10 November 2011
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Let's start from the beginning
Nahemah, Leprous
10.11.2011,В 'Arena Armeec Sofia'

words byВ Nikola Shahpazov, photo: Elena Nenkova

After the third Sofia gig of the mythological Finns AMORPHIS noone needs another typical live report. We need not repeat that this is one of the very best European bands – you should have guessed that already back in time when you bought your first copy of ‘Tales From The Thousand Lakes' or 'Elegy’, or a bit later when you first saw them live in Skopje or at Sofia’s Winter Palace.

We need not give you the exact setlist – it was pretty much the same as on their last 4-5 European concerts (by the way, check it at the bottom of this page).

AmorphisВ at Tangra Mega Rock studiosВ before the gigВ 

Just so we need not indulge into how charismatic is the presence of AMORPHIS frontman Tomi Joutsen – well dressed and with dreadlocks reaching down to his knees.

For all of this is constant. We’re just going to give you five reasons to happy you were there and five good reasons to regret you missed the show last night.


The halls. AMORPHIS are probably completely unaware that during their three gigs they practically travelled this town through and through. Their first concert was at the Winter Palace situated at the (in)famous Student City. Their second took them down to the Blue Box club near the Central Train Station while this November we welcomed trhem as the first major metal band to play the spacious, grand and newly built Armeec Arena Sofia.

The support bands. Although Spanish metallers Nahemah failed to impress me completely (with their half-hearted post rock and frontman’s Pablo feeble attempts at singing and annoying attempts at growling), Norwegians Leprous really managed to redeem themselves.


Though widely known as the Ihsahn live band, they weren’t quite rocking first time we saw them at Yubileina Hall, supporting Therion. This time though, with the proper sound and stage, Leprous practically blew us away. Their performance was classy (last but not least because of the suits, red shirts and ties), mechanical, prog metal, industrial and insane, mainman Einar Solberg proving himself to be quite the singer and entertainer.


Tomi’s mic. Sometimes I really, really regret not going to see Amorphis play Skopje in 2002 with their original singer Pasi Koskinen. I do know that particular gig turned to be a drunken letdown but still, it would have been nice to be able to compare Amorphis before and after the Pasi era. For now I know only what Tomi Joutsen’s capable of. And he’s a pretty amazing frontman. Great at growls, great at the actual singing, standing high and mighty, dominating the stage. And then there’s his mic.

Tomi likes it big and oldschool, changing the mic on each tour. The 2007 and 2009 ones were pretty similar although details were, of course, varying. This time Tomi had upgraded the idea to an impressive mic stand, the mic itself being of a diabolical nature, with two wild boar fangs stick on its sides. Fitted songs like ‘Magic and Mayhem’ perfectly.


The live presence… of the band is progressing from great to nearly perfect with each show. AMORPHIS are quick to capture the attention of the audience and it matters not whether they play newer, still unpopular tracks like ‘The Beginning of Times’ or olden classics from ‘Tales From The Thousand Lakes’. They can easily look like triumphant rock stars in one moment and savage death metallers in the other. It suits them oh so well.

The new tracks (and the old ones too). Death metal still sounds sexy when delivered by them. The dreadlocked Tomi does simply fabulous versions of ‘Magic And Mayhem’ and ‘Into Hiding’ – his infernal opening growls continuing for some 30 seconds at a time. Even more impressive than the original performance of Tomi Koivusaari.


More recent material like като ‘Silver Bride’, ‘Mermaid’ or ‘Sampo’ sound epic just like fan favourites 'Alone' and ‘My Kantele’. I do miss my personal faves ‘On Rich And Poor’ and ‘Against Widows’ but who cares about details when these Finns do what they do so damn good?

Check the setlist below, right under the special GALLERIES:В 

Leprous & NaHemaH
AMORPHIS meet & greet
AMORPHIS в студиото на Тангра Мега Рок