Napalm Death

support What Worms Inherit
author PP date 08/02/11 venue The Rock, Copenhagen, DEN

It's a rare sight seeing a sizable queue outside The Rock these days, but old school grindcore outfit Napalm Death have built up quite the stronghold here in Copenhagen after numerous and regular visits in the last few years to keep the fans happy so one is present tonight. The entrance doesn't exactly allow for a smooth flow of all-black clothed metal heads into the venue, and so our efforts to catch the majority of local supporting band What Worms Inherit are in vain as it takes nearly 20 minutes before myself and AP are able to set our foot into the darkened interior of the premier rock club in Copenhagen.

What Worms Inherit

After quickly obtaining a fresh pint of Kronenbourg from the main bar, there's still enough time to watch just about twenty to twenty-five minutes of the opening set by local Copenhagen thrash metallers What Worms Inherit, who draw equal amounts of influence from the rumbling Viking metal of their Nordic peers as they do from melodeath and no-frills thrash metal. The majority of the time is spent on medium-tempo metal tracks that feel somewhat anonymous and nondescript upon hearing them first time in a live environment, but a few tracks show decent potential either through excruciating speed that draws a good deal of head banging from the packed venue, or through injections of melodic passages where the guitarists show that generic thrash is not all What Worms Inherit are capable of. It would, however, benefit the band greatly if they were to focus on such passages, as the underlying problem with their other material is that it fails to strike any sort of chord with the crowd. In other words, it's neither terrible nor great, just very anonymous and standard for its genre, highlighting the key problem with sooooo many young Danish bands: the spark, the special ingredient that makes bands better than just average, is missing almost entirely, especially from their live performance.

Napalm Death

For the devastatingly heavy grindcore legends from Birmingham, however, drumming up crowd support in terms of neck-tiring, unrestrained head banging and an insane mosh pit is no problem as the majority of their setlist is both uncompromisingly brutal and appeasing to crowd expectations. They are using precisely the same setlist as at their previous European tour because, as vocalist Barney explains after the first couple of songs, "it combines a nice mix of old, classic material, new stuff from 'Time Waits No Slave' and the eras in between". While you can sense the mild disappointment in the minds of the die-hard Napalm Death fans who were hoping for a different group of songs compared to last year's Copenhell set, the rest of us loudly cheer as it is indeed a solid setlist from the band's vast repertoire, one still in fresh memory from the summer's metal extravaganza at Refshaleøen.

Barney is in a talkative mood tonight. He starts with telling off the sound/light man of the show for releasing large quantities of smoke on stage during the first few songs, proclaiming "we're not a smoke kind of band" jokingly in his distinct Midlands accent, continuing to explain the topics and ideologies behind a number of songs, ranging from anti-religion rhetoric to complaints about corporations polluting the environment, and the usual socially and politically conscious stuff. God has clearly no place in Napalm Death's music, which shouldn't come as a surprise for anyone listening to the band given their tendency to gnaw and grind their way through your skull 'til there's nothing left, all a part of the Napalm Death experience that also goes on throughout the night.

Visually speaking, Napalm Death put on a solid performance, with most attention drawing towards Barney's nonsensical head movements which, at least to this scribe, summarise everything grindcore is all about: insanely fast, unpredictable and definitely mental brutality shoved down your throat whether you enjoy it or not - he appears almost possessed by the rhythmic pulsations of the music. There are some lulls during their set as is to be expected with a band with fourteen studio albums, but a strong finish consisting of a number of ND classics like "Scum", "Suffer The Children" and "Instinct Of Survival" underlines the very essence of why Napalm Death is still able to pack and nearly sell out medium-sized venues across Europe even 24 years after the release of their brilliant debut album "Scum": few bands are able to merge chaos and unrelenting brutality in as structured and intelligent manner as these Britons.

Setlist:

  • 1. Downbeat Clique
  • 2. Hung
  • 3. Continuing War On Stupidity
  • 4. Next On The List
  • 5. When All Is Said And Done
  • 6. If The Truth Be Known
  • 7. Lucid Fairytale
  • 8. Social Sterility
  • 9. On The Brink Of Extinction
  • 10. Mentally Murdered
  • 11. The World Keeps Turning
  • 12. Pride Assassin
  • 13. Conform (Siege cover)
  • 14. Politicians (Raw Power cover)
  • 15. Greed KIlling
  • 16. Scum
  • 17. Control
  • 18. M.A.D.
  • 19. You Suffer
  • 20. Nazi Punks Fuck Off (Dead Kennedys cover)
  • 21. Suffer The Children
  • 22. Instinct Of Survival

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