Iamfire

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author AP date 27/05/14 venue Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN

Following his less than amicable exit from The Haunted in 2012, the band's now former vocalist Peter Dolving has largely busied himself with his obscure solo project House Of Dolving - an endeavour I have personally not been able to get into. It was a damn shame, his departure from one of my favourite metal bands, and so understandably it was a great sense of curiosity that struck me when the name Iamfire was announced on the Copenhell billing at the end of March, and I discovered that it was a band in which Dolving had joined forces with ex-Hatesphere bassist Mikael Ehlert, as well as guitarist Peter Olsen and drummer Ulf Scott Hansen.

All photos courtesy of Christian Søes / Blurred.dk

Late last month, the 'supergroup' of sorts announced a handful of pre-Copenhell warm-up shows, no doubt in order to grease the machinery and gel the four members together before such a high profile concert. The first of these shows (and indeed the band's first-ever show) was scheduled to take place at Loppen in Copenhagen, and needless to say, there was no way I was going to miss such an opportunity. I remember listening to a handful of demos available on Soundcloud some weeks ago, and on that basis I felt fairly confident that Iamfire dealt primarily with stoner rock, albeit there was a pervasion of other stylistic influences audible as well, affording the band a very distinct sound.

And I stand by that first impression when the quartet walk on stage and, following a brief final sound check, launch into "My Mistake"; a song that stretches into the mysterious darkness of Tool, with an upper fret bass riff and gradually swelling volume dictating the proceedings. The vocals are initially too low in the mix, but as the track proceeds, there is no denying its strength, especially as Scott Hansen lets rip with some remarkably inspired drumming in the latter half. Iamfire look extremely reserved at first, each musician glued to the ground and Dolving's customary charisma nowhere to be seen. But once the audience gets the gist in track three "Magpies and Crowes", so too, do the band members grow more relaxed, Dolving especially beginning to show signs of what has always made him - to me - one of the best frontmen in metal.

Through his trance-like demeanour of movements and expressions, Dolving lives and breathes the music, going absolutely mental, recalling his past psychotic self fronting The Haunted in the following song (marked on the setlist is "For What It's"), collapsing to the ground and kneeling with both hands around his microphone to deliver its entirely clean sung lyrics with infatuating passion. The other members are but shadows of this maelstrom of energy, but it's easy to tell they're having a blast, Scott Hansen especially slamming his skins like he means business, with a massive grin on his face. Scott Hansen's drumming prowess is again on display on "Compliments of the House", and I also note down multiple times the telepathy between Ehlert & Olsen in delivering thick, infectious grooves and dreamy progressive passages.

This is not a tantalising performance by any measure, but given its their live début, there is huge promise here for a riveting party at Copenhell in less than two weeks from now. Once the short-but-sweet set concludes with "Burn Your Halo Red", I, at least, leave the venue satisfied and eagerly awaiting the group's concert at the festival.

Setlist:

  • My Mistake
  • Inside
  • Magpies and Crowes
  • Beamer
  • Compliments of the House
  • Eyes Wide Open
  • Did You Find Your
  • Burn Your Halo

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