Aborted

support Billy Boy in Poison
author AP date 11/06/12 venue Lygten Station, Copenhagen, DEN

Unbeknownst to me prior to this show, Lygten is actually a street stretching from Nørrebro train station to Bispebjerg train station. This I find out far too late as I disembark from the 6A bus at the stop Lygten in Bispebjerg, following instructions by Google Maps, and realize that the venue itself, Lygten Station, is at the opposite end of the road. Consequently I arrive at the venue too late to catch Copenhagen based crust crew Molested's performance, for which I must humbly apologize, and just in time to catch Billy Boy in Poison gearing up for their 40-minute time slot.

Billy Boy in Poison

Updates have been scarce from the BBiP camp since the introduction of the new vocalist Steven Borgwardt, but private chats with the various other members of the band have assured me that all is well, and the debut album is finished. In fact, their setlist tonight is exclusively dedicated to airing new songs, an obvious choice considering that these are the only songs Borgwardt has played a part in shaping. So let's focus on him first. Compared to his predecessor Bjørn Christian Hjorhöy, Borgwardt employs a more extreme style of growling and screaming that, in my opinion, fits the band's current music better than Hjorhöy's would have, and generally boasts a wider range. Other than that, not much has changed since Borgwardt, too, has a shaved head, impressive beard and a belly cultivated by embracing the heavy metal culture in full.

Although it is too soon to disclose official song titles yet, the impression that I get from the seven songs played is that BBiP have opted for an extremely versatile mix of influences this time around, the evening's first song adding an almost warm touch to the band's music with an upbeat melody, a nice clean bridge, and in accordance with the current fads, a touch of djent. It sounds like metalcore from the heavier end of the spectrum with a subtle influence of progressive and death metal injected for extra impact. The next song leans into blackened death metal with harrowing tremolo leads and ominous note combinations in what sounds to be the band's most epic work yet, while the third song is more closely aligned with the material found on the previous "Perdition" EP, sporting an absolutely fantastic groove that simply begs for headbanging. The trio provides a fine sample of what to expect from the upcoming album in terms of style and diversity, so I must commend BBiP for structuring the setlist tonight to tease the new stuff from every angle.

Sadly, Lygten Station is not the most advantageous venue in terms of sound quality, the high ceiling and large open space of the old train station providing the perfect conditions for echo and rumble. Consequently, the intricacies of the band's music are extremely difficult to distinguish from the wall of bass and drums, which seems to prevent the crowd from getting into the performance properly. BBiP do what they can to compensate though, with a typically energetic stage presence, particularly on bassist Troels Lehmann's part, and a collective tightness of instrumentation. Borgwardt, too, makes a solid first impression as an imposing and charismatic front man with a good sense of humour, proving that he well and truly deserves his place in the line-up.

7

Aborted

Aborted have been a frequent sight in Danish venues in the past few years, so it is perhaps unsurprising that so few people have turned up to see them (there are 40 or so people in attendance). For me this is the first time seeing the Belgian deathgrind icons, so imagine my awe when they begin dispensing one suffocating dose of extremity after the other. Aborted are quite simply one of the tightest and most technically impressive bands I've seen in a while, with Ken Bedene behind the drumkit in particular delivering a breathtaking performance - seemingly without so much as breaking a sweat in the process. Obviously Aborted thrive in the extremes.

Normally grindcore is my least favorite subgenre within metal given its inherent inaccessibility, coldness of sound, and, in most cases, monotony. But when the insanity is juxtaposed with soaring, perfectly executed lead melodies and solos, as is the case with Aborted, the music becomes surprisingly tolerable even for me. But part of the reason that I am able thoroughly to enjoy the performance is that Aborted are also an extremely lively band, even when faced with a miniscule crowd, not sparing a single ounce of energy so as to ensure that none of the few who chose to be here go home disappointed.

As is often the case with grindcore-related concerts, the never-decreasing velocity of the music does start to get somewhat tiring towards the end though, so it certainly helps my perception of Aborted that they have chosen to limit their set length to some 50 minutes, including an encore dedicated to a girl in the crowd: "Nail though the Cunt". Adorable.

8

Photos courtesy of Julie Weitmann Decome.

A special thanks to RIOT Concerts for the press accreditation.

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