While She Sleeps

support Cancer Bats + Hundredth + Oathbreaker
author MBC date 08/04/15 venue Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN

While TL went to see the punk rock of Against Me! at Vega, I headed to Pumpehuset to catch the hardcore/metal double headliner of Cancer Bats/While She Sleeps and support acts Oathbreaker and Hundredth. Both headlining bands have released amazing albums this year, and with this in mind I ventured to the venue expecting some great performances. Tonight was not nearly sold out and the bands would be playing on Pumpehuset’s smaller and more intimate stage.

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Oathbreaker

First up was Belgian blackened hardcore act Oathbreaker. The Deathwish signed band has been steadily gaining recognition across Europe following the release of their album “Eros/Anteros” last year. Fronted by female vocalist Caro Tanghe, the band delivers crushingly heavy hardcore. Although skilled musicians, the band seemed somewhat out of place on this tour being the most brutal act by far and having an entirely different approach to performing than the other bands of the night. Bathed in a blue light, the band seemed to be completely absorbed within the eerie atmosphere of their music, with Tanghe looking down and banging her head to the slow riffs and even sitting on the floor with her back turned to the crowd at one point. Her long and thick hair covered her face for the entire performance which, along with the band’s introverted performance and zero acknowledgement of the audience, created a distance between performer and listener.

Tanghe has a shrill and raw, black metal-esque scream that fits the music well, but gets extremely repetitive to listen to after a while due to the lack of dynamics. Most of the crowd stood still during the performance and did not seem to be digging the music that much. It is rather difficult to tell though, since Oathbreaker’s music does not exactly induce moshing or any kind of crowd participation really. After about 25 minutes, the stage faded completely to black and the band disappeared with no word. An interesting performance, but not exactly the thrill of the night.

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Hundredth

Next up was American melodic hardcore masters Hundredth with tonight’s show being their first in Denmark. From the get go this was a very different performance than what we saw earlier with Oathbreaker. The amazing vocalist Chadwick Johnson ran around the small stage as much as possible and was screaming his lungs out for the 25 minute-performance. Hundredth played a good mix of songs from their albums and even presented a brand new song entitled “Unravel” from their upcoming album. The crowd got somewhat into the music and even started a mosh pit on “Carry On”, one of the band’s best songs. Unfortunately, the sound was not balanced and the band’s melodic guitar parts and clean vocals drowned in the mix.

At the end of the show, Johnson jumped on the floor and onto a barrel from where he continued to scream , which definitely was one of the more entertaining sights of the night. Unfortunately, his energy was not quite matched by the rest of the band, and there was little direct contact with the crowd. The performance was short due to their placement on the bill, which was a shame as the crowd seemed to be gradually getting more and more into the band as the performance went on. I would personally have liked to be able to hear way more songs from Hundredth as well. Hopefully, they can come back soon as headliners themselves and have better sound quality.

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Cancer Bats

Canadian southern hardcore band Cancer Bats are well known for their chaotic and highly energetic performances. They master the art of starting a party and getting a crowd going with their amazingly affecting grooves, and front man Liam Cormier is relentless in his delivery and constant contact with the crowd. Tonight was no exception with the band performing an hour’s worth of material from their career that had people singing along and going crazy in front of the stage.

The band was clearly feeding off of the energy from the crowd and having an amazing time, and Cormier even stated that the show was his favourite on the tour so far. He said that Cancer Bats love to play in Copenhagen and was even appreciative of the fact that the show was on the small stage, so he could be up and close with the people. He thanked the audience for coming out to Pumpehuset instead of Against Me! at Vega and said that the people of Copenhagen were lucky to get to choose between two such awesome tours on the same night.

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While She Sleeps

Last act of the night was British hardcore/metal band While She Sleeps. They opened with “New World Torture” from their phenomenal new album “Brainwashed” which immediately got the crowd going. The sound was not good at first with guitar details drowning in the mix and the drums not being balanced at all. But these problems were solved rather quickly during the next couple of songs. “This Is The Six” from the album of the same name resulted in a huge mosh pit and people jumping up and down in front of the stage. This energy continued throughout the show and both band and crowd gave it their all.

The crowd kept getting thinner during the performance, most likely due to how late in the evening it was on a Wednesday, but that did not stop the remaining fans to go totally crazy in front of the stage. Vocalist Lawrence Taylor gave an amazingly passionate performance and also stated that tonight was his favourite show on the tour so far. The Copenhagen fans apparently are pretty amazing compared to other cities. “Four Walls” from “Brainwashed” was the last song of this one-hour performance that ended a little past twelve. The people that stuck it out through the entire evening sure got their money’s worth with some amazing performances.

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