The Hell

support Torment
author HES date 02/04/16 venue Templet, Lyngby, DEN

If you haven’t heard of The Hell yet, just turn around now and forget that you ever read this line. If you, like me, actually know of this band, please tell me you don’t take this band seriously and also; I am very sorry for you. The 12-piece performed the undeniably worst show I have ever seen at Groezrock in 2015 and grazed this fair magazine’s pages with something as equally sad and laughable as a 0/10. The band’s performance raised questions of whether or not any-fucking-one of the 12 interchangeable members could actually play a fucking instrument in real life - but as all of them wear scarfs in front of their sad, British faces, it’s hard to even know who is even on stage at one point. Well... Anyway. Most people didn’t get the memo, that a band was playing a warm up gig - either that or they didn’t care, but we were there to catch them.

All photos courtesy of Peter Troest

Torment

Torment is a Danish hardcore installation in the form we have come to expect in the latter years of the 2010’s: Starting to smell a little of core, while solidly placing the other foot in the hardcore tradition. Most of the band enters the stage and sets up the musical backdrop for vocalist Christian Ferdinand Engelhardt to then join up with his gang with vigorous and aggressive moves. There is no doubt, that on a good night, Engelhardt could blow the roof off a HC-club night in Ungdomshuset or Underwerket, but tonight, the only people with the decency of showing up for the warm up are primarily in the “Dad’s Night Out”-segment, awkwardly trying to throw devil horns off-rhythm to the band.

Christian Ferdinand Engelhardt

Christian Ferdinand Engelhardt

Torment is a bit slower in tempo than most other hardcore bands, which at least makes it possible for the crowd to bob their heads along. More than semi-engaged nodding happens through-out one or two songs that one or two people in the audience know. Engelhardt works hard for his money tonight, trying to engage this semi-sleeping audience, but to absolutely no avail: This crowd is way more interested in their lagers, than they are in the music - but what did you expect? It’s a The Hell-gig - no one is here for the music. Torment finishes their set in 29 minutes, but makes an impression as a band that could easily have done better under different circumstances.

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The Hell

So again: The Hell is a 12-piece band and last time I saw them, none of the people on stage could play an instrument - which is pretty depressing as the joke only lasts until the first chord. Tonight it takes a damn long time to even get to the point of the band actually playing their fucking instruments, as a backtrack from hell fills out the air of Templet’s small venue in a substantial amount of time - because The Hell likes to ask “Why not?” and why honestly not have 3 fucking intros if you feel like it. We are blessed with renditions of classics such as “Eye Of The Tiger” and Whigfield’s unforgettable “Saturday Night” before finally having every single band member introduced, boxing match style.

Nails of The Hell

Probably .. Nails? I want to say Nails.

I didn’t catch any of their names, except I think one of them surely was “Nails”, “Nice Guy” and maybe “Jackhammer” - but again it all matters very little. There are at least two vocalists, three if you count the guitarist as well, a drummer and two bassists, sporting 4 strings in all. It’s nice to see that the band has at least found a touring constellation that can almost make what was on the albums sound like coherent music. It’s also very reassuring, that in order for the rhythm section to work, the band has had to downgrade the easiest instrument in the pack to match their competencies. But I lose myself in niceties here.

The crowd has grown a whole bunch from the beginning and now the “Dad’s Night Out”-segment is being pushed a little back as the new and younger crowd finds their spot in the designated moshing area. Gracefully they sway inebriated from side to side with big grins on their faces as the band starts out the show with classics such as “Shit Just Got Real” from “You’re Listening To The Hell” and “Take Me Out” from “Groovehammer”. And once again I am surprised by how much this actually sounds like music - not good music, but music. The first improvement out of many from their gig at Groezrock last year.

Nails of The Hell

Bad Tempa - Only two strings needed

The floor in front of the stage turns into a symphony of man bodies crushing against each other, already within the first minutes taking its first casualties, as two “new jacks” take it to the ground. Apart from the fact that the impact of the moshing is clearly restrained by the collective blood alcohol levels of the crowd, but there’s still something magical about seeing this many dickheads in the same room, like going on a wanker safari in their natural habitat. Even the band seems slightly surprised by how well things are going stating that this will be “their longest set yet”. And the set is long, but this leaves plenty of breaks for the crowd to take shifts at the bar. An elderly bald man behind me takes a nap on my shoulder during “Bangers and Mosh”.

Idiots at The Hell

Look at these twats

As mentioned, some of the tracks turn out to actually work, when you bring musicians to play for your band and among the highlights are the more nü-metal’ish “Sick”, the newer track “Fever” and the classics “Groovehammer” and “Everybody Dies”. So you actually start taking these guys seriously as musicians. And if you think really hard about it, maybe The Hell really is a bunch of talented musicians trying to critique the post-modern state of metalcore, where brutality and stupid lyrics have become the common currency and musicality is downgraded for more breakdowns?

Sorry. No. The Hell is still a fucking stupid band having a laugh, but at least this time the joke is delivered in a way so the punchline is at least effective. The crescendo of the evening is the by-now famous rendition of “The Nickelback’s” “How You Remind Me”, with local fan Erik on guitar. It’s a beautiful tableau of man-to-man love as the audience joins in for both choruses and verses, rounding up a not very musically sound evening, but nonetheless an extremely entertaining one. Seldom have I laughed as much at a show as I am doing tonight. I guess I finally understood the joke.

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