OZZY OSBOURNE / KREATOR / ALICE IN CHAINS / DEFTONES / AT THE GATES / EXODUS / TAINTED LADY
Date: 22nd June, 2018
Ticket: 1340DKK 3-days (€179/$201)
Photos: Erika Wallberg
One reason for leaving early the first day was that another band I really wanted to see played very early on the second day. The Danes of TAINTED LADY have really impressed me on earlier occasions when I’ve seen them and now, when I also had the opportunity to dig in to their debut full length “How The Mighty Have Fallen” this was a no miss. I am really overwhelmed with the upcoming scene in Denmark, there are so many good and very interesting bands and what is even better is that they get a really good support, both from fans, friends and other bands. That doesn’t often happen in Sweden.
Anyway, TAINTED LADY took on the Pandaemonium stage that lovely Friday and it sounded as good as they always do. Opening “Song Of Reckoning” is a very dynamic one and should lure people in to the set. And if that wasn't enough, “Open Minded” should do the trick. I really enjoy the drive and dynamics TAINTED LADY have in their music. With brand new “Fever Dreams” that they're still on that good track of catchy 70's Heavy Rock. Michael Catton's voice suites the music perfectly, he has just enough rasp to make it a little dirty. Something that really stands out in the more mellow songs, like “On The Loose” and perhaps even more so in the ballad “The Best Of Days”. I was surprised that it actually showed up in the set, first because bands nowadays not really play ballads live. I was thrilled to hear it though. That Bluse-y feel the song has, the same nerve as LED ZEPPELIN's “Dazed And Confused” which came through even better live than on record. Absolutely fantastic performance, something that shall be mentioned for the whole set. Set closer was another new one, “Seven Billion Souls” which just proved further what a fantastic band TAINTED LADY is.
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'Copenhell' Friday offered a quite hectic schedule so it was just to run off to the Heveti stage where EXODUS were getting ready to play. It feels a little strange to not have Gray Holt in the band of course but the dynamic HEATHEN duo with Lee Altus and his armorer Kragen Lum surely works fine too. I love to see both of them play, the energy especially Lee radiates is fantastic and it always puts me into a good mood when he is on stage. Well, I think Steve “Zetro” Souza contributed to that quite a lot too. He is like a big lovely teddy-bear with mood-swings (which are needed to portray the aggression in the music), in most cases he’s just big and cozy just to flip over to rather scary here and there. “Blood In, Blood Out” and “Deliver Us to Evil” surely are favorites and it was hard to behave in the photo-pit, I really felt like joining in with the front row of the crowd but had to settle with screaming along to the songs, for that moment at least.
EXODUS is a band that has been with me for a very long time. It was one of the first Thrash Metal bands I and my friends discovered on our own when buying “Fabulous Disaster” by chance, just because it looked very cool. I still love that album and of course, everything else the band has done. Which made this set something really cool. “And Then There Were None” is another favorite so the mood-boost sure was on right from the start.
“A Lesson In Violence” also brings back special memories as that was the last show I saw with Paul Baloff. When Steve had jumped ship and Paul was brought back in in the mid 90’s, also resulting in a live album with the same title. I’m really happy I got to see him on stage as I missed the early days. But I was equally happy when Steve rejoined for “Tempo Of The Damned” which also made “Blacklist” a treat.
If I could have picked I’d rather have had the title track from “Fabulous Disaster” rather than “The Toxic Waltz” but judging by the crowd EXODUS did the right pick here. I still really like it and almost pass out when trying to scream along, it’s a hell lot of words in one breath I tell you. That EXODUS wrapped up the early afternoon with “Strike Of The Beast” didn’t slow things down at all really. But why should they? It was such a positive energy around this gig which might sound strange for a band playing as brutal music as EXODUS. But it was great fun seeing them and this show would for sure be hard to beat by any band.
01. “Funeral Hymn”
02. “Blood In, Blood Out”
03. “Deliver Us To Evil”
04. “And Then There Were None”
06. “A Lesson In Violence”
08. “Bonded By Blood”
09. “The Toxic Waltz”
10. “Strike Of The Beast”
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I was quite surprised when Anders Björler announced his departure from AT THE GATES but here, as well as for NIGHTWISH, the atmosphere in the band felt much more joyful which actually does a lot for the whole perception. I know this kind of music shouldn’t be cheerful but the good vibe surely enhances the performance and especially the connection with the crowd.
AT THE GATES always sound perfect but this definitely was the best live performance, when it comes to energy and so I’ve seen with the band. And of course, there’s also an ounce of nostalgia baked in to it all. “Slaughter Of The Soul” is another album I’ve listened to a lot so it is always great to hear these songs live. It was no exception this time. The title track came as second one out then “Cold” and “Under A Serpent Sun” towards the middle of the set and “Nausea” in the middle of the second half. So that album had really good representation which worked fine for me. Tompa Lindberg walked from side to side of the stage, constantly boosting the crowd. It is good support for brutal music in Denmark and AT THE GATES surely went down well with the 'Copenhell' crowd. The massive volume in the photo-pit made those first few songs especially powerful though. Even if I like much of the set more than those first couple of songs, in particular “Blinded By Fear”. But there's not really the same thing getting the regular volume for a song, being out in the crowd as it is right there in the front.
But as mentioned, this was the best AT THE GATES show I've seen since the reunion. It had great energy and it was fun to watch them play.
