The thing with Black Metal is that it was supposed to be the most forbidden and evil ever so it becomes a bit strange when this genre becomes clean and trendy. For my benefit though, I like it. I love brutal music but I like it too when you actually hear what the band is playing so I’m happy at least a part of the scene has taken a step away from the most primitive. When it comes to IMMORTAL, well 2009’s “All Shall Fall” sure was a favorite album of that year. One amazing piece if music from a great band and Very amusing. There is a contradiction to put this kind of music together with the gimmick to go along with it on a stage like Helveti. Hell, there was a girl in a pink tutu in front of me dancing throughout the show while Abbath was doing his trademark walk.
But this sure was a really good concert! The sound was fantastic, there really is a benefit with concerts in Denmark because there’s no chance in hell there’s a 105dB volume limit here. And with the smoke, with the volume, with the show and with the music this sure was fantastic. Sure, from a musical view I prefer the newer stuff so “All Shall Fall” as an opening track, perfect. Of course, getting some tracks from previous album “Sons Of Northern Darkness” was nice as well. But even for the older material, when played at the same sound, with the same attitude and skills as of IMMORTAL today, this sure is perfect. Just as Biff Byford, Abbath has the habit of chewing gum during his shows… I’ve never seen Biff mess that up, or Abbath either for that sake, not until now at least. Seeing him struggle with gum in his hair was both painful and funny. But it was a very good show, even in daylight. The smoke and lights did everything even if it probably had been more effective in the dark.
Frankly, IMMORTAL was the last band I wanted to see for real on this edition of ‘Copenhell’. I’ve seen all of the remaining bands more than once before and none of them had done any special impact on me. But what I have to give TRIVIUM here, is that there was one hell of a pressure in the photo pit at least. I can’t even think of an occasion previously when I’ve experienced such fury and then I’ve been in the photo-pit for METALLICA at Ullevi Stadium when 50.000 people went berserk.
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Perhaps I haven’t given TRIVIUM a fair chance because I wrote them off quite early as standard pop music when it comes to song structures. Then, if you can predict exactly what comes next in song it gets boring even during the first spin. But live, sure it works a lot better. They have catchy songs and they are rather easy to learn. I must say I’m still amazed by the response TRIVIUM got. I realize I’ve underestimated this modern Metalcore genre’s popularity.
I have to admit I was pretty blown away by TRIVIUM this evening. I still don’t appreciate the music and I haven’t listened much to what they’ve done in the last few years. But they are a very well oiled live machine. There’s a perfect drive to their performance and that they shall have credit for. So sure, I was actually pleasantly surprised by TRIVIUM, it was far more enjoyable to watch them play at the ‘Copenhell’ than I imagined. Perhaps I’ve judged them wrong?
01. "In Waves"
02. "Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr"
05. "The Deceived"
06. "Dusk Dismantled"
07. "A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation"
08. "Down From The Sky"
09. "Throes Of Perdition"
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And perhaps I’m really far off here and put LAMB OF GOD under the same genre as TRIVIUM but regardless of style, they both are Americans, play catchy but yet brutal music. And just as it was for TRIVIUM, the pressure in the photo pit was immense. The crowd was absolutely crazy for LAMB OF GOD too. Still I guess the main focus on LAMB OF GOD lately has been wither Randy Blythe is guilty of manslaughter due the injuries a Czech fan sustained when being pushed off stage by Randy. A very unfortunate event of course!
If this fact affected LAMB OF GOD’s performance here at ‘Copenhell’ I’m not the one to say, it was a few years since I last saw them and a lot of things had happened since. Then they appeared quite shy opening up for SLAYER and that certainly is far from equal with LAMB OF GOD today. One thing all these American Metalcore bands have though is normally a very good stage appearance. It is explosive, aggressive and very expressive and all these things in combination make it much fun to watch. LAMB OF GOD opened the set with two songs from their latest release “Desolation” which in time for the festival had been out for about half a year. After the title track followed “Ghost Walking”, a track also released as a single prior to the album launch.
Even if this not really is my style of music either I have to admit LAMB OF GOD did a very good show, everything sounded fantastic. And to my own surprise I was digging it far more than I expected. In fact, all these Metalcore bands did good jobs, of course for my taste the more Brutal they are, the more they suite me. So out of those (like KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and TRIVIUM etc.), LAMB OF GOD really won. And with this knowledge I really wish I would have listened a lot more to them prior to the festival.
LAMB OF GOD setlist:
02. "Ghost Walking"
03. "Walk with Me In Hell"
04. "Set To Fail"
05. "Now You've Got Something To Die For"
08. "The Undertow"
11. "The Number Six"
12. "Laid To Rest"
13. "In Your Words"
15. "Black Label"
LAMB OF GOD
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And then the festival was over for this year. I did watch some of SOULFLY as well but this was mainly for the chance to get to hear a few SEPULTURA classics, so “Refuse/Resist” was of course nice. And that track closed this year’s visit to ‘Copenhell’. MARILYN MANSON was still on the bill to come of course but that really wasn’t for me. I read both good and bad things about his performance on other concerts around this time. But nothing can beat his ‘Dynamo Open Air’ performance from 1997. Then Evan Seinfeld from BIOHAZARD had to come to MARILYN MANSON’s rescue and ask the unforgiving crowd to stop throwing mud on stage. Sure, he was hated there but that made the performance so much better.
As a festival, ‘Copenhell’ is absolutely amazing, easy access, great area and a lot of different events happening, the cinema and Metal DJ’s already mentioned. Also there was an art exhibit happening, American photographer Peter Beste’s show of Norwegian Black Metal. Of course, the concrete campsites (named Burton and Dio) perhaps isn’t the most comfortable but it’s there and gives people a chance to stay in the area to very fair price. The lineup wasn’t all in my taste of course but I must say all bands really impressed me (apart from the spitting), musically so and so, it was the live performances that was the deal, doubtless. So, out of the bands I didn’t expect anything from GOJIRA won, overall nothing could beat Joey Belladonna this time, ANTHRAX was absolutely phenomenal and performed just as energetic as the newer bands so the overall title goes to them. So, it will be exciting what Live Nation can come up with for the next festival, a strong lineup, doubtless but everything around is just as fascinating as that.