One of our favorite local folk metal bands, Frosttide, is making their way back into the live scene this year. In March 2019, they did a short Finnish tour with Lost in Grey as the supporting band, and since Musicalypse hasn’t seen them live since their gig at Tuska 2016, we thought it was about time to check them out again, and check out Lost in Grey while we were at it.
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The setlist from the event can be heard on Spotify:
We were able to get to On the Rocks before either band started playing, but it was no hurry, as Lost in Grey was a few minutes late taking the stage. I’ve personally been curious about these guys since their debut was released in 2017, and I was really excited to get a chance to see them live for the first time.
They came on stage looking nervous but excited, and immediately we could see that there are some skilled players in this band. Standing out most was the keyboardist, Harri Koskela, and the live drummer (whose name I didn’t catch). The drums were smooth and almost lazily easy, and the keyboards were the most creative and well-constructed part of the music. Vocalist Emily Leone has a lovely classical voice, which went nicely with the soundscapes of the music.
I have but one complaint about this band – and I feel so guilty about saying it, as their music is so well-written and I enjoyed their overall performance – was Anne Lill’s vocals. She was a delight to watch, looking nervously excited and even teasing the boundary of over-dramatic a few times on stage. But the problem was that she just… isn’t a great singer. The passion and energy are there, but her voice is so raw and untrained compared to the rest of the band’s sound that she was constantly standing out in a bad way, a rusty tool in with the stainless steel. Not to say that I would want her gone – Leone’s voice needs someone else to counterbalance the operatic vocals and the blend of clean and heavy growls works. However, perhaps some vocal training might make a difference.
These guys focused more on the newer material from The Waste Land, which was released earlier this year. Both of the ladies took turns chatting with the crowd between songs, and their visual aesthetic was really nice on the whole. They certainly need some more live practice, but I can see these guys putting on a really great show. Koskela even caught our attention in one of the later songs when he stopped playing the keys in order to sing his part, really dramatizing the moment.
On the whole, while the compositions are strong and the performance was well-executed, those vocals are a bit of a problem. Tighten that up, and I suspect these guys will have something really special! I’ll definitely continue to keep an eye on them, and I hope to catch their set at RockFest this summer!
Lost in Grey’s setlist:
2. The Waste Land
3. Road to Styx
4. Far Beyond and Further
5. Unohdukseen katoaa
6. Wolves Among Men
7. Dark Skies
Frosttide took the stage fairly quickly after they changed it over, starting up their set with “Tranquility” from the new Decedents EP. In a way, I have very little to say about their show – it was pure and simply a great performance. It’s rare to see such a professional-sounding show put on by smaller bands, but these guys have been around for some time so, in that sense, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprises. On stage they were balanced perfectly between their grim, dark aesthetic and a bunch of happy musicians having a great time. “Professional” in that sense doesn’t mean that they were stiff. In fact, they were quite at ease throughout the show, playing well but with a certain tongue-in-cheek manner that let the audience know that they don’t take themselves too seriously.
Alongside the band’s trio – Juho Patinen, Felipe Muñoz, and Joonas Nislin – were live bassist Taneli Jämsä and Matti Meri-Huhti on guitar. The latter of these, the band announced, was playing his first-ever live show that night, so a tip of our hats to you, Matti Meri-Huhti, for a great first show!
Another point of note is the vocals. One of the reasons I personally hadn’t gotten into Frosttide earlier was that I didn’t like the former singer’s voice. Patinen, however, has an incredible growl and it seems so natural coming from him. The new material was more familiar to me, though songs like “Blood Oath” and “Siege” had new life live with a different vocalist.
While unfortunately the sound quality at On the Rocks was still a bit muddled, the overall impression of the music was loud and immersive. For a Wednesday, there was a decent crowd at the venue, and they were putting their hands in the air and even doing some guilty-pleasure back-and-forth waving in a few songs. It gave the nice impression of being completely surrounded by music, and it was good music.
Ultimately, we really enjoyed our Wednesday night at On the Rocks. Sometimes you just need some loud music, well-executed, to bump up your mid-week. I’ll certainly be back to check both of them out in the future, and here’s hoping that they’ll be seen at some festivals this summer as well!
2. Traitor Within
3. Blood Oath
4. Gates of the Asylum
5. Fate Redefined
6. Carved into Ice
8. From Dusk to Ascend
10. Winds of Winter’s Call
Photos: Anne Brödel