Marionette

support Trusted Few + Siamese Fighting Fish
author AP date 01/10/10 venue The Rock, Copenhagen, DEN

Having seen Marionette supporting Blessthefall last year, the prospect of seeing these up-and-coming, fiercely intense melodic death metal youngsters live again; and having the chance to listen to Trusted Few's new album live; and watching one of the most exciting Danish bands at the moment - Siamese Fighting Fish - for the fifth time; quickly escalated into an unmissable event.

Siamese Fighting Fish

For once, Siamese Fighting Fish were the bottom of the bill. Vocalist Mirza Radonjica remembers to thank the Rockfreaks.net crew for always being there, which warms our heart, but the performance he musters up tonight is far more freezing. His voice in songs like the brilliant "K.I.T.T. and the Heroic Villains" is toned down in the parts where it's most dearly needed, and his injured ankle prevents him from the usual, spastic showmanship that we have come to love and expect. His colleagues are doing their best to compensate, but the overall impression that I and the remaining scribes in attendance share is that something is putting a major damper on the SIFIFI party tonight. The fact that we have seen these guys so many times by now might be saturating their show, but for a band that plays as often as SIFIFI, wouldn't it make sense to differentiate their product a little more? Where in the past the band used to be renowned for their unpredictability (dressing up as ninjas, playing cover songs, etc.), their show now seems almost too rehearsed; their setlist almost always exactly the same. Call me callous, but the SIFIFI mania appears to be on the decrease. Here's hoping that the new album will rectify the situation.
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Trusted Few

While not the headliner tonight, Trusted Few are the reason most people are here tonight. It is the first of two release parties for their new album, "And Then We Forgot", and with the exception of "Dance Dance" from the "Futatsu" EP, it is these new songs that comprise most of tonight's setlist. Now, judging from the live renditions of these tracks, the divide between the band's pop and metal selves has grown even more vast, so if you weren't a fan of their mix of genres before, you certainly won't become one now. The problem is that the band's crossing over from one extreme to the other sounds much less dynamic now, with brutal breakdowns and guttural growling leading straight into poppy, melodic parts driven by bassist Andreas Juliussen's soaring clean vocals and vice versa. It should be said in this context that those clean vocals have undergone a drastic improvement since the first time we used to rock out to this band in the city's basement venues. Not to mention that the band's showmanship is better than ever. Vocalist Johan Pedersen sings and screams with a passion even SIFIFI's Mirza would have trouble living up to on his good days, and performs with an honesty and charisma that belies the band's experience and age. Sometimes on his knees, sometimes bending back in tantric postures, it isn't hard to tell that he breathes through his music. Andreas on the bass likewise feeds off the crowd's enthusiasm to bounce around incessantly on stage right while sporting a huge, appreciative smile. So, the verdict, you ask? Well, while the new music does not live up to my personal expectations, the live show is as good as ever (though perhaps still best experienced on a slightly smaller stage).
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Marionette

I remember deciding that Marionette swept both Blessthefall and Bury Tomorrow under the carpet with their performance at the Joiners last year. And despite the thinning crowd leading up to and during their set tonight, Marionette are not put off: they know that their intense take on melodic death metal exceeds the threshold for extremity that fans of the previous two bands (who comprise the vast majority of the crowd tonight) probably have, and are instead keen on proving their worth to the ten-or-so of us who know and appreciate what they are about. Clad in white shirts and black suits - and wearing considerable amounts of make-up - Marionette are dressed to the nines, and despite coming across as a bit too flamboyant, their dress benefits their performance. This is a band that wants to put on a show - an impression further consolidated by the frenetic individual performances by each band member. This is not your typical melodic death metal band - Marionette are fucking insane. There is a certain bloodthirst in the sneering eyes of vocalist Alexander and bassist Mikael, and the unrelenting speed of songs like "Flies", "Creatures" and "Black Hand" does little to assure us that one of those two wouldn't suddenly descend into the crowd and maim us with a large butcher knife (remember Michael Myers?). Solid stuff.
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