Bring Me The Horizon

support Your Demise
author TL date 17/03/13 venue Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DEN

It's Friday, it's high sun and somehow I'm sick and should probably be lying at home trying to recover. But I've promised AP to stand in for him reviewing tonight's gig, so instead I'm pacing a short walk from pre-drinks with probably the only soon-to-be-guests of tonight's show that out-age my own 27 years, towards Amager Bio where I'm told fans a good decade younger than me have been waiting anxiously since around 10 in the morning. Arriving at the venue, the spectacle is not quite as hysterical as one could have feared, but with the place already half-full with all kinds of big-letter tanktops and inventive hairstyles, even before support band Your Demise take the stage, it would seem the young scene of Copenhagen (and in fairness, Malmö) is at least more alive than one could otherwise have feared.

All pictures courtesy of Jill Decome Photography

Your Demise

Anyway, Your Demise are up first, and this set is of course part of their year-long, drawn-out, last hoorah before their intended split-up. My experiences with the band are limited to having caught a song online and a song in a set they did supporting Enter Shikari at some point, deciding that they weren't my cup of core and adopting an "ignore and let live" attitude towards them. Still this is their last tour and I've had a few drinks, so I position myself back and centre when they come on, fully intent on figuring out what their strengths are, and trying to appreciate those. Yet after about two songs of full concentration I have to turn to my Revolution Music colleague next to me and exclaim "Wow! Is this Limp Bizkit?"

Admittedly, I've been brewing on the theory that some metalcore and hardcore branches are cycling back around to their nu-metal roots for a while, so forgive me if I read something into the performance, but my dominant impression of Your Demise's low-end chuggery and constant crowd-encouragement strikes me as exactly that: Limp Bizkit, except not as catchy. The crowd is lapping it up, jumping up and down as often as commanded, which strikes me as a sad thing for music in general, because if there's any message or melody or emotion conveyed in Your Demise's music, it completely takes a backseat compared to simplistic heavy chords and repetitive cries of "Copenhaaaageeeen! Show me what you goooot!".

And what's worse is that when Your Demise occasionally dabble in something that remotely resembles musicianship, they flat out botch it up. I mean how can you come in off tune on an simple, semi-clean "whoa-oh" melody? Okay, so I know it gets harder when you're focused on jumping up and down as vigorously as YD are, and I know that to most people here, that matters more than what may or may not be the content of the songs. But to make a long story short I say to those people "I think you are wrong". This is one of the dumbest things I've seen people jump to in a long time, and I've seen some dumb damn bands. So seriously, Your Demise, a full year more? Just quit now.


Bring Me The Horizon

Having seen Bring Me The Horizon just a few weeks ago in Belgium, I am completely prepared for what happens when the first notes of "Shadow Moses" command the dimming of the lights, and the entire crowd turns heads like a herd of deer sensing danger. "Can you tell from the look in our eyes?" is met with a booming "WE'RE GOING NOWHERE!", conjuring up a dark, ceremonial atmosphere that's going to permeate every calmer moment of tonight's proceeding, while the punishing guitar-battering that follows leads one's thoughts to the infamous cave-dancing scene in "Matrix: Reloaded". Palms are dropping front to back, people are bouncing left and right, and from corner to corner, the crowd makes noises like everybody is trying to scream their lungs inside out to impress Oli Sykes and his crew.

On stage, Sykes and Malia and their friends are ever the commanding presence, with especially the former turning in a trademark performance, striking all sorts of powerful poses, squatting low and headbanging maniacally to lead the crowd by example, while the instrument-handlers brandish their tools wildly at each opportune moment. Sykes' much debated live cleans become a non-issue, because they've been replaced by a pitched semi-scream which stays nicely on tune from what I can hear.

As dynamic and atmospheric as Bring Me The Horizon's music has increasingly become however, its finer qualities drown tonight, in a thundering shelling that in turn functions mostly as the soundtrack to a mass-exorcism on the floor, with people circle-pitting, wall-of-death-ing and generally throwing their most primal, liberating gestures around like all social conventions are entirely out of order. This is the essense of the band's show, and their command of exactly this energy is clearly a big part of why they've gotten this big. It makes for a striking contrast when they do occasionally dwelve into mellower, more thoughtful material like "And The Snakes Start To Sing", which has people looking a bit lost for action, despite them still singing devotedly along.

That would be the one weakness I would point out - the one thing that reminds me why I still consider BMTH an evolutionary step behind Underoath, a band that I have increasingly found it fitting to compare them to. They can still get better at invoking their depth as well as they invoke their raw power. That being said, when the latter is in effect, the Sheffield quintet crush venues like this like few others can, sending even elder crowdmembers shirtless into a frenzied mosh to the offensive, nihilistic "Antivist", which closes the regular show before the final explosion of "Sleepwalking". So leaving the venue drenched and panting, I think one has to be blind and deaf not to realise that Bring Me The Horizon are fortifying their position as a definitive band of the now - One that'll mark these years when we remember them moving forward.

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