[Live Review + Photography] Kalmah – Live in Hong Kong

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(中文版本在下)

Kalmah – a name that’s no strangers to die-hard melodic death metal fans – is here in Hong Kong for the first time to promote their latest album, “Seventh Swamphony”, released in 2013. Despite rumours have been flying around in the last 6 months that that band is going to release a new album this week, they decide to take over our city with their older materials for your pleasure.

Kalmah – 相信死忠旋死金屬樂迷一定不會對這個名字感到陌生。雖然在過去六個月不斷有傳聞指樂團將於今年發佈新專輯,但他們選擇在芬蘭成軍超過18年後於本周首次踏足香港,作為2013年發佈的專輯 Seventh Swamphony 的宣傳巡演。

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Photo Gallery 現場相集 – Kalmah – Live in Hong Kong
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The Finnish quintet breaks the cheering sound from the crowd with sampled classical intro. While many of you are anticipated to see the Kokko brothers’ shredding together on stage, Antti Kokko had unfortunately pull out from the tour due to personal issues and was filled in by the talented Mikko Salovaara for the lead guitar position. Vocalist Pekka Kokko make fun of his brother by calling him “coward” for not coming along with them.

演唱會在預先錄製古典前奏下揭開序幕,五人在煙霧中迎接觀眾的歡呼聲。雖然很多人都期望看到 Kokko 兄弟於舞台上一起切磋結他技術,可惜 Antti Kokko 早前在社交網站表示因個人問題二未能出席這次中國和日本的巡演,並找來結他手 Mikko Salovaara 作替補。主唱 Pekka Kokko 更在現場打趣說弟弟因害怕而臨時退出,是個「膽小鬼」。

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The intimate space of the venue becomes a privilege for Kalmah – a closeup to showcase their precise, intense shredding which drives the audience to burst into applause and mosh pit. The band performs classic hits like “For The Revolution”, “The Black Walts” and “Heroes To Us”. Having two guitars in a roll always adds on atmospheric tension. Occasional guitar duos have pushed the night to the peak. The shirtless Tim Lehtinen has also attracted lots of attention with his  subtle rhythm strings.

會場的空間的限制成了 Kalmah 表演的優勢 —— 容許觀眾近距離觀賞他們的精確、激烈獨奏,全場亦報以熱烈掌聲和尖叫聲。樂隊的歌單不乏經典作品如 For The RevolutionThe Black Walts Heroes To Us。擁有兩支結他的現場總會大大增加層次,當然在背後的鍵琴手亦應記一功。偶爾的結他二重奏也把這夜推往高峰。赤膊上陣的貝斯手 Tim Lehtinen  也憑著他平穩實在的節拍為歌曲帶來內斂的基礎。

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The show is presented in a casual yet tight manner. They choose to deviate from the redundant bloody monster imagery which extreme metal bands like to incorporate on stage but to fill the show with jokes and laughters. Unlike their Finnish genre-mates like Children of Bodom, who they always got compared with, Kalmah’s presence and movement is less like a staged performance. The Swamp Kings try to let each member to have their moment naturally and jam along the flow from on chemical reaction with the crowd.

演唱會全晚在輕鬆氣氛下度過。Kalmah 選擇摒棄很多極端樂團在現場使用的血腥妖怪舞台道具或布幕,相反以笑話來填補。樂團亦不像和經常與他們相比的芬蘭朋友如 Children of Bodom —— Kalmah 的舞台表現和走位比較自然,相反後者則比較刻意作展示式的表演。看上去這幾個 Swamp Kings 盡量讓感覺先行,看看觀眾和成員間的化學作用再作修改。

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Their latest album “Seventh Swamphony” seems to be a summary of their 18-year career in the metal scene. It has combined Kalmah’s solid metal root with a twist of the experimental, cross-metal-genre rhythm in their later releases and polish them into one consistent production. Fans should easily notice this gradual change as the band placing songs fro different era side by side, especially during the encore session with “The Trapper” (Seventh Swamphony, 2013), “Rust Never Sleeps” (12 Gauge, 2010), “Hesitance of Berija” and the triumphant “Hades”  from Swamplord (2000).

Kalmah 的最新專輯 Seventh Swamphony 似乎是他們18多年職業生涯中的摘要。它似乎把早年的實在金屬基底、中期的實驗層次、後期的跨金屬風格節奏打磨成一個協調的出品。這晚當樂隊將不同時期的歌曲放在同一歌單,相信樂迷很容易便會發現這個逐步的變化,尤其在安歌部分,他們把 The Trapper (專輯 Seventh Swamphony2013年發布)Rust Never Sleeps (專輯 12 Gauge2010年發布)Hesitance of Berija 和其代表作 Hades (專輯 Swamplord2000年發布) 連續演奏出來。

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Photo Gallery 現場相集 – Kalmah – Live in Hong Kong
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