By Georgi Bomb
What better time for oriental black metal (complete with traditional Tawainese Erhu) to join forces with the vikings than on Hallow’s Eve? An array of costumes have flocked to see Chthonic and headliners Turisas this evening, ranging from the classic Turisas impersonators to the Halloween fans who have opted for ghosts, ghouls and one, rather freaky, mother and baby outfit (words don’t do it justice).
Both bands have made a welcome return to Norwich this evening and the high energy on stage is mirrored by the crowd. Chthonic kick things off with Forty-Nine Theurgy Chains and keep things on the dark side with perfection.
Each member standing wide as they battle through tracks like Broken Jade off this year’s Takasgo Army album. Vocalist Freddy (Last Face of Maradou) interacts with the crowd in a relaxed and friendly manner as Doris (Thunder Tears) strides back and forth in her gorgeous wedges.
The setlist covers their more recent offerings, which still please die hard fans and successfully intrigues new interest from others. Chthonic play as they always do – tight, fierce and somehow manage to emanate intense energy while appearing totally calm.
Turisas demanded people show up to their headlining shows on their recent UK tour trailer, or may we have our belongings stolen from us; well Norwich must have got wind of this fact because it was a wall-to-wall, sweaty and grotesquely hairy affair as the lights went down to welcome the battle metal.
Storming onstage with The March of the Varangian Guard, Turisas perform seamlessly, with two new touring members Robert Engstrand (keyboards) and Jukka-Pekka Miettinen (bass) fitting in naturally with the rest of the group. Screaming lyrics, unison air punching and, like the Finnish performers, no one tires of jumping about manically.
Performing some of their more addictive tracks Stand Up and Fight, Fields of Gold, Rasputin and final track, Battle Metal was met with a true viking cry from the crowd.
There is something about Turisas that is very non-offensive and watching them interact with each other on stage becomes almost endearing; these guys clearly have fun and the make up and outfits made out of what looks like roadkill only enhances this. Frontman Mathias Nygård closes the set by inviting everyone to join them at the afterparty. Unfortunately, not many stuck around; probably too much trick and treating to get going with.