Demersal

support Omsorg + Meejah
author PP date 16/09/21 venue UnderWerket, Copenhagen, DEN

It's finally over - for now at least. It's been a year and a half since my last show where mosh pits were allowed - heck, where people could stand up to a concert - and what better way to return to normalcy than an intimate basement show at UnderWerket. Tonight, we're back in our favorite basement for the release show of Demersal's latest EP, "Death Routines", and it feels like we've picked up right from where we left off. With Covid-19 downgraded from a societal threat to an influenza-like virus thanks to high vaccination rates, tonight's vibes and mosh pits feel exactly like they used to be: people are drinking beers in high spirits, chatter is ongoing, smiles are on people's faces, and overall good atmosphere encompasses the venue.

Meejah

Meejah

First up is the Korean-Danish duo Meejah. "A proper warmup", as vocalist Mai Øvlisen notes right off the bat, "because we don't play as loud as the rest of the bands tonight". Truer words were never spoken. Here, we are treated to an avant-garde, experimentalist expression that's exploring the realms and depths of music ranging from oriental style to pop music and everything in between. She occasionally equips a giant gong - a tribute to her Korean heritage - and elsewhere utilizes what is honestly comparable to a bowl and a cocktail masher for extra ambiance. I am reminded of the time at Roskilde Festival I accidentally found myself at the Gloria Stage at a Wang Li concert that was 'exploring silence'. Quite a bit louder than that, Mai owns an amazing set of pipes as she prominently displays an incredible range on a couple of songs, however, the overall atmosphere is just experimental weirdness that not only feels strange in tonight's musical context but is in general, just boring overall. My advice? Drop the dozen effect pedals on the guitar, and utilize those amazing vocal cords for something less avant-garde, and you'll go far. This? Niché at best.

5

Omsorg

Omsorg

Tonight is Omsorg's first-ever show, save for an online stream they did some time ago. They've traveled here all the way from Aalborg, and embody what I consider the essential 1000Fryd (seminal Aalborg venue) spirit and sound as a band. With a laid-back approach towards the crowd in between songs, when they engage us with music, these guys deliver an unadulterated, aggressive set of hardcore punk that sounds like Mighty Midgets were a primary influence, though with more emotional charge and post-hardcore influence sandwiched in between. It's a raw hardcore punk set where urgency is in focus, yet the instrumental passages highlight that these guys are way better than they should be based on experience alone. The level of intensity is relentless, yet the longer you listen, the better and more complete their soundscape feels. It carries itself with a subtle understatement where you get an imminent vibe that there's something very special brewing that's waiting to be unleashed. After all, if you can appear this tight and rehearsed on your first live show ever, it's bound to be fantastic in a year or two's worth of experience underneath their collective belts.

Demersal

Demersal

The main event is obviously Demersal. The straggler smokers have all crammed in and it feels like the venue is fairly well stuffed for their "Death Routines" EP release show. And indeed, tonight's first mosh pit opens up fairly soon after their start. Unfortunately, the band is playing without their bassist tonight due to a broken finger, which means their sound doesn't quite feel as complete and devastating as it does on record. But that's quickly forgotten once the band starts explosively thrashing around the stage. A few songs in? They are virtually shaking on stage in rhythm to their aggressive powerviolence, which feels even rawer and more urgent live than it does on record. Especially in a basement setting like this. It's throaty, caustic, razor-sharp, and energetic throughout, but where the show really peaks is just before the encore where vocalist Victor Ravn moves the mic into the middle of the crowd. Naturally, a mosh pit around the singer ensues, and with the added melancholy, it's just a near-perfect moment especially since he crashes to the ground to shred his guitar towards the end of the song. A quick encore thanks to popular demand, and they finish the set off in absolutely mental fashion where his guitar falls to the stage, the mic stand is pushed into the crowd, and he initiates an intense mosh pit that feels like Corona was never here, to begin with. Good stuff, even if not all of the melancholic chaos came through quite as vividly live as it does on record.

Photos by: Philip B Hansen

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