Nordic Noise IV Day 1 @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK)

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'Nordic Noise Rock Festival 2017' - Day One

ARTILLERY / BULLET / VEGA / THE AMORETTES / HEADLESS / STATEMENT / MERIDIAN / JUNKYARD DRIVE

Date: 12th May, 2017
Venue: Remisen
Tickets: 450DKK (€60/$70) GA - 666DKK (€83/$93) VIP
Promoter: Mighty Music
Photos: Erika Wallberg


Apparently this was the fourth edition of 'Nordic Noise Festival', a lovely little event in the center of Copenhagen that I've missed completely the years before. Seeing the line-up this year though, it was definitely something I needed to attend. Just a thing that the VIP tickets included your own table with full view of the stage and close to the bar and a whole bunch of beers and shots... That's really VIP treatment!

Time management wasn't my friend this weekend and we slipped in the minute JUNKYARD DRIVE started playing. I really hate to be in the last minute but I didn't miss anything at least. The band really impressed when they opened for Mike Tramp at Beta2300 earlier this year, so I was eager to see if they could repeat the same success like last time and deliver yet another great set.

And absolutely they did; the bigger stage did them good too as it created a more dynamic show. They look very professional and move around like a massive arena band. "Drama Queen" got stuck from the previous show and it sure rocked here too. Again, Kris impressed with his vocal abilities, he has a fantastic nerve in his voice and manages both soft and very powerful passages. Another song standing out this time was "B.A.D", an up-tempo track with a great groove which really came to life when performed on stage. The catchy chorus worked well and all choirs were nailed with perfection. JUNKYARD DRIVE really nails this type of late ‘80s MTV Rock, still they manages to make it feel fresh and vibrant.

The only thing that didn't work as well this time was the "Geordie" song. It sounded great but the response from the crowd wasn’t the same way as at Beta2300. It was some sing-a-long but not like the last time when the crowd virtually took over. Still, it sounded fantastic and wrapped up the JUNKYARD DRIVE set which felt very short.

JUNKYARD DRIVE setlist:

01. "Pauline"
02. "Drama Queen"
03. "Natural"
04. "If You Wanna Rock"
05. "B.A.D"
06. "Geordie"

JUNKYARD DRIVE

Junkyard Drive @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Junkyard Drive @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Junkyard Drive @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Junkyard Drive @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Junkyard Drive @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Junkyard Drive @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Junkyard Drive @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Junkyard Drive @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Junkyard Drive @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Junkyard Drive @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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That there are a lot of great things going on in the Danish Metal scene I've gotten well aware of during the last years. When first coming across MERIDIAN, they really appealed to me, so seeing them at the 'Nordic Noise Festival' was something I was looking forward to. They still blew me away as they topped themselves performing live compared to the recordings.

The majority of the set was from latest album "Breaking The Surface", released in 2016. The one really standing out in the MERIDIAN show was vocalist Lars Märker who really sang his lungs out and it all sounded fantastic. It's hard to put words on it, but the power, force and energy MERIDIAN delivered their songs with, made it really special. This type of Prog / Heavy Metal is rather mellow but that was definitely not a word that crossed my mind during the MERIDIAN set. "City Of Holy War", which also has been released as a video, was one favorite from the set. Riffs and vocals were delivered with perfection. It all sounded awesome.

MERIDIAN's older material is a little bit different compared to the new album, "Narrowmind" worked perfectly with its forceful riff and melodic chorus. Like the set-closer, "Pure Celebration". Both have a much more modern (ironically) feel to them. Perhaps it's more the production than the songs themselves but I definitely prefer the more organic sound of the new material. It was an impressive performance though.

