Orphaned Land

support Bilocate + Klone + The Mars Chronicles
author MH date 27/09/13 venue Beta, Copenhagen, DEN

It is friday night and I find myself a long way from home, outside Beta in Copenhagen. The occasion is that Orphaned Land is visiting Beta tonight. So here I stand hopeful that tonight will bring up some hidden gems amongst warm up bands as well as the main reason most of the attendants are here, namely Orphaned Land.

All photos by the undersigned, you can find the rest here

The Mars Chronicles

First up are the French band The Mars Chronicles who play alternative metal that seems to draw some inspiration from Dream Theater. The musicianship and song compositions are pretty good, and we are dealing with a band who are talented and appear on stage in complete outfits that all contribute to a sharp image; clad entirely in white with white skin and hair, and to top it all off they are also wearing black contact lenses, to match the spacey theme of their band. However it all seems to fall to the ground due to a lack of a stage performance that would captivate you and keep you your restless toes from wanting to leave. The sound and physical appearance is great, but as far as the live act goes, everything somehow seems a bit indifferent. This leaves no noteworthy experience for the attending audience, at least not for me.

Klone

Now it is time for in my experience the best act of the night. The French band Klone play a moody and interesting sort of alternative metal, which could be compared to a variety of bands like for example Tool and Opeth. As is the case with most bands of this caliber the atmosphere changes numerous times throughout the set, but the one thing that stands out is the weeping lead guitars that build an enchanting atmosphere as they layer on top of groovy rhythms from the rest of the band. The band stands strong and appears confident, professional and well-rehearsed in their performance, and they are perhaps the band showing the best integrity tonight. This professionalism and routine becomes a bit dull as it runs towards the end of the show, but this is a minor detail considering the immense energy and empathy filling the whole venue as they take on the stage. I've been aware of Klone's existence for quite some time, but never really to a point where I wanted to give them a fair chance, but judging from the show this is clearly a mistake and I would encourage others to check them out.

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Bilocate

The night is still young and it is time for something darker and heavier. Bilocate originate from Jordan, a country which isn't known for much visibility in the metal scene. However here they stand as the most extreme act of the night with their dark and oriental metal that makes the rest of tonight's lineup sound cuddly. Their haunting soundscape is very diverse and the middle eastern touch adds character and makes this an obvious choice for an Orphaned Land warm up. When looking upon the stage it quickly becomes clear who carries the burden of the performance on his shoulders, and that is bassist Hani Al Abadi who steals the whole show with his intense energy, while throwing his instrument around and headbanging like a maniac, with such vivid aggression that it unfortunately makes the rest of the band disappear in his shadow. Vocalist Ramzi Essayed does a good job shouting up the audience between songs getting people pumped for Orphaned Land, but truthfully all eyes remain on Mr. Abadi throughout the set. His enthusiasm is remarkable but it would benefit their live show if the rest of the band showed similar energy, or if he turned it down a notch so that they would stand more like a unity. Bilocate prove to possess originality and an interesting soundscape though, and I am sure they earn a few new fans based on that tonight, including myself.

Orphaned Land

The best thing about tonight is the cultural diversity between each band, and things culminate now as the band most have been waiting for are entering stage. Orphaned Land from Israel are the pioneers of oriental metal, and their music is strongly influenced by their culture, in a way that is sincere and authentic, and that is a contributing factor to what makes them so admired throughout the world. There is no need to put an extra effort into stage performance, because people are loving them from the very beginning. So the only thing really going on on stage is a band playing their tunes with great empathy for an adoring crowd. Frontman Kobi Farhi is dressed in a robe, and is bare footed, delivering a captivating vocal performance. He stays in good contact with the audience throughout the entire concert. I could argue though, that the concert gets carried into a monotone direction and that the lack of noteworthy performance inputs ruins the overall experience. But judging by the atmosphere and exhilarated crowd this is not the case for most people attending. Orphaned Land, and Bilocate reminds us that metal is a unity, so to speak, a strong band of brothers and sisters passionate about the one thing that matters, the music, regardless of culture and religious beliefs. Call me touchy-feely, but this is truly a thing that sums up the overall experience and impression of the night.

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