Jeff Loomis

support Vildhjarta + Monuments + Stealing Axion
author AZ date 07/11/12 venue Templet, Lyngby, DEN

Heading down to Templet on a Wednesday night thinking to myself: “Djent, djent, djent, djent”. But seriously – apart from the fact that I was going to drown in low-frequency tones that night, by looking at the mighty line-up staring at me from the poster my face was getting covered with a frightening grin. And why not – a shred-master plus the heaviest band out there (bearing in mind that Gojira is equally heavy) plus an amazing band that combines melody and metal perfectly, and some dreaming young djent fellows equals a damn fine evening!

Stealing Axion

Stealing Axion sounded killer on YouTube. They still do. Problem is that I caught the last song of their set seeing as I was late for the show. A pity indeed because when I entered Templet I saw a captivated audience and a band that was swiftly orchestrating an epic journey through stars, galaxies, and constellations.

Monuments

Getting ready for my first Monuments show I observe how the guys set up their instruments. Calmly every guitarist did a sound check of the guitars and basses just before his band mates joined him to start the show. How would I describe a Monuments performance with one word? Real! These guys bring everything they have on the record and serve it to the listeners. On the menu tonight: tight playing, catchy grooves, djenty melodies with a strong backbone made of breakdowns and AMAZING vocal work from Matt Rose. The guys is picture perfect with his growls but what distinguishes him in my mind from the other vocalists in the modern-day djent scene is his clean vocals. Sincere, open, true and honest - they bring so much to what Monuments is! The quartette standing besides Matt that was breaking down the house shouldn't be neglected in any way, of course. They guys are solid as hell - their strong stage presence and musical talent crafts one of the finest soundtracks to a headbanging party! Looking forward to see them play BETA in March with Born Of Osiris!

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Vildhjarta

Vildhjarta

Being the actual headliner of the evening – to me, of course – the band that was about to smash the stage into the ground, the ground into the earth, the earth into vacuum, etc, is so BIG and yet so humble. Still putting up and checking their instruments alone, playing small venues like Templet, still enjoying themselves. Yes, I know they have only one album but this album is what I will call a step-forward. It is not only an album – it is a concept and a mindset. This concept and mindset were present Wednesday night as well. And as soon as the opening misty melody started and the lights went off, everybody in the room took a breath knowing what was about to happen. I actually felt it! Everything stopped for a second... then they smacked everyone in the face and continued to beat us until there was nothing, absolutely nothing left inside us that's worth beating.

Seriously, I wish I Vildhjarta the best of luck. These are musicians that are so tight in playing together, it feels like they squeeze the life out of their instruments from time to time! They are able to express all their emotions and headbang all the troubles away from the viewer's soul. As if in a long story (lasting about 40-50 minutes) the people in Templet are awe-inspired. The music has taken over them and they cannot do anything against the invisible grip that Vildhjarta have orchestrated across the small building. Tension is so thick that a chainsaw, not a knife, would be needed to escape the sensation. But the compositions allow the band to sway through all the feelings that a man can posses and rock the inner-being of everyone. One word: AMAZING!

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Jeff Loomis

Jeff Loomis

And now for the main event.... ladies and gentleman I give you Mr. Loomis himself! And they are off. 123123... 12312312321... 2131231231231 notes per second! My god, that is amazing. This dude is totally ripping it up. With astonishing precision, killer synchronization with the other band members and true musicianship, Jeff and his group began to pick up on the leftovers from Vildhjarta. Building up gradually the nicely crafted and well-defined musical theories in a virtuoso mix of string skipping, vibrato, legato and staccato, the former Nevermore lead guitarist executed finger-tying chops made only from and for the master class guitarists and musicians. Nothing unexpected!

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Photo credit: Jacob Dinesen

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