MERIDIAN setlist:

01. "Hero Forever"
02. "Bricks To The Wall"
03. "City Of Holy War"
04. "The Bravest Face"
05. "Narrowmind"
06. "Pure Celebration"

MERIDIAN

Meridian @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Meridian @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Meridian @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Meridian @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Meridian @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Meridian @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Meridian @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Meridian @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Meridian @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Meridian @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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I can't say that the STATEMENT’s stuff is what I listen to every day – actually, I never listen to this type of music. I'm not particularly fond of their rather plain Rock / Hard Rock type of music. This STATEMENT show didn't change anything on how I feel, but this also was a great performance. It was a lot of fun to watch and there's no doubt this band have their buzz going on for them. Compared to JUNKYARD DRIVE and MERIDIAN, the crowd joined up in front of the stage and supported them fully. It had been ok for the previous bands also, but it was one step up for STATEMENT. Vocalist Jannick Brochdorf is in your face really; he gets very close to the people in the front row on instances and it's hard to know if one should be scared or enjoy it. It feels like he looks a bit crazy on occasion.

I really liked the Heavy "Keep You Alive" though; the song's suggestive nature worked well live and again Jannick's way of performing suited the music. Softer "Heaven Will Burn" worked much better live than on record, as did groovy "Madness".

As with many bands, STATEMENT worked much better live than on record for me and they didn't leave anything to complain about with their musical skills. It was a very good performance and gave me a few more reasons for which maybe I'll come around and like it on record too.

STATEMENT setlist:

01. "Childhood Dreams"
02. "New Beginning"
03. "Keep You Alive"
04. "Heaven Will Burn"
05. "Part Of Me"
06. "Need To Know"
07. "Madness"
08. "Dropzone"

STATEMENT

Statement @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Statement @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Statement @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Statement @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Statement @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Statement @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Statement @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Statement @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Statement @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Statement @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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One of the sets I was looking forward to the most at 'Nordic Noise Festival' was Italian HEADLESS with Swedish vocalist Göran Edman. He was the fourth Yngwie Malmsteen related vocalist I saw in less than two months (the others were Jeff Scott Soto, Joe Lynn Turner and Graham Bonnet). I never managed to catch him (never seen the others solo before either) with Yngwie, so this was the first time I saw him live. And what an excitement it was when my curiosity took over and I had a glimpse at the setlist before they started to play, and saw "Save Our Love" listed...

But first, HEADLESS sure was a bunch of impressive musicians, flawless but still rocking hard. The attitude in the music was fantastic and they looked good doing it. It started very strong with "Melt The Ice Away" and even if Göran looked a little awkward on stage during the first half of the song, there was no shyness in the way he sang. The bouncy structure in "Where Dreams & Past Collides" worked perfect live and it all sounded great. While HEADLESS' music was rather new to me, Yngwie's is not and I was wondering how well Göran would pull off that song these days. Again, I had nothing to worry about. He nailed it, not that I had much doubt left after the first few songs but after "Save Our Love" it was clear that he still can do all the things he did some 25 years ago.

I was a bit surprised when "So Much Of A Bore" kicked off as that too felt like a ballad initially, but as the song developed, it made more sense. It's just the intro that is mellow, then it changes between fast and slow riffs and I really love it when songs are taken down to half-tempo on occasion. Another favorite from the set was "Good Luck Resized" with its mean and filthy riff and smooth chorus - it worked perfect as a live song. Even if I had high expectations going in to the HEADLESS show, they really topped everything and I couldn't wipe the smile off my face for hours after the show.

HEADLESS setlist:

01. "Melt The Ice Away"
02. "Where Dreams & Past Collides"
03. "Growing Apart"
04. "Save Our Love"
05. "So Much Of A Bore"
06. "The Backstabbers Around Us"
07. "Good Luck Resized"
08. "God Of Sorrow And Grief"

HEADLESS

Headless @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Headless @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Headless @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Headless @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Headless @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Headless @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Headless @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Headless @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Headless @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Headless @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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It doesn't matter how I twist and turn it, when a band's music gets too Rock-oriented, it doesn't sound appeal to me. Sure, THE AMORETTES sound very good and compared to other newer all-girl bands, they sound good for real; they rock hard and really have earned their spot on the bill because they sound fantastic, and not because they are girls. It's stupid to have to point it out even but there's been so many times I've been utterly disappointed when the new hotties are about to play the major stages.

