12 Hours, 12 Bands

support 12 bands in total
author PP date 12/09/09 venue The Rock, Copenhagen, DEN

The original idea with "12 hours 12 bands" was to have a dozen young and promising metal bands from Copenhagen and elsewhere in Denmark to play for 12 hours on September 12th, so that starting from 16:00, there'd be live music once an hour all the way until the headliners would step on stage at 4 in the morning to close the show off. It's a clever idea and one that was surely designed to make The Rock lots of bucks, err, kroner, but in reality it would be retarded to assume that anyone could actually stand and watch metal of varying quality by bands you've barely heard of for 12 hours straight. Hence, the program was revised to be somewhat quicker despite still housing 11 bands on the bill, which was more bearable, but it didn't stop this scribe from retiring to my home quarters due to far too high levels of intoxication only after six bands (and 6 hours though!). There are only so many 40kr beers your wallet lets you buy anyway. Luckily, my fellow scribe TL was ready to take over, arriving just before I decided to leave, so we captured some quality opinion of the whole night. Main picture, by the way, is of Impalers, because we didn't have a dedicated photographer with us tonight.

Electric Hellride

Tonight's first band was Electric Hellride, a new Copenhagen thrash metal band who have been around for such a little while that tonight was actually their first show ever. And man, it really showed. Despite their vocalist/bassist Casper Wild's best efforts at singing exactly in the same hoarse manner that a certain James Hetfield does, the entire band stood still throughout their whole set, as if their feet were nailed to the ground. The amount of headbanging on stage was also bizarrely low for a melodic thrash metal band, and generally the first three quarters of their set looked like as if the band didn't believe in their own songs at all. Towards the end though, when the band played "Benzinery" and another track whose name I cannot remember just now, far more movement could be detected in the heads and feet of the crowd thanks to the brilliant solos both songs possessed. But it was too little, too late, really.

4
PP

The Fall From Grace

I'm not gonna lie, aside from Trusted Few, The Fall From Grace were the main reason I came to check out the event tonight, and like TF later in this review, they didn't disappoint. The difference between these guys and Electric Hellride on stage could be immediately sensed from the sample used when they slowly entered the stage. In case you're not in the know, these guy play spacey alternative rock that sounds like a more progressive, enriched version of Chevelle with the occasional post-hardcore vibe brought by piercing screams that are used sparingly enough to make them sound interesting every time they arrive. This sounds pretty good on paper already, but each time I've seen these guys live, dedication and passion for their music trickles through especially their vocalist Miki's passionate expression. The way these guys stood on stage tonight was a display of emotion in a massive magnitude, because for every small movement or piece of instrumental genius, you could see every member of the band living the songs through their respective instruments. "Come a little closer to the stage" requests are usually not respected by The Rock audience, but the sheer brilliance of many of these songs brought about half the venue closer to the band each time they requested it. Based on their latest ep "The Largo Sessions" and tonight's show, there are some VERY good things in store for these guys. Label exec's reading this, sign this band please and give them a good producer.

8
PP

Fox And A Bath

While I watched Fox And A Bath slowly set up their instruments, two thoughts circled my mind without leaving me alone: one was that the average age of the band couldn't have been a day older than 16, and two, "oh god this is going to be so fuckin' scene metalcore/breakdown hell". While the first is merely a guess, my second notion turned out to be wrong indeed. Although these guys play metalcore, it's of the more brutal kind (think Lamb Of God heavy) and things like clean vocals appear to be a curse word for them, as they were virtually nonexistent in the whole set. Speaking of their young age, by the way, it translated into a chaotic and nicely energetic live show. To quote Brock from 36 Crazyfists: "when I was 18, I was like a cat, I was all over the place", which can be well applied to the Fox And A Bath vocalist who stormed left and right, up and down, taking advantage of every small square centimeter of the stage tonight. When the rest of the band followed suit, throwing their guitars around and the usual metalcore antics, you couldn't be but impressed. Maybe that's why these guys had a huge mosh pit in front of the stage, and it felt like there were 10 times more people at the venue for their show than for later bands.

