No Omega

support Mountaineer + Evra
author AP date 30/08/13 venue KB18, Copenhagen, DEN

There is a regrettable tendency in the Danish metal scene for people to show up only to watch their good friends perform, thus missing out on new discoveries and, most importantly, doing the (perhaps little known) headlining act a huge disrespect. Such is the case at KB18 tonight, where both local support acts gather a dense and sizable audience, which then promptly vanishes come the headliner's turn. Now, whether or not this stems from lack of promotion or from an inherent disinterest in music in general across the scene, I couldn't say. But whatever the case, this is a problem that needs to be addressed, as it is becoming rather the norm than an anomaly that genuinely great international bands perform to empty rooms here, and so most likely never have a pressing desire to come back. Such ranting, aside, however, I at least am pleased to bring you coverage of all three bands that performed at KB18 on the 30th of August in an underground hardcore extravaganza.

All photos by Peter Troest

Evra

Debut shows are always a tough nut to crack. It isn't a given that people will show up, and those that do are rarely willing to give much of themselves and provide a good audience; on the flipside, neither can the audience assume that what they'll get is value for their money, given the inexperience of the band in question. Unfortunately Evra suffer from all of these issues, taking to the gig circuit perhaps a little too early with a performance that still needs rehearsal to form a lasting impression. It's not that Evra aren't willing to dispense every inch of themselves to put on an energetic performance; it's that they regrettably come across as an untight outfit, with frequent discrepancies between the rhythm and melody sections having all the shuddering feel of chalk drawn across a blackboard. The band do play a promising hybrid of hardcore and metalcore, but it isn't until the last two songs, one of which serves as their first single ("Erase/Rebuild") that they fully cash in on their potential with a sound that also borrows from post-rock; and unsurprisingly it is here that the only instance of real crowd participation takes place when one enthusiastic person decides to engage himself in wild headbanging and then, out of the blue, dives into crowd-surfing, knocking out a few stage lights in the process. Evra, however, still have some way to go before they can be considered a force to reckon with in the domestic metal scene.

5

Mountaineer

Mountaineer, on the other hand, show us exactly what spending some time honing your sound and live show before embarking on gigging can do. This wave-y sextet made their live debut earlier this year, but the story goes they'd been a band for two years prior; and as a result, I was thoroughly impressed by their sophomore performance at this very venue in June. The low stage and relatively intimate confines of KB18 provide the perfect context for a band as emotionally charged as Mountaineer, allowing their exhilirating live performance to unfold in what can only be described as a tornado of expression. Vocalist Johannes Emil Hansen is the antidote to a static audience, often charging into its midst to usher a moshpit, scream at us point-blank, and share the microphone with some of the more well-versed members of their fanbase; and the result is the archetypical hardcore show (understood here in the most positive sense, of course). His compatriots on guitar (Emil Rømer & Steven Singh) and bass (Dennis Hursid), too, have learned their lessons in how to express themselves in the live setting, surging toward the audience at every opportunity, and brandishing and swinging their instruments like a trio of maniacs. Jesper Ager, who handles the electronic aspect of Mountaineer's soundscape, is a bit more reserved, reminding me more than just a little of Underoath's Aaron Gillespie, and while I am unable to see much of what Mathias Jaque is doing behind his kit, I do notice that is drumming is, in fact, phenomenal and almost terrifyingly tight.

Mountaineer still only have five songs to forge a concert out of, so this is the usual short-but-sweet affair. I'm still not warming up to the, in my opinion, uneventful "Greyscale City" (at least in the live setting), but the remaining songs, particularly "Courageous", "Monologue" and "Losing Grip" are stunning, the band's short existence taken into account, packing enough quality to rival even their more established contemporaries Touché Amoré, La Dispute and Vales. If you've yet to experience Mountaineer live, then I'd recommend doing so at your earliest convenience, for instance on the 12th of October at Lygten Station.

8

No Omega

Alas, as I already disclosed in the preamble to this review, the Stockholm, Sweden born No Omega must play their concert under harsh conditions, with no more than 25-or-so people interested enough to stay and give them a chance. But despite apparently cutting their set short (it will not have lasted longer than 25 minutes), they still appear to be unfased by the situation, and throw themselves headfirst into a performance that deserves much more recognition than this. No Omega are the most quintessentially hardcore of tonight's bands, but still pack enough melodies into their songs to avoid slumping into boring chug and breakdowns. Vocalist Andreas Malm, who has allegedly now quit the band on amiable terms, in particular, is a constant whirlwind of jumps, spasms and facial contortions, bringing to mind the magnificent Jason Aalon Butler of letlive. with his mental antics. His colleagues on guitar, bass and drums are slightly more reserved, but even so No Omega live up to their reputation as an exhilirating live act; an act which most Danes are apparently unwilling to acknowledge. Of course it could be said that cutting a headlining set this short should not be acceptable even under these poor conditions since most of the people that have stayed to watch it probably paid the 50 DKK entrance fee. Had, however, the attendance been greater, the show itself would most likely have been lifted, too, by virtue of circle- and moshpits and the like.

7

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