. Regardless I was looking forward to see them take to the stage & the people around me seemed as excited.
Naturally they opened with a track from the new album, For Your Own Good which, while a good song, lacks the instant pace you expect from the opening of a Turisas show. Everyone was expected a frantic & energetic start & it kind of felt slightly subdued. They followed it up with a surprise number that is rarely played, A Portage To The Unknown which went down extremely well.
It should be noted that the band sound positively amazing on stage with not a note dropped & Warlords voice soaring to heights I had never heard before.
A double header of new tracks, Ten More Miles & Piece By Piece really got things going with the former easily being a staple part of the bands future live shows alongside Battle Metal etc & the next track that the band played, To Holmgard And Beyond. A classic as always…
Another new song, probably the heaviest of the new album, Greek Fire sounded epic & is fast becoming one of my favourite Turisas songs. The band then switches gears & goes back in time for a triple header of songs from the Battle Metal album. As Torches Rises, One More & Battle Metal has the crowd in an almost rabid state. Warlord has the venue eating out of the palm of his hand as he leads an epic sing-along to the chorus of Battle Metal.
It’s the highlight of a great set so when the next song is the distinctly average, No Good Story Ever Starts With Drinking Tea off the new album you can almost hear the crowds energy deflating.
Thankfully We Ride Together follows & sounds as good as it does on the album. Sure it lacks that epic sound of other album closers but it is still a top song. The band seems to recognise its lack of ‘oomph’ as well though & chose to finish their set with, Stand Up And Fight. It was a great ending to a really good set & I was pretty excited to see what songs they might find in their arsenal for the expected encore.
Sadly this is where I can’t hide my disappointment…
Turisas, like many bands, have done their fair share of cover songs. The 2 most notable being the Mary Hopkin snore-fest, Those Where The Days & the Boney M disco track, Rasputin.
Over the years Rasputin has become a permanent fixture in the Turisas set-list & no matter how much I wish it wasn’t it seems like it is going to stay this way. I don’t dig this song at all & to see it take the place of actual Turisas songs infuriates me. Sadly I seemed to be alone with this thought at this show because as soon as the band left the stage a large section of the crowd started chanting ‘ra-ra-Rasputin’.
So naturally the band came back out & started playing it. I suffered through it in the knowledge that they would surely follow that up with something like End Of An Empire. A song befitting of a Tursias show & one to send you home in awe.
Rasputin ended….the lights came on & everyone began to shuffle out. Disappointed doesn’t even sum it up…
I’ve tried not to let that poor encore affect my judgement of what was an excellent show & deep down I know that the band could have played for another hour & I probably would still have left wanting more.
I just left with this feeling that there are far too many Turisas fans who love the whole Viking/face paint thing rather than the actual band. Why else would you chant for a Boney M cover!?
Turisas @ Islington Academy, London (09/10/13)
The Final Score - 8/10
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