Vega, Copenhagen - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Essence is a band that really gets out and about much these days, playing with the big boys. Last year they were supporting Entombed, earlier this year it was Hypocrisy, and now the time had come for a support gig for none other than Megadeth!

“It’s a great pleasure to be here, now how many came here to see Megadeth?”
- Lasse Skov (vocals/guitar)

As they took the stage accompanied by a roaring intro (actually, the song is just called intro, and here it was played from a tape), Essence was facing the most fitting crowd of the shows we have seen them play so far.
The room was just below half filled, but as this was the large hall in Vega, this still meant quite a lot of people were in time to see them deliver a blazing thrash show. If that indeed was what they were about to deliver…
The intro quickly changed over to Final Eclipse, and just as quickly the band proved that they were ready and willing to rock the house down! No sooner had the music begun than the posing, headbanging and good vibe started spreading on the stage – these guys were clearly having the time of their lives. Again.
And who could blame them? They were supporting one of the Big Four, and they were doing at a nearly sold out (maybe it was in the end, I’m not sure) show in one of the classiest venues Copenhagen has to offer, Vega.

Yes, it was no surprise that Essence were enjoying themselves this night, but their job was also to entertain us, and that they did through the type of lively and energetic showmanship we’ve grown accustomed to by now when it comes to this band – none of the string benders in the band missed a chance to get out on the edge of the stage and be right up in the face of the crowd, but they also still had time for some synchronized headbanging, Rasmus Kalke got to show off with the bass intro for Blood Culture and Mark Drastrup found it fitting to start up a “hey” chanting session during Darkness Falls. The only one who seemed to concentrate primarily on playing was the new live drummer Nikolaj Kjärgaard; what happened to Martin Haumann I have no idea, but Kjärgaard seemed to do a fine job and I didn’t notice any mistakes.

At first the crowd’s response to Essence seemed to be somewhat lacking – even with their best efforts, the crowd was only slowly nodding along to the fast thrash music. Not quite the love I would have imagined for a band from our own country making it big like this.
Through the gig, more and more people filled the concert hall though, and as the temperature quickly rose, so did the volume of the cheers and applause Essence were getting. Even though it was far from the wildest gig I have been to during the songs, there was no denying that the audience was willing to pay respects between tracks, and with just a little bit of encouragement from the band people were also happy to raise their arms in unison and shout along when appropriate.
Towards the end of the gig, the hall was nearly full of people, and I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a large handful of them wanted to check the band out further as soon as they got home.

“A thousand fucking thanks Vega!”
- Skov (vocals/guitar)

The last time we saw Essence, my only major complaint (if one can call it that) was that for a brand new band with songs no one really knew, the setlist was just a tad too long – this night the setlist was two songs shorter and the gig was squeezed out in just about a half an hour. With this issue taken care of, I can’t say I object to anything Essence had to offer; my only concern this night was how Dave Mustain felt about Skov having a Metallica sticker on his guitar...
Essence isn’t a hundred percent my taste in metal, but I believe that when their songs become better engraved in people’s minds, this band will surely go far – they certainly have the will and stamina for it.


Final Eclipse
Blood Culture
For The Fallen
Darkness Returns
Fractured Dimension


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