And again, just as for STATEMENT, THE AMORETTES went down pretty well as a live band. They had great energy, sure knew how to rock and that Hannah and Heather created a very solid and groovy foundation with bass and drums sure helped. Also, with the live-volume they felt like a young GIRLSCHOOL on occasion with "Get What's Comin'" as an example and I liked that. Also "Son Of A Gun" rocked hard. The only thing that bothered me a bit was that it felt like Gill was screaming a little too much all the time and forgot to sing. On the few occasions she did, her scratchy voice fit the music like a glove, it increased the dynamics while the screaming just became hysteric.

For "White Russian Roulette", THE AMORETTES was joined by Lasse from LUCER who sang the song which was cool of course and added a little more intensity to the stage. It's always hard being a trio to fill a stage. THE AMORETTES did that very good too but it sure takes less effort and the stage almost looked too small adding Lasse.

So, even if I'm not particularly into THE AMORETTES sound, they did a very good set which I appreciated much more than I thought I would.

THE AMORETTES setlist:

01. "Stealing Thunder"
02. "Let The Neighbours"
03. "Get What's Comin'"
04. "Son Of A Gun"
05. "Bull By The Horns"
06. "Give 'em Hell"
07. "White Russian Roulette"
08. "Hot And Heavy"

THE AMORETTES

The Amorettes @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Amorettes @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Amorettes @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Amorettes @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Amorettes @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
The Amorettes @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Amorettes @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Amorettes @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Amorettes @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Amorettes @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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There were a lot of bands on the bill that are slightly outside of what I listen to and VEGA was one more of them. But again, hard work and a professional performance gets me going. On occasion I really liked what VEGA did, like with the opening "Stereo Messiah". It's really too soft for my taste but when the song has a good melody and hold some melancholy, it works. On other times they felt more like an after-ski band and it got too cheesy for my taste. I need some more filth and grease. That comment can mainly be signed vocalist Nick Workman. He's a very good singer but has that boy-band-pretty thing going and a very bright voice which work if the music is darker but the ordinary Rock-songs from VEGA's set fell a bit flat. Of course, it's all a matter of taste.

I don't know if something changed towards the end of the set because I liked it all much more towards the end. All three songs, "White Flag", "Wherever We Are" and set-closer "Saving Grace" sounded really good. I think it was the same thing here as with the first song out, a little bit of melancholy in the melodies and good dynamics that did the trick. How well VEGA stood against other bands in the same genre I don't know as I don't listen to this at all. But they sure know what they're doing and left very little to complain about with their musical performance.

VEGA setlist:

01. "Stereo Messiah"
02. "Kiss Of Life"
03. "Gonna Need Some Love Tonight"
04. "Every Little Monster"
05. "Explode"
06. "What The Hell"
07. "Hands In The Air"
08. "White Flag"
09. "Wherever We Are"
10. "Saving Grace"

VEGA

Vega @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Vega @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Vega @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Vega @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Vega @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Vega @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Vega @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Vega @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Vega @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Vega @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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It was some time since the last time I saw BULLET and apparently I've missed the member changes completely, so it was kind of a surprise to see the band hit the stage now. It's always fun to see them though as they always put on a good show which was the case now also. I love the sign they drag around with BULLET in light bulbs looking as something dug up from the ‘70s. The good thing with it is that it brings some more lights to the stage. There was actually nothing to complain about with the stage-lights here - it was good and bright all day.

The title track from latest album "Storm Of Blades" with the new feature of an angle-grinder making the sparks fly. An awesome way to create a special fire-works effect if you ask me and it sure doesn't get Heavier than real power-tools. This is perhaps old these days but apparently it was more than 3 years ago I last saw BULLET. "Riding High" became a favorite; it felt Heavier and a bit more epic than normal for BULLET and that went down really well with me, plus "Heading For The Top" always works live.

