Amorphis' “The Beginning of Times” Tour — Bucharest

The Finns from Amorphis will be touring all over Europe during the next two months or so, promoting their new record “The Beginning Of Times“. The tour started on the 2nd of November in Tallinn, and will have two parts. The first part will end in the UK on the 26th of November, and has Leprous (Norway) and NahemaH (Spain) as support acts. For the second part, between the 26th of December, 2011 and the 15th of January, 2012 NahemaH will be replaced by The Man-Eating Tree (Finland).

For the Romanian fans, the local promoter ARTmania scheduled two shows: one on the 8th of December at the Old Pub Club in Sibiu, and one in the following day in Bucharest, at the Silver Church club. I only attended the second one, since Sibiu is 300km away from Bucharest and the concert was in the middle of the week.

The evening of the 9th of November was opened by the Spanish band NahemaH, a band I first saw at ProgPower Europe 2009, and which arouse my interest enough to buy their album. At that time, they reminded me of the Portuguese band Moonspell, but after several listening sessions at home I found them to be more interesting, with lots of influences and a style comprising an interesting mix of ambient, dark atmospheric and progressive metal elements. Don’t get me wrong, their show was awesome at ProgPower Europe, but 40-45 minutes is rarely enough to get to know a band!

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NahemaH opening for Amorphis in Bucharest, 2011
Photo: Sabin Iacob / StudioRock

Unfortunately for me and my colleague (who also liked them at ProgPower), we missed half of their concert because they started to play 30 minutes before the announced time, but we were happy to find a compact crowd enjoying the band's music. At the beginning it was a bit hard to see what was happening on stage, due to the lighting (or the lack thereof), which, as a photographer, I found somewhat annoying. Luckily I completely recovered, forgetting about lights and some sound problems, when they started to play “Smoke’s men”, one of my favourite songs from A New Constellation. This is definitely a band I'll keep following, especially since they are currently working on a new album.

After a break of 10 – 15 minutes, the second band of the evening, Leprous, took the stage for a “Bilateral” show spiced up with some accents of “Tall Poppy Syndrome”. Leprous is another band I experienced first at ProgPower Europe (this time 2010). I can only describe the Leprous live show using one word: awesome. Of course, they are very good and talented musicians, but what makes their show unique is the atmosphere they create, the outfits that complete their personalities and the songs that illustrate their craziness.

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Leprous opening for Amorphis in Bucharest, 2011
Photo: Sabin Iacob / StudioRock

Going to their shows is like going to the theatre to see a very interesting and inspiring play. There were a bunch of Amorphis fans in front of the stage on Wednesday evening, but there were plenty of people who came exclusively to see Leprous, and you could tell by their faces they wouldn't go home disappointed. The band gave them the opportunity to hear songs from the new album “Bilateral” mixed with ones from the previous record, called Tall Poppy Syndrome. Another thing I admire at Leprous is the way they are documenting their experiences on tour, showing that the way they are playing music reflects their individual personalities.

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Tomi Koivusaari and Niclas Etelävuori of Amorphis playing in Bucharest, 2011
Photo: Sabin Iacob / StudioRock

Finally, Amorphis, the evening's headliners, took the stage. This is a band that has a solid following in Romania, and have been playing here many times. Actually, if they played tomorrow again, the venue would most likely be full. They started with “My Enemy“, “Mermaid” and “The Smoke“, promising a very interesting evening. Unfortunately we couldn't make it to the end due to people smoking like chimneys inside and making the air unbreathable. By the way, dear Romanian rockers, did you know that showing respect for a band also involves protecting their health?

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Tomi Joutsen and Esa Holopainen of Amorphis playing in Bucharest, 2011
Photo: Sabin Iacob / StudioRock

Overall, I’m sure the evening was a great experience for everyone who could withstand the anaerobic conditions inside, and provided some nice memories for bands, fans and organisers.

More photos are on our Google+ page: NahemaH, Leprous, Amorphis.