August Burns Red

support Mudslide
author TL date 19/10/08 venue The Rock, Copenhagen, DEN

Having been pretty sick back when AP, Jill and I drove all the way from Denmark to Örebro the last time we wanted to catch August Burns Red (when they supported Misery Signals), I was delighted to find out that they would be playing the somewhat closer The Rock, in central Copenhagen. Effectively I find myself in a state of excited expectancy as me and PP clear the matter of our entry up at the door to the venue, and as he makes his way to conduct an interview with the headliners' frontman Jake Luhrs, I decide to check out the merch and check in with a few familiar faces in the crowd, just to make sure I'm not tied up in anything when the support band Mudslide comes on stage. I have no need to worry though, as PP makes it back well in time to share some beers and discuss the new Saosin EP with me and Jesse (formerly of A Place Called Here), before the veil guarding the venue's main area is withdrawn and Mudslide start their set.


It speaks for itself though, when I mostly remember Mudslide for their appearance, rather than for their music. Seeming like quite the gigging veterans, they play through their songs with great instrumental prowess and plenty of energy in surplus, urging the crowd on at every turn. Guitarist Victor seems especially confident about the situation, eagerly communicating with the crowd with a variety of retarded facial expressions, and vocalist Morten doesn't seem to mind the fact that the audience is watching his band with a visibly reserved attitude. In fact, his showmanship is the least of his problems, as his actual vocalwork is actually the primary of the band's drawbacks. It's as audible on the band's myspace as it is tonight, that his throaty work is mediocre at the very best, and that his clean singing is, to be blunt, downright poor. Seeing how his melodic choruses are relied upon greatly for the songs to have identity, he just doesn't do a good enough job. As for the rest of the band they play solidly, though without ever seeming to want to sound like anything but yet another metalcore band, and my final verdict must be that either they need to come up with something more original, or they need to get some better vocalwork done to lift the overall impression. The fact that I'm grading as high as is the case, comes mainly from their strong attitude, rather than their music.


August Burns Red

The show that's put on by the main act is fortunately of a whole different kind, and from the very first second of their set, August Burns Red seems intent on turning the heat on and keeping it that way. The same goes for the crowd, who now engage in moshing with much enthusiasm. Album opener "Truth Of A Liar" naturally sees a shitstorm of action from the crowd, but in terms of on stage performance, it's just another song in a march through the band's material where no beats are missed. Jake roars with seemingly limitless conviction, constantly gesturing in a way that fits all too well with the anger of his vocals. As for the axe/bass wielders, they aren't far behind in commitment, as they play their stuff like they mean it, headbanging and throwing their instruments around. For this venue, the circle pit that's instigated tonight is of an unusual size, and generally, little can be complained over in ABR's set. On the flipside however, there's really nothing extraordinary going on either. It's the typical example of a performance that's flawless as it is, but remains almost too consistent and homogenous for you to take any distinct memories home with you. As is the case with August Burns Red's music, their show is pure and raw in its continual aggression, with breakdowns, blastbeats and technicalities enough to go around for everyone. Beyond that though, there aren't exactly a very wide variety of things to keep you interested if you're not just here to get yourself a good old battering in the pit, and as such, this night's show remains one that, while full of undeniable quality and consistency, falls short of the really high grades for its lacking in giving you a memory to distinguish this band from the vast sea of contemporaries.

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