We at Musicalypse have always believed in new talent and one never knows where it’s found until it is. On a cold February evening, I had been tasked to go see a practically unknown symphonic power metal band from Lapland as they made their debut in Helsinki at a youth center. Everfrost isn’t a completely new group, however; after their very well-thought-out and professional debut album from 2015, Blue Eyed Emotion, they were finally ready to take the show on the road. This was actually a release party for their new EP, titled Appetite for Candlelight, and apparently the venue was the only one who would take them on short notice.
I had only heard of the band a few days prior and a surface-level analysis of the first album lead me to expect a very precise and fine-tuned execution of the material. The first record showed impeccable taste with its clear but complex symphonic sound and multiple vocalists and styles. The anime and fantasy -inspired power metal epics seemed fresh and innovative. I found myself looking forward to the show even though I found the choice of venue dubious to say the least; however, seeing as it was their first outing in Helsinki, I gave it a pass.
The place wasn’t at all what I expected. It was very clean and well put-together. It seemed like a pretty decent place for live shows, with all the amenities you’d expect. That is, of course, with the notable absence of alcohol, as well as the peculiar showtime, which began at a baffling 18:00. The crowd was a mix of teenagers waiting to see their friends’ bands, which were set to play after Everfrost, as well as some 20-somethings who, like myself, were clearly only there for Everfrost. As an adult, I felt out of place but still cautiously hopeful.
As Everfrost began to play, they took a minute or two before their singer took his place with them. This is always a good way to build up a show and a great time for the band to show off with no distractions. I immediately noticed that the sound was just a tad quieter than I’m used, to but still loud enough to achieve that power metal sound you’d want. The guitars and keyboards especially shined with their musicianship and got me absolutely jacked. Singer Mikael Salo finally ascended the stage, took the mic, and started to sing the opening track to the first album, “The Lonesome Prince.” It was a catchy anthem with an unmistakable lead melody.
Instantly, Salo sold me on the whole show with his confident swagger. Even when he wasn’t quite focusing on his delivery, he was clearly having such a good time performing with the band that it was impossible to call him on it. He had the mark of a true showman, as did the rest of the band. Keyboardist Benjamin Connelly had his keys turned vertically so that we could see what he was doing and he took every opportunity to thrash his body about; it was a real joy to behold. Even the drummer, Joonas “James” Salminen, was banging his head and raising his arms like mad throughout the entire show. Obviously this was a well-oiled machine, ready for greatness.
Since it was 18:00 on a Wednesday, the crowd spent the majority of the show sitting down at the tables laid out across the hall. During that first song, a few of the kids got riled up enough to try a four-or-five person moshpit, of which they tired quite quickly. Beyond that, the crowd did duly raise their arms and cheer whenever called upon, but always from the comfort of their chairs.
Seeing as they were practically unknown to most of us, they had prepared two cover songs, the first of which came after three songs. Salo introduced it as, “a song from a Swedish band”; it was “Square Hammer” by Ghost, which would later be followed by Rainbow’s “Tarot Woman”, which can also be heard on the new EP. They were both well-received and well-performed but as expected, the teenagers seemed somewhat bewildered by the 70s hard rock classic.
The sound was very brisk and clear throughout the show. There were a few instances of feedback between the mic and the monitors, but that’s to be expected. The lights were mostly orange and blue – cheap but effective. They also only had the one singer for the event, as it was indeed a 40 minute set, culminating in the epic “Three Tier Terror.”
For an up-and-coming band at a venue such as this, it was an exceptional show. They were much more proficient at their craft than most of the more established power metal bands I’ve seen live lately. No matter what, rock n’ roll flourished; as they performed on stage they were always exactly on point and precise. The sheer musicianship alone was a delight and the memorable bits were but the icing on the cake. I don’t say this often, but this is band was truly a discovery. Epic, technical, and down-right magical. I personally will be keeping a close eye on them from now on.
1. The Lonesome Prince
2. The Glades and the Cradle
4. Square Hammer (Ghost cover)
5. Silver Nights, Golden Dreams
6. Tarot Woman (Rainbow cover)
7. Three Tier Terror
Photos: Miia Collander