RAM

support Pectora
author AP date 09/02/16 venue High Voltage, Copenhagen, DEN

On a strong recommendation from our (currently inactive) extreme and classic metal aficionado Ellis ‘EW’ Woolley, I defy my urge to spend a quiet weekday evening at home and head out to Copenhagen’s premier nightclub for rock enthusiasts, High Voltage, to watch for once a band he enthuses about, yet has never had the chance to see: Swedish old school heavy metal revivalists RAM. Given Mr. Woolley’s insistence then, I expect that others, too, must be alert to their existence, and that the extraordinary decision to open the club on a weekday night to accommodate the group would pay off. Much to my dismay however, that is absolutely not the case, with the crowd sans the venue’s crew numbering 20 at the very most. Not exactly the setting I was hoping for, but what can you do?

Photos courtesy of Philip B. Hansen

Pectora

A hard rocking metal cocktail — that is how the members of Pectora describe their own style, and honestly it feels apt. Originating from Roskilde, Denmark, the group’s songs range from blazing power metal to grandiose ballads to sleazy hard rock, flash influences from far and wide, and seem whole-heartedly to embrace the 80’s heyday. They have in Kenneth Steen Jacobsen a powerful vocalist, and in guitarists Morten S. Nielsen & Søren Weiss Kristiansen (one of the brains behind Danish metal blog Blastbeast.dk), bassist Laurids Müller and drummer Nicolas Kraunsøe Frandsen an ensemble of talented musicians and fervent performers, but unfortunately it is only in flashes that their potential is fully realised. You absolutely cannot flaunt them for the technical aspects of the music, as Pectora deliver their songs as tightly and passionately as any. But listening to “Heavy Like a Rock”, “Temper Like the Devil” and final piece “Going Through Hell”, it becomes resoundingly clear that the band should consider scrapping their often cheesy power metal leanings, and focus on the more straightforward, retro-rocking style deployed in those. To me, it is here Pectora sounds most engaging, and looks most alive with smiles, guitar swings and other rock’n’roll gimmicks. Performance they already master; by building on the slick riffs and looming catchiness in the aforementioned songs, their full potential would be better harnessed.

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RAM

One must applaud RAM for waiving their right to suck in the face of this minuscule audience, as many a band forced into playing to a handful of enthusiastic fans, a couple of disinterested drinkers and otherwise a venue roaring with emptiness would not show such class. RAM plays tight, plays loud, and performs with an enthusiasm seldom seen under these circumstances, and rarely even at sold out shows, flooring the pedal and then blasting through ten badass heavy metal tracks taking barely a minute to breathe in between. ”I don’t give a fuck, this is my job!”, exclaims vocalist Oscar Carlquist after conceding that it is a Tuesday evening after all, his towering presence and intense performance soon inciting four headbangers upfront to reciprocate his and his compatriots’ best efforts to give the few of us who did elect to turn up our money’s worth. Seriously, Carlquist, bassist Tobias Petterson, his brother behind the drums Morgan Petterson, not to mention guitarists Harry Granroth & Martin Jonsson are expending energy as if playing to a maxed out arena, eyes blazing with determination. All the frills have been stripped, and what is left is five musicians just rocking out with terrifying vigour, looking as bona fide metal as they come. It’s fucking impressive.

Alright, so the setlist probably has been trimmed somewhat, but the 45 minutes that RAM’s performance lasts nonetheless make me wonder why the turnout is so poor? Absence of proper promotion? Lack of familiarity with the band? Whatever the reasons, watching the Swedish outfit shun any notion of balladry and bulldoze its way through one ferocious onslaught of purist heavy metal after another, convinces me that many a Danish metalhead is seriously missing out. With the level of technical proficiency and impassioned conduct on display here, it gives me the chills to imagine just how good RAM could be, playing to a sweat soaked, sold out club like, say, Loppen or Beta. Certainly based on the proceedings tonight, the quintet has earned itself a new fan in the undersigned — and if you are reading this, thinking ”that does sound pretty awesome…” but opted for the couch this past Tuesday, then make sure you make an appearance the next time they come to town. It should be a concert you won’t soon forget.

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Setlist:

  • 01. (unknown)
  • 02. Return of the Iron Tyrant
  • 03. Eyes of the Night
  • 04. The Usurper
  • 05. Under the Scythe
  • 06. Flame of the Tyrants
  • 07. Awakening the Chimaera
  • 08. Sudden Impact
  • 09. Machine Invaders
  • 10. Infuriator

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