Adept

support While She Sleeps + Walking With Strangers
author AP date 02/04/11 venue BETA, Copenhagen, DEN

As a preamble to this gig review, let it be said that the viking boat move, invented impromptu at one of Amon Amarth's festival performances a few years back, is not a valid form of moshing at a metalcore show. Shame on you, who decided that it was, and shame on the sexual innuendo of your so called hardcore dance moves! Why can't people just go to gigs to listen to music, drink a few beers, and have some good old fashioned fun? Why must it be seen as some kind of popularity contest or an opportunity to promote your weak self-image with ever more stupid forms of behavior? Or perhaps it is me who's becoming that cranky old veteran, leaning against the bar and wearing a grimace on my face, envious of the careless joy and neverending stamina of young concert goers that I have all but lost? In any case, my rant shall keep you no longer; instead, indulge yourselves on my thoughts on Adept's latest headlining gig in wonderful Copenhagen.

Walking With Strangers

Having heard good things about Walking With Strangers, the band's identity crisis is as surprising as it is frustrating. The Swedish five-piece is obviously inspired by Misery Signals, as demonstrated by their love of lingering melodies and crushing breakdowns, but at the same time, equal parts deathcore and 2-step hardcore. Sure, such an amalgamation works if done with finesse, but here the influences have been glued into a patchwork of styles without much regard for aesthetics. It may be that Walking With Strangers are at an early stage in their career and thus unsure about which direction to pursue, or that the decision has been made and tonight's material is divided between old and new (the new songs carrying a more melodic vibe; the old songs focusing on brutality and beatdowns), but the impression that inevitably forms from the choice of setlist is that the band lacks a sound of its own. The visual impression does little to improve such grievances, the band's inexperience hindering any kind of passionate expression. These are beginner's woes of course, but even so, forgiving them has no real effect on the memorability of the performance, which, in my book, ranks as average at best.

5

While She Sleeps

While She Sleeps, on the other hand, have their material and show in order. Having released a solid, modern metalcore outing with "The North Stands for Nothing" last year, the band is eager to prove its worth on foreign pastures - after all, some have hailed them as heirs to the hollow crown. The performance which unfolds before our eyes is thus one of undeniable quality; the few idle moments on stage are consumed by ripe, captivating melodies, but above all it is the collective enthusiasm and energy that cements While She Sleeps as a formidable live force. The stage becomes a maelstrom of passion and intensity, with vocalist Lawrence Taylor regularly collapsing out of sheer emotional distress, and the remnant musicians tossing and swinging their instruments like they've seen a few too many Dillinger Escape Plan shows. Contrary to the timid reaction to Walking With Strangers, While She Sleeps also ignite a riotous response from the thickening crowd, which is quick to engulf most of the space before the stage with bustling movement. Noticing this, Lawrence makes numerous excursions onto the floor, spitting his anguished vocals at us at point blank range and spraying torrents of water onto unsuspecting spectators (including our photographer, much to her dismay). Songs like "The North Stands for Nothing" and "Crows" are reciprocated with expert knowledge, suggesting that the reputation of this up-and-coming British crew does indeed precede them - and so it should.

Adept

Nonetheless, the main attraction for a large portion of the attendance is Swedish screamo-turned-metalcore outfit Adept, who are keen to flash songs from their latest outing, "Death Dealers". Classic fan favorites are in second place tonight, with just "Shark! Shark! Shark!" providing a lonely clean chorus to sing back at the band; instead, the band has taken a strong liking in the Stateside metalcore movement with its abundant breakdowns and simplistic attitude. Adept are, of course, slightly more refined in this regard, as not a moment goes by without some form of technical tinkering courtesy of one or both of the guitarists. However, in idolizing their established American peers, Adept have also managed to lose the raw sound and youthful exuberance that used to characterize the band's music, and this - at least for me - drags down the overall impression. But judging from the now erratic audience, I must be alone in having such sentiments.

Then again, in the live setting Adept have always been force to be reckoned with; the band has a seemingly limitless supply of energy on which to rely their stamina and showmanship. It is not quite the spectacle that While She Sleeps were able to muster up just before, but Adept are nonetheless a band to count on when it comes to delivering consistently solid performances, and tonight is no exception. The band creates intrigue not so much through death defying stunts, but through subtleties like synchronized headbanging and total control over their instruments. Indeed, the crisp melodies underlying every song are replicated to perfection, and while for some bands this requires undivided attention, Adept do so while swinging their instruments and jumping from side to side. As such, tonight's performance has no real flaws other than its utterly forgettable nature due to a poor choice of songs - deserving of a solid

7

Setlist:

  • 1. First Round, First Minute
  • 2. No Guts, No Glory
  • 3. At World's End
  • 4. This Could Be Home
  • 5. Sound the Alarm
  • 6. Business of Living
  • 7. Shark! Shark! Shark!
  • 8. An Era of Treachery
  • 9. The Ivory Tower
  • 10. Death Dealers
  • 11. The Lost Boys
  • 12. This Ends Tonight

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