Live review: RAM, Portrait and Trial in Merleyn, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, February 13th, 2018

On the evening of Tuesday February 13th, the big square in Nijmegen is a busy place to be. On that square is a giant tent packed with dressed up people celebrating carnival. However, for people with a better taste in music, those who don’t like carnival, or both, a little bit further is another party. There, in the nice venue of Merleyn, a nice collection of leather, denim jackets and heavy metal can be found. Three Swedish heavy metal band will enter the stage tonight. Their names: RAM, Portrait and Trial.

The opening band of tonight is Trial. When the first notes of Trial are heard there aren’t many people inside the venue yet. Instrumentally this band is playing a very solid, tight show. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be heard all the time because of the bad sound mixing. In particular guitarist Alexander Ellström shows a big dose of passion and shows some great solos on his guitar. The drums of drummer Martin Svensson sound very heavy and he even lets us hear some thrash metal drums at some points in the show. Vocalist Linus Johansson is a different story. Appearance-wise he looks a bit like a mix of Jim Morrison, David Coverdale and Steven Tyler. However, his vocal qualities aren’t comparable with these three great vocalists. As I already mentioned the sound quality was pretty bad, which could also be heard for a big part of the vocals. Most times, Linus’ vocals could hardly be heard in the audience. When his vocals could be heard, it unfortunately wasn’t of very good quality.

The second band of tonight is Portrait. This band plays a bit faster. Apart from some interfering sounds at the beginning of Portrait’s set, the sound quality is much better compared to Trial’s set. The vocals of Per Lengstedt can be heard much better and his vocals are of a much better quality compared to those of Trial’s Linus Johansson. The combination of all band members seems to be a good one and because of that relying on each other is no problem for these guys. For example, when vocalist Per Lengstedt accidentally stands on the cable of Rasmus Grahn’s guitar, this results in Rasmus playing his guitar in a somewhat clumsy pose. However, this doesn’t affect his playing. All in all, Portrait delivers a very solid, tight set.

After Trial and Portrait it is time for the headliner of tonight to enter the stage. Tonight, the headliner are the guys from RAM. They even play a little bit extra faster than Portrait did and play heavy metal as it used to be. Their fast, heavy and tight set contains a lot of energy. The big dose of energy coming from the stage also passes onto the audience. The audience got a bit looser and a lot of heads can be seen headbanging to RAM’s music. RAM delivers a very powerful set and literally rams their music onto the audience. This is a crushing show in which RAM shows us why they are tonight’s headliner. This clearly is the best, greatest and most impressive show of tonight.

Around half past ten the last sounds of RAM’s set can be heard, which means tonight’s shows are over. The necessary dose of heavy metal has been taken, with RAM’s show as a clear highlight.

RAM Official Website
RAM Facebook
Portrait Official Website
Portrait Facebook
Trial Facebook

1 Comment

  • It's obvious that the sound mixing destroyed for Trial. I've heard them several times irl and they sound just like they do at the cd.

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