Gig review: Amorphis makes a triumphant return to Tokyo

Tomi Joutsen of Amorphis onstage in Tokyo. Photo: Masayuki Noda

Tomi Joutsen of Amorphis onstage in Tokyo. Photo: Masayuki Noda

By Stefan Nilsson

When Finnish powerhouse Amorphis made a triumphant return to Japan on Wednesday 27th January, Roppongi Rocks’ Stefan Nilsson was there to get a great dose of Nordic heavy metal.

Amorphis opens the gig at Tsutaya O-East in Shibuya with “Under the Red Cloud” which is followed by “Sacrifice” and “Bad Blood”. Following that high-energy knockout opening, they give us a great version of “You I Need” and they just keep going from there. We get an hour and a half of world-class heavy metal.

The band, who’s been playing for 26 years now, is very tight and in Tomi Joutsen, who has been fronting the band for the past decade, they have a frontman of class who both look and sound the part.

Esa Holopainen of Amorphis onstage in Tokyo. Photo: Masayuki Noda

Esa Holopainen of Amorphis onstage in Tokyo. Photo: Masayuki Noda

We obviously get a “best of” set but it features quite a few tracks from their latest album “Under the Red Cloud”, which, in my opinion, is one of the band’s best albums.

They revisit their Nordic death metal roots with “Drowned Maid” but most songs this evening are delivered in the now well-established Amorphis sound which is perhaps best described as melodic heavy metal with a dash of death metal and progressive metal as well as some Finnish folk influences. Well, no matter how you choose to describe Amorphis, they’re bloody good and this evening they’re in top form. The Tokyo audience are with them all the way.

As an encore we get the terrific “Death of a King”, “Silver Bride” and “The Smoke”. One couldn’t really ask for much more. A great end to a great gig by a great band.

Tomi Joutsen of Amorphis onstage in Tokyo. Photo: Masayuki Noda

Tomi Joutsen of Amorphis onstage in Tokyo. Photo: Masayuki Noda

The Amorphis gig this evening reminds me somewhat of Machine Head’s gig at the same venue last year. It has a similar energy on stage and a crowd that loves the band on stage. Top stuff and good fun for a Nordic heavy metal fan like me. Between Finland and Sweden, the Nordics pretty much rule the heavy metal world.

Amorphis has played the all-important Loud Park festival in the past and toured Japan several times. They have now built up a loyal following of Japanese fans who love them. Thus, they’ll be back soon enough. Will we get to see them return for a performance at this year’s Loud Park? I hope so.

Amorphis – band members

Tomi Joutsen – vocals

Esa Holopainen – guitar

Tomi Koivusaari – guitar

Niclas Etelävuori – bass

Santeri Kallio – keyboards

Jan Rechberger – drums

www.amorphis.net / www.facebook.com/amorphis

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s