LLNN

support Redwood Hill + We Are Among Storms
author PP date 05/11/21 venue Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN

Tonight is a night many in the Danish metal scene have been salivating over for quite some time now. On the bill, we have some of the current post-metal elite in the Danish scene to celebrate the release of LLNN's critically acclaimed third album "Unmaker" at Pumpehuset. It's a big show - we're over half full in the 800-capacity upstairs venue based on a rough estimate, and no wonder: Redwood Hills' mystical appearances have long been buzzed about not just by our magazine but the Copenhell crowds among others, and We Are Among Storms feels like the perfect companion considering the unit houses 'the other half' of The Psyke Project, who laid Pumpehuset down to a chaotic, sweaty storm during their farewell show back in 2014.

We Are Among Storms

We Are Among Storms

Much like LLNN, We Are Among Storms released a critically acclaimed full-length earlier this year. Tonight, the trio is assigned to a warmup role, with a misty, smoke-laden opening that's characterized by their epilepsy-inducing light show. Martin Nielskov's ravaging vocals are as razor-sharp and melancholic as we remember them from The Psyke Project days as the band takes us through their signature style, brooding Scandinavian winter darkness. If Nordic misery had a sound, We Are Among Storms would be it, and they accentuate it with plenty of atmospheric segments and rhythmic pulsations where the percussion is brilliant at guiding the soundscape forward.

On stage, Nielskov paces across the stage in his usual, passionate stance, and he does this despite the crowd barely seeming to have heard of them in advance of the show. But if there is one critique to the trio's sound, it is that being merely a vocalist, guitarist and drummer is much more exposed in a live setting than on record. The ambient segments work much better on record than early on at Pumpehuset, where the echoing interiors create a hollow effect that's difficult to see past. That said, the crowd slowly warms up to them, especially after "Clouds And Compass" arrives with the aforementioned rhythmic percussion. A solid start for tonight, if somewhat at the beginning of their story so far.

7

Redwood Hill

Redwood Hill's "Ender" release party was scheduled to take place on March 20th, 2020, but was cancelled as the first Danish lockdown started only a few days prior to it. As such, vocalist Marco Stæhr lets us know that today is mostly songs from "Ender", given that this is their first live concert since then. You gotta sympathize with them given how much praise that album received across the music media.

Redwood Hill

Today, they are preaching us in their trademark hooded outfits where Stæhr utilizes the mic stand as a visual element of sorts, clutching his hands around it and swinging it around on occasion when his face isn't disappearing into the darkness of his hood. The band's lengthy melancholic passages contrast their overall bleakness nicely, forging an atmosphere that's both progressive and deliberate. Their sonic landscapes are challenging, progressively building up a blackened atmosphere whilst a gesticulating Stæhr paints pictures of barren landscapes that morph into synchronized headbangs. It's an atmosphere that almost feels like satanic monks are holding a sermon on stage, and judging by the crowd's hypnotic trance-like appearance, they are lapping it up exactly how it should be lapped up. With perfect sound and a highly energetic performance during the heavier segments, Redwood Hill once again proves why they are one of the most hyped names within post-metal in this country right now.

8

LLNN

LLNN

Recently, I likened the "Unmaker" experience to listening to an earthquake, which becomes ever more clear as the band shatters Pumpehuset with their immaculate, uncompromising pounding. It's even heavier in person than on record, holy shit!? An absolutely devastating expression that immediately opens mosh pits as the band traverse through eight songs of "Unmaker". The sci-fi-inspired, industrial soundscape works better than expected live, where I felt it was a realistic possibility that the crushing heaviness could translate to a muddy, nondescript sound under non-studio conditions. None of that is happening tonight at least from my vantage point where the cuts sound almost exactly like they do on record, complemented by smashing mosh pits with no holds barreled-type of chaos all around the center of the venue.

After four "Unmaker" songs, vocalist Christian Bonnesen introduces tonight's first guest vocalist: Thomas Burø of Lack fame whose performance of "Despots" should leave no one cold. Bonnesen couldn't be happier about one of the Danish scene legends being on stage with him, although his wide grin is pretty much a constant tonight given how much crowd energy is thrown at him pretty much every song. Necks are going to be sore tonight - just imagine how awesome it looks like watching a hundred people headbanging in unison during strobe lighting?

LLNN

The guest performances should have continued with Jacob Bredahl, who was unfortunately unable to join tonight, but that doesn't matter: Martin Nielskov from We Are Among Storms closes the night on "Monolith". He's introduced by Bonnesen as his former boss; it's a unique look at how The Psyke Project could have sounded had they taken a slightly different direction musically towards the even heavier and more uncompromising. Nielskov tells us it's an honor to be on stage, and the two look like the best of friends even after all these years. As an icing top of the cake, drummer Rasmus is crowd surfed out during a happy birthday song and what we're left with feels like a statement: LLNN are ready to conquer the world with their brutally uncompromising, industrial soundscapes. Tonight, they sure conquered all of Pumpehuset and then some.

Setlist:

  • 1. Imperial
  • 2. Division
  • 3. Forger
  • 4. Interloper
  • 5. Despots (w/ Thomas Burø of Lack on guest vocals)
  • 6. Vakuum
  • 7. Scion
  • 8. Obsidian
  • 9. Tethers
  • 10. Desecrator
  • 11. Monolith (w/ Martin Nielskov of The Psyke Project/We Are Among Storms on vocals)

Photos by: Peter Troest

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Legal

© Copyright MMXXI Rockfreaks.net.