Copenhell Festival 2012 at Refshaleoen Copenhagen, Denmark

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Just as last year, the festival arranged shuttle buses that took visitors to the festival from the metro station and back again when the festival closed. It went really smooth and fast with the buses and there were no problems at all during the two nights. We fetched our passes and went into the area to see the first act for us which was the grindcore legends Brutal Truth. The weather was clear and the sun was shining and there were already a lot of people on the festival when we arrived and the bands that had played before we came in was Killswitch Engage and Skeletonwitch.




The stages was placed as the first year with the both stages pretty close to each other facing the grassy hill where a lot of people were hanging out drinking beer and having a good time. New for this year was the two video screens on each side of the Helviti stage so that everyone was able to see what was happened. Besides both stages, just as last year, there were two huge blow torches placed on containers that blew a huge ring of fire and smoke just before every show started. And just like last year, there were two narrators that presented each band on each stage in Danish.

Brutal Truth

The members walked on stage looking a little dazed and confused..wonder why? Or that was clear later on when the band asked the audience to throw up weed on stage because they wanted have something to smoke.

Band members are:

Sharp – lead vocals

Burke – guitar

Lilker – bass

Hoak – drums

The band didn’t mind that the number of people in the audience was pretty few they ran through the show like a furious mean machine anyway. The barefooted Sharp had a lot to say in between the songs like that he was broke and that the fans had to buy beer for him because he was so poor. It didn’t feel like Brutal Truth’s furious grind core was appreciated by any other of the solid fanbase that stood right below the stage and we could see that most of the people lay on the grass having a great time with their friends instead of looking at the show.



Sharp also said that the fans had a great day to look forward to with bands like Anthrax, Mastodon and All Shall Perish as well as the almighty Slayer. The show was over after about 50 minutes and we had been given a quite shaky and unfocused show. The band had done better shows than this but it was fun to see the legendary Brutal Truth in action once again. (Anders) it was fun for me to see Dan Lilker (Nuclear Assault, S.O.D, ex-Anthrax) on stage. Sharp said it had taken the band 20 years to get to Denmark and they apologized for that.




After that was it time for us to head over to the Helviti stage where Anthrax was about to go on stage. The stage was already set with a huge backdrop printed with the band logo on it and on each side of a huge drum kit was amps placed. When the clock hit 7 o clock ran the band out on stage to the cheers of happy fans.


“Caught In A Mosh” was the obvious first song and set the tone for the show. It transcended straight into “Worship” while Bello and Belladonna ran around like maniacs on stage. Today’s Anthrax consists of:

Scott Ian – guitar

Joey Belladonna – lead vocals

Charlie Benante – drums

Frank Bello – bass

Rob Caggiano – guitar

Belladonna said that it was great to be in Copenhagen and continued with presenting the next song “Fight ‘Em Till Your Can’t “. Belladonna was in a great mood and joked around with the camera man that filmed the show for the video screens. Belladonna jumped down to the guy and pointed the camera towards himself and the audience. It felt like the band really enjoyed the evening and the loyal fanbase that showed their appreciation for the band heavily during the entire show. Needles to say exploded the audience in joy when they heard the first notes of “Antisocial” and Belladonna let the fans sing the chorus and this song was the first crowd pleaser for the evening. Belladonna then asked if we were ready to do a war dance and kicked if “Indians”. “In the End” followed and straight after came “Got The Time”. Now it was time for Ian and Caggiano to take over the stage and by now was everyone in the band all over the stage. The sound was brilliant and it was still so bright that almost no stage light was needed. “Among The Living” continued the show and it was followed by “Madhouse”.





“Be All End All” closed the ordinary show and Belladonna said that if we wanted to see more and hear more of Anthrax they are coming back later this year together with Motörhead. The band left the stage as soon as the song was over but was called back by the audience and returned back a few minutes later. Belladonna thanked and said that he was a fan of Black Sabbath and especially the Ronnie James Dio era and that the band now was going to play one of his own favorite songs in “Neon Knight”. Before we leave Belladonna said "we’re going to play a song about a cartoon character and I think that you know what I’m talking about and say it with me  “I Am The Law”." Belladonna jumped down in the photopit and sang together with the fans on the front row. The experience was a little ruined because of the sound that disappeared in the middle of the song. But the mishap was soon over and Anthrax ended their appearance on top. Altogether lasted the show for about 70mins and both the band, as well as the audience, seemed to be really pleased.




Set list


Caught In A Mosh

Earth On Hell

Fight Em Till You Can’t