Torment

support Darko + What Are You Like
author PP date 22/07/15 venue UnderWerket, Copenhagen, DEN

It's Wednesday night in Copenhagen, which usually doesn't bode well for small shows especially at UnderWerket. Tonight seems to be an exception, however, with a crowded group of people pouring into the basement style venue during a cozy summer night early on to catch local regulars Wayl (What Are You Like). They're opening tonight for UK technical punk rockers Darko, who have opted to play as the second band tonight, letting hardcore warriors Torment tear the venue apart as the last band. Smart choice, as we shall see later in this article.

Wayl

Wayl

Wayl have improved considerably since the last time I saw them. Not only do they look tighter on stage, but their song material seems to be taking steps into the right direction. It's still primarily focused around NOFX, Blink 182 and Pennywise style punk rock with songs alternating between which inspiration to use as their basis. High tempo is kept up throughout as the band play their songs almost straight with rumbling bass melodies prominently on display in the mix, and as has always been the case with these guys, the few breaks they use in between songs is used on joking around and interaction with the crowd. "We need to take breaks otherwise our arms will fall off", Peter Espersen proclaims early on, and later suggesting that the best part about having girlfriends is that they always stand up front at the shows. But aside from the laughs, it's clear that playing more shows is starting to have an effect on how these guys look on stage. As usual, the band finishes with the sing-along anthem "Stand Your Ground" that sees a couple of dudes hop on stage to mosh around. Rather enjoyable overall.

7

Darko

Darko

Taking cues from the A Wilhelm Scream songbook with a little bit of inspiration from Strung Out, you're in for one hell of a technical treat when Darko comes to town. That is also the case tonight where it's almost too easy to stand still hypnotized in awe watching the crazy fretwork and tapped melodies the band fires off song after song. But luckily the band avoids the no-movement trap and perform with all-around frenetic energy. We're talking simultaneous jumps, scissor jumps and all the rage, which is impressive considering how little space they actually have on stage. Their vocalist mostly takes a Rodrigo Alfaro (ex-Atlas Losing Grip, Satanic Surfers)-like stance in front of the stage, succumbing to just headbanging whilst the guitarists and bassists throw themselves around the scene behind him, but that's merely because he doesn't have room to do much more. The combination of a frantic tempo and solid showmanship means their technical punk songs come across as much better than they do on record, where especially "Atlas To Atlantis", the more pop punk oriented "Timepieces And Lock Shaped Hearts", and "Chewbacca Defense" stand out as highlights. Overall, great energy that packed the venue early.

Torment

With a name as anonymous and metal-like as Torment, I wasn't exactly expecting much ahead of time from the Copenhagen-based unit. Turns out there's some truth to the age-old statement of 'never judge a book by its cover' because Torment rip UnderWerket a new one during the thirty or so minutes that their set lasts. Their brand of hardcore is as uncompromising as it is assault-ready, yet the soundscapes vary dramatically from song to song. First, we're treated to visceral barks and razor-sharp tunes that feel like barbed wire being pulled out of our ears, but then Torment also show their songwriting prowess with a song like "Don't Change Your Life" with its semi-clean, haunting "Tomorrow, you're gonna die" yelps. The latter draws from the same cold and desolate Scandinavian winter sounds as The Psyke Project built their entire foundation on. That the shrieks are also roughly comparable to the manic material by TPP says a lot about Torment's potential.

Torment

The pit opens pretty much straight away with everyone being mowed down to the ground as their sizable vocalist vaults himself into the front of the pit. From here onwards, the crowd is moshing and jumping together in few maddening moments where the floor translates from clean into one fully covered in beer, everywhere. The band continues to vary their expression with elements of black metal and thrash also thrown into the blackened hardcore approach, with even an insane Nirvana cover making it into their set for good measure. The crowd response is sick, the band's energy on stage is formidable, and the whole set oozes of raucous rebellion. This band will be going to places if they can keep this up - no wonder they advanced at Emergenza Festival.

8

Photos by: Matt Marsh

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