AT THE GATES setlist:
01. “Der Widerstand” (taped)
02. “To Drink From The Night Itself”
03. “Slaughter Of The Soul”
04. “At War With Reality”
05. “A Stare Bound In Stone”
07. “The Circular Ruins”
08. “El Altar Del Dios Desconocido” (taped)
09. “Death And The Labyrinth”
10. “Under A Serpent Sun”
11. “The Chasm”
12. “Heroes And Tombs”
14. “Suicide Nation”
15. “The Book Of Sand (The Abomination)”
16. “Blinded By Fear”
17. “The Night Eternal”
AT THE GATES
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There was a lot of 90’s nostalgia at the 2018 edition of 'Copenhell'. I did listen to DEFTONES and liked it a lot back in the days which made me look forward to this show very much. But I have to say that I didn’t get it at all these days. Again, just as with PARKWAY DRIVE and ASKING ALEXANDRIA, it didn’t have anything to do with their performance. It’s just the style I can’t get my head around. And this day it was so many bands that fit my taste, that too made it hard to take in what DEFTONES did.
But yes, the “White Pony” album spun quite a lot and I would be lying if I say I didn’t enjoy to hear the tracks out of that one. “Elite” first and then “Knife Party” which came later in the set.
I’m not sure though, if the line-up this year didn’t really comply to what normally is on as it didn’t feel as crowded most of the day shows as it normally does. Bands do get good support at 'Copenhell', there is nothing to say about that. It goes for all bands on the bill. But towards the back the lack of interest showed in a different way compared to other years when some bands played.
02. “My Own Summer (Shove It)”
03. “Around The Fur”
04. “Swerve City”
06. “Digital Bath”
07. “Knife Party”
11. “Diamond Eyes”
12. “Change (In The House Of Flies)”
13. “You've Seen The Butcher”
14. “Rocket Skates”
16. “7 Words”
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Then it was just to run over to the Hades stage where it was time for KREATOR. In recent years KREATOR have delivered fantastic sets and outstanding performances. It's as brutal as it needs to be and it's good to see bands of this size still managing to have some sort of stage prop with them on tour. The lights though have been another story; it has been extremely hard to get anything decent out of those three first songs that allow photography. This day however, since it was some daylight still helped and the massive set opened up a little in the back-lights.
The show now was a killer from start, “Phantom Antichrist” is a smack in the face and it all sounded awesome. “Hail To The Hordes” and “Enemy of God” hold the same class as well. The delivery by the band and the sound were fantastic as well, loud and clear. Another one, which perhaps isn't my favorite of the new record, “Gods Of Violence” but worked extremely well live was “Satan Is Real”. It's always good with a chorus where it is possible to shout along and that song certainly does. Then I like the title-track better so I was happy to see that one as a part of the set too.
Many bands these days seem to have found new energy to play, Mille Petrozza too seems to be in a very good place at the moment. His live performance is great and the KREATOR records released in the last 10 or so years have been fantastic. It's not the same frenzy as the classics of course and I could have taken a few more old ones and I saw a few more around me waiting for the same. The big mass of people watching seemed to be very happy with what was played. I got my treat in the end with “Pleasure To Kill” though so I'm not complaining at all. And it was just to put this one in the pile of great KREATOR performances I've seen over the years. Impressive and intense set and I kind of felt done for the night with this.
01. “Mars Mantra” (taped)
02. “Phantom Antichrist”
03. “Hail To the Hordes”
04. “Enemy Of God” (with “Army of Storms” intro)
05. “Satan Is Real”
06. “Civilization Collapse”
08. “Gods Of Violence”
09. “Fallen Brother”
10. “Hordes Of Chaos (A Necrologue For The Elite)”
11. “Violent Revolution”
12. “Pleasure To Kill”
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Of course I had to stay for Ozzy as well. You never know how many opportunities you'll get with these classic bands and musicians before they call it a day. However, I think Ozzy have felt a little tired for quite some time though and his performance at 'Sweden Rock Festival' some weeks prior to this one didn't really bring my head around. I still think it's cool that he's out playing though and songs as set-opener “Bark At The Moon”, “Mr Crowley” and “I Don't know” are classics and are always good to hear. Again the photo-pit was closed but in this case I can understand it better than for the other bands. Here there also were guards walking around the place to check if cameras were used out in the crowd.
It still felt like much of the crowd stuck around just to see him one last time though as the response from the crowd was quite mild. Of course, it was freezing cold at this point which kills even the best of parties. I still enjoyed to hear “Fairies Wear Boots” though, it's one of my favorite BLACK SABBATH tracks which makes it good to hear but I really don't mind that the majority of the set is Ozzy solo material. “Suicide Solution” and “No More Tears” are both great and was good to hear. The song I liked the most though was “Shot In The Dark”. That album is great and the song in particular is a favorite.
But I don't know, comparing this to the total energy boost delivered by KREATOR can't be done. It all sounded good, almost too good and clean on occasion. But that fun, party feeling sure wasn't there. Perhaps it was a joy overload earlier in the day that impacted the impression here as well. So with the encores I called it a night and leaving the place to “Mama, I'm Coming Home”, which ironically sounded fantastic (and that proves why it always is a bad idea to leave early), the second day of 'Copenhell' fun ended. There were more on the bill of course but the weather didn't allow for any more hangout this day.
OZZY OSBOURNE setlist:
01. “Bark At The Moon”
02. “Mr. Crowley”
03. “I Don't Know”
04. “Fairies Wear Boots” (BLACK SABBATH song)
05. “Suicide Solution”
06. “No More Tears”
07. “Road To Nowhere”
08. “War Pigs” (BLACK SABBATH song)
09. “Miracle Man” / “Crazy Babies” / “Desire” / “Perry Mason”
10. “I Don't Want To Change The World”
11. “Shot In The Dark”
12. “Crazy Train”
13. “Mama, I'm Coming Home”
14. “Paranoid” (BLACK SABBATH song)