Lamb Of God

support Job For A Cowboy + Between The Buried And Me + August Burns Red
author MT date 04/03/10 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

Store Vega has become quite a landmark of venues in Denmark, where almost anyone who isn't playing an arena, has played; and rightfully so. The venue is set up perfectly, with easy access and even though it is a sold out show, the queues move swiftly and efficiently. The old interior has got a real art-deco feel to it and makes for an exciting atmosphere. But the buzz is generated from the excited fans who, at a metal show, resemble a black mass with long hair, lots of studs, and the occasional pentagram catches the reflection of the light. It was a strange turnout this evening due to the variety of bands with August Burns Red attracting a lot of young scenesters, who usually wouldn't dare going near a metal concert. As the mass moved inside, fans cast a hopeful look to the tinted windows of the tour buses out front, hoping to catch a glimpse of their heroes.

Between The Buried And Me

I was told some good things about this band beforehand and managed to check out some songs before the show, but didn't find it all to convincing. But thankfully, I was wrong, because this band was one of the best surprises I've had since I saw Enslaved at Wacken '09. When the band hit the stage, little over half of the venue was full and people were still streaming in, ravenous for some metal. There was a huge build up and just as we thought we would be hit with a wave of guitar chords, everything was cut except for the lead singer who started playing a quirky little piano intro, which I found so ridiculously awesome I burst out laughing and knew that we were in for something special. The melody was quickly turned into an insane grind passage that was so overwhelming, that the band had caught everyone's attention. The first song lasted almost ten minutes and was met by a huge round of applause. The band didn't spend much time in between songs to talk, as the music did it all, and was enough to get people going. The whole set, which I think consisted of 4 songs, was a pummeling to the senses and the band had a very good presentation and generated an atmosphere that felt like you were at a Pink Floyd show but with the bare minimum of psychedelic lights (which were great). The music seemed to touch on everything similar to Death, Cynic, Opeth and King Crimson, to the grinding hell that is Napalm Death. Frontman Tommy Rogers was really the driving force, and had some of the most ripping vocals of the night. The bassist started by hiding by his amp in his own little world, but picked up confidence and came out to the center rocking out harder than any of the others, with a truly extraterrestrial look to him. The sound was pretty good, and I especially enjoyed the lead guitar sound, albeit probably the poorest sounding band of the night. The only problem was that once it seemed that the band had gotten people going, they would launch into some pretentious progressive part losing us a bit, but they managed to get up and running again. Although they probably weren't everyone's cup of tea, this is what I come to concerts to see - bands that have the balls to step out of the norm.

August Burns Red

I knew what was coming up was something I probably wouldn't like, but tried to keep an open mind and was ready for anything after BTBAM. August Burns Red was the complete opposite of the opening band for me, and drove any expectations I had straight into the ground. Now a lot of you will disagree with my review (see the last ABR review by AP for reassurance), but it is mine. It is really hard for me to stay objective with a band like August Burns Red, as they are everything I have come to loathe about their style of music - Christian metalcore. I cannot help but cringe when people play Christian metal, because it is such a paradox. But I respect the band for not preaching, apart from a little "God-bless" from frontman Jake Luhrs, so it wasn't a problem. The sound was a little better now and people in the pit enjoyed the band, although many of the older crowd had left for a cigarette or beer, and people in the back seemed bored. As the band went on, it was breakdown after breakdown after breakdown, to such a ridiculous point that all musical credibility went out the window. The songs were so similar that it started getting really monotonous. Even the local metalcore musicians who I conversed with were as unimpressed as I. To me, it just seemed like a bunch of angry and angsty, mommy's-little-boys, polo shirt and flip-flop wearing, church going teens. I could go on slamming these guys, but I won't because the playing was relatively tight, and they seemed to be able to get some people going. If you were into this band, it was probably a good show for you. For me, they fulfilled all the horrible cliché things that could be, and I am still awed at how they could have been brought on this tour (I sense a shit-storm coming my way).

