Earth Crisis

support As We Fight
author AP date 08/07/11 venue The Rock, Copenhagen, DEN

The Rock has been booking an impressive punk and hardcore schedule as of late, with renowned acts like Sick Of It All and Cancer Bats laying waste to the venue earlier this year, and now, beginning with a two-day hardcore showdown headlined by genre legends Earth Crisis and Agnostic Front, the stage is set for an autumn featuring Hatebreed among others. Unfortunately I arrive at the venue too late to catch Swedish opening act Sista Sekunden, and just in time to catch Danish boys As We Fight starting their set.

As We Fight

Still reeling from a somewhat disappointing first experience with decade old Danish metalcore outfit As We Fight, it is with a sense of surprise and approval that I watch the band consolidate their status as one of the leading metal acts in the country. Although the setlist has hardly changed since the "Ebola" release party earlier in the year - the only difference being the inclusion of a truly old track, "Catalyst of Terror", this time - the energy and enthusiasm of the band is at an all time high. As a result, rather than checking my watch in anticipation of the set drawing to an end, I find myself continuously drawn by the light hearted attitude and impeccable tightness with which the band delivers brand new as well as older material to a disappointing crowd. Only during the last three classic songs, "Join the Killing Spree", "This Fuck You is My Last Goodbye" and "Annihilation" is there any form of visible reaction (in the form of two diehard fans windmilling upfront) apart from the obligatory applause in between each song; but thankfully As We Fight seem unphased by this, focusing instead on playing the best show they possibly can and so hopefully earning new fans among the tight knit Earth Crisis fanbase. As We Fight have never been a tremendously active band on stage, and although vocalist Laurits Medom spends most of his stage time dashing across the stage, the allure of this band lies in the simplistic, in your face delivery of some of the finest metalcore Denmark has to offer.

Earth Crisis

With no previous experience with Earth Crisis - save for a few songs from the band's latest album "Neutralize the Threat" listened to in haste prior to the show - I am anxious to find out whether the hype surrounding the band can be justified, or whether I am faced with yet another hour of generic, uninspiring tough guy hardcore. Fortunately Earth Crisis prove to be a formidable live act, sparing no blood, sweat or tears in order to deliver an engaging performance. Obviously I can't comment on the quality of the setlist per se, but with just the three first songs off the new record included, it seems like people are getting a satisfactory glimpse of the band's entire discography, dating back to 1992 with "All Out War" and "No Allegiance". The music is effectively exactly what I had feared: bottom-heavy, brutal hardcore of the old school. But where many bands of this kind falter in delivering recognisable individual songs, focusing instead on the message, Earth Crisis are less keen to leave the music in second place. As a result, the songs, tough and message fueled though they may be, contain enough detail and melody to keep the casual and scrutinising listeners happy, too. But, as already mentioned, in a live setting Earth Crisis are just as much about show: at any given time at least three of the five members are busy swinging their instruments, staging impressive punk style jumps or running across the stage. What's also most welcome is that rather than deliver an hour and a half of their punishing hardcore, Earth Crisis have restricted their setlist to a good 14 songs - short enough to ensure that the casual attendees won't grow bored, and long enough to ensure that the diehard fans who have traveled here from Sweden and Jutland won't go home dissatisfied.

8

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