Iniquity

support Ferocity
author AP date 14/12/13 venue Beta, Copenhagen, DEN

I remember back in 2002 or 2003, when Counter-Strike still filled my evenings, once forming a clan and calling it Iniquity - a decision, which elicited dozens of inquiries as to whether we had named the clan after the cult Danish technical death metal act. I also remember having never heard of them, though not much to my amazement given that my insight into rock, let alone metal at that time consisted of Metallica and Iron Maiden at best. Iniquity no longer existed then, either, but in the wake of the re-union late last year, I made plans to check them out at last. Ironically it has taken me the best part of a year to do so, and I now find myself doing so on the eve of the band's very last concert at my much loved Beta.

All photos courtesy of Kenny Swan

Ferocity

Fashioning themselves the "heaviest export from Aalborg, Denmark", Ferocity combine the razor sharp riffage of At the Gates with some of the most petrifying vocals I've heard spewed out by a Danish frontman. With deep, gut-wrenching growls, piercing pig squeals, and the psychotic glare of an escaped convict, Kasper Wendelboe paralyses the room from the get-go; and his compatriots, guitarists Allan T. Poulsen and Peter Nordahn, bassist Lars Ole Bøgel and drummer Nikolaj Kjærgaard do their best to follow suite with severe expressions and imposing statures in best traditional death metal fashion. It takes some time for a not-so-hardened fan of death metal as myself to acclimatise to the sheer unadulterated menace that Ferocity emit, but once that initial shock subsides, what is left is, sadly, discounting the impressive vocal performance, an assortment of rather standard death metal songs delivered with few other accessories than occasional synchronised headbanging and windmilling. There's nonetheless considerable potential here, and if Ferocity combine Wendelboe's maniacal vocals with equally perplexing or deviant instrumentation, there is no telling where this band could go.

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Iniquity

I must confess to being quite the clueless piece-of-shit critic when it comes to this allegedly legendary band. But when the show begins, it does so without the fanfare and enthusiasm (on the crowd's behalf) that I was expecting (owing surely in some part to the fact that the venue is far from full capacity), and despite never having seen them in their heyday, I cannot arrest the sense of disappointment creeping into my conscious. Iniquity are neither intense, nor intimate, with only bassist/vocalist Martin Rosendahl really making an effort to establish a connection with the audience, and to exude the celebratory feel that a band's swansong gig should absolutely have.

The music itself, now that I finally make its acquaintance on the eve of its laying to rest, is a different matter, as one immediately understands why Iniquity are held in such reverence by the Danish metal enthusiasts. The grooves, so essential to quality death metal, are thick and intoxicating; the melodies as abundant as they are inspired. And Rosendahl's horrifically brutal vocals provide the icing on the cake. There is an air of professionalism to this band that is convincing at once, yet with such a static, and at times indifferent performance by guitarists Brian Eriksen and Jens Lee in particular, I am struck by perpetual ambivalence as to what I should make of it all.

On the one hand I relish the opportunity to experience music of such legend in 2013, and so find myself sucked into the groove, headbanging profusely for much of Iniquity's set. But on the other, watching nothing out of the ordinary taking place on stage, no extra effort expended; I find myself drawn increasingly toward the bar to exchange words with our photographer Kenny Swan who is firmly planted there, as well as the venue manager Mikkel Wad Larsen. I resist such temptations for as long as I can, and even make a return into the concert room to witness a handful of songs near the end of the set, but with no remedies delivered to my criticism, I am compelled to label this farewell little more than an average death metal show, easily bested earlier on the very night by the much younger Fall of Pantheon at Pumpehuset.

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