All That Remains & The Haunted

support Deadlock
author PP date 04/02/09 venue Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN

Only a few months ago it had looked like Pumpehuset was headed toward certain foreclosure as the Copenhagen municipality was said to be pulling their annual grant for the music venue. This would've been a sad day indeed, as Pumpehuset is the best medium-sized venue in Copenhagen when it comes to metal shows; Lille Vega's just too posh and shiny and Store Vega's just far too big to hold a medium-sized metal concert in. Luckily, in the last minute, the municipality decided to give Pumpehuset another year's worth of lifetime, and so here we are with one of the first great concert lineups of 2009, the All That Remains / The Haunted co-headline tour. Before I go any further though, I really wish the Danish ticketing agencies would change their policy of stating that the concert starts at 21:00 when in reality the first support band is on stage from 20:30 onwards; Deadlock was more or less a casualty of this policy tonight with a largely empty floor throughout their set until just about the last 5 or ten minutes of their set when people started coming into the venue.

Deadlock

The first band on stage tonight is Germany's very own Deadlock, to whom touring with The Haunted must be a dream come true, considering how much their music is inspired by the Swedish melo-death scene. To those who don't know Deadlock, their music is pretty much melo-death, set mostly in traditional song-structures with deep growls and powerful female vocals taking turns at singing the lyrics and the odd bit of techno thrown in here and there. For a first support band, Deadlock's visual appearance is easily above the average, still sporting 3 sizeable banners in front of which the 6 person lineup headbang synchronously. This is mighty impressive, however the same can't be said for the band's sound, as Pumpehuset shows its worst side for their set. The emptyness of the floor at this early point makes the sound bounce back and forth between the walls and the guitars and bass seem to cancel each other out, creating an ugly, loud blur, that also pretty much drowns out growler Joe's vocals. Thankfully Sabine's voice is easily powerful enough to cut through the wall of sound like a knife through butter, and except for a few occasions where she goes of key as a result of the total mess of sound that surrounds her, she runs away with the show's sonic side. Especially during the tranquil part of "Code Of Honour", her delivery and the band's following comeback with full instrumental force, is something that sends the chills down your spine. It's still an uphill battle though, both against the sound and against The Haunted's fans, who seem confused at best during the moments where Deadlock's music does a 180 flip from melodeath to cheesy techno-party. If one thing remains for this band to do, it is to make these parts fit together more seamlessly. After five songs it's over, and considering the sound and the mellow crowd response, this can never be called a truly great show, but you're still able to spot that most of it isn't Deadlock's fault, and that they're very closy to becoming a force of their own. Just give them their own stage and their own audience and you'll see.

Setlist:

1. Martyr To Science

2. Code Of Honor

3. The Brave / Agony Applause

4. Awakened By Sirens

5. End Begins

The Haunted

Like AP wrote about two weeks ago, I, too, was mesmerized by the previous time I saw The Haunted when they played at Fredericia Hardcore Fest. There's just that odd vibe to the group's frontman Peter Dolving and the way he handles himself on stage, a shroud mystery or something that makes watching him perform a spectacle each time. Their show tonight looks almost identical to the FHF show they pulled apart, except the crowd isn't nearly as much into it and there aren't any people singing back the lyrics. Some say the setlist is a great mix of old and new The Haunted, but if you ask, me these guys only have one great album out, the fantastic "rEVOLVEr". That's the one with the best melodies and instantly recognizable 'classics' more or less. The other material is just too lowly tuned thrash metal for my liking, and in a slightly echoing live environment such as the half-empty Pumpehuset, it becomes ridiculously hard to distinguish any guitar melodies from the rumbling wall of sound. That's why The Haunted were boring the shit out of me for the first four songs (aside from the obvious excitement of the first song that always exists when a band comes on stage), and not before "The Medication", "The Flood" and later "All Against All" does the band finally impress and get the crowd going. But even here, the crowd interaction is limited to a small-ish mosh pit towards the side of the stage, and from where I'm standing, most people are just standing still bobbing their head up and down, minding their own business. Then a crowd member shouts the typically Danish slogan "faster, louder", and Mr. Dolving begins interacting with the crowd a little more. "You wanna hear a fast song?", he says, and points towards the guitarist who plays a 3 second mini-solo for the guy. "That good enough?", and then slogan is repeated, and the drummer hits the cymbal once: "See, that was REALLY fast". It's always that type of small elements that make shows that extra bit interesting. But even the increased crowd-interaction doesn't change the fact that aside from "99", the last 5-6 songs had me checking my watch and wondering how long these guys are going to be on stage still, all while shaking my head over the outright terrible crowd participation and dissonant sound tonight.

Setlist:

Setlist:

01. Little Cage

02. The Drowning

03. Moronic Colossus

04. Trespass

05. The Medication

06. The Flood

07. D.O.A.

08. All Against All

09. In Vein

10. Trenches

11. Bury Your Dead

12. Faultline

13. 99

14. Dark Intentions

15. Hate Song

All That Remains

It's a whole another story for All That Remains' set, which is infinitely more interesting than The Haunted's show from the get go because of the pitch-perfect sound quality and a much more energetic stage performance. Even though a large part of the crowd has gone home after The Haunted's set (what were they thinking, they paid for the ticket, after all!?), the singalongs are much bigger, not to even speak of one of the largest circle pits I've ever come to witness in Pumpehuset. It's as if the crowd are finally really into the band, because even though All That Remains aren't nearly as big in Denmark as they are in the UK, the lyrics to "Not Alone" and "The Air That I Breathe" are sung along loud and clear by the few hundred people still present. Phil Labonte storms from one side of the stage to the other in his usual manner inciting movement everywhere in the crowd, and especially when the Guitar Hero track "Six" comes on, the crowd enters into a frenzied mosh pit that almost stretches from wall to wall and from front to the mixer-stage. When the melodies are as well delivered as tonight, it's easy to immerse oneself into the band's wonderful world of metalcore that's just so much better than almost all other bands in the genre out there. This is also why these guys are such a spectacle to watch live, because for every standing-still moment on stage, there's some back-chilling axework demonstrated in one corner of the stage, or a melody that just pulls the metaphorical carpet from underneath you. Fourteen songs and an encore later, the band finishes their entirely satisfying, albeit not phenomenal, live performance with "This Darkened Heart", once again cementing exactly why they are considered to be one of the three kings of metalcore as AP puts it.

8

Setlist:

01. The Air That I Breathe

02. Undone

03. Become The Catalyst

04. Not Alone

05. The Weak Willed

06. Chiron

07. It Dwells On Me

08. Before The Damned

09. Indictment

10. Six

11. For Salvation

12. We Stand

13. Two Weeks

14. This Calling

--Encore--

15. This Darkened Heart

Deadlock written by TL, rest by PP

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