Pumpehuset, Copenhagen - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

As I hadn’t seen one advertised anywhere, I was quite surprised to see these young Chicago dwellers take the stage as support band for Turisas on this cold February evening.
They weren’t wasting any time though – almost before we had had time to focus on the backdrop they had hanging, guitarist Tony Keathley had already run up on the stage, shouted a greeting “fuck yeah” and was handing out knuckles to the unprepared audience!

“Good evening Copenhagen, are you ready for some heavy fucking metal?!”
- Parker Jameson (vocals/guitar)

Starkill went straight for the, wait for it, kill! No more than a couple of seconds were given for introductions, after which they dove straight into the musical portion of the evening, delivering a jaw breaking punch of extreme metal highly inspired by Finnish standards, walking in the foot-prints of Children Of Bodom and the like. What came as a huge and quite entertaining surprise was the highly, by the sound of it, Manowarian lyrics that the band incorporated! So, whilst listen to guitars galloping at about 200 km/h, we also got to sing along to lyrics such as “Raise up your sword” and hear titles like Sword, Spear, Blood, Fire (you convince me Joey DeMaio didn’t have anything to do with that one!).

“Long hair, short hair, I don’t care, headbang with us!”
- Jameson (vocals/guitar)

Starkill did offer a good shrine for worshipping sore neck muscles, I’ll give them that, and their efforts did generate a reaction in the small but growing crowd – some of the younger guys even began warming up their moshpit skills, something that the band delivered an excellent soundtrack for.
Their own performance wasn’t half arsed either to be honest, it was in fact the high-light of the show! The band members were acting very professional in a good way, proving that they could handle the crowd and that they weren’t afraid to participate in the action themselves. There was headbanging, posing and liveliness to last you ‘till Christmas!
Sadly, the music didn’t quite live up to what the show promised, and even though they only had half an hour to perform in, the material became repetitive, and the only real variation offered up came with the final song, Whispers Of Heresy, where Keathley joined in on some clean vocals here and there. This was a bit too late though, too late to save the show.

Starkill, who have gone through several guises where they were known as Ballistika and Massakren (though basically redoing the same songs over and over again) simply weren’t interesting enough musically.
This is a shame however, because I really wanted to like them – they were after all delivering one of the best support performances I have seen in many a year, proving that at least this skill was up on main act level. The future can only hope for new and a bit more varied material to go with it.

Setlist (incomplete):

New Infernal Rebirth
Sword, Spear, Blood, Fire
This Is Our Battle; This Is Our Day
Whispers Of Heresy


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