On 1st October 2013, the massed hordes of Scotland’s Vikings descended on Glasgow’s Classic Grand for an evening of pillaging, drinking, and honouring of ancestors with Nordic metallers Skálmöld, Týr, and Finntroll.
To get the evening underway, little known Icelandic Viking metal band Skálmöld impressed the crowd greatly with a worthy display of Norse fury, rich in both aggression and catchy folk melodies.
With Skalmold’s well received debut, it was time to make way for one of the very few bands from the Faroe Islands – Týr, with their distinctive folk/power metal combination and repertoire of traditional folk melodies. Tyr visited on this occasion to promote their latest offering – Valkyrja. Týr played a fairly balanced set, kicking off with the anthemic ‘Hold The Heathen Hammer High’ before blasting into a selection of their new material, which the crowd was clearly as enthusiastic about as the band. Old folk numbers such as ‘Trondur i Gotu’ also saw a run out, with the crowd singing along in their best mock-Faroese. Týr concluded their thunderous setlist with a firm one-fingered salute to the misguided Peter Krause, and Antifa who had previously branded the staunchly ‘good guy’ Faroese metallers as neo-Nazis, and indeed, the Nazis themselves who availed themselves of traditional Norse symbols with a rousing performance of Shadow of the Swastika.
This left now only the main headliner of the evening, Finntroll, to take to the stage. Clad in troll ears, the Swedish-speaking Finns were also here to support a new album – Bloodsvept. Launching straight into the title track, the floor of the Classic Grand seemed to alternate between furious moshing and jovial dancing and jigging. The playful, carnival-esque tone of Finntroll’s melodies interspersed with Mathias Lillman’s trollish roar gave the evening a unique heavy metal party atmosphere. With furious pacing, they ploughed through new material from Bloodsvept, and old favourites from Natfodd, Jaktens Tid etc. Finntroll are however, known more for one song than anything else, and it seemed inconceivable to end the night without expending the last of the crowd’s shattered reserves on the Trollish anthem – ‘Trollhammaren’.
Exhausted and drunken, the crowd emptied into the street happy with the evening’s entertainment. For some, myself included, it would not be long before we would come face-to-face with another legend of Finnish folk-metal, Turisas. Stay tuned for our upcoming photo/review of Turisas at the Glasgow Cathouse!
More of the bands: