The Psyke Project

support Anime Torment
author AP date 18/05/13 venue Beta, Copenhagen, DEN

Fresh off what I'm told was a pretty frantic Eastern European tour, Denmark's number one live act (well, if you ask me, anyway), The Psyke Project, were to make a long due return to their hometown Copenhagen this evening to celebrate the release of their latest symphony of destruction, "Guillotine". And who better to curate the event than Anders Bøtter, who runs the DR P6 DAB radio metal show "Sort Søndag", and his entourage of Marco Sewohl (vocalist of Redwood Hill), yours truly, and two beautiful ladies clad in gold serving Golden Ladies (aka. Tuborg Gold) outside for free. This would be the perfect climax to a day of soaking up the summer's first proper sun, and so it is with a certain sense of euphoria that I enter the concert room to behold the Czech support act Anime Torment.

Photos courtesy of Peter Troest

Anime Torment bassist Karel Košík

Anime Torment

The genre of preference of these Czechs is the ever-polarising deathcore, which they for all intents and purposes play as well as anyone else. It is, however, immediately evident that Anime Torment are either too nervous to be playing to a host of Psyke Project fans in their natural habitat, or simply too inexperienced still to muster up a show worth remembering. Acoustically, everything is in order as it tends to be at this venue thanks to the always reliable in-house sound technician, Rasmus. But on stage the quintet is devoid of the sort of maniacal, testosterone-fueled mayhem that music like this deserves, and since deathcore itself is a genre which often draws on the most stereotypical and generic concepts in metal music I find, the songs themselves to not carry enough strength to truly rile up the audience. Indeed, the half of the crowd that is here to watch is glued firmly to the ground with curt headbanging and applause the only real response; while the other half have decreed this too distant from their taste to justify abandoning the last rays of sunlight still stroking the table area outside. The result is a show that is perhaps unsurprisingly best described as static; although it would of course be unfair to rest all of the blame on the band, who play their material tightly and with a kind of shy flair that I find quite admirable. There is certainly promise here, but were it up to me, I'd send Anime Torment back in the rehearsal room to perfect the performance component of their music - or simply recommend them to go where bands like Job for a Cowboy and Whitechapel went and venture down the modern death metal path instead to ensure strength in their songs at the very least.


The Psyke Project vocalist Martin Nielskov and a crazed fan

The Psyke Project

None of the criticisms above, however, could ever apply to The Psyke Project - and I feel that is an objective statement; not a conjecture. Quite simply, this occasion marks the tweltfth time I've borne witness to these architects of chaos, and not once have I been left home with even a minute sense of disappointment. Those who have seen the band throughout their 12 years of existence will no doubt find it easy to agree that even the least energetic Psyke Project show tends to result in injuries. Such is the case tonight as well, judging by the blood streaming down a curiously ecstatic looking guy's nose at the bar near the end of the performance.

The Psyke Project waste no time either, kicking things off with two songs that count among their most frenetic: "I Get Paralyzed" from "Apnea" (2007) and "In the Mist" from "Daikini" (2005). Yours truly included, the foremost half of the venue swiftly transforms into something resembling a fight scene from a B-class action movie - a situation which turns dangerous as the first pints of beer are inexplicably poured down my neck and onto the floor generating what effectively feels like an ice skating rink there. Just, ice skating rinks tend to be sustained by subzero temperatures; here the room quickly begins to resemble a Finnish sauna, with band and crowd members alike gasping for air and gulping bottles of water between every song. It sounds unpleasant, but I actually find the extreme temperature only adds to the intimacy that exists between The Psyke Project and us their fans, a kind of togetherness that reciprocally fuels the performance.

The Psyke Project bassist Jeppe Skouv

For once, vocalist Martin Nielskov makes only a few visits to the audience, first surfing on top of it and then losing his step to collapse onto the floor with several fans on top of him during the aforementioned fan-favorite "In the Mist". By this time the foremost half of the venue stage included is sweltering, and most tops have come off to reveal skin glistening with sweat, beer and water; just in time to receive live renditions of some of the brand new songs in "Guillotine", "Death Sight", "The End", "The Mute" and "Empire". If you've heard those songs on record already, then you will of course agree that they offer no relent from the onsalught of the opening two tracks tonight, and the show gradually grows more and more mental - this despite the fact that The Psyke Project themselves have planted themselves on stage to deliver these songs in fairly calm manner.

The Psyke Project vocalist Martin Nielskov

Calm is of course no word that could ever be used to describe The Psyke Project, the self-proclaimed epic hardcore monster. So even as the relatively melodic piece "Empire" gives way to two tracks off 2011's "Ebola" split LP with As We Fight, it is clear that sweat will continue to pour until the end of days. So as "Ghost Fight", "Hell Is Other People" and "Menneske" - all also off "Guillotine" - round the pre-encore proceedings off, there is a highly amusing look of shock in most people's eyes as they emerge shirtless from the room for a quick breath of cooler air and perhaps a beer so as to catch a timely break before the absolutely monolithic, The Chariot-esque drone of "Partisan" finally puts a lid on the proceedings before a sea of deep, synchronous headbanging. All that remains to be said in mutual agreement, then, is that we've just borne witness to another scintillating performance by a band that rips it every fucking time.


  • I Get Paralyzed
  • In the Mist
  • Guillotine
  • Death Sight
  • The End
  • The Mute
  • Empire
  • Battles
  • This Road to Hell
  • Ghost Fight
  • Hell Is Other People
  • Menneske


  • Partisan

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