Flame On + Loud ‘N’ Rowdy + Zoo Me Now

Concert at Lygten Station, Copenhagen
29/04/2015

Flame On

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Defecto @ High Voltage

After the shock CABAL, I was back to town for the great show of another rising band from Copenhagen. Defecto presented their first album to a sold-out High Voltage, and the least I can say is that this was a show full of energy. Surprisingly, it started with the broadcasting of two music videos (one never shown before, if my modest command of danish didn’t mislead me), and then the band took the stage.

defecto-2

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[fr][Live report] Sepultura

After one year abroad, a lot of writing for both university and this blog, and tremendous improvement (I hope), I felt like I missed writing in French. While I enjoy English a lot, I think French is still a beautiful and rich language, and I wouldn’t like to lose all I’ve learnt during these years. Seriously, sometimes I stumble on a word while I know its English counterpart…

Therefore, I have decided to write about concerts in French. The advent of Sepultura in Copenhagen was the perfect occasion to inaugurate the [fr] tag, which you can see in the title. To my French readers: enjoy! To all the others: see you next time. Don’t worry, it won’t take long 😉

*****

Essence + Sepultura
Pumpehuset, Copenhague
05/11/2015

Après un début d’année assez calme, le mois de novembre promettait aux metalleux de Copenhague un plateau plutôt relevé : Nightwish, Eluveitie, Sepultura, Moonspell, Bring Me The Horizon ou encore Bullet For My Valentine allaient fouler les planches danoises ce mois-ci. Si ma présence aux deux premiers concerts n’était pas négociable, le reste restait à définir, pour des considérations principalement financières. Moonspell et Sepultura étaient en compétition ; j’avais déjà vu les brésiliens, pas les portugais. Cependant, le souvenir encore vivace de la grosse claque reçue à Paris l’an passé m’a ramené dans les filets de Sepultura. Moonspell attendra.

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Huldre + Svartsot @ Kælderbaren, DTU

I’m not sure you’re aware of that, but I started ‘serious’ photography as a live photographer (specialized in metal concerts of course). I hadn’t had the opportunity to shoot a gig since I opened this blog last summer, so neither had I had the opportunity to showcase my work in this field. These days are now over.
This Friday, a folk metal concert was organized at DTU. Yes, at the university! It gathered two of the most prominent Danish folk metal bands, Huldre and Svartsot. I thought it would be a great opportunity to go back to the pit as a photographer, which had not happened since the month of May.

I did not expect tremendous results: a long time had passed, so I was afraid to feel a bit like when I started, shy and awkwardly out of place. In the end, it went well, and I got interesting shots. The venue was crowded, and the audience dedicated and enthusiastic. Since my equipment for live photography is made of a 50mm f/1.8 lens only, I struggled to get nice angles, with the musicians so close and no possibility to back up a few steps, but it felt really good, and I’m now looking forward to going back to the pit.

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[Live report] Arcturus

Woland + Vulture Industries + Arcturus – Nosturi, Helsinki

  07/02/2015

Helsinki’s Woland was the first band to enter the stage that evening. Devastating riffs and a relentless rhythm section were on the menu, but the guitarist also offered a few delicate soli impregnated with melancholy. Vocals sounded a lot like Deathstars at first, a feeling emphasized by the look of the quartet, but after a few songs W’s own touch started to prevail. It’s no easy job to warm up the audience of Nosturi, but served by an excellent acoustic and a polished light show, Woland delivered an astonishing performance, chopped by very few addresses to the audience, to the benefit of an unaltered atmosphere. A solid opening meal.

The biggest surprise came in the form of a quintet wearing white shirts and black braces. Norway’s Vulture Industries set Nosturi into fire with their dark Avant-garde metal. If the whole band was involved in the vocal parts, it’s the singer that caught all the attention: overacting every single move, he didn’t give any respite to the audience, inviting it to participate in the show. The way he chanted his words, like a metalized Charlie Winston singing his Hobo, was mesmerizing. When Woland’s show was all about the music, Vulture Industries’ was all about communion between an audience on the edge of hysteria and a frontman who’ll come to sing forehead against forehead with fans. And how one could not smile when the man formed a human caterpillar to wander through the venue, to the bar area and back to the pit. This burlesque comedy was brilliantly supported by talented musicians, giving the impression of a theatrical play powered by either powerful melodic lines or deconstructed blasts, with no false note. Real rock stars.

After such a revelation, it would be hard for Arcturus to make the audience forget these clowns from Bergen. Disguised, they arrived on stage with assets of their own, the first of them being this music so characteristic, so different from any other one. “Evacuation Code Deciphered”, from their last album Sideshow Symphonies released already ten years ago, received the honor to open the show. Vortex’s voice stood high in the mix and, freed from his bassist’s duty in Borknagar, he could plainly focus on these vocal lines that embody Arcturus’ genius. On the other hand, one can ponder the use of bringing a keyboard and a violin on stage, when they are so badly integrated: inaudible at some point, painfully audible a minute later, the violin was especially disturbing.

