Kadavar

support Helhorse
author AP date 05/12/12 venue Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN

It must be said that Anders Danielsen of Magnificent Music did a fantastic job promoting this event, as a band like Kadavar is hardly a resonant name in Denmark - at least not yet. That some 140 people show up is a great testimony to his efforts, with even Tim 'TL' Larsen, our sworn indie/emo specialist finding himself convinced enough to come. It turns out to be a fun night, with yours truly DJ:ing the pre-, in-between-, and post-set tunes, and a sizable crowd having a blast despite it being a mid-week show.

Like the photos? Check out more by Peter Troest

Mikkel Wad Larsen of Helhorse living & breathing the part...

Helhorse

It was in this very same venue that Helhorse delivered one of the best performances of 2012 half a year ago, when they gave a select few Copenhageners the chance to hear the entirety of their new, as-of-yet untitled album, which is slated for release in the Spring. Tonight, too, we are treated to a handful of picks from that record; two right off the bat with the bluntly titled "Fuck Art. Let's Kill" (an apt description of the aesthetics of that song, and the band in general) and the magnificent "Hell Hath No Fury". Hearing the latter live once again, it is already becoming obvious that here is one of the standout tracks on the new album; a high-octane metal'n'roll banger with driving double-pedals that insist, "headbang, now!".

Stephan of Helhorse

But as we know, it's not exclusively in-your-face with this band. "Djöfullin er Danskur" and "The Last Temptation", both taken from the 2011 debut "For Wolves and Vultures", provide a timely breather with their slow-burning, moody approach that allows vocalist Mikkel Wad Larsen to showcase his softer vocals, and Aske Kristiansen to dramatize things with his Hammond organ. Another standout moment comes with "Get Drunk, Get Mad, Get Even", which can essentially be summed up as a typical Clutch song performed by Cancer Bats. Its another reminder of Larsen's mastery of several vocal styles, here a ferocious Southern-style roar.

We are given four more songs, two of them new ("Death Comes to the Sleeping" and "The Carnal Rage"), with "Deathride" concluding yet another sovereign display of power from this most excellent of Danish live bands. Helhorse perform with conviction and regard to visual aesthetics, oscillating between explosions of furious energy and soulful, atmospheric periods of calm. That the music is delivered at deafening volume is certainly no bad thing either, considering that this is a rock'n'roll show.

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Wolf Lindemann of Kadavar

Kadavar

Indeed, Helhorse tend to make life difficult for headliners. But if Kadavar have any such concerns, they aren't there to be seen. In my recent review of their self-titled album, I made some predictions about what this band would sound like live, and as it turns out, those predictions were extremely accurate. You see, where the band's recorded material is characterized by an analogue, lo-fi production; in the live setting the songs really come to life, thanks to that additional bass punch - and that punch is made all the more powerful given the extreme volume at which Kadavar have chosen to play tonight.

A moody shot of bassist Mammoth of Kadavar

Fortunately this is not a case of volume over everything else such as it tends to be with various types of modern metal bands; the sound is crystal clear, with the vocals, guitar, bass and drums exerting themselves with equal force in the mix. This is a vital touch to a performance where everything clicks; one that evokes a fantastic psychedelic atmosphere that leaves none of the 140 or so concert-goers exempt. We're put in a trance, which is exactly the sort of mindstate you need to be in to fully appreciate the qualities of Kadavar's music.

Starting out with the brilliant "Black Sun", this trio carry themselves with a majesty that tends to indicate decades of experience - not the two years Kadavar have had to perfect their art. They don't need to do anything, because there is something utterly convincing about these men, who look like somebody snatched them directly from the 70's and put them on this stage. They play tighter than most others, with an almost arrogant indulgence in themselves, uttering only a few words of thanks and the like to us during their one-hour performance. But rather than coming across as something negative, it is this self-indulgence that enables the band to put on what is without a doubt one of the most exhilirating performances of 2012; one which oozes rock'n'roll attitude, bewitching psychedelia and - above all - authenticity.

Wolf Lindemann of Kadavar

Listening to, and watching the band jam their way through the likes of "Goddess of Dawn" and last song "Creature of the Demon", it is easy to see why a prestigious niche festival like Roadburn were quick to pick these guys up for next year's event. It is also a promising sign that Kadavar are on their way to becoming quite the underground sensation, and seeing them in venues of this capacity might soon become a rare treat.

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