FLOTSAM AND JETSAM / PECTORA
Date: 13th April, 2017
Tickets: 180DKK (€24/$25)
Photos: Erika Wallberg
It starts to feel a bit stupid now since I start every review with "I've never heard of the opening act prior to the show". Ok, I've never been that deep down in the Danish underground scene which is apparent here. So yes, PECTORA was a new encounter and I must say I was really surprised when they started playing. As the saying goes, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but whether you like it or not you will and the only thing that matters is how fast you let it go. So, just by looking at PECTORA I expected much harder and heavier music. Vocalist Kenneth Jacobsen looked a lot like the Swedish Viking Johan Hegg (AMON AMARTH) and considering that the band the opening slot for Thrash Metal legends FLOTSAM AND JETSAM it was a rather big surprise when his very melodic and clean voice sounded through the speakers. And that was what we were talking about, dark and melodic Heavy Metal. With a very special touch though as PECTORA had some very interesting harmonies, vocal lines and phrasing of both riffs and vocals. So, right from initiating “Democracy In Disguise”, it was clear that this would be a very pleasant encounter.
It was somewhere in the first half of the set when drummer Nicolas Kraunsøe Frandsen went a bit over the edge with the choirs, screaming quite a lot. But what I loved with this was that it made the music vibrant, perhaps not the neatest moment of the show but a clear receipt that PECTORA is a true live act. Everything played live and what you hear is what you get and that is cool.
One of the songs that really stood out was the epic “Valley Of Dreams”, again fantastic melodies and vocal lines and mighty fine dynamics in the music. Also, “No Regrets” sounded great. So what can I say? I admit to be a bit ashamed that I don't know bands as good as this prior to the show. I should have checked out PECTORA before they took in the Beta2300 stage, they deserve a lot more attention. The good thing though, was that they made an impact on everyone around me at least and I will definitely know better for the next show.
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The last couple of times I've seen FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, they've basically killed all competition around them, playing “No Place For Disgrace” at ‘Keep It True’ for example. But also opening for DEATH ANGEL, who are one of my favorite live-acts, that time at Sticky Fingers in Gothenburg but I'll be damned if FLOTSAM AND JETSAM didn't win that match.
Add to this the killer self-titled release from last year with the opening track “Seventh Seal” that is absolutely fantastic. It sounded amazing live at Beta 2300 too; it really sent shivers down my spine, both of excitement and bliss. Eric A.K's voice is fantastic these days, the tone he's found on the more recently released records is top class and absolutely one of the best in the genre. He, of course, sounded good on the classic albums as well but it is a few steps up nowadays, especially when it comes to the tone, emotion and nerve in his voice. But hell yes, “Dreams Of Death” and “Hammerhead” worked too. And it took a few songs, some old school ones to get the crowd going for real. The funny thing, it wasn't really the classic looking metalheads present; there were were pretty regular guys for the most but everyone around me knew absolutely everything FLOTSAM AND JETSAM played.
But they didn't really have it easy playing Beta2300, borrowed drums at least and judging by Jason Bittner grunts between the songs getting everything back in position as they didn't seem to hold together. Everything sounded as it should though and that is impressive, to not let the not-cooperating gear effect the result of your playing. And that goes for the rest of the band too. Both the sound and the music were great, super-tight and so much energy.
Of course, it was the old school tracks that got the most frantic response but it was good to hear the crowd chant for some new stuff too. “Iron Maiden” was the first that got stuck from “Flotsam And Jetsam” as it stands out quite a lot with the very IRON MAIDEN-styled riffs and vocal lines. It got rawer live though which fitted the track really well. Again Eric did an amazing job with this one.
I was actually rather surprised that FLOTSAM AND JETSAM played at Beta2300 as it is a rather small place and I'm even more surprised it wasn't packed out. It was a very good crowd though; the atmosphere was very pleasant and positive. And it must have been quite close to full at least.
It all escalated further towards the end of the set for “No Place For Disgrace”, “Doomsday For The Deceiver” and “I Live You Die” which ended the fantastic set at Beta2300. And seeing FLOTSAM AND JETSAM putting on a performance like this one, makes it hard to take in that they're not bigger. I love to see bands at a small and intimate place because I appreciate this so much more than a stadium-type gig but judging by songs and musical performance, it sometimes feels that between FLOTSAM AND JETSAM and METALLICA should have been the other way around.
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM
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