Lock Up

support What Worms Inherit
author AP date 08/01/12 venue Beta, Copenhagen, DEN

So opens the 2012 gig season. It does so in style, with a literal bang, courtesy of intercontinental supergroup Lock Up; and it does so at my favorite venue in Copenhagen. Despite this happening on a Sunday, the turnout is very good, giving further weight to my hypothesis that it is above all extreme metal that sells tickets in Denmark.

What Worms Inherit

Copenhagian self-proclaimed progressive groove metal outfit What Worms Inherit are far more eclectic than I remember from their support set with Napalm Death last year, and far stranger. It takes some time to adjust to the fact that the band really does not conform to any conventional format of metal, mixing Lamb of God style grooves, aggressive rapping parts that wouldn't sound out of place on an old Disturbed or KoRn album, and hair-raising brutality done the death metal way, but backed by the skilled sound technicians of Beta the result is surprisingly good. The rest of the audience is not as appreciative though, settling for subtle headbanging and polite clapping in between songs, making no real effort to reciprocate the energetic performance of vocalist Lasse Skov (not to be confused with the vocalist of Essence), who twitches and bellows on stage like a raging maniac. But in truth it is hard to blame people for not throwing their souls into the band, especially if this is the first time they're seeing What Worms Inherit, as the courageous diversity of the band's music requires an open mind. So while the show is by no means spectacular, it is solid proof that What Worms Inherit are not just a band to forget - I for one find myself rather entertained by their set tonight.

Lock Up

Lock Up, for those not in the know, is a supergroup featuring Tomas Lindberg (the vocalist of Gothenburg legends At the Gates), Nicholas Barker (the current session drummer of Dimmu Borgir), Shane Embury (the bassist of Napalm Death) and Anton Reisenegger (guitarist of Chilean bands Pentagram and Criminal). With such masters of the extreme collaborating the expected outcome is, of course, extreme metal played loud, and performed with the utmost professionalism. Tomas Lindberg is, and always has been one of my personal favorites when it comes to frontmen, given his sublime ability to address and engage the audience. He takes care to introduce each song including the album it comes from, often preceding them with a short story about what inspired it or what its relationship is to Copenhagen, which we are told is the fourth capital of Scandinavia alongside Oslo, Stockholm and Gothenburg - "the capital of fucking everything".

The music itself is loud, heavy and fast in best grindcore fashion, with each member contributing influences from his respective dayjob. The cataclysmic drumming from Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir courtesy of Barker; the thrash fueled riffs of Reisenegger; the rigorous bass mayhem of Embury; and the signature growls of Lindberg form a positively cold and brooding concotion of grinding madness. Once again Beta lives up to its reputation with a near perfect sound, affording each instrument including the vocals equal prominence in the mix and allowing the audience to appreciate every aspect of the band irrespective of whether he/she is a guitar aficionado, a bass appreciator, a drumming lune or an aspiring growler. It matters very little that I have never heard a single Lock Up song before tonight, as the experience is still very much a thrill ride through some of the best grindcore I have ever heard. To add weight to the argument, there are actually very few grindcore bands that I can even listen to without procuring a headache.

Personally, however, I am first and foremost a fan of everything Tomas Lindberg has ever done, and to watch him perform in such a small venue with such charisma and intimacy is truly rewarding. It has been too long since his vocals last pierced my eardrums and I'm loving every minute of it. No discredit to the three other virtuosos in the band though, as each handles his instrument with a prowess that can only be ascribed to years of experience in some of the most influential bands in their respective genres. Lock Up's performance tonight is a triumphant display of extreme metal; a rare success among the host of other supergroups that most often fail miserably both live and on album.


Photos and video courtesy of Rasmus Ejlersen

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