For the sake of Kiuas fans living abroad I thought to write a few notes on the last night's Tavastia album release party. In general, the gig was excellent and long (1h40min) in the better sense of the word. And demonstrating a real stadium league potential, the intensity sustained throughout the set. With an acoustic set of ten-twelve minutes there was also a chance to take a deep breath. After listening to the new album in total prior to the gig I was certain the night was going to be enjoyable. The show started just after 10pm with Of Ancient Wounds (surprise opener, never my particular favourite). Subsequent Cry Little Angel rocked with a ridiculously catchy chorus -loosen the drumming and you'll have a mainstream hit, I say. The setlist comprised also the following (not in order- my memory's not That good -think all songs are there...): Of Love, Lust and Human Nature (very catchy, wonderful whispering and singing) Aftermath (I think it was played -fantastic piece) Lights Are Many (Kiuas influenced by Scorpions? An ok song, better live) The Visionary (Reminds me of And the north star cried - pretty good) Heart and Will (Falls to the same category as Heart of the Serpent - when almost everything else is gold, silver doesn't gain the attention) The New Dark Age (Really really powerful live - fantastic) The Decaying Doctring (Intro is just wicked, somehow loses its intensity come chorus time -- anyway a mighty piece especially live) To Excel and Ascend (Take musical integrity and melodical brilliance - mix'em and you get this --> killer also live) Child of Cimmeria / Black Winged Goddess (Ilja delivered the growling vocals pretty well also in this song, brilliant song live) After the Storm / Summer's End (A fine combination of acoustics with a great ending in Summer's End) The Spirit of Ukko (What a song... Kicks the almighty ass also live) Prior to the end of the set, there was Winter's Sting which is a decent song live, yet cannot help it but had no chance of standing shoulder to shoulder with Across The Snows. I mean the moment when the quieter Finnish verse is sung by the audience, and Ilja stays silent, there's something particular about it. And then we hit it, jumping. A great finale. After a short "we want more to be merry" there were Of Sacrifice, Loss and Reward (brilliant song I say and it just sweeps you away especially live) and.. Warrior Soul. After some years of listening to it, one could claim it's slightly -ever so slightly- "heard". But I suppose this is where you instantly recognize a classic when the song just gives you the kicks, no matter if it's the 1000th time you hear it. But yeah, after plenty of blabbing about, it's obvious that I am very happy with what I witnessed last night. The musicianship in the band is stronger than ever, Ilja sings almost flawlessly, the new album is strong and catchy, and the band sets a brilliant mood to the audience by not taking themselves too seriously (What?! Are the jokes prepared? They not funny in the end? Haha). Go see and witness. For the last words, I am certain that although Lustdriven is a 9/10 record, Kiuas can make a 10/10 (TSOU was not I think, neither R or TNDA) album. I dunno what is missing from Lustdriven but I suppose it's a matter of fine balancing between more of underground and intense type of metal -and excessively commercial singalong tunes/sense on the album. The New Dark Age of course was stressed on the first note (with mighty choruses), Lustdriven is probably emphasizing slightly more the latter. Perhaps it's the god-almighty killer bastard of a song that is missing from the album (in the sense of Warrior Soul). Ah, whatever, anyway the album is very good!