Satan with Ranger @ PRKL Club (Helsinki, FI), 5 Apr 2014

After over thirty years of gigs, Newcastle's Satan finally made it to Finland to a reception they never expected. The downstairs of the inner-Helsinki PRKL bar was packed with fans full of sheer violent passion in finally seeing Satan play live in their hometown.

Since 1979, Satan have been bringing their NWOBHM sound to the masses. Though not as well known as they deserve to be, they have a loyal following and are considered to have been influential on the speed and thrash metal scene. This was evident in the seething sweaty moshpit at PRKL on Saturday night where there was barely enough room to raise your fist into the air for their first ever show in Finland. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

With pre-sale tickets sold out weeks ahead, there was a queue to get down the stairs to snare the last 100 tickets of the evening as the doors opened on Saturday night. The bar area was beginning to get busy, and the floor in front of the stage was packed by the time opening band Ranger took the stage.  These local speed metalheads bring an enthusiastic show, which invokes the feeling of the 80s as a tribute. Their local fans fed off the high-energy music, throwing their bodies into a crazy moshpit filled with crowd-surfers.  

After I took some photos and wandered back towards the bar, I realised that the venue was almost full. I stood right in front of the short stage with my camera, in hope of getting a few good photos, but when the band started to play I found myself pushed to the floor by the sheer weight of the crowd pushing in from behind me. The push of the crowd was so intense that singer Brian Ross couldn’t get on stage for most of the first song, Trial By Fire, and guitarist Russ Tippins found himself singing lead. The crowd was parted by security and Ross made his entrance, arms spread wide for the cheers of the crowd. 

After the second song, Blades of Steel, I sought refuge at the side of the small venue stage as the crowd worked themselves into the best kind of adoring, yet violent, frenzy. The heat from all the bodies pushing, thrusting their fists into the air, left the air heavy with sweat. 

Working through old favourites, up to songs from the new album Life Sentence, Satan delivered thirty years of songs to the Finnish crowd with all the energy of their much younger selves. Time has not wearied these musicians. Guitarist Steve Ramsey did not stop smiling the entire show, and though crammed in the back of the small stage neither did bassist Graeme English. Behind the drums, and recipient of the only fan on stage, Sean Taylor played up dramatically to the cameras and the front row.

The venue after the gig was filled with scattered groups, discussing which songs they had loved the best, and recovering with smiles filling their faces. The members of Satan were delighted with a good live show, and happy to have made the trip to the cold north for such an enthusiastic reception.

Set List - SatanTrial By Fire

  • Blades Of Steel
  • Time To Die
  • Twenty Twenty Five
  • Break Free
  • The Ritual
  • Siege Mentality
  • Incantations
  • No Turning Back
  • Oppression
  • Testimony
  • Alone in the Dark
  • Heads will Roll
  • Cenotaph
  • Kiss of Death


Check out the photo gallery from the night here.