Full Of Hate 2012

support Cannibal Corpse + Behemoth + Legion of the Damned + Misery Index + Suicidal Angels + Nexus Inferis
author MST date 29/02/12 venue Voxhall, Århus, DEN

Voxhall in Århus used to be the host of many a Rock The Nation tour, but sadly only a few of those tours still visit Denmark. Thankfully one of those is the Full Of Hate tour, and this year a total of six diverse bands were on the road together: headlined by the death metal legends in Cannibal Corpse, the tour featured industrial blackened death metallers Nexus Inferis, the Greek old-school thrashers in Suicidal Angels, deathgrind mob Misery Index, the Dutch thrash metallers Legion Of The Damned and last but not least the blackened death metal juggernaut Behemoth celebrating frontman Nergal's victory over cancer. Through my ear plugs I couldn't find any serious flaws in the sound of any of the bands, but that is usually the case with Voxhall. It is quite simply the best medium sized venue in Denmark if you ask the undersigned. After having a few beers we ventured into the venue at 17.45 to find Nexus Inferis getting ready for their intro. Let's see how that went, shall we?

Nexus Inferis

Nexus Inferis from Wales, UK are a relatively new band. Their debut album "A Vision of the Final Earth" was released earlier this year, and on stage the band didn't exactly resonate with confidence either. Nexus Inferis play blackened death metal as we know it, but with an added twist of industrial synthesizers and robotic vocal samples that vocalist Veracity would mime along to. The industrial aspects didn't exactly work for me, and when they got louder and took control of the soundscape it ruined the intense blackened death metal that sounded quite good. On stage, the band were almost completely stationary, and only the guitarist on the left hand side of the stage really seemed to give all he had. The lack of confidence mentioned earlier was especially evident in the case of Veracity, who remained right at the center of the stage by the monitors for the entire duration of the set. He seemed very insecure about everything he did, whether it was some choreographed movement or he tried to communicate with the crowd. Half of the band were clad in what looked like futuristic army uniforms as well as some cyborg-like masks. The theatrics all looked pretty good, but they were never used as anything more than putting up an apperance. Nexus Inferis are a young band and have many things to learn, and their performance at Voxhall was very mediocre.

6

Suicidal Angels

From an extreme metal show with plenty of props we moved on to a show characterised quite simply as quite simple. Suicidal Angels play old school thrash metal and allow no props on stage. On the stage stood a bassist and two guitarists, one of whom handled all vocal duties. When a band's vocalist also plays an instrument it can become somewhat of a challenge to interact with the audience properly and convey the energy of the music. Suicidal Angels played their energetic thrash metal well, but their songs quickly became extremely predictable as a pattern of two-word song titles being repeated in the choruses continued to unfold. And while Suicidal Angels were energetic on stage, just about none of that energy was directed towards the crowd. At least there was confidence on the stage now, but that was about all that Suicidal Angels had going for them.

6

Misery Index

And now for something I had been looking forward to. I'd seen the American deathgrinders in Misery Index once before at a festival in Germany, and back then they were a blast, so naturally my expectations were high. Like Suicidal Angels before them this was a band whose vocalist played the guitar, but where the greek thrashers failed Misery Index succeeded. Aside from guitarist Darin Morris constantly moving and approaching the crowd in front of his station, the vocal duo of Jason Netherton and Mark Kloeppel on bass and guitar respectively made sure that there was plenty of diversity at all times, and especially Kloeppel who was stationed at the centre of the stage and handled vocals slightly more often than Netherton delivered with a passion and spirit that finally got the audience properly engaged. Personally I missed a couple of older songs, but when limited to a 30-minute set it makes sense that the band chose to concentrate on "Heirs To Thievery", the latest and best album the band has released. There was still room for the classics such as "The Great Depression" and "Traitors", and even though this wasn't anywhere near the festival show I mentioned earlier, I walked out into the February evening with a smile on my face.

