support Sons Of Death Valley
author PP date 09/01/16 venue High Voltage, Copenhagen, DEN

While High Voltage is an excellent venue for debauchery and rowdy, Lemmy-inspired, beer-fueled rock'n'roll parties, its features as a live music venue leave much to be desired for. One, the sound is rarely excellent, due to the acoustics and shape of the venue, and two, the positioning of the stage right next to the entrance/exit means there's a constant stream of people swimming through the crowd one way or the other. Not exactly a coherent live experience that leaves a feeling of community within the crowd, as seen with venues where the doors are at the back of the crowd. And because the venue doubles as a nightclub, at any given night a sizable portion of the attendance is there to socialize and drink, rather than watch the shows, reducing the live acts into a side show rather the spotlight entertainment of the night. A challenge for much bigger bands, not to mention smaller ones like Sons Of Death Valley and Evra, who are here tonight to mark the one-year anniversary of Prime Collective.

Now, the name prime collective may be relatively unknown to the public, given that they are essentially a PR organization whose sole purpose is to market their signed bands to people like me and my colleagues in the media as a means of increasing awareness, as opposed to a record label who might employ similar bureaus but whose goal is to sell records for profit. But I can attest to the fact that in the background, plenty of promotional work is being done by this organization, which is seeing exponential growth for the time being.

Sons Of Death Valley

Tonight's opening duties have been given to Sons Of Death Valley, who are currently gearing up to release a brand new album this year as a follow-up to the decent, southern fried hardcore tunes of their debut "The Day Of Reckoning" from 2013. They start by their vocalist Dan planting his microphone firmly into the middle of the crowd as a means of igniting a pit from the beginning. Although he rejoins his colleagues on stage soon after, he and the rest of the band retain a solid display of energy on stage, as they tear through their southern hardcore tunes. Think Maylene meets Every Time I Die, where rock'n'roll fueled leads are contrasted against piercing yells and screams. Plenty of groove has, at least, a handful of people nodding along in the beginning, but it is for the raucous cut "Making My Way Back" that the energy tops and the crowd reaction lights up from anemic to reasonably vivid. "Mexican Standoff" is, much like on the debut, the obvious highlight and the first song of the night that can objectively be considered good thanks to its melodic guitar lines underneath the hardcore expression.

Sons Of Death Valley

Soon after, Prime heads Mirza and Jesper (incidentally, also the vocalist of Ghost Iris) join on stage to receive a bottle of American bourbon as an anniversary gift for Prime Collective, before crowd surfing their way out from the stage. It's telling that the band needs to ask people to get closer because the crowd is too sparse for the spectacle otherwise, which is the pattern not just during their set but also later on for Evra, as hinted at during the intro paragraphs. A song is dedicated to late Lemmy, which is a nice touch, but overall the set is way too inconsistent to impress. With as uncompromising material as ETID on the menu, the average quality of song simply needs to be better before this will work. A few good ones in 40 minutes overall isn't going to cut it.



After a short break, it's Evra's turn. The band, who have impressed live on several occasions ranging from Copenhell to Pumpehuset and other venues, are immediately recognizable as the more experienced bunch in a live setting. The amount of energy is tremendous with instruments being thrown around band members in the best Chariot-inspired style, which is fitting considering we still find ourselves within Every Time I Die influenced, southern fried hardcore with plenty of groove embedded. The audience, too, no matter how small, engages the band with people vaulting towards the stage to scream along early on, but the most activity takes place halfway their set during "The Curse Of The Moon", generating a decent amount of chaos in the pit. On stage, the band displays solid, convincing energy throughout, even if they are playing in front of a smaller crowd than the last few times we've seen them play: only a few people are going crazy in the crowd, rest are just sort of standing by watching, looking more like curious onlookers than hardcore Evra fans. Or it might just be that "Lightbearer" overall is likewise somewhat inconsistent, with three or four truly memorable songs while the rest feel a little more anonymous in comparison.


For the finale, the band selects the title track,"Lightbearer", where Prime Collective's Mirza (Siamese) joins in for a guest verse on vocals. It's a fine addition that gives their performance a little extra flair, which is much needed considering the less than ideal sound conditions that leave their already uncompromising soundscape feeling monotonous and unnecessarily harsh on the ear. As discussed earlier, HV is simply not a suitable environment for these types of concerts overall, which tonight goes over Evra's set.

Photos by: Kasper Erichsen

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