Pumpehuset, Copenhagen - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Arkan may not have been our main focus of the night, but they were certainly a very welcome addition to the line-up!
The tour was Orphaned Land’s The Tour To Or-Shalem, and the other support bands of the night were Artweg and Myrath; surprisingly (for me) Arkan played as the second band of the night, not the third as I had believed. A probable reason is that Myrath have put out one more album than Arkan, and seniority ruled.

Arkan kicked the show off with Origins, the opening track of their latest record, Salam, and apparently this was more to the liking of the crowd than Artweg’s metalcore had been; there was an instant nodding in the crowd which didn’t take long to mature into full-blown headbanging for many of the visitors.
Yes, Arkan had a good grip on the crowd, something which was only enhanced further by the entrance of female vocalist Sarah Layssac. She came in a bit later than the others, just in time for her chorus singing of Origins, but made up for lost time by being the one in the band who addressed the audience between songs for the rest of the gig. She got such a good connection going actually, that even though I hardly think many here had heard the name Arkan before tonight, we in the crowd were only too happy to shout, sing and clap along for the band. Her request for dancing may have fallen on deaf ears, but there was so much else going on I do believe the band could only feel content with what they created here in Copenhagen this night.

Yes, there was a great connection between band and crowd, and the fact that the crowd had grown a bit since the first band didn’t do anything bad for the situation either. Ok, so the numbers were still embarrassingly low, but at least it was the right type of people – I’m certain more will follow with time, this is after all quite a new genre around these parts of the world.
But I’m side-tracking, let’s get back to the show at hand...
Technically, the new location for the concert, Pumpehuset’s new stage (I say new as the concert was originally scheduled to play at The Rock, but this place sadly had to close only a few days prior to the show) lent itself perfectly to the concert. The sound was far superior to most concert halls I have visited, and lights were good as well; in addition to the normal lights, the projector-generated backdrop gave some interesting effects on the band-members as they moved about.
And that’s another thing I have to take my hat off for in respect of the band – Arkan made me completely forget how small the stage actually was; even though it can’t have been more than a few metres from side to side, there didn’t seem to be any apparent problem for the four front-people to fit in and be able to perform unhindered; heck, Layssac even found the space and energy to belly-dance her way through much of the show!

A small problem arose after Deus Vult though, something with a broken drum or something in that genre (I couldn’t really tell what had happened, but it looked like they changed the snare), but to not lose momentum while it was dealt with we were given a short bass-solo by Samir Remila, accompanied by some humming by Layssac. Nice pass-time entertainment while waiting for the show to get back on track.
Deus Vult also held another little bit of a surprise for me as well; as soon as I saw it on the setlist, I must confess I figured (and looked forward to) we would get a guest appearance from Kobi Farhi of Orphaned Land on it (he does guest vocals on the album-version of the song), but even though it was the opportune moment for such a thing, it sadly did not happen...
A mere seven songs were the lot of Arkan's setlist, but judging by the atmosphere in the hall I’d have to say that this was plenty of time to grow a new fan or two in the Danish crowd; at least the applause resounded long after the songs died out. Actually, I think there may have been an encore played directly after Salam, but as I only picked up Arkan’s albums at the show I had not gotten familiar enough with their music to say for sure. Best spent money in a long time, by the way. Just saying.


Tied Fates
Inner Slaves
Deus Vult
Groans Of The Abyss
Beyond Sacred Rules

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