Legion Of The Damned

Legion Of The Damned is another favorite of mine, but my expectations were different for this band because the last time they were in Denmark they were promoting their new album "Descent Into Chaos" and they played one of the most boring and uninspired shows I can remember. Opening with the song "Legion Of The Damned" from their debut "Malevolent Rapture" the band quickly assured everyone that they were about to make amends for that horrible show from Neckbreaker's Ball 2011. "Night of the Sabbath" was the only song off the latest album in the set list, so despite only having a 30-minute set there was time for a whole bunch of classics from the band's discography including "Pray and Suffer", "Cult of the Dead", "Sons of the Jackal" and "Death's Head March". Both the guitarist and bassist had plenty of energy and Maurice Swinkels on vocals was a much better frontman than last time; he walked all around the stage, he made sure the audience was involved in the show and most importantly, he performed the band's energetic songs with a ferocity that demanded attention. Sadly the band's energy followed the pace of the music, so during the slower sections in songs like "Cult of the Dead" and "Night of the Sabbath" there was a bit too much standing still going on. But compared to the abomination from 2011 this was an amazing improvement. Approved.

7

Behemoth

And then all hell broke loose. Whatever had happened before Behemoth ascended the stage was immediately forgotten as the Polish blackened death metal institution started what can only be described as a demonstration of power. Voxhall was completely packed as hundreds of fans witnessed a considerably skinnier version of Adam "Nergal" Darski conquer the stage that his cancer had made seemingly impossible to reach. Nergal's fight against - and victory over cancer made this show even more special as it was constantly evident how the illness has made Nergal a happier man. He even said it himself: "It feels so fucking great to be alive! Never give up!" And giving up was nowhere near the minds of neither the attending fans or the band. Dressed in his costume and corpsepaint Nergal led the sonic assault behind his signature microphone stand with awe-inspiring confidense and passion. The bassist and second guitarist didn't leave all the fun to the frontman though as they themselves were completely focused on playing songs like "Ov Fire and the Void", "Demigod" and the legendary "Slaves Shall Serve" in a manner so convincing that the audience were completely dragged into the performance. But apart from the expected classics, the band had chosen to play some old songs instead of the usual powerhouse tracks from their latest albums. The three non-stationary members changed places often and moved to the very front of the stage to adress the fans at the front row directly. Behemoth had complete control over the venue, and just as you though the crowd couldn't get any more ecstatic Nergal announced that Behemoth would be back in Denmark to play Roskilde Festival 2012, thus concluding a show of near-perfection with hopes for another grand performance in July.

9

Cannibal Corpse

Responsible for finishing off one hell of a night were the legendary Cannibal Corpse. The venue wasn't quite as packed as during Behemoth, but a large number of people had stayed to watch the veterans led by frontman extraordinaire George "Corpsegrinder" Fischer. But as it turned out, Corpsegrinder was the only one who really garnered any attention. The rest of the band pushed the "routine" button and just headbanged their way through the entire set. Credit has to go out to the band's necks, because headbanging for a whole hour every day for an entire tour isn't something you just do, but it didn't exactly add much to the show. Corpsegrinder performed in a similar way during the first part of the set: whirlmilling at insane speeds when there were no vocals, then he shoved the microphone into his face from under his hair to do a line or two, then back to whirlmilling. All band members were completely stationary, and even Corpsegrinder didn't seem to get more than a single step away from his initial spot. During songs there would be introductions such as: "This one goes out to all the girls. This is "Fucked With A Knife"." and "This song is about shooting blood from your cock. "I Cum Blood"!" Corpsegrinder eventually opened up a little and started to perform rather than just headbang all the time. Cannibal Corpse played a few songs from their upcoming new album mixed in between classics like "Make Them Suffer" and the ultimate favorite "Hammersmashed Face". But a semi-interesting behavior from the frontman and absolutely nothing from the rest of the band left everything down to the legendary status of the band. Displaying headbanging skills may be enough to satisfy your diehard fans, but dear Cannibal Corpse, you need to come up with something better to properly convince anyone who dare approach your performance with an objective and critical mindset.

But to finish this review on a positive note: the Full Of Hate tour 2012's stop at Voxhall was an impressive one. The venue handled everything from the sound to the schedule to perfection, and I'm absolutely certain that no one walked away with a negative impression of the overall quality of the performances given by the six bands. Rock The Nation, please, send more of your tours to Denmark!

Photos courtesy of Marika Hyldmar. More of her photos from the show can be found here.

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