møl

support Nordsind
author AP date 08/09/18 venue BETA, Copenhagen, DEN

It has been a while since I’ve arrived at BETA to find the venue so bustling. Having released their début album, “Jord”, earlier this year at last, the Århus-based blackgaze act møl’s popularity has clearly skyrocketed, earning the band the ‘sold out’ tag for their first-ever headlining concert in Copenhagen. An unmissable event, if you ask us, and an opportunity to celebrate the rapid evolution that møl has undergone since releasing their second EP in 2015 and then switching vocalists. Our staff and former staff is thus attending in force, eager to find out how well the Århusian band would handle not just the headliner role, but also a crowd of this size — something they already got a taste of at the recent ArcTanGent festival in the United Kingdom.

All photos courtesy of Peter Troest

Nordsind

Nordsind is a quite new actor in the Danish post-metal scene, having been founded a year and a half ago, but one would not guess that based on the quartet’s performance tonight. Their instrumental take on the genre is played tightly, delivered with nerve, and accompanied by present and energetic showmanship, with enough kicks, spins, jumps and arched backs to give most hardcore punk outfits a run for their money. Indeed, the only shoegazing occurs within the music itself, which traverses the border zone between tranquil post-rock, stormy post-metal and, at times, blackgaze to reveal a band of musicians who master the art of transitioning between the various segments that comprise Nordsind’s songs. The energy swirling around on stage renders it entirely appropriate that Justin Hate’s vocalist Kim Rock makes a cameo in the fourth song — the most intense offering on the band’s setlist tonight — his shrill screams and typically frenzied movements making me wonder why Rock isn’t actually a permanent member of the band. Certainly, there is sufficient richness to the instrumentation alone, but the opportunity to add this further dimension to the music seems too good to pass on. The thought does not linger long, however, as the next track ultimately proves that the drama and grandeur of Nordsind’s songwriting stands tall on its own, and has the ability to hold the entirety of this maximum capacity audience captive all through the concert. The band’s concert tonight thus goes down as something of a revelation for me and, undoubtedly, plenty of others as well.

7

møl

Having watched møl plenty of times recently, there are no surprises in stock for me here. The stage is again adorned with neon-lit fixtures that complement the lush and luminous lighting for which møl has become renowned, and at the center of it all is vocalist Kim Song, who continues to bathe in the spotlight by virtue of his dominant stage persona. Like Deafheaven’s frontman George Clarke, he is an absolute menace, screaming so icily it would make an ENT doctor sweat nervously, hovering over the audience and emphasising every lyric with some huge movement of his arms. Truly, Song is what every singer should aspire to be in the live setting, even if his antics do tend to overshadow those of his colleagues on the guitars, bass and drums, and it is always a pleasure to witness the command he has over audiences. Indeed, the crowd, including yours truly, is completely enamoured by the band during the likes of “Storm” and “Vakuum” (both off the aforementioned “Jord”), both of which provide incredible insight into how the opinion of the mainstream about black metal can be turned on its head just by switching the melodies to major key. It becomes hip.

The best example of this is, as always, møl’s ‘hit single’ “Penumbra”, which never ceases to send a chill down my spine when it lets loose its cinematic segment in the middle. And, noticing the crowd’s enthusiasm now, Song decides to spend most of it and the following “Atacama” (off the 2015 EP, “II”) moshing in the audience, reminding us that while the band may have transcended the gap between a local underground act and an established, internationally recognised one, none of the love and support their fans have shown them over the years has been forgotten. The nine-song set thus becomes quite the intimate celebratory affair — the best møl has delivered in Copenhagen yet — and by the time “Rush” rounds it all off, not even the fact that the order, format and style of møl’s performances have grown somewhat predictable to me at this point can turn me off. It is one of those shows that makes me want to stay and discuss and go over it with friends and acquaintances over a pint of beer instead of dashing home after the final note, as is my custom — it is inspiring, uplifting, and altogether rewarding.

8

Setlist:

  • 01. Storm
  • 02. Vakuum
  • 03. Ligament
  • 04. Lambda
  • 05. Penumbra
  • 06. Atacama
  • 07. Bruma
  • 08. Jord
  • 09. Rush

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