The Black Dahlia Murder

support Orm
author MIN date 14/07/17 venue Byhaven, Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN

The good people at Pumpehuset have spoiled the metal-hungry citizens of Copenhagen today by booking the always sure-fire live band The Black Dahlia Murder for a free show in the venue’s garden, Byhaven. Less than a month after their magnificently menacing midnight mass at Copenhell, the American melodeath five-piece is already back for more, resulting in Byhaven being visited by no less than 600 visitors all hungry for a savory taste of entertaining and well-executed tech-metal. But before diving into a description of the rainfull carnage that the heavens have bestowed upon us, there’s a support band to talk about: Danish black metal outfit Orm, who has been given the honor of opening the ball this Friday late-afternoon.

Due to a lack of photographers for today’s show, all photos are amateurishly taken by yours truly.

Orm

Although the band’s name has popped up in my online feed for quite a while, I’ve honestly never checked out Orm’s material, but today feels like just as good a time as any to do so. Just before the quartet takes the stage, the white clouds turn grey, and although no one likes to stand in the pouring rain, the massive amount of water actually adds a nice dynamic to the band’s show. Unfortunately, throughout the set, the sound doesn’t really manage to reach the audience and thus never engulfs the listener in the tradition that black metal is meant to, but we’re still able to hear all the details and nuances present in the mix.

As to be expected, Orm’s music relies a lot on raging drums and tremolo-effects, but a nice surprise is how well the two guitarists’ vocal-deliveries complement each other – occasionally, both of them growl, while at other times they differ by screaming. Between the two of them stands the band’s bassist, who tries to move around a bit, but on the small stage it’s a relatively difficult task by the looks of it. Therefore, it’s a pretty stale performance when gazing upon the stage, but the melodic passages and breaks among the black colors the soundscape beautifully, still making Orm’s set a captivating experience. Especially during one of the first songs where the guitars’ volume get lower – thus adding a subtle foundation – and the drums’ hi-hats take charge along with the bellowing vocals, the band truly manages to carve a lasting image in my mind by differing from the usual black metal standards. Ultimately, Orm played a good show that lacked some engagement and volume overall, but I’m keen on checking out their latest album after tonight.

6

The Black Dahlia Murder

It’s very rare that I ever put on an entire album by The Black Dahlia Murder, but in a live setting they’re always an energetic, entertaining and charismatic band to behold and engage with – today is obviously no exception as the moshing and crowd-surfing fans constantly get wilder as the number of people in attendance increases, excellently complementing the band’s good spirit. In his best fashion, Trevor Strnad takes the stage with plenty of pirouettes and conductor-like gestures right from the get-go as the band launches into the murderous “What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse”, which gets the first few rows jumping. During the set’s start, I’m a bit worried that we’re going to be mistreated sound-wise the same way we were during Orm’s performance, but after 15 minutes or so everything clears up and we’re able to enjoy the show the way we’re meant to. Once the shoe fits, the carnage increases and the show picks up pace.

Despite having one more member than the previous band, Trevor Strnad still manages to make the most of the little space he has to deal with, and he looks as encouraged as ever. The remaining four band members obviously aren’t able to follow his agility (hell, it’s almost impossible to see the drummer), but Strnad’s ability to work the crowd and whip the pits is impeccable. Once the show passes the 40 minute-mark, the maelstrom-like mosh pits rarely stop, and for the remaining forty(!) minutes the show never ceases to be fun. Although 80 minutes to me, personally, is a little long in terms of a Black Dahlia Murder-set, it’s obvious that people can’t get enough and are having a blast. I’m personally not invested enough in the band’s melodeath to enjoy their sound for this long (the set peaked for me around 50 or 60 minutes), but I admire Strnad and company’s persistence and powerful performance. I’m sure most people present tonight will agree with me when I say that The Black Dahlia Murder are welcome back any time soon!

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