The thing though with the New Wave Of Swedish Old School Metal which BULLET definitely pioneered is that a lot of bands are focusing on energetic shows and these bands have passed BULLET when it comes to energy and frenzy these days. BULLET is still one of the top live-acts from Sweden but they don't have the same fury as they had when they first started. There are other things that they have instead and perhaps I've been spoiled since I mainly have seen them at 'Muskelrock' where they can come up with all sorts of crazy stuff, since it's their home venue. So this in comparison peeled off show became a bit different compared to the other shows I've seen. Plus, the set was broken off with pre-recorded intros for a few songs which also took down the pace a bit. One thing though was the oracle in the amp (or whatever it was, I didn't see it too well) as another new feature. Crazy but a good match to the Rock 'n' Roll circus.

The tracks closing BULLET's set, "Bang Your Head" and the last "Bite The Bullet", are live-favorites and work really well. So, in general, it was a very good set but I expected more from BULLET than what they delivered.

BULLET setlist:

01. "Storm Of Blades"
02. "Riding High"
03. "Heading For The Top"
04. "Rolling Home"
05. "Pay The Price"
06. "Turn It Up Loud"
07. "Dusk Til Dawn"
08. "Pr. Phibes"
09. "Hammer Down"
10. "Stay Wild"
11. "Bang Your Head"
12. "Bite The Bullet"

BULLET

Bullet @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Bullet @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Bullet @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Bullet @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Bullet @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Bullet @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Bullet @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Bullet @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Bullet @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Bullet @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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In a way, I was supercharged to see ARTILLERY play the whole "Fear Of Tomorrow". On the other hand, I think the last few records have been fantastic too and I haven't seen them play these songs. But it was definitely a cool thing to see, so all good with that. I really like what Michael Bastholm Dahl does on stage as well. He brings some attitude and fury to the show which gets the others going too. ARTILLERY has always sounded fantastic live but on occasion I've found myself focusing on people around me rather than the show. Of course, there were more new faces in the band since the last time I saw ARTILLERY. And even if the musical performance wasn't as flawless as they used to be, I prefer this, it was fun to watch and rocked hard.

And there sure was a good flow in the show, delivered song after song. I love "The Eternal War" and "Deeds Of Darkness" and it's awesome to hear ‘em live. There was a mess-up made by Michael towards the end of the set and he started to talk about the next song just to have Michael Stützer comment something like: “how about to finish the record first..”. I love these things with small and intimate festivals, there's no need for a microphone, everything you say and do on stage will show. The "Fear Of Tomorrow" part was closed with fantastic "King They Name is Slayer" and "Into The Universe". I really liked it that it wasn't the record from start to end; it was a good thing the songs were mixed up a bit which, of course, made me worry that they would leave out some tracks. But they did "Live By The Scythe", one of my absolute favorites from the most recent "Penalty By Perception". It shows that this song is written with Michael's voice in mind as he could show much more of his capacity here and it made me urge for seeing ARTILLERY play new stuff even more.

The whole night was wrapped up with the title track from "Terror Squad" and superb "By Inheritance" got represented in "Khomaniac". A great ending of a fantastic first festival day, I'd say.

ARTILLERY setlist:

01. "The Time Has Come"
02. "The Almighty"
03. "Show Your Hate"
04. "The Eternal War"
05. "Out Of The Sky"
06. "Deeds Of Darkness"
07. "Fear Of Tomorrow"
08. "King They Name Is Slayer"
09. "Into The Universe"
10. "Live By The Scythe"
11. "Terror Squad"
12. "Khomaniac"

ARTILLERY

Artillery @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Artillery @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Artillery @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Artillery @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Artillery @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Artillery @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Artillery @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Artillery @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Artillery @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Artillery @ Remisen, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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