Copenhell Day 2 @ Refshaleøen (DK)

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GWAR / BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE / MAYHEM / PROTEST THE HERO / ANVIL / MORBID ANGEL / ALL THAT REMAINS / KVELERTAK / DOCTOR MIDNIGHT & THE MERCY CULT / PITCHBLACK / VANIR / THE NEW LOW / CREMATORIA

Date: 18th June, 2011
Venue: Refshaleøen
Ticket: 595DKK (€80)
Promoter: Live Nation
Photos: Erika "Camera On Metal" Wallberg


No rest for the wicked! Saturday started early and the main attraction of day two was ANVIL who strange enough was put on to open up the Hell stage. CREMATORIA played the upcoming stage when we arrived and the small place was rather packed. Their Death Metal sounded through pretty good and could be heard most over the area. CREMATORIA actually sounded really good. So there’s no wonder people dragged themselves out to see them.

But it sure was ANVIL that was the main attraction this day. The first line towards the security fence filled up long before the concert started. Sure, the move has boosted their popularity and of course, there were a lot of people there just because of that matter. But it was also people who knew their music, all of it. So it’s not just because of the movie they are on the big stages now. ANVIL was eager to show off their new release “Juggernaut Of Justice” and played the title track and very catchy “Fuken’ Eh!”. It can be so funny with ANVIL sometimes Lips behaves like he is on a small club and starts to talk to the crowd in the front row without the microphone. Just the ones closest will hear it and get what is all about. I suppose a few were wondering what was going on during Lips Richie Blackmore moment when he was standing at the edge of the stage playing a really crazy guitar solo. These small things make everything very intimate and separate ANVIL from all other bands. They are still doing what they always have been doing, the stages are just a little bigger. Lips dedicated “Thumb Hang” to the late Ronnie James Dio since it has that SABBATH-feel over it with a dark riff. He also tells a little anecdote about him meeting Dio in the past. ANVIL really is on fire now. It is clear the movie has helped them out, not only getting publicity and get on to the bigger stages, also boost their confidence and dedication even more. Today’s ANVIL is exactly what ANVIL always has been and that is great to see. Still, this is very much what ANVIL always has been, they’ve always sounded as good as they did at 'Copenhell Festival'. So as always, this again was an amazing concert by ANVIL.

ANVIL

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

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Sometimes it feels like the music scene is spinning on double speed and there are bands attracting thousands of people and I’ve never even heard of them. PROTEST THE HERO is one of them. Normally some notifications or lines are posted on the sites and zines I read but this was all new. Judging by the way the crowd looked it wasn’t for me. So perhaps, PROTEST THE HERO is something excluded from all the Heavy Metal zines. I suppose so because musically this was not for me at all and there was a lot of people in the bar listening to the DJ’s Heavy Metal instead. I won’t say anything more about them since I never gave them a chance... DOCTOR MIDNIGHT & THE MERCY CULT should have been watched but the festival had a lot of other nice distractions so time flew by too quickly. We did manage to catch a little bit of VANIR though. Still it was very hard to see something at that tiny stage in the middle of the festival. But according to the book, VANIR was dressed up in fur and other classic Forest Metal outfits, they had the traditional instruments (Flutes, hurdy gurdy and so on) together with the Rock oriented ones. They sounded great and if you are into FINNTROLL, KORPIKLAANI or TURISAS they’re absolutely worth checking out. For me they sounded a little too much like these bands but I’m not really into it either so I shouldn’t say too much about it.


But then again I was reminded about the new genre of bands and music that has passed by me totally. Ok, KVELERTAK I’ve heard about and read all the good reviews. And yes, they were really good at their thing. They are a little bizarre mix of everything, Emo/Screamo, Death Metal and some fantastic guitar playing. Their musicianship was really the highlight here, KVELERTAK are extremely tight and dynamic. They sure as hell know what they’re doing. But again, I don’t really get it. I guess I should listen more before judging but I don’t get it... But what’s even stranger than all these new bands is their fans behavior. I saw one of the security guards move and look angry during this concert just to realize someone actually was spitting and trying to hit the stage. Some succeeded, most not. But it’s not fun to be in the photopit and risking being hit by a glob. And then, is this the new way of greeting a band? If the opposite, why go there and be squeezed in the crowd just to make a statement? But even if I didn’t understand KVELERTAK fully, their musical skills made me curious so they will have more chances before being ruled out.

