Copenhell Day 1 @ Refshaleøen (DK)

SLAYER / GOJIRA / MASTODON / ALL SHALL PERISH / ANTHRAX / BRUTAL TRUTH / KILLSWITCH ENGAGE / SKELETONWITCH / THE INTERBEING / RISING / BARRICADE

Date: 15th June, 2012
Venue: Refshaleøen
Ticket: 2-Days 715DKK (€95)
Promoter: Live Nation
Photos: Erika Wallberg


There is something very convenient with city Festivals. Ok, ‘Copenhell Festival’ isn’t directly in the city center of Copenhagen but just a 100DKK or 30 min walk away. There are buses as well but during the good hours, when the rest of the festival visitors are traveling they are sort of packed. But anyhow, ‘Copenhell’ is one hell of a nice festival even though it is more mainstream than the ones I normally attend. And with a huge promoter as Live Nation arranging the whole thing there are some really spectacular features here, take the mascot for example, this year drawn by no other than Derek Riggs. That alone is just awesome.

We arrived and checked in just in time for SKELETONWITCH. I discovered this band a while back when they had released their second album “Beyond The Permafrost”. I really liked their mix of new school and old school Thrash, which make this band stand out a bit. Of course, this style of music is not very unique but there are fewer bands that can make it work and do something fairly unique with it. And, the fact that SKELETONWITCH have a lot of action going on on stage while playing is absolutely a plus as well. The fact that they perform in a real Metal way and have their own identity makes this band feel very genuine and true.

One downside though is that the vocals tend to be very brutal most of the time, more towards Death Metal rather than melodic Thrash. Not that Chance Garnette, sounds bad at all, rather the opposite but with this type of music, a monotone voice will take down the grade a bit. SKELETONWITCH also played a few tracks from their latest release “Forever Abomination”. So all in all, this was a fantastic start of the ‘Copenhell Festival’, sure seemed promising for the rest of the weekend.

SKELETONWITCH

Skeletonwitch @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Skeletonwitch @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Skeletonwitch @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Skeletonwitch @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Skeletonwitch @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Skeletonwitch @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Skeletonwitch @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Skeletonwitch @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Skeletonwitch @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Skeletonwitch @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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Then it was just to pass the bar turn around and wait for the next band to start playing. KILLSWITCH ENGAGE were the first ones out on the Helveti stage. SKELETONWITCH played the Hades stage. (There is also one smaller stage called Pandaemonium). When it comes to KILLSWITCH ENGAGE I can’t say I’ve been very motivated to listen to them for real, I have a few friends that really like them but for me it never really got stuck. A live experience can absolutely change a thing like this although this didn’t happen for me with KILLSWITCH ENGAGE this time. And this is mainly due to guitar player Joel Stroetzel and his frenetic jumping up and down onstage. I actually found that really annoying. And another thing with these new sassy bands that I don’t get is the spitting, why the hell would you like to spit on your favorite band (I just assume that is the way for people squeezing in the front), but what is even harder to get is the band spitting back at the crowd.

But I can’t say anything negative about KILLSWITCH ENGAGE’s way of handling their instruments, they are extremely tight and a well oiled live machine. And the variation between brutal and melodic is fascinating; Jesse Leach really handles everything from the softest to the most brutal way of singing, still not a favorite genre of mine though. KILLSWITCH ENGAGE ended their set with the DIO Classic “Holy Diver”, a perfect song for an event like this of course since most anyone, at any age knows it and sure, it sounded ok… I’m not sure I buy in to a song like that performed in a poppy aggro way though.

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE setlist:

01. "Fixation On The Darkness"
02. "Rose Of Sharyn"
03. "Numbered Days"
04. "This Is Absolution"
05. "Self Revolution"
06. "Take This Oath"
07. "Vide Infra"
08. "Temple From The Within"
09. "The Arms of Sorrow"
10. "A Bid Farewell"
11. "Life To Lifeless"
12. "My Curse"
13. "The End Of Heartache"
14. "My Last Serenade"
15. "Holy Diver"

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE

Killswitch Engage @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Killswitch Engage @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Killswitch Engage @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Killswitch Engage @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Killswitch Engage @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Killswitch Engage @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Killswitch Engage @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Killswitch Engage @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Killswitch Engage @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Killswitch Engage @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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And then to something completely different on the Hades stage! If KILLSWITCH ENGAGE is the new brutal stuff, BRUTAL TRUTH is the old school brutal music. I can’t say that Grindcore really has been a favorite genre of mine either but I really wanted to see BRUTAL THRUTH. Mainly because Dan Lilker is really cool and I’m a huge fan of NUCLEAR ASSAULT. And I’ll be damned, sometimes magical things happen onstage. There’s nothing to compare KILLSWITCH ENGAGE or SKELETONWITCH with BRUTAL TRUTH when it comes to moving on stage, on comparison BRUTAL TRUTH was anything but mobile. But they appeared so much more intense than the other two. The first time I experienced this was seeing BLACK SABBATH on stage and especially then Tony Iommi, he just smiles and lurks around on stage but it still is magical.

Also, vocalist Kevin Sharp is really intimidating, not one I would like to meet in a dark New York alley, and of course this increases the good impression of BRUTAL TRUTH. Even if I still don’t really appreciate the style, this was by far the best of the three bands I’ve seen on this year’s edition of ‘Copenhell Festival’.

BRUTAL TRUTH

Brutal Truth @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

Brutal Truth @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

Brutal Truth @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Brutal Truth @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Brutal Truth @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Brutal Truth @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Brutal Truth @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Brutal Truth @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Brutal Truth @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Brutal Truth @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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Well, until now I can say I’ve been overly familiar with the bands on the billing even if I’ve know of them of course. But ANTHRAX at least is one of the first bands I really dug into. And one band that has been firmly great every time I’ve seen them live. Ok, it was a bit strange to see them play with Andreas Kisser at the ‘Big Four’ tour so it was great to have Scott Ian back at the guitar.

And again ANTHRAX did a fantastic concert. I’m not sure how Joey Belladonna can do what he does, he is a bit over 50 but keeps running all across the huge Helveti stage throughout the show. Sure, that almost anyone should be able to do but to sing and sound as great as he does straight through also is truly impressive. Then what setlist that was! After all these (for me) semi unknown bands it was good to get some real classics. I mean, to start a set with “Caught In A Mosh” followed by “Got The Time”, if you don’t like these two you can’t be an ANTHRAX fan. Apart from the classics ANTHRAX has also added two from “Worship Music” into the set, “Fight ‘em ‘til You Can’t” and fantastic “In The End”, which I really like because bands need to get their new music out as well. All went down well with the audience too, it’s hilarious to see drunk people dance the “Indians” dance.

Towards the end of the set ANTHRAX inserted the old BLACK SABBATH classic, “Neon Knights”. All Metal heads are fully aware of Ronnie James Dio’s vocal capacities but I’ll be damn if Joey didn’t pull this one off flawlessly as well. I realized after the show I couldn’t remember much but Joey Belladonna, I had been watching him most of the time. But he did an amazing performance, if course he couldn’t have done it without the rest of the band.

ANTHRAX setlist:

01. "Caught In A Mosh"
02. "Got The Time"
03. "Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't"
04. "Antisocial"
05. "Indians"
06. "Hymn 1"
07. "In The End"
08. "Among The Living"
09. "Madhouse"
10. "Be All, End All"
11. "Neon Knights"
12. "I Am The Law"

ANTHRAX

Anthrax @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Anthrax @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Anthrax @ Copenhell @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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