Psy:Code

support Boil + Anoxia + Ripe
author PP date 01/04/10 venue Råhuset, Copenhagen, DEN

Situated right int he heart of Copenhagen, Råhuset isn't a new building as it has been used for diverse cultural events and even the Vesterbro Festival in the past, but it has only been a couple of months since the place was transformed into a small concert venue around the same size as BETA or the old Stengade 30. It's quite a cozy place and you can get up close and intimate with the bands, and perhaps this is why Target Distribution chose it as the venue for Target Label Nights, a three evening music event in which three different labels belonging underneath the Target umbrella would receive one night each to showcase some of their best artists. The first night was dubbed the metal night, given the heavy artillery of Mighty Music's roster, with Ripe, Anoxia, Boil and Psy:Code on the bill, all up-and-coming Danish artists capable of pulling a decent showing tonight.

Ripe

This evening's first act were Ripe, an act that promises to be "true metal" on their Myspace page. Before you roll your eyes, let me assure you that you absolutely have the right to do so, because Ripe undeniably belong to the gray mass of stereotypical heavy metal bands to whom innovation is an alien word from another galaxy. A touch of power metal here, a some unsurprising vibrato vocals there, but overall Ripe fits right in with the hundreds (if not thousands) of their colleagues from Germany who lack the drive (or perhaps the will) to bring something new to the genre. It's not a good sign if after two songs you're checking your watch and nervously eying the setlist to see how many more songs the band has left - a tendency visible pretty much throughout the crowd that dissipated rather quickly towards the bars. The only positives about their set were the blinding solos and the performance stance of the vocalist that reminded me of the dude from Dragonforce, but overall, it was a set that lacked any conviction whatsoever.

5

Setlist:

1. Anywhere From Here

2. Razorblade Kiss

3. Backstabbing Promise

4. Sweet Little Sin

5. Kill Cupid

6. Funeral For A Kitten

7. Derelict

8. Anthem Of Fire

Anoxia

Although instrumentally a million billion times more interesting listen, Anoxia's performance wasn't much better than the failure of Ripe to impress me just before. We're still in heavy metal territory, but the riffs are significantly better and more thought out, and technical and fast when they need to be. The vocals aren't much to hooray for just yet, but they are passable I guess, and perhaps better than that if you happen to be a big heavy metal fan. However, while musically AnoxiA leave Ripe far behind, their static, stand-still, show-no-emotion stage performance doesn't earn any points from me whatsoever. Having seen close to 500 different bands perform live, it's just not enough for me when a band doesn't show enough passion on stage about what they are doing (if they are passionate, they must show it better). It's a combination of that and the fact that it is fairly stereotypical heavy metal that keeps the crowd rather disinterested as well. Oh well.

Setlist:

1. Cold Violence

2. Lapdance For The Devil

3. The Tale Of Jimi And Janis

4. Lonely Ride

5. Risky On The Rocks

6. Last Situation

7. Hell Bent For Heaven

Boil

There are exactly two reasons why Ripe and Anoxia seem so average tonight. One of them is Boil, and the other one is Psy:Code. These two bands are just so much better in every conceivable way than those two, that no matter what they do or play, they'll automatically feel like the winners if this was a competition. And this is exactly what Boil show throughout their set. Complicated, technically awesome, progressive, experimental rock that leaves no-one cold in the venue tonight. Granted, they sound exactly like tool from the chord progressions to the identical tone of their lead vocalist, but who the fuck cares, Tool is a great band and if you can emulate their sound successfully, kudos from me. The crowd agrees with me and now you have a few people living every riff - big fans of the band I guess - and the rest of people banging their head, and just standing in awe over how solid Boil's music is for such a young Danish band. And as opposed to the first two bands, everything Boil does on stage screams conviction. They don't move much either, but there's passion in the way these boys handle their instruments, and that's more than enough for me to recommend anyone into Tool / A Perfect Circle to go check these guys out live. Once we get acclimatized with the new material, I'm sure even higher grades are within their reach.

7

Setlist:

1. Transition

2. Sleepwalker

3. Faceless

4. Welcome Tragedy

5. Forgotten

6. Hypersomnia

7. Clarity

8. Bound

Psy:Code

In the end though there's no doubt which band the crowd came to see tonight: Psy:Code. Heads are banging more than at any point before, people are moving, and the band are putting on a solid performance, highlighted by their vocalist Schou's energetic, crushing performance that draws parallels to the way Martin of The Psyke Project behaves on stage. He constantly bends his body up and down to intensify his screams and moves about as much as he can in the small space allocated to him, even making a short lived stint to the crowd area to draw up support from the people watching. Pretty much the only downside of the set is how unclear the vocals are even with good quality ear plugs on; it's hard to detect those brilliant small bits of melody embedded into the screamed vocals. Otherwise, not much to complain about Psy:Code's set; a good - albeit not dazzlingly so - set of modern Danish metal, one that I'll almost certainly be witnessing many more times in the future.

Setlist:

1. Set it loose

2. Prodigal fucker

3. Web of lies

4. Fundamental state of mind

5. Cut the queen

6. No regrets

7. As we fail

8. Do/it

P.S. Great night, great vibes Target. The free beer + jäger shots were a great addition and important to achieving the right showcase atmosphere. More events like these, please!

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