PP

Death Rides A Horse

What's worse than boring, generic gothic metal on record? Watching 40 minutes of boring, generic gothic metal live. Especially when the songs are somewhat doom metal like, with some lasting more than eight minutes a piece. While not distinctly gothic in terms of instrumentation - they sounded far more sludgy and progressive for that genre - the reason I just have to draw that connection is because their female vocalist/bassist Ida sings exactly in the same way as those boring goth metal vocalist's from the Germany/Austria/Switzerland area who all sound precisely like each other. Occasionally, the band broke out into some good solos and interesting instrumental passages, but in between each good passage there was so much unnecessary fluff and uninteresting stuff that the only thing left to do was to shake your head and hope that these guys improve their song designs in the future. Of course it didn't help either that the band appeared like Electric Hellride on stage, standing still, without confidence in their own songs.

3
PP

Trusted Few

We've written about Trusted Few's live performances so many times now that after this review they will beat Rise Against as the band with most live reviews on Rockfreaks.net (although Rise Against will get a review in just over a month so don't worry). As such, I'm beginning to have a hard time coming up with something original to write about them that I haven't already said twice before, so lets just go on and state that tonight, their live show is still as solid and intense of an experience as it has always been. There are fewer dedicated Trusted Few fans here tonight, though, which is why the band chooses only to play "Dance Dance" and another old song, instead opting for a whole bunch of new, unreleased tracks from their upcoming 2010 record. These new songs still sound like a drastic change of direction in comparison to the two old EPs, and whether or not these breakdown-laden songs will make an impact on the Danish scene remains to be seen. Despite an energetic performance, it's difficult to get everything out of the show when you don't really know the songs, but one thing you can take with you from their show is an idea of the direction this band is heading towards.

7
PP

Now, before we move on with this article, this paragraph will signify my (TL) taking of the wheel. I had arrived at The Rock just in time to watch Trusted Few, and after their performance, PP informed me that he had to leave for some reason (that sounded much like drunken gibberish). Hence he would rely on me to review the remaining six bands, however, having already started building a solid intoxication and being dragged left and right to talk to friends (I'm like sooo popular), I can't claim to have seen every second of every show. Consider that my excuse if something in the upcoming paragraphs sounds wrong or retarded.

Impalers

Following Trusted Few were Impalers, a trio of seriously metal-looking dudes. From the clothing to the hair to the snippets of "Master Of Puppets" played while soundchecking, none were left doubting that the next performance would be much more traditionally metal. And truly, Impalers did turn out to be stout defenders of metals tradition. Playing a merciless kind of oldschool thrash topped with slightly blackened vocal work, the band put on a performance that spoke volumes of both their confidence and their ambition. Long songs with plenty of detail and an on stage appearance of a band truly passionate about their music gave an solid impression, even if this kind of music isn't normally my cup of tea. Of course, you could argue that, as it goes for many other current thrashers, it can be hard to spot anything new that Impalers bring to the table, but aside from that, as far as re-interpreting a classic genre goes, I think they dot all the i's and cross all the t's. Hence a recommendation and a

TL

Symbolic

The appearance of Symbolic marked a somewhat smaller leap in style, because with them, we were still located firmly in thrash country. Think lot's of threatening shredding and rough vocal work, and you should get what they sound like. Motörhead definitely comes to mind. However, the one and only thing I think the majority of The Rock's guests took home from this performance is the unfortunate memory of the torture it was to listen to frontman Rasmus Kiaer's vocals. Now I know that singing isn't normally a focus area in thrash, and granted, even Lemmy himself is hardly a Pavarotti, but every person I talked to between this band's songs all agreed on the same thing: If Symbolic want to have any success, they need to hire themselves a singer, because Rasmus' limitations are simply more of a burden than the otherwise solid musicianship can carry. Hence, this quickly became the kind of performance you just wanted to end, so that you could resume conversation with your friends.

