ORM

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author AP date 12/02/22 venue Hotel Cecil, Copenhagen, DEN

This long and highly anticipated concert was envisioned as the grand conclusion to the saga of ORM’s masterful 2019 album “Ir”, as well as the final show for their departing bassist Troels Cort Nielsen, and it was originally supposed to take place back in December, before the Danish government imposed a fresh round of curbs on nightlife as a result of the surging Omicron wave. Such restrictions are a thing of the past now though, and there are no signs of gloom in the elegant confines of Hotel Cecil, which have been thronged by a sold-out audience, eager to witness this ceremonial closing of one chapter and the opening of another at last. For any fan of Danish metal, and especially black metal of the epic, atmospheric kind, this is an unmissable occasion, so yours truly naturally cleared his schedule and made sure to be present for it. Read on to find out how the evening progressed!

All photos courtesy of Jacob Dinesen / Devilution.dk

ORM

The proceedings begin with two blasts of trumpet, announcing the arrival of Tore Tvarnø Lind, who lectures in art and cultural studies at the University of Copenhagen and is renowned for his research in heavy music, to read out his poetic interpretation of the mythology surrounding “Ir” and ORM’s ancestral island of Bornholm. It is an unusual, yet perfectly fitting start to ORM’s delivery of the record, which is accentuated by moody, atmospheric lighting and is played at an imposing volume that drowns out every other noise and forces the audience to focus their full attention on the show. Atmospheric black metal is a genre often accompanied by a distant and muted performance, yet the four musicians of ORM have no interest in preserving that tradition here tonight. The cascading tremolo leads roaring out of frontmen Simon Sonne Andersen and Theis Wilmer Poulsen’s guitars possess the two completely, their bodies arched backward and their eyes shut as they lose themselves in the myths of their birthplace during the towering, 23-minute opener “Klippens lyse hal”. This band has always been fantastic live, but their presence tonight is more commanding than ever before, bringing to mind the arresting showmanship of Wolves in the Throne Room and lending their concert the kind of all-encompassing quality that such contemplative music deserves.

Although the performance features just two songs, the aforementioned “Klippens lyse hal” and “Bær solen ud”, their long-winding, progressive arrangements nonetheless render it into one rife with contrasts and shifting dynamics. From pitch black eruptions of extremity to shoegazing segments, through an elegant trumpet soliloquy adding at ouch of Spaghetti Western acoustics to the palette, to magnificent post-black metal crescendoes, it is impossible to remain unmoved by the music of “Ir” — let alone by the passion that each of the four musicians is pouring into it — and as such it is no surprise to see virtually the entire audience captivated throughout. How could it not be, given the drama of the music and ORM’s giving it their absolute everything for the entire 50-minute duration of the set? Once the cinematic and even quite uplifting finale of “Bær solen ud” has brought the spectacle to a conclusion then, the crowd predictable erupts into thunderous applause and loud cheering, both giving Nielsen the sendoff he deserves and ushering the rest of the band on as focus shifts to their upcoming third studio album, which is tentatively set to arrive in the autumn. I had half-expected ORM to play at least the titular “Mit Blod” off their 2020 EP in an encore, but the fact that this does not happen, does not lessen my ecstasy over this triumphant concert one bit. I only wish it could have been longer!

9

Setlist:

  • 1. Klippens lyse hal
  • 2. Bær solen ud

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