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Paganfest brings multi-cultural night of folk metal to Harpos

Paganfest America Part V at Harpos 5-17-14


Detroit was rocking on Saturday night when this year's Paganfest America invaded Harpos with a night of European folk metal.

Tracy Heck
 Korpiklaani on stage at Harpos 5-17-14
Tracy Heck

This is the tour's fifth outing and this year featured bands from across the world with Germany's Varg, Taiwan's Chthonic, and Finland's Turisas and Korpiklaani all taking to the stage.

Ohio's Winterhymn opened the show in Detroit and got the small crowd warmed up for the rest of the evening.

More people filed into the venue as the night wore on but the crowd still remained relatively light but those that were there were pretty enthusiastic and it made for an entertaining and fun evening.

With most of the music during the show being sung in a different language, one had to wonder if the crowd would stay engaged but their energy remained high all night.

The Varg warriors took to the stage in a rush and urged those not on the main floor to get up and help create a larger mosh pit.

Their harsh German lyrics and rough music made for the biggest headbanging moments of the evening.

Chthonic were up next and their brand of Orient metal mixed symphonic folk sounds with death metal and created layers upon layers of sound that helped give them a flavor all their own.

Viking metalists Turisas came through on Paganfest a couple of years ago when they made a stop at Blondies and you can definitely see the fact that they have grown their fan base over those years.

They drew the biggest reaction of the night and certainly put on the best performance of the evening as they moved through songs from their Turisas2013 album as well as some older hits.

Their red and black painted faces and energy make it hard to turn away from them and the blending of symphonic metal and harsh vocals with a arena-rock feel create a distinct sound that is all their own; their self-proclaimed "battle metal".

They ended things on a high note coming out to a encore of their battle-cry "Stand Up and Fight" and their hilarious take on the euro-dance track "Rasputin".

Korpiklaani closed the evening out with a set full of their hits, many of which are named after alcoholic drinks from "Vodka" to "Happy Little Boozer".

As such, there was less moshing going on and more dancing as everyone moved and swayed around together imbibing in their own choice of drinks as the band raised their own in return.

Their use of the violin and accordion gave the evening a bit of a Irish pub feel and left everyone feeling happy as they left the venue.