TVD Live Shots: Arch Enemy, Wintersun, Tribulation, and Jinjer at Rockefeller Music Hall, Olso, 2/1

Is there a better way to see a Scandinavian melodic death metal band live than on their own turf? I think not. Last week I was in Oslo for a keynote speech on digital marketing (my day job), and after the gig, I ran over to the Rockefeller Music Hall. Oslo’s a beautiful place, and you can pretty much walk to anywhere in the city, but holy shit it was cold. I’m talking minus 16 cold. The entire city was like one giant block of ice, and I was wearing clothes for “London cold,” which as you can imagine put me in a tight spot.

Either way, I made it in time for the opening bands as I like to do. The venue was sold out, and it was jammed inside. (For the record, security and personnel at the Rockefeller were super helpful for a first-time photog at the venue, which is pretty killer all around.) I love the metal crowds—these are my people! I grew up with metal, and as I’ve mentioned before, there’s a certain camaraderie between metal fans, and as I’ve traveled around the world to see different metal shows, I’ve confirmed that it’s universal.

First up was Ukrania metalcore band Jinjer. This was my introduction to the band as I’ve never seen or heard of them before. They reminded me a bit of old school Lamb of God mixed with a bit of thrash and nu metal (yes, I hate that word as much as you do). Jinjer bassist Eugene Kostyuk recently told Metal Horizons that his band doesn’t like being compared to other female-fronted groups. He explained, “Firstly, we don’t see the point in differentiating a band by the gender of a front person.” I would agree—frontwoman Tatiana Shmailyuk is a force to be reckoned with and is a clear stand out among many of the current metal bands on the scene.

Next up was the surprise of the night for me. Tribulation is a Swedish metal band from Arvika that formed in 2005, and they might have stolen the show. These guys have been getting RAVE reviews around their latest release, and the live show is no exception. To me, they bring together the best elements of late ’70s and early ’80s metal along with a bit of upbeat doom. Think Deep Purple crossed with Type O Negative with a bit of RATT and some deep growling vocals. I fucking loved these guys and can officially confirm that the hype is real.

Finnish metal band Wintersun was up next. Lots of power, lots of energy, but I think I was still reveling in the genius of the previous band to get fully into their set.

Finally, it was time for the evening’s headliner to take the stage. Arch Enemy is a Swedish melodic death metal band, and a bit of a supergroup of sorts as its members were in bands such as Carcass, Armageddon, Carnage, Mercyful Fate, and Nevermore, just to name a few. This would be my first time seeing the band in concert and it was one of the most powerful live shows I’ve ever seen. Not to be overshadowed by the incredible production, frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz took to the stage and made it clear that things were about to get very heavy.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the new(ish) singer for Arch Enemy and how she holds up against the previous vocalist Angela Gossow. I’m not sure that’s a fair question for one, because I’ve never seen that version of the band and secondly, Gossow welcomed White-Gluz to the band in her absence, so the point is moot. But I will tell you that I don’t think that any fan of the band’s music, old or new, would be disappointed with this show. It’s big, bold, heavy, loud, fast, and over the top—everything a blistering metal show should be.




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