3
TL

Haltefanden

Next band up was Haltefanden (it means "Limp Devil" in Danish) and I actually have a hard time figuring out how to, to put it bluntly, pass judgment over them. Their sound was also sort of thrashy, but instead of the speed and technicality offered by the previous bands, this was the kind of loose, low-fi metal that's almost leaning over the border into the land of punk rock. Danes should easily pick up on an all too obvious similarity between this and Red Warszawa. There's one decisive difference though: Haltefanden aren't funny. At all. Then, I'm not sure they want to be funny, but I'm also not sure what they're then trying to do instead. Considering the garage-ish nature of their sound and their decision to have their lyrics shouted monotonously in Danish don't really make them seem like they have grand artistic aspirations either. Maybe they just want to rock out, play some stuff that sounds like what they like, have a good time and not care too much? If that's the case then their show probably couldn't be any better, but then, unless you really like the same bands as the bandmembers do, then I can't for the life of me figure out why you'd want to listen to them. They didn't quite annoy me as much as Symbolic, but still, I'm wasn't exactly impressed either.

4
TL

Scornful

Scornful on the other hand were much more entertaining. The, judging from the looks of them, very young fourpiece got on stage sporting tshirts adorned with names of various death metal bands, and launched predictably into a set full of fast paced, uncompromising death metal. From what I saw of this set, there's was nothing critically wrong with it, and in fact, most people seemed to be impressed with the weight and tightness these boys managed to put out. That being said though, their material still seemed like pretty standard fare DM, and, aside from playing of course, Scornful also didn't seem to be doing anything else to make any kind of impression on the crowd. Something time will have to teach them how to do before I'll stick them with a grade above

6
TL

Hideous Invasion

Now, as you might imagine, being in a rock club all night will have a tendency to reduce one's power of both perception and decision making, and needless to say, I was no exception to the rule. Simply put, after two and a half hour watching bands and chugging pints, I was getting drunk, and somehow my concentration must have failed me, because I have no recollection of Hideous Invasion at all. In fact I find myself asking if they were pulled from the bill for some reason, but of course, it is more likely that I have been too busily engaged in some drunken discussion outside of/in the back of the venue, to actually remember to come back in and watch them. All I can say is that, listening to them on myspace right now, it certainly feels like my first encounter with them, so obviously, I can't really rate or describe their show. So I guess you'll have to go listen to them yourself. Sorry.

?
TL

Kami

The reason I'm pretty sure that I didn't merely watch Hideous Invasion and forget due to intoxication is that I actually have a pretty vivid recollection of what the closing band Kami was like. Mean-ass death metal delivered with skill and conviction from a bunch of mean-ass looking guys, dressed in those black clothes that typically have some odd, white tribal pattern on them. However, regardless of said skill and conviction, Kami still didn't manage to convince to listen to them for more than a few songs, and here's why: Their performance demonstrated exactly one of metal's biggest problems. The one that arises when it takes itself too damn seriously. I'm not saying all metal bands should goof around like Municipal Waste, Impalers didn't, in fact they were quite serious and they still felt quite 'real'. Kami on the other hand, brought the kind of sinister, would-be-evil postures that only reminds me of that picture of Taake singing with his dick hanging out. He too looks like he thinks he's the devil's second in command, while every sane person watching is asking themselves if that dude isn't a bit of a joke. Now Kami didn't wear any corpse paint and they did keep their genitals in their pants, but still their antics hinted a similarly overstated melodrama, which I think actually detracted from the experience of their otherwise well-played DM. So much in fact, that while they were probably the only one of these last five bands that sounded anywhere near as professional and experienced as Impalers, I still wouldn't rate the overall show more than a:

5
TL

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