support Mountaineer + Capital Wasteland
author AP date 01/06/13 venue KB18, Copenhagen, DEN

On the third day of Distortion, another metallic opportunity presented itself, again at KB18, with a show featuring both fresh and more established talent from the Danish underground. It was well past time I'd give Contrition another shot, as nearly two years had passed since I'd last (and first) had the delight to experience them in the live setting. That the band released their debut album a few weeks prior was of course a strong motivator as well.

Photos courtesy of Thomas Dyregaard

Capital Wasteland

The evening's festivities commence with the relatively unknown, yet hard-working Capital Wasteland who feature a friend of mine, drummer Gabriel Thordahl-Jensen, among their ranks. It is always a precarious task to judge those you personally know, especially when their music and experience is not yet on par with most other acts dotting the Danish metalscape, as one needs to be both honest and constructive. In the case of Capital Wasteland, though musically they may certainly fill many a person's cup of tea with their breakdown-heavy metalcore concoctions, there is a dire need to focus on rehearsing the actual performance component of the show. As it stands now, the only movement and enthusiasm emanating from the stage is delivered by Thordahl-Jensen and vocalist Joachim Møller Jensen; the remnant musicians - guitarists Kasper Fuhs Bond and Lasse Bruun Oszlár, and bassist Martin Larsen - seem at great pains to focus on getting their parts right and thus spend much of the set staring at their fretboards, giving rise to a non-flattering impression that Capital Wasteland still remain at a rather amateurish level when it comes to playing shows. There are slight eruptions of energy from the three axemen during breakdowns, but they are too few and far in between to create a lasting impression. Another factor that irks me throughout the band's performance is that their music seems to rest on every metalcore cliché in existence, and the songs themselves very rarely boast a moment that draws an "Ah, yeah!" reaction from me. In all fairness, however, Capital Wasteland are a young band and a relatively recent entrant to the scene, so all of this can probably be attributed to their lack of experience. It will certainly be interesting to see where they go from here.



Mountaineer, on the other hand, have officially existed an even shorter time, tonight marking the second gig of their career, and much respect must be extended to them for filling in the support slot left unoccupied by New Discolour's unfortunate cancelation on an extremely short notice. They may have just four songs to deliver this evening, but god damn do they make an impression. Addressing a completely unique niche (by Danish standards), the notorious wave movement that has been picking up in popularity across the Atlantic over the past couple of years, Mountaineer immediately establish themselves as ones-to-watch with a performance that belies their short existence as a band (though I am later told they have been playing together for the best part of three years), and songs that boast instant allure. Think a 40/60 split between European post-metal à la Devil Sold His Soul and Amber, and emotional hardcore in the vein of La Dispute, Defeater and Vales; then throw in a washing of electronica, and you should have a solid idea what sort of music Mountaineer play.

The songs sound absolutely monolithic when reaching for a climax, and stunningly beautiful whilst lingering in understated clean territory. But above all, it is the outburst of energy by every member of the band all of the time that leaves me with that unparalleled feeling of having discovered something new and infinitely promising. The vocalist in particular, with his frequent lapses into the moshpit - not to mention his unique half-scream/half-shout vocal style, is one many aspiring frontmen in Denmark should take note of, as not a second goes by without some form of engagement on his part. Mountaineer stage a refreshingly chaotic, immersive set that ticks almost all of the musical and performance-wise boxes of my critique schema, and a such you'd do well to keep an eye out on this six-piece. Word has it they've got an EP coming out very soon.



My previous experience with Contrition was hampered somewhat by a dreadful sound mix and my own unfamiliarity with their material, so in that sense when the band unleash the opening track, "In Distant Lights", from their recent debut album "Reflections" with an acceptable quality of sound, I am already convinced this time they'll be an altogether different act to behold. Indeed, over the course of two years Contrition have grown into fine entertainers, and their maturity has translated into songs that, for all intents and purposes, would go down just as well beyond Danish borders with audiences that have no idea who Contrition are or what their music sounds like as with the 50-or-so domestic fans that have assembled here to ensure that they won't go home remembering a disappointing show.

Naturally, much of the setlist is dominated by material from "Reflections", and although I still hold a healthy amount of skepticism toward the rapping present in "Chaos Reigns", there's plenty of modern metal brilliance to be consumed in the remaining tracks, of which "[Al-kuh-hawl]" in particular emerges as a memorable moment. Most memorable, however, is the fact that Contrition have grown immensely as live performers, with every member of the band contributing in equal part to forging a captivating, energetic show out of the cavernous confines of KB18. The atmosphere is reciprocal, with band and audience both dispensing every last ounce of their energy reservoir in a joyous celebration of Danish metalcore, and Contrition demonstrate why they should, and will be considered the flagbearers of the genre in this country.



  • In Distant Lights
  • Chaos Reigns
  • Hypothermia
  • Sensory Perception
  • [Al-kuh-hawl]
  • A Seismic Statement
  • Timeless
  • Surrogate

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