The Kandidate

support Rising
author AP date 09/03/12 venue Beta, Copenhagen, DEN

The 9th of March: another Friday night spent creating content for this webzine, this time courtesy of two acclaimed Danish metal bands on the capital stop of their ongoing tour of Denmark. As the amount of people at Beta tonight proves once again, you'd best focus your efforts in the "true" metal genres if you want to play sold-out shows in this country. The show tonight is not sold out, of course, but it is much closer to being so than the vast majority of underground shows I go to in Copenhagen.


Despite reviewing their self-titled demo EP back in 2009, tonight marks the first time that I have seized the opportunity to witness Rising in a live setting. Things have changed since: the band has switched its blue collar metal palette for a sound more inspired by the likes of High On Fire, Kylesa and Mastodon, and grown into a prominent and respected player in the Danish metal scene. Remembering that the aforementioned release did not raise my eyebrows much, it is all the more surprising that the band that stands before me now could easily appear on an international sludge metal bill alongside much bigger acts and not look or sound misplaced. True to their reputation, Beta's sound engineers ensure the instrument mix is a perfect combination of thickness and clarity, while Henrik W. Hald's impressive grunts enjoy an eminent presence amidst.

Much could be said of the static way of performance that a three-piece like this is often forced into, but the glitch-free execution and gumption with which Rising deliver their 40 minutes of material is by itself enough to sustain the crowd's attention throughout. It is a welcome bonus, of course, that their songs provide ample opportunities both for headbanging and marveling the trio's knack for writing good, memorable songs. The setlist has been constructed in such a way as to produce the maximum amount of variety from a discography that does not, in truth, pride itself on diversity, with the heavier and faster, High On Fire-inspired picks interspersed by downtrodden dirge à la Down. The result, while not worthy of high praise, is an indisputably solid and well-executed show.


The Kandidate

When it comes The Kandidate's turn to show off their goods, the focus immediately shifts from music to showmanship. Jacob Bredahl, formerly the long-time vocalist of Hatesphere, is a born entertainer, his intersong banter full of warmth and intimacy, and his insong demeanor characterized by confrontation and vehemence. For all intents and purposes, Bredahl is the focal point of the performance, dashing from side to side and screaming his guts out into the faces of those upfront. His energy is contagious, and soon a perilous moshpit explodes into action and continues until the band waves goodbye. For its live characteristics, The Kandidate's music is undoubtedly honed to perfection.

But when it comes to taking in the band's show from a more casual angle, beer-in-hand behind the pit, it soon becomes clear that the band's music sounds rather anonymous when transferred into a live setting. True the sophomore album, "Facing the Imminent Prospect of Death", offered fixes to many of the issues that plague the debut, "Until We Are Outnumbered" - particularly its distinct lack of memorabilia, the combination of material from the two into one setlist has certainly done neither any favors. This is a highly subjective matter of course, but at least to me it seems like The Kandidate have opted to play too many of the least impressive songs from each album and not enough of their melodically inclined produce.

Still, the deafening approval that resounds in the room in between each song cannot be disputed: The Kandidate are doing something right. There is a certain intensity to the band's performance that negates the remaining members' lack of fervor on par with Bredahl and enables the music to be consumed on a primal level. When it comes to fusing hardcore, thrash and death metal, this is probably as good as it gets. It just so happens that to my ears it all starts to sound a little too monotonous after half an hour to thoroughly enjoy.


Photos and videos courtesy of Rasmus Ejlersen

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