The New Shit Showcase V

support Heathe + Ethereal Kingdoms + Archives of Alaska + HIRAKI + Wölfblood + Morild
author LL date 06/01/18 venue Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN

As is the tradition by now, our colleagues over at have been picking out six upcoming bands during the months of 2017 that will all play the fifth edition of their The New Shit showcase this January evening. The result is a line-up of very varied genres, just like the previous years, and even though I am undoubtedly sceptical about some of the chosen bands at the outset of the evening, it is obvious when it ends that every single one of them has merit and a solid musical base to build further on in the coming years. The schedule for the evening has not been presented beforehand and perhaps that's why the downstairs room at Pumpehuset is already buzzing with talking metalheads ready to get a new Spring season of music underway when I arrive half an hour before the announced start.

All pictures by Michael Hyldgaard Løgtholt


The first band of the evening turns out to be the doom/black metal band Heathe from Aalborg. Presented as a one-man project in Blastbeasts' initial presentation, live they succeed in cramming eight performers onto the small stage. These eight collectively cover vocals, drums, bass, three guitars, two synths, and, just for good measure, occasionally a kind of brass horn and an extra guitar is added to the mix. And yes, this, of course, makes for a massive sound that surrounds us for the next 25 minutes in one continuous flow even though they move up and down in intensity and supposedly between different compositions. The longhaired musicians are drenched in red light and heavy smoke that transforms the repetitive character of their music into a kind of fascinating drone meditation live. Still, even though it is loud, it's not quite enough to shake us in a way that allows this kind of music to really work its magic in my opinion. The ground elements for it to work are definitely there, though, and the sound mix works out to their advantage. A few people in the audience are already rocking out as well with horns held up to the onslaught even as the night has just begun and as such, Heathe successfully kick off the proceedings.


Ethereal Kingdoms

As Blastbeasts' Søren Weiss says when he introduces the Copenhagen symphonic metal band Ethereal Kingdoms as the next to take the stage, we don't have a lot of bands in that genre in Denmark. Full disclosure, I always find it hard to listen to something that sounds as grandiose as symphonic metal on upcoming stages like this although I have nothing against the genre itself. All the more pleasing is it, then, that Ethereal Kingdoms play through their debut concert with a great attitude that never gets too dramatic for the setup to follow through. Their lead singer has that classic operatic falsetto for the genre and she delivers some pretty impressive notes that also get some impromptu cheers in the middle of songs indicating that at least parts of the audience are with them. Other people smile a little overbearingly at the group's initial songs but everyone looks like they wake up properly when the singer goes on to add some solid growling to the mix as well. Sadly, as I find is often the case with layered music of this kind, the sound mix takes a while to adjust and at times it's very hard to hear the words or nuances in the melody in the midst of the heaviness. They also play the shortest show of the evening by just a few minutes but for a first show, they made everything on their end work well and I'm sure they have gotten some new fans who are eagerly looking forward to new music in the coming years.

Archives of Alaska

Third on the bill we continue somewhat in a melodic direction with the Roskilde/Copenhagen metalcore band Archives of Alaska which is also the only one of the six bands tonight that I have seen before. Their energetic and hard-hitting songs quickly set off the first mosh pit of the night and for the duration of their set, a few bros are keeping the space open with efforts of varying energy level befitting the changing tempo and dynamic between heavy verses and clean choruses. The band's sound is a bit muddled tonight and their supporting backtrack seems to obscure this more than help to clear everything up, much like what happened with the band preceding them. Still, their set is well put together and it's obvious that they have a certain drive and professionality already solidly ingrained in them that makes it likely that they could reach out further than just to the confines of cozy Denmark. They cram as many songs as possible into their ambitious set that also looks beyond their 2016 self-titled EP with songs that sound promising for their supposedly upcoming debut album.



From Aarhus the next sonic onslaught has arrived with the trio HIRAKI and as they ferociously present their experimental noise/hardcore hybrid of a band to us, at first the audience simply looks taken aback. Instantly my personal favorite of the evening, they go on to hammer through us with heavy beats and relentless, huge guitar riffs. Their screaming singer who dons two separate microphones for different effects also mans a synthesizer that lays the dark atmospheric foundation to their sound and it's great to follow his attentive control of this in conjunction with his fierce performance. With an intellectual political spin on things, they describe their band in writing as "Proletarian narcissism, kafkaesque individualism and narrow-minded upperclass-modernism" and this is expressed thoroughly in the way their sound paints uncomfortable darkness, paranoia, and claustrophobia in a noisy way that makes it exhilarating to be a part of live. I recognize "Brusque" afrom their 2017 EP "Modern Genes" as especially impactful tonight with its great build-ups and spoken-word style screams of striking lyrics like "We're all in this together except me!". With the energy they throw into their music both on record and live, this is definitely a band to watch out for in the future.



The rock'n'roll group Wölfblood from Copenhagen have quite fittingly been placed late on the bill as the most immediately party-friendly band of the night and the audience is ready to greet them from the moment they go on stage. Heavily inspired by Motörhead and similar hard rocking and fastpaced music, they churn out one fast song after the other, in part from their debut EP "Nightriders". Despite the great mood on as well as in front of the stage, their songs quickly begin to sound very similar in tempo as well as in melodies which is a bit of a shame as they've got such great collective energy in the way they carry themselves throughout the set. The groundwork is definitely solid but the uniqueness of their material doesn't seem to be quite there yet. But of course, this is a showcase for relatively new bands and even though Wölfblood has some way to go, they definitely seem worth keeping on your radar if you're into good and fast rock'n'roll with spirit and as such are a worthy representation of their genre in the mix we witness tonight.


The atmospheric black metal band Morild, also from Copenhagen, arrive last to cap off our evening. I have been especially interested to see these guys tonight because our writer RUB has been very excited about their most recent release the "VI EP". With their grand soundscapes, they build up a massive atmosphere in the small room between three guitars, bass and drums which serves as a very befitting, almost majestic end to the showcase. The audience stands around and listens as if in a trance while the band's choice of ultraviolet lights paints the room as something with an otherworldly tinge. They have furthermore splattered themselves with paint that shines in the purple light, making them look a little like thye're made of stars matching their ambition to have their music be perceived as a force of nature. Their sound is somewhat more organic live than on recording which gives it an almost gentle, warm feel despite the hammering drums and general coldness of the atmospheres they weave together. It is as beautiful as it is heavy and definitely a performance worthy of my expectations to them.


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