Parkway Drive

support Heaven Shall Burn + Northlane + Carnifex
author MBC date 01/12/14 venue Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DEN

Amager Bio was the place to be on Monday night for Danish metalcore/deathcore fans. A European tour consisting of four of the leading names in the genres luckily did not pass by Copenhagen this time around, and people were in for a strong line-up in one of the best venues in the city. The headliners in Australien band Parkway Drive have played in Denmark several times during their ten year+ career, and they never fail to put on a fun and entertaining show for their huge fan base. The line-up for the evening is certainly one of the more interesting of late with bands from various parts of the world. The three supporting acts Carnifex, Northlane and Heaven Shall Burn differ a lot from each other musically as well, but they all possess the skills to write metal of high quality. With this in mind, I ventured to Amager in hope of a great time.

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Carnifex

First up was American deathcore band Carnifex, who without a doubt were the most brutal act of the night. It is always tough for a band to get the first spot on the bill, and unfortunately for Carnifex, they played in front of very few people. As is too often the case with these tours, there was an inconsistency with the starting hours advertised, with the venue’s website stating 18.30 and the tickets and Facebook event stating 19.00. This naturally meant some confusion and people missing out on Carnifex who started at 18.30 and played a short, but sweet set. It baffles me why these inconsistencies occur, and in any case, why the venue would state the correct time on their website and not on the Facebook event. The few people that had shown up early got to see a great performance from these American brutes.

Front man Scott Lewis is an absolute beast on the microphone, and he did his best to entertain the small crowd of which most seemed to not really be familiar with the band. He addressed the audience frequently and encouraged them to circle pit, but they never really got going. The band played amazingly well with good sound although at times the guitar details were hard to make out from the musical wall of brutality. The crowd got treated to songs from the new album such at the title track “Die Without Hope” and “Dark Days” as well as a few tracks from the band’s back catalogue. These included an absolutely crushing version of “Lie To My Face” from the first album as well as “Hell Chose Me”. At the end of the band’s performance the room was starting to fill up, probably with the people who had followed the time stated on the ticket and thus shown up at 19. It is a shame that Carnifex did not get more time and exposure tonight, hopefully they will be headlining a tour themselves here soon.

7

Northlane

Australian djentcore band Northlane were up next, and I was looking forward to see how their new vocalist Marcus Bridge would do. The room had filled up pretty well by this point, but the crowd did not seem to be that much into the band, except for a group of younger audience members in front of the stage. The band played well with a lot of energy, but there was little interaction with the crowd throughout. Unfortunately, the sound was very muddy during the band’s performance. The guitars were shrieking and at times painful to listen to and Bridge’s clean vocals were off pitch regularly, although his screams were decent. He seems like a more introvert performer than former vocalist Adrian Fitipaldes, which is fine, but he did not seem to connect much with the crowd this evening.

Northlane might be the type of band who are better suited for smaller, more intimate stages. At the end of the set, people had warmed up a little more to the band and finally got going, but this show was definitely the low point of the night.

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Heaven Shall Burn

After a very long waiting period, German metal titants Heaven Shall Burn finally entered the stage. From the get-go they had tremendous energy, and the now filled venue was digging the band immediately. Vocalist Marcus Bischoff has a commanding presence on stage, and he gave an amazing performance and had constant contact with the audience, albeit his crotch grabbing at times did get a little weird. The band sounded great with clear guitars, pummelling drums and a really strong vocal sound.

Circle pits started constantly on their own and at times it seemed like the entire floor was moving, not to mention the huge wall of death that opened up at one point, which was absolutely incredible to watch. The audience seemed to know the band’s songs well and often sang along, for instance on the “this life, this future, this is a new foundation” breakdown of “Land Of The Upright Ones”. This was exactly what a metal show is supposed to be.

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Parkway Drive

The time was about 21.40, when the main event of the night entered the stage to a massive ovation. Although the reception for Heaven Shall Burn was incredible, it is not difficult to see who the majority have come to see. Parkway Drive are known to have an extremely loyal and dedicated fan base, which is obviously the case here in Denmark as well, at least one would think in the basis of tonight’s performance. From the get-go the band was fired up and willing to give their Danish fans the best experience possible. Winston McCall is probably one of the best front men in modern metal. He has a commanding presence on stage, incredibly strong vocals and an awesome connection with any crowd it seems. Although the music is highly aggressive, he exudes positive energy and that Australian ‘hang lose’ mentality that is such a big part of the band's appeal.

The entire audience responded massively with collective singing and crowd surfing already on the first song, of which the latter is frowned upon in most Danish venues, including this one. The band’s setlist consisted of a good mix of songs from their career including favourites such as “Carrion” and “Karma”, which brought on a gigantic circle pit. The sound is clear with good balance between the instruments and the band plays very well. The only issue that I have with the performance is that the songs of Parkway Drive seem to always sound so similar with fast and melodic riffs and breakdowns. This approach works well with a crowd because of the many moments where they can easily participate in the experience, but the formula can become tiresome to listen to after a while. Nevertheless, this was an amazing performance from the band and overall a really good night.

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