Corrections House

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author AP date 04/12/13 venue Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN

There's metal elsewhere in town, and of the highest caliber (Amon Amarth et al.), as supergroup Corrections House stage their first ever live ritual on Danish soil. But considering the personnel involved, I am still somewhat surprised to find no more than 40 curious concert-goers at Loppen when I arrive just in time for the proceedings to begin; but no matter - the mere intrigue of this experimental band should be enough to make this a memorable evening.

Although it is highly debatable whether or not Corrections House even qualify as a metal band, their setup on stage is unorthodox for such, to say the least. No drum kit - instead, Sanford Parker is besieged by multiple keyboards and sample decks cloaked in drapes adorned with the band's logo, where one traditionally should be. No bass guitar, either - the front three, comprising Eyehategod's Mike IX Williams, Neurosis' Scott Kelly and Yakuza's Bruce Lamont, are respectively wielding a microphone, electric guitar and saxophone. And, having just listened through the supergroup's debut album multiple times in the days leading up to this show, I am fairly confident in assuming tonight's performance is going to be no ordinary affair.

Indeed, for many of the cacophonous, industrially charged noise assaults unleashed by the band, Williams is quoting lyrics from two books, looking every bit like some satanic preacher as he sways to and fro the front of the audience murmuring, speaking and screaming his bizarre verse. Lamont's saxophone sounds even more maddening live than it does on record, with crazed, atonal whines and screeches frequently disrupting the low, harmonious melodies he contributes to the songs; and whenever he takes a break, he's stomping the crowd like a psychopath or delivering additional screams. It all sounds like mayhem; loud like the world's about to end, full of unadulterated noise brought on by the generous use of distortion pedals, and the synthesised drums adding their own entrancing effect.

There is no moshing, and only few instances of headbanging, as most of the audience is busy digesting the peculiar spectacle unfolding before our eyes. Like some black mass, Corrections House alternate between harrowing, almost psychotic infernos of noise and softer, though still ominous alt-folk sections in which Kelly's baritone vocal, in particular, shines. Once the magnificent opening track to the band's debut album "Last City Zero", entitled "Serve or Survive", is delivered in a slightly less heavy, and more resonant format than on record, Corrections House conclude their set with minutes upon minutes of terrifying noise and feedback, Lamont shoving two microphones into his saxophone before purposefully rubbing them against the monitors and holding them in close proximity. It's perhaps too lengthy a conclusion given the constancy of what's happening, but at the same time, a very appropriate one, considering the outlandish display we've just witnessed.

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