Septicflesh & Krisiun

support Incite + When Reasons Collapse
author RUB date 18/04/19 venue Voxhall, Århus, DEN

I’ve been looking forward to this show for quite some time. Barely knowing the two first bands, it was without a doubt the headliners that drew me towards Voxhall in downtown Århus this evening. Krisiun always seem to be somewhat solid, but in Septicflesh you get every good thing from various subgenres of metal, and their symphonic take on metal is matched by very few bands in my book. Their live show as well is something every fan of metal should witness because they manage to create such an impressive atmosphere, both majestic and menacing, that even if you don’t normally like this kind of music, I’m quite certain these Greeks would strike a chord with you. First, however, the crowd needed to get the last bit of warm-up, before the headliners would take the stage.

All photos courtesy of Hasan Jensen / Homage Photography

When Reasons Collapse

So, apparently, this is a metalcore band warming up the crowd for Septicflesh? This strikes me as odd. The melodic and heavy riff-driven music makes way for plenty of dancing and headbanging on stage, but already look doomed from the beginning, as the reception you get from the crowd is lukewarm at best. A sole longhaired headbanger is at the front and the rest: what you would call neutral or passive bystanders. The venue is scattered with the few people who chose to show up, yet the band still tries their best to put on a good show. The mosh-friendly music is, on the other hand, applauded between songs, but you don’t really get the feeling that many will go home and check out the band on Spotify.

When Reasons Collapse

The lyrics are yelled in the best hardcore manner, and even coupled with some harsh growls courtesy of Cristina Alves. One can’t help to feel that this warm-up spot is an arrangement by their record company, or something similar, because their style is a far cry from either of tonight’s headliners, and although as a neutral and somewhat unbiased bystander, at least to my best effort, the band really tried to deliver a gig worth remembering. But there are so many boxes left unchecked by the overall experience of the concert that this is a gig quickly forgotten. Perhaps next time the genre theme of the night would be more fitting, and hence draw a better involvement from the lackluster crowd.

Incite

For the second act of the evening, the crowd has grown a bit. “We are Incite and we play heavy fucking metal”, and indeed they do. As the first track “Build to Destroy” from their newest outing proves, the groovy, melodic and heavily tuned style is in fact metal. The floor is noticeable more packed, but still with minimal movement. The lead singer is all over the place and sports a very raw and commanding expression, best compared to the one by Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed.

Incite

They have a hard time getting through to the audience, and only a few quite simple commands, such as “raise your fists!” and “make some fucking noise! by lead singer Richie C seem to get through. They boast a lot of energy and attitude, and the music, in general, is heavy on the drums and bass, with added samples for even greater heaviness. It is very headbangable and groovy, which underlines how Incite seems to be yet another mismatch when compared to the headliners. It is closer to the music of tonight's first band than Krisiun, but it still feels somewhat misplaced, and would probably have had a larger crowd is they played, let’s say Copenhell or Royal Metal Fest at the very same venue. It is better than the first band by quite a margin, although still nothing particularly special.

Krisiun

The trio is back in town! And so is the crowd movement in front of the stage, which is the first noticeable difference to the two former bands. Also, the music has shifted from core to straight up death metal. The drumming, in particular, is more technical than I remember it to be; but that seems to apply for the entire Brazilian ensemble. It’s heavy and fast, as they’ve always been, but either they have improved quite a bit since the last time I saw them, because their expression is simply much better, or I simply haven’t paid nearly enough attention to their music live. To be frank, I’ve always seen Krisiun as a sort of a “sloppy” band. Therefore, it is truly a welcoming surprise that they lead on their set with full force. Whatever the reason, Krisiun has surely passed the test with excellent results based on the first couple of songs. Their soundscape is simply quite impressive. With only one guitar, a bass and a set of drums, they manage to create an impressive atmosphere which has it all. Perhaps it is due to a genre which in their case pays little respect to the overall melodic elements, but as a listener, you don’t get the feeling that you’re missing out.

Krisiun

As has been the custom to every Krisiun gig I’ve seen, they make sure to thank people for showing up; pretty much between each song which might, after three or four shows, seem superficial and rehearsed, but it actually strikes you as sincere and genuine, and that is what I particularly like about this band. Also, the fact that they play a cover of “Ace of Spades”, which makes the entire front floor explode, is a sight to behold! Even though some of the good ol' “sloppiness” is still present during this song, it was very much acceptable. The floor has constant movement throughout the entire gig, even though it might have only been a few people keeping it going. Everything about their set is turned up to eleven, and Krisiun churns their way through one thrashy death metallic tune after another, and something feels strangely off, in a good sense: I’m quite certain this is the best Krisiun show I’ve ever seen to date!

8

Septicflesh

As the stagehand sends his signal, the floor is still wide open, which is quickly fixed as the intro begins. As majestic as the music of Septicflesh is, so is the intro of tonight’s show. The samples of the grandiose soundscape are ever-present, and even when the first song is underway, the crowd still feel anxious about what will be their next move. Already from the second song frontman Spiros Antoniou counts to three and commands people to destroy. Impressively enough so early into the set, the crowd obeys. The amount of experience and crowd control is present from the get-go, and if they can keep up this momentum, this show is without a doubt aiming for the top grades. What is even more impressive is that the voice of Antoniou is equally matched to that on record, and might actually be even better as it has so much more punch and power live. Just like Krisiun, Septicflesh makes sure to thank the crowd, repeating “thank you, my friends” throughout the show, but again it doesn’t sound rehearsed or anything.

Septicflesh

On “Prototype” off "Titan", the track is shortened to fit a live setting, but it somehow makes the audience stand more still. Whether it's due to the brilliance and insanity going on onstage, I’m not sure, but I can definitely understand because there is simply so much to be awestruck about. As the title track off “Communion” airs, people look as if they are ecstatic of joy; it is simply so good! The band wanted to create an atmosphere, sure, but that had been present from the intro already. This track makes people raise their devil horns proper, which is important for the entire concert experience, and this is definitely an experience to the very meaning of the word. The ever-present samples of both choir elements, symphonic, orchestrated and in general grandiose elements are awe-inspiring despite coming off from samples. It would, of course, be better if these were played live, yet they are sufficient at least for this venue. This is only possible thanks to the sound being as crisp as ever, which is super important for a band like Septicflesh.

Septicflesh

After a small encore, they opt to play “Anubis”, and although the last track “Dark Art” is from their latest outing “Codex Omega”, the former probably received one of the biggest applauses of the evening, and for good reason. As far as I’m concerned, Septicflesh was the best band of the evening, and Krimh behind the kit is simply out of this world, as the drumming is on par with a machine; every beat is on point. Did their show ring the highest of bells, however? Well, at least not for me, because I still feel like some room exists for a full orchestra in a live setting that these songs without a doubt deserve.

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