The stage presence of the band was impressive, but Vortex’s behavior was surprising: from a music that relies so much on the atmosphere, such a trivial and superficial acting seemed out of place. Of course the singing was exemplary, but I expected more solemnity. This element made it hard to really get into the show, combined with the blast from Vulture Industries that for sure lingered in the audience. From this point of view, Woland made a much better job.

Still, it seemed the show had flown too fast when Vortex announced there would be no encore this evening. A grandiose “Shipwrecked Frontier Pioneer” closed this startling show, which highlight may have well been the presentation of a few songs from the upcoming album of the band.

Finally, although Arcturus’ performance was far from mundane, the sensation of this evening remained Vulture Industries. This crazy band is definitely one to remember for the future.

Picture: Vulture Industries © Abrisad photographer – under Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic

[LIVE REPORT] Borknagar (+Shade Empire and Atena) @ Nosturi, Helsinki – 29/11/2014

Last year, I wanted to start writing about metal. I had written about the video game Guild Wars 2 in the past, but switching from French to English made quite a huge difference. This live report was written more than 6 months ago, but I wanted to have all of them in one place. It was originally published at Enslain, and a few more are supposed to come, one day or the other. Feel free to give me any kind of feedback, be it about the content of the report or the writing style. Read well!

Picture by Felix Schuchmann © Metaltreff.net – Ragnarök 2014 – Creative commons

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Borknagar (+ Shade Empire and Atena), Nosturi, Helsinki

29/11/2014

Arriving at Nosturi some twenty minutes before the beginning of the show, the room was cold and quite empty.  Coming from France, that’s quite a cultural difference which never ceases to amaze me, since people usually start queuing some hours before doors open there.

Still, Atena would have deserved a warmer reception given the performance they offered. The bassist and guitar player entered the stage with long strides, the latter holding an instrument with an insane amount of strings (I counted eight of them).  Always moving in exaggerated motions, it felt like they were inhabited by some kind of malicious spirit during the whole show.

The combo presented syncopated music, with fast and blasted parts accompanied by furious screams, but also offered more contemplative moments, where the instruments gave room to samples on tape. This was usually the time for some rest for the musicians, but also for some weird things like kneeling and turning their backs to the audience, feinting prayers (or were they real?).

In summation, I’d say that this performance was weird: the aggressive parts were convincing, but the calm ones a bit too lengthy and esoteric; however, it was quite enjoyable, and consistent with what one can expect from an opening act.

Kuopio’s Shade Empire, who seemed quite highly anticipated based on the fervor in front of the stage, didn’t spend much time on meditative interludes; instead the audience was offered an onslaught of blasting black metal, including many old rarities. However, if you didn’t know the songs, and no thanks to the atrocious acoustics, it felt like all the instruments were blended, and none stood out of the mix.  Worse yet, many of the samples seemed out of place, and not coherent with the rest of the music. Nevertheless, from time to time you could feel something – a riff, a rhythm maybe –  that made you bang you head, and the audience cheered at every song announcement, so it’s safe to say that Shade Empire reached their goal this night.

I must confess: I wasn’t highly familiar with Borknagar before this show. Intrigued by some listening sessions and by the presence of Vortex in the formation, I came with no real expectations. The gig didn’t start all that well, because the sound was quite muddled and the keyboards resonated in an odd way, as if too high-pitched. Still, Pål Mathiesen, live singer of the band for the last two years, delivered Vintersorg’s inherently catchy vocals pretty well, and as the sound improved, the magic revealed itself. I imagine this has much to do with Vortex, who illuminated this night with his unmistakable vocal lines and his perfect pick-less technique on bass. This, and the atmosphere specific to Borknagar songs, created a very emotional show which was to end far too soon.

Yeah, he’s not that good… and we apologize for this! – Vortex, about Baard Kolstad, drummer

 

After a short and satisfying drum solo, Vortex, in a joking mood, assumed the role of the frontman as Pål took a rest (and a beer) on the balcony, posting on Facebook a pic of his own band performing on stage. The charismatic bassist explained how happy he was to play in Helsinki again, not forgetting to thank the fans for coming to the show. Singing alone “Frostrite” and “Universal,” he let burst all his class and talent before being joined once again by Pål for the encore. The harmony between the two of them was tangible, and this duality in the vocals is certainly one of the main assets of the band.

Finishing the show with a colossal “Colossus,” they left the audience dazed but more than willing to welcome them back when the time finally comes again.