Manchester Club Academy
“Have any of you brought swords or drinking horns tonight?” Not a conventional question to ask your audience – but then, Turisas isn’t a conventional band. The Finnish Viking metallers invaded a sold-out Manchester Club Academy to take their leather-and-fur clad fans on an adventure as epic as the Viking legends that inspired their formation.
Battling on through a few technical faults – with frontman Mathias Nygård’s microphone being persistently temperamental all set – Turisas went on to finish the final night of their European tour with a bang. The Scandinavian six-piece have spent the last two months promoting their new album Turisas2013, but if the band were feeling fatigued, it didn’t show. Their set was as impressive as always, flawlessly replicating the tighter, more professional sound of their new record.
After whipping up a storm in the hot and crowded SU basement with a mix of new songs and old favourites, Nygård momentarily interrupted the set to praise Manchester beer and demand his enraptured audience sing him a local drinking song. Soon the entire room was merrily singing ‘You can shove your fucking Scousers up your arse’, accompanied by Olli Vänska’s mighty violin. Turisas followed this up with their drinking song ‘One More’, before a barrage of classics including ‘Battle Metal’ and ‘Stand Up and Fight’ had the crowd screaming for more. Cue the band’s gloriously heavy cover of Boney M’s ‘Rasputin’, which sent the audience into a true Viking frenzy.
In short, Turisas put on one Niflhel of a show. Join them on their quest one night and even the not-so-Viking-inclined of you won’t be disappointed. True, more songs would’ve been better – but when your best hits are four- or five-minute-long epics, that can be forgiven.