The Next Generation Of Danish Metal

support The Interbeing + Fiji + Essence + She Is Malignant
author PP date 10/07/09 venue The Rock, Copenhagen, DEN

The Next Generation Of Danish Metal is an interesting concept developed by Target Booking, an affiliate of the premiere metal and rock distribution agency Target Distribution ApS. The idea is to book new, up and coming Danish metal bands who are either of young age, just on their first EP/demo/full length, or both, and use some marketing muscle to attract enough Danish metal heads out to The Rock for a two day event to check out what's cooking in the Danish underground. The first night, the one that nobody from RF.net was able to attend, featured The Omnihil, Whelm, By The Patient and Road To Manila, the latter of which in particular has been receiving some hype by the underground. Tonight, however, the more interesting acts (on paper at least) were on the bill with She Is Malignant, Fiji, Essence and The Interbeing all sharing the stage.

She Is Malignant

Speaking of being in an early stage of their career, tonight was the first ever show by She Is Malignant, the up-and-coming screamo act from Kolding, Denmark. You could definitely tell that from their stage performance, as the band looked both shy and somewhat lost on stage tonight. They've got the songs - many of them are excellent even upon first listen in a live environment - and they were executed spot on, but they really need to move much more on stage. It's vital to have a ferocious live show for music of this type to work in the long run. Occasionally - mostly during the many breakdowns - the band displayed glimpses of Norma Jean-esque live chaos with the whole band moving chaotically in unison. It is during these moments that She Is Malignant is at their very best, and if they're able to extend that sort of energy to other passages as well than just the breakdowns, then these guys won't be far from the high ratings.

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Essence

Thrash metallers Essence on the other hand looked like a seasoned live band on their two hundreth show tonight. Sounding precisely like a hybrid between their biggest influences Slayer, Exodus and Testament, lack of speed or ridiculous technical prowess wasn't an issue tonight, as the band's two guitarists battled against each other with solos each more lightning speed and complicated than the one before. The bands frontman/guitarist in particular had an extremely charismatic stage presence making it a joy to watch him on stage as he was drenched in sweat from constantly shredding away. But what's better, it looked like him (and the rest of the band) were genuinely living the songs as they played them because for every moment they didn't need to sing or shred, they'd break away from the microphones, use dominating hand gestures, close their eyes and shake their head back (in the 'i fucking enjoy this shit' sort of way), and showcase generally amazing showmanship you'd expect from a band playing in front of thousands of people, not just a handful and none right in front of the stage. Kudos for the great attitude. Later on the bassist sat down in front of the stage while the guitarists were catching a breath from unhealthy shredding, performing an incredible bass solo of the sort that makes you wonder why other bands don't do bass solos more often. Throw in hilarious jokes in-between songs and awesome banter, and the fact that their songs are brilliant, some of the best thrash I've heard originating from Denmark (Myspace does no justice to the songs), you too wouldn't feel ashamed of slapping the 'great' rating on their set tonight.

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Fiji

The Danish scene is buzzing with Fiji, many referring to the band as the next Vira to break out from the underground into a larger success. Strictly performance wise, they certainly have the capability to do so, as they were the polar opposite of She Is Malignant tonight: plenty of energy and a stage show with something to look at the whole time compensating for the weaker songs. Vocalist Kristian took the best advantage of the confined space on stage, vigorously bouncing from side to side, even making his way into the mosh pit later on in the set. He screamed, he yelled, he shrieked, and did everything in his power to display a great degree of dashing aggression, so you can't fault him for that. But the problem with Fiji is that they just don't have enough great songs just yet, as the first half of their set was plagued with generic metalcore that was starting to make me drowsy. After the new songs started rolling in, however, the band's own performance lifted a notch as well, being a tell-tale sign of the band itself recognizing just how much better their newer songs are. Now they just need to write more of them.

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The Interbeing

Initially I had expected The Interbeing to be another fairly generic Danish metal band sounding like every other band in the scene, but in the end I was positively surprised over their set. These guys play a mix between the poppy death metal of Raunchy and Mnemic, spice it up with lots of electronic effects and passages as well as melancholic clean vocals. I have to say though that no matter how catchy the clean vocal parts actually are in reality, the way they arrive straight after harsh growls and screams should be done much, much more seamlessly at least in a live environment, as it at times felt like you were listening to two completely different songs by the band as they jumped between the harsh and the melodic so intermittently. That being said though, the crowd seemed to be eating it up, resulting in the largest mosh pits out of all the bands tonight. So on some level, I suppose you can say job well done. If you're reading this guys, send us your CD for review.

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