The Interbeing

support The Vision Ablaze
author AP date 04/11/17 venue Beta, Copenhagen, DEN

Danish metal artists seem to be selling out shows in Copenhagen left and right of late and it is no different for The Interbeing, who have the honour of entertaining a BETA at maximum capacity on this cold and grey Saturday evening. The group is currently riding a wave of critical acclaim for their sophomore album, “Among the Amorphous”, so the high interest in catching them live at their first club show since mid-June is in no way surprising, however. And with three weeks of touring Europe in support of Twelve Foot Ninja recently completed to deliver a band in top form for us tonight, one imagines that there has never been a better time to see what they’ve got than right now.

All photos courtesy of Michael Hyldgaard Løgtholt

The Vision Ablaze

In charge of warming up the crowd is the melodic death metal act The Vision Ablaze, who earned plenty of praise from our editor-in-chief for their début album, “Youtopia”, two years ago. But although I consider myself an avid connoisseur of the genre, that record never caught onto me, its lasting value marred by too little differentiation between the individual tracks, not to mention a general lack of true standout moments. Alas, the band’s performance, too, falls short of arousing my excitement much beyond the odd headbangable groove, decent guitar solo or catchily sung chorus manifesting itself in the likes of “Absent” and the brand new “Circle of Sin” (which is ostensibly set to appear on the quintet’s sophomore album). And looking at the audience around me, I am certainly not alone in feeling put off by the maligned tempo shifts that dot the songs, or the times that Tim Nederveen, rhythm guitarist Christian Rasmussen and bassist Lars Lerager bundle up at the left side of the stage as lead guitarist Marcus Grønbech steps onto his pedestal to deliver a solo. This misjudged attempt at inviting all of the focus onto Grønbech actually has the opposite effect and creates an awkward stage dynamic vis-à-vis staying put and trusting in the former Ulm-guitarist’s ability to fight his own battles.

But despite being left a little cold by the band’s music and showmanship, there are positive aspects to the concert as well of course. Nederveen has a fantastic knack for adopting a particular mien for each type of emotion experienced in the band’s music, whether it be the expression of sheer rage that accompanies his sharp growls in the likes of “Machete” or the look of melancholy that washes over him as he sings the chorus of “Dreaming Awake” in his signature minor key. This is something that gives The Vision Ablaze some personality to compensate for music that, honestly, sounds like a pretty elementary version of In Flames or Killswitch Engage a lot of the time. One gets the impression that given some work on the performance of the remaining musicians — presently quite reserved in their demeanour — and on songwriting that dares to chase its own identity, there is not a whole lot that The Vision Ablaze is actually lacking in terms of becoming a potent force on the Danish metal scene.

6

The Interbeing

As mentioned in the preamble to this review, there is reason to believe that tonight, The Interbeing is set to write a piece of career history. And when the five musicians emerge onto the stage to the tune of “Cellular Synergy” on tape, one immediately notices how f**king hellbent they look, and how electric the atmosphere inside the venue has turned. Such observations fast become of secondary concern however, with “Pulse within the Paradox” off the band’s 2011 début, “Edge of the Obscure”, taking control of our neck muscles and dragging us deep into the band’s mysterious, electronica-laced sci-fi universe. There are those that offer critique for the lack of variety in The Interbeing’s music — which, admittedly, is not entirely unfounded — but even they must concede that the Danish tech/industrial metal hybrid brings to the table a profound understanding of rhythm, and in that department of The Interbeing’s songwriting, there is no lack of diversity. The two seven-string guitars, operated by Boas Segel & Torben Pedersen, combine with the gorging bass riffs of Jacob Hansen and the mechanistic drumming of Kristoffer Egefelt to the heaviest effect and yield what seems to be an infinite supply of oddly timed grooves from which there is no escape.

Indeed, the likes of “Purge the Deviant” and “Spiral into Existence” are designed for movement, and move the audience does. At the onset of the latter, vocalist Dara Toibin succeeds in his call to divide the entire room into two opposing factions which then ram into each other in what must be the biggest wall of death that BETA has ever witnessed. It serves to demolish the figurative barrier that has kept the crowd somewhat at bay until now and from there on out, the evening suffers no more inaction, with moshing, headbanging and roars of invigoration becoming as rife on the floor as they have been on stage. We are now spectators to one of the heaviest and most intense metal concerts hosted by Copenhagen this year — one which seems to grow wilder, sweatier and more electrifying with each passing song, the likes of “Deceptive Signal” and “Pinnacle of the Strain” providing ample evidence that the new album, “Among the Amorphous”, was well worth waiting the six years that it was in the making. The dark and elusive atmosphere, and the heavy influence of djent underlying the record translate perfectly into the live setting, with the experience of watching the ‘being live made both engaging and immersive by them.

With the entire concert — from the already mentioned “Pulse within the Paradox” to the closing medley of “Rhesus Artificial” and “Among the Amorphous” — running like smooth machinery despite the insane amount of energy expended by the frenetically rocking band members, it cannot come as a surprise that something eventually goes wrong; in the encore, the musicians seem to lose their bearing during a rendition of the classic “Face Deletion” and it veers completely off track near the end. But rather than succumb to finishing the set off with mistakes, the band opts to play the song again — and this time tighter than virgin snatch — and thus manages to conclude this masterclass on a deservedly triumphant note. So although Toibin looks genuinely taken aback by the ferocious response of his audience tonight, he must also be aware that really, it is the audience that is left standing in awe of the display he and his colleagues have just provided.

9

Setlist:

  • 01. Pulse Within the Paradox
  • 02. Purge the Deviant
  • 03. Sins of the Mechanical
  • 04. Spiral into Existence
  • 05. Fields of Grey
  • 06. Deceptive Signal
  • 07. Celestial Flames
  • 08. Pinnacle of the Strain
  • 09. Tongue of the Soiled
  • 10. Rhesus Artificial
  • 11. Among the Amorphous

— Encore —

  • 12. Face Deletion
  • 13. Face Deletion

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