KVELERTAK

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

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MAYHEM is a bizarre experience in a completely different way. The most evil band in the world with a truly uncanny history still holds the mystery around them. I’m not sure that today’s version of the band has anything to do with the primitive sound delivered in the beginning of their career though. Even if it is powerful with the extremely fast bass drums but I think sometimes the power gets lost in the triggering. MAYHEM delivers but compared to last time I saw them, 'Getaway Rock Festival' in Gävle in 2010, this gig couldn’t live up to that one. I think it was the sound that was the main issue, it wasn’t the same clarity and intensity in it. Attila Csihar’s persona is one with MAYHEM unfortunately now, with GHOST around it do feel more theater than it used to. But even if the sound of today’s MAYHEM has gone the same way as many other Norwegian Black Metal band, to something well produced and clean they do sound really good on stage. I can understand the Old School fans think they’ve sold out because this band that hit the stage doesn’t sound much as the album “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” and I might agree a bit there. I don’t like the triggered sound very much, I like the more pure acoustic sounding drums. Of course, it would be kind of hard to get the same smack in the sound without the triggering, especially on a stage like this one. But in general I agree with the Old School fans, it should be less adjusted and rawer sound would be preferable. Still there’s something special about seeing MAYHEM, with all the history and stories around them. But who am I to complain? This sounded good and it was a cool show, the rest is just a matter of taste.

MAYHEM

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

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Then it was time for the biggest surprise of the festival. I’ve counted ALL THAT REMAINS in with the other modern Pop-core aggro three-cool-words-bands but damn was I wrong. First of all musically, rock solid, extremely tight and intensity not many bands can produce live. Then, visually, their appearance was even negligent sometimes, like they didn’t put any effort into the music at all. That can be a turn off for most bands but with ALL THAT REMAINS it actually suited the attitude. Bass player Jeanne Sagan looked very ordinary, just in her basic clothes. That’s not very common these days when women in rock normally are styled to their teeth, still a relief and boosted my interest in this band even more. Her talent as a bass player did a lot too of course. And it was good to see a woman, one who really can play and perform for real, just like the rest of her band. Even if ALL THAT REMAINS wasn’t (at the first glance at least) directly unique sounding they had a very special appearance. They are a modern sounding band but they look and behave like the old school. It really felt it was all about the music, the playing and enjoy it on stage. That really sets them on a different level for me, that really make them interesting. And of course, that they managed to create the intensity MAYHEM had in Gävle last year didn’t take it down. Awesome!!!

ALL THAT REMAINS

All That Remains @ Copenhell @  @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) All That Remains @ Copenhell @  @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) All That Remains @ Copenhell @  @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) All That Remains @ Copenhell @  @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) All That Remains @ Copenhell @  @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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At the Helveti stage BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE was getting ready when ALL THAT REMAINS ended their gig at the Hades stage. When these new bands started to appear I really tried to appreciate them but I didn’t think any held the standard when it came to song writing as the bands I listen to. A couple of years later, seeing TRIVIUM live, which was one of these bands, I really had to re-evaluate them. Now it’s time to do the same to BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE. Sure, they have had a lot of years to grow and develop since I discredited them. And they have grown and matured a lot, both for performance and in musical style. But I love to be proven wrong and can change my opinion when a band deserves it. I realized they have a lot of the old school Heavy Metal in their music, they have the twin guitars, the melodies and all of that. Not at all the Emo Core I had in mind it would be. They are still very modern sounding with the roots in the melodic Death/Thrash. Also, that are damn skilled when it comes to handle their instruments and they are fun to watch. It really could be felt that they have adapted to the big stages and how to handle a big crowd almost in the great IRON MAIDEN style. So it really is time to re-evaluate another band, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE sounded great and was really much fun to watch.

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE

Bullet For My Valentine @ Copenhell @  @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Bullet For My Valentine @ Copenhell @  @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Bullet For My Valentine @ Copenhell @  @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Bullet For My Valentine @ Copenhell @  @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Bullet For My Valentine @ Copenhell @  @ Refshaleøen (DK) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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Then the festival was over. I guess, a business trip to India with all that comes with it (yep, a stomach flu included) isn’t the best warm-up for a festival. It really didn’t feel good to leave when both MORBID ANGEL and GWAR were on the bill but the energy wasn’t there to see anything more. Thinking back it felt like the lineup was mainly bands I don’t listen to at all. Bands I’ve completely missed out on. Of course it’s impossible to keep track of everything going on in the Metal world but I was disappointed with not checking things up a little better before the festival, especially since all bands I saw did great gigs and sounded good even if it’s not what I listen to daily. Also, I really love when I have to change opinion about bands, which happened a lot here. And ‘Copenhell Festival’ was a really nice and friendly festival. Perhaps it was a little off in location which created chaos with the buses back to town when it was finished but still there was a possibility to walk too. The festival area was perfect with lawn slopes where you could sit and watch the bands, the bars, food and all the rest had almost an overcapacity for the crowd so no lines at any places. All in all, it was a great festival!

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