06 Jun. 2018
If anyone is familiar with the progressive metal band Anubis Gate, you know well that their live shows are few and far between, and are rarely outside of their home country of Denmark. When they announced their first concert date in 3 years since their last show, I decided that since the likelihood of their performing closer to me in the USA was slim, I would go to them on their home turf. They announced the concert would take place on April 28, 2018 at Musikhuset Posten, a venue in Denmark’s third-largest city, Odense. Having no conflicts in my schedule, I promptly booked the trip. Already being an avid traveler, I was looking forward to seeing the band live as much as I was looking forward to seeing Denmark, a European country I had not yet visited and saw it as my opportunity to add that to my destination repertoire.
The venue itself was very nice, starting with a large coat-check at the entrance to keep everyone’s things while they enjoyed the concert. It led to another room with a bar before entering the larger concert area that was standing room only with yet another bar in that room for easy access. The stage was not large, but was adequate and had no barriers to it so that attendees could stand right up next to the stage, where I was front and center for the Anubis Gate set. There were two opening bands, Dead Witch – a Nordic hardcore stoner/doom-inspired band from Odense, and Ethereal Kingdoms – a symphonic metal band from Copenhagen.
Then, after great anticipation, Anubis Gate took the stage around 11 pm and opened with songs from their newest release, Covered in Black. Bedecked in black, the band’s attire fit with the theme of the album as they began the set with the album’s opener as well, Psychotopia, which set the stage for the night’s experience. Continuing with new music, they segued into another song from the album, The Combat, which might have been more familiar to the ears of those attending since it was the first music video and single released for Covered in Black. It was wonderful hearing the concert begin with such a bombastic start, in your face out of the gate with their newest tracks.
Though this concert supported their latest effort, Anubis Gate was not remiss in bringing out classics from all of their discography. Next up were some favorites, including the hit Golden Days from their self-titled album, Purification from the same-titled debut album, and Endless Grief from A Perfect Forever. Then they broke out into a trio of songs from Horizons, including the ear-catching Hear My Call, Destined to Remember, and Never Like This (A Dream).
As these songs are upbeat and catchy, the band then revisited the darker first song of the unofficial Black-Blacker-Blackest trilogy from Covered in Black, and remained in the heavier vein by continuing into Revolution Come Undone from Horizons. The band ended the set with two favorites from their middle albums, Options – Going Nowhere from The Detached and Snowbound from Andromeda Unchained. Thankfully, the show wasn’t completely over as they returned for an encore, closing with Future Without Past from A Perfect Forever and Hold Back Tomorrow, from their self-titled album. The entire concert was a roller coaster of songs that ranged from upbeat to heavy from their first to last albums and everything in between.
Even with the encore, their set seemed to be so short. I’ve attended a number of concerts where some sets seem like they will never end, but to the contrary, this show seemed to go by far too fast and left me wanting for more. Even though they played for a good hour and a half, it seemed to fly by in minutes and I stood in disbelief as I had to come to the realization that the show was really over. They performed everything to perfection and played very tightly live, which is even more amazing given they don’t live near each other and get to rehearse or play together regularly. Anubis Gate are musicians at the top of their game, and their chemistry playing together is clearly evident and airtight. For me, it was a luxury to finally see them play live, and was more than worth the trip to see them in their home country – which I believe made it even more special and authentic.
The band – Henrik Fevre (vocals, bass), Kim Olesen (guitar, keys), Michael Bodin (guitar), and Morten Gade Sørensen (drums) – are the epitome of class and grace. They treat their fans well and stayed long after the concert to speak to people, sign items, and get pictures with anyone who asked. Another amazing aspect of the concert was that nearly all the former members of Anubis Gate attended and hung out afterwards, including Morten Sørensen (drums), Torben Askholm (vocals), and Jacob Hansen (vocals) – only Jesper Jensen (guitars) couldn’t make it.
This concert was truly a melting pot of fandom, as I met other fans, friends, and fellow reviewers from Norway, Denmark, and Germany. I even met another American couple who had traveled all the way from San Diego to enjoy this extraordinary opportunity as well. I really enjoyed the venue as well as the Danish decorum that American metalheads should learn from – they gave everyone their space without crowding and were very respectful. It was amazing being with like-minded people from around the world, enjoying a special time together.
Phoenix with the band after the show.
I have been to many concerts in my lifetime, and this concert with Anubis Gate ranks as the top experience I’ve had, ranging from the amenability and accessibility of the venue, to the quality of the show, to the hospitality of the band (former and present members) and their families throughout the evening. Anubis Gate is a stunning band to listen to on their albums, but they are even more amazing to see live, with their down-to-earth personalities that belie the talent that oozes from their very being. If you EVER get a chance to see the rare Anubis Gate appearance – do everything within your power not to miss it.