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Grendel - Corporation, Sheffield, 12/12/2009

  by Peter Allison

published: 13 / 1 / 2010

Grendel - Corporation, Sheffield, 12/12/2009


At a show at the Sheffield Corporation, Peter Allison sees Netherlands-based musician Grendel, one of the leading exponents of the Electronic Body Music genre, put on an electrifying performance of hard-edged industrial/dance rock

Sheffield's Corporation is a club that obviously knows what connoisseurs of (Electronic Body Music) EBM appreciate, in both musical terms and visual elements as well. The stage for the night’s show was backlit with beams of light arcing across the crowds, while dry-ice generators on overdrive diffused the light creating a fantastic atmosphere. This was the night when the Cybergoths came out to play. Opening the night’s music was Midlands-based Deviant UK, fronted by the larger-than-life Jay Smith. Musically, they were a mediocre act, for whilst their music lacked energy, they nonetheless achieved their goal of setting the mood for the nigh. Jay Smith's presence was contradictory, for whilst his more than filled the stage and is a capable showman, I found him to be insufficiently engaging. Whilst Deviant UK didn't grab me as much as I would have liked, they were an inoffensive act that I would nonetheless be happy to listen to again. Aesthetic Perfection were the second act of the night, and played an storming set that Grendel would be hard pressed to beat. Their lead singer Daniel Graves' energetic and dynamic presence as he jumped around the stage combined with a truly impressive set-list that had the crowd bouncing along in time with the music. Their genuine talent was impressive and was further heightened by the atmosphere of the night. Needless to say, Aesthetic Perfection is a band I am going to keep an eye out for in the future. With the bar set very high, Grendel emerged after a brief changeover to play a set that not only met, but exceeded the expectations set by Aesthetic Perfection. Opening with a trio of songs that included '1-8-0' and 'New Flesh', Grendel gave an infectious high energy performance, screaming out lyrics that had the crowd dancing in delight. Whilst purists may have been disappointed by the lack of vocal distortion used in the gig, which commonly typifies Grendel's music, I was pleased to see variations of songs from his previous albums. Grendel’s lead singer and founder VLRK’s raw singing set a decidedly human edge to the mechanical themes of his music, and almost distorted his singing by his screaming vocals. Highlights of the set would have to include '1-8-0', 'New Flesh', and 'Soil Bleed'. But I was surprised with his new remix of 'Zombie Nation' being not as engaging as the original cover of 'Kernfraft 400'. Nonetheless, I freely admit to singing along to the lyrics, and the crowd still went wild, much to Grendel's obvious delight. This latter comment rose what was an already excellent set into being a truly impressive one. For witnessing Grendel's obvious pleasure at the crowd’s enjoyment of his music galvanised the energy of the night, and made for a truly electrifying performance. Many bands will go through the motions, but Grendel was evidently giving his all, and the commitment was more than appreciated, and demonstrated, by the crowd. Overall, this was a truly fantastic performance by one of the premier bands within the EBM scene today. Whilst I have seen many bands playing live this past year, few have being able to match Grendel in playing a set with such power and energy.

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Interview (2010)
One of the leading acts in the EBM genre, Grendel has been playing to expanding popularity both at home in the Netherlands and also across Europe. Peter Allison speaks to founding member[VLRK]about his group's industrial dance sound and his approach both to music and the music industry

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