Arcadia

The Rock, Copenhagen - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

”Italian Bastard Core” is what Arcadia play, at least if you are to believe the bands backdrop.
Don’t know what that is, you say? Well, neither did I at first, but as I had been positively surprised by But As We Try It who had just played, and I had a good feeling about both Raunchy and Illdisposed (whose tour this was) who were playing next, I figured ”what can go wrong”?

The concert itself began with all the members standing with their backs to the audience while the speakers were playing some kind of electro sounds and orchestrated string music for a long time. This was nothing like what the actual music turned out to be though, but more of a calm before the storm so to speak.
About the members; now there seems to be some confusion as to whom and how many are actually in the band... There were ... persons on stage, but from what I have come to understand, only three of these are actually members of the band; that being Michele ’Mike’ Nocentini on vocals, Edoardo ’Cacao’ Nicodemo on drums and Demetrio ’Dimitry’ Scopelliti on guitar. I guess the others were hired help for the tour or something, but no word to confirm or deny this can be found.
Anyway, all of this is periphery information, and has no bearing on the show at hand, at least not to my knowledge. Nor did it need to, the show had its own issues to deal with.

To begin with, it soon became apparent that someone had forgotten to turn the mic on, but this was fixed in less than a minute’s time, at which point we began wondering if it hadn’t been a better show if it had stayed turned off... Honestly, Nocentini’s voice was really annoying, but it wasn’t only the mere sound of it that was bad (even though it was really bugging me from the first minute I heard it), he didn’t seem to possess any form if technique for his role in the band either. The changes between screamed and clean vocals were almost painful to listen to, and his pronunciation was at times so bad he reminded me of those people who does not know a language but try to fake it by imitating the sounds of what they think it should be. But it was when Nocentini began rapping in Italian that I really lost my patience with him, and couldn’t wait for this to be over.
In all fairness though, I do think that only describing the frontman does the band an injustice. Even though there wasn’t a thread of originality to be found in their songs and sound, at least the musicians knew what they were doing, and were able to handle their instruments at a level where they may not show a lot of brilliance, but still could play well enough to fit in a band at this level. Nicodemo was clearly the shining light of the band, as he displayed an intense performance and at the same time radiated a nice excess of energy from behind the skins.

The crowd had grown a great deal since But As We Try It had played, but even though the hall was not only becoming rapidly crowded, but also nice and warm (closing in on sauna conditions actually), there wasn’t much action to be seen in the assembled mass of people who were quietly standing with beer in hand as they watched the band moving from song to song.
Here I must give some recognition to Nocentini actually, as he was the most energetic member of the band, and as he let his long dreads windmill through the air he also pleaded with the Danes in front of him to loosen up and join in on the fun (at least that’s what I got from his broken English). His efforts were close to completely fruitless though; only a handful or so of the youngest kids in the frontline showed their appreciation by headbanging along to the music while the rest might as well have been replaced by cardboard figures for the energy they were displaying...

In my mind, Arcadia would do well in finding another voice to represent their music, but even if this was done I am hard-pressed to see why we would need this band. For all that I could hear, Italian Bastard Core might as well just be called run-of-the-mill metalcore, and all they did here at The Rock have been seen and heard much better in other bands of the same persuasion.

Setlist:

She’s Got A Knife
I Sold Drugs To Little Red Riding Hood
Slaughterhouse, Obituaries And A Love Story
Cadavers Under Formalin
Mind Control
Ephe_Dream
Paranoia
Prozac Generation
Of Rust, Needles And A Taste Of Blood

Arcadia

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