This is the first time I am visiting the new building of Doornroosje. In October the venue has been officially opened and it still smells as new. With three acts on the bill presenting the future of Metal this is the perfect night to have a first close look. The type of Metal Animals As Leaders, Tesseract and Navene K create is perfect for the modern venue where the sound is amazing during the three sets.
Navane K is the solo project of Navene Koperweiss (ex-Animosity, ex-Animals as Leaders). He creates an interesting mix of IDM, Dubstep and technical drums. Starting with a beat or a guitar loop he is drumming his way through the songs that are a danceable mix of electronic and future metal music. He only has 20 minutes to show what he got; he took his time to the maximum extent and left everyone hungry for more.
Last time I saw Tesseract was with Textures album release of ‘Dualism’ with god knows which singer who sounded awful by the way. They changed a lot of guys behind the microphone but that time it was definitely not the pretty boy in the leader jacket that’s on stage now. His voice is too polished and sounds too perfect for a metal band. It’s like a pop music voice with distorted guitars behind it. There neither is any sharp edges to be found in his voice nor the Djent Metal (sorry for the term) have. Every song that’s played is perfectly drawn within the lines. Too much clean guitars and ambient in the mix while the guitars lack low in the sound; that’s not the main complaint, it is the sterile and soulless atmosphere the band envisions. Tesseract is truly the Kane (the awful Dutch Rock band) of Djent Metal.
I can’t listen to this; maybe it’s something for a teacher who teaches technical guitar at a university. For sure the music is created by highly skilled musicians; the songs are going one ear in, the other out. Distortion on your guitar and using a Meshuggah drum pattern doesn’t imply you’re making metal or catchy songs.
After these terrible and painful moments Animals As Leaders is finally there to bring back the fun and energy in the crowd. With a smile on his face Tosin Abasi welcomes the crowd for an hour with experimental metal that dares you to the maximum. There might be a bit less focus at the end of the tour; in return the members are in a jamming mood (especially the drummer) that adds up to the live spirit. While the music is highly technical; it always captures the soul and groove. Every song has some brilliant found guitar notes or has an ambient loop woven through the guitar freakery.
That is food for the technical guitar freaks in the crowd. Look to the mobile phones in the air capturing the genius riffs. Or the airspace looking guitar Abasi comes up with halfway through the set to create ones of the weirdest tunes of the night. The trio continues with “The Woven Web”; one of the many songs played from the last album ‘The Joy of Motion’. That’s also the right conclusion of the show; what a joy to see and hear all these motions on the guitars, laptop and drums. Not much is said during the show, the guitar notes of Abasi do the talking. One question is left. Why the other drum kit is still on stage, does Navene Koperweis join for one song? Not during the normal set and unfortunately also not during the encore ‘Cafo’. It’s the perfect one to end the Tech Metal night.
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