4

Job For A Cowboy

Job For A Cowboy, are a band who I have missed before, but heard a lot about and was pretty excited to see. Being a death metal fan, I had a feeling that I might like this. Surprisingly, it was the band themselves doing the sound check, which I found a little unprofessional, but they seemed like the kind of band that didn't really care what you thought. By now the venue was almost full. As the lights dimmed, the big backdrop of their latest album cover loomed ominously in the background like a giant god with the band as its disciples. Suddenly, there was an onslaught of Arizonan style death metal, which also touched upon the elements of deathcore and even had some black metal moments, instantly gratifying the more extreme fans. The drum sound was fantastic but the guitars weren't too clear and the vocals were very low. I saw the sound tech scrambling to level everything out and soon enough, the vocals were nice and dominating. Although the low growls of frontman Jonny Davy were crushing, the high pitch pig squeals were noticeably bad. However, as his voice got warmed up, these high pitched squeals improved. The reception of the band was a bit luke-warm to start with, but after a while, people really started getting into it and classics like "Entombment Of A Machine" were met with fierce movement of the crowd. Even though they may not have been much of a pit-inducing band, the fact that their music was so much darker and heavier than anything else on the bill, set them apart in a good way. Mr. Davy wasn't much of a pep-talker but the whole band seemed to have a serious badass attitude, which people reacted well to. They were a stripped down, no-bullshit band that made August Burns Red seem like child's play. Unfortunately the gaps between songs were too long and the use of strobe lights was horrible. They were constantly flashing in your face, blinding the audience, and most-likely causing a poor fan somewhere in the crowd to collapse in an epileptic fit; which also presented a problem for the photographers up front. Apart from that, the darker and more brooding red lights worked well to create a good atmospheric effect. By the end of the show, the crowd seemed grateful for the good build up to the main event of the night.

Lamb Of God

By this point in the show, I think there were many that were happy that Lamb Of God were about to hit the stage, as for a night like this, the inclusion of an extra band would definitely have made it too long. You could tell from the stage setup and production that the band definitely was the headliner with the "Wrath" logo and band name on the carpets on stage, huge stack of Mesa Boogie amps and a much larger drum kit. "Lamb Of God!" was being chanted enthusiastically by the audience and by the time the lights dimmed for the intro tape, the crowd was writhing with excitement. The first song "In Your Words" dropped like a bomb as the enigmatic Randy Blythe came on screaming "what's up Copenhagen!" The rest of the band was a little slow to start things off, but after they were met with a huge crowd reaction, they were fired up and ready to go. The guitars were not quite audible enough, but this was quickly fixed and they had undoubtedly the best sound of the night with a really thick but clear bass sound from Campbell. Somewhere mid-set, Randy Blythe praised Christiania, and the crowd really reacted well on him getting local, which gave it a little more of a personal feel than the other bands. Unfortunately, they played a few too many songs off the new album, but when they played classics like "Laid To Rest", "Redneck" and "Black Label", the crowd went absolutely bonkers! I have never seen Vega in such a state. Everyone from the very front to the very back was moving in some way, which is just the kind of effect their music seems to create. The crowd was not shy with their moshpits this evening and let loose throughout the whole set. They went at it so hard, that I saw a guy get knocked out cold from where I was standing. There was also blood drawn that night, which made this show even more metal. The playing was pretty tight, although drum-extraordinaire Chris Adler, was not completely on top of his game tonight, which I found a little disappointing, but it did nothing to dampen the experience. Willie Adler also had a couple of slip ups. The band seemed to be having a lot of fun onstage and I must say that Mark Morton's playing and tone was stellar! Mark and Willie also found time to do a little a jam in the middle of the set, while the others were out back. This was a pleasant surprise, even though it was very improvised. "We were asked to come here tonight and throwdown in your city", says Randy Blythe confidently; and throwdown they did! Lamb Of God are the type of band that deliver so convincingly that it is hard not to enjoy them live. The set ended off with the mandatory wall of death on "Black Label", and once again, they prove why they are one of the biggest metal bands at the moment.

9

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