support Deals Death + Keep Of Kalessin
author MN date 10/11/13 venue Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DEN

Who in the world would think that heavyweights like Soilwork would be booked on a sullen Sunday when half of Copenhagen is either cocooned within the safe confines of their home, indulging in the Danish traditional “Mortens aften” roasted duck, or combusting out the alcohol from the severe partying the night before. Despite all potential hangovers and another week's worth of work looming, a sprawling of excited and dedicated metalheads had already arrived when the doors opened at Amager Bio on this Sunday night. Following what I consider their best record thus far, Soilwork has bounced back to prominence with the ambitious and equally exciting double monster “The Living Infinite”, an album chock-a-block with killer tunes and virtually no fillers. Billed to open for these Swedes are the fellow Gothenburg-style quintet Death Deals and the Norwegian extreme metal band Keep Of Kalessin. First up: Death Deals.

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Deals Death

Deals Death are a very fine tuned Melodic Death Metal machine; they are everything that’s good about the Gothenburg-style that was epitomized by bands like In Flames and Soilwork back in the mid to late 90s. None too original in sound, they do however pull their melodeath of with flair and with fists held high, the Swedes march on to the stage with determination. Opening with the powerful “Point Zero Solution”, the crowd is sparse, yet Death Deals never give up on starting a party. The crowd interaction of Viking-like vocalist Olle Ekman is heartfelt, yet he is one tough Swede to understand for a Dane. The sound is surprisingly good from the second they step on stage considering that in my experience opening acts often have to calibrate their sound during the first 1-2 songs. The definitive highlight comes with “Fortified” and “Beyond Reason” that finally churns up a bit of movement on the left wing. Despite the band's good effort though, people still remained in a Sunday-hibernation mode.


Keep Of Kalessin

Trondheim-based extreme metal Keep Of Kalessin aren’t a band that I am too familiar with but from the first impressions on record, I was astounded by the massiveness of their sound. To my surprise and delight, upon their emergence on stage, I notice that Keep Of Kalessin are a mere three-piece band. I had not expected to hear such large and profoundly fierce music from only three members. Opening with “Kolossos” the flashbeats are stacked supersonically upon a sound both cacophonic but beautiful in some ways. By the fourth track of the setlist, my mind is drawn completely into trance by the magnificence of Obsidian C, an axeman and vocalist that I consider one of the best I have ever seen in this subgenre. Providing both rhythm and melody, Obsidian plays some mindboggling solos and rhythmical work. The tracks “The Divine Land” and “Ascendant” has me transcending to a meditative state, a seriously cathartic experience.


After witnessing an inspiring and driven set by Norwegian Kalessin, Soilwork has a lot to live up to. As the headlights drop, their roadie hypes up the band in a hip hop like fashion, which is a funny little detail. Smoke fills the stage and the members of Soilwork walk on with Bjørn “Speed” Strid entering in last to the riffs of the epic “This Momentary Bliss” from their latest record. I have been excited to hear this song live; unfortunately sound problems have the rhythm section overwhelmed by the vocals and guitar melodies. The disappointing start is however corrected immediately with the follower “Like The Average Stalker” and “Overload”, the latter inspiring a small moshpit. I am a massive fan of the “Stabbing The Drama” era, therefore I am pleased to see that a total of three songs are performed; those including “Weapon of Vanity”, “Nerve” and of course the set closer “Stabbing The Drama”. Being on a promotion tour of "The Living Infinite", the band treats fans of the double record to a total of six songs from the record. As the Game Of Thrones-like intro to “Spectrum of Eternity” rings in, the crowd finally reaches a state of euphoria where the flashbeats of Dirk Verbeuren catapult the audience in yet another small but determined moshpit. Soilwork has obviously selected a setlist that spans their best works from their discography, and at a total of sixteen tracks this evening, it is a solid one and a half hour gig where Soilwork proves to be a solid live band, especially anchored by Speed who solidifies his position as one of the absolute best vocalists in his field. Despite the early sound problems, the rest of the set is seamless, where especially Ola Flink on the bass rock it extra hard tonight. A sullen Sunday turns into a healthy dosage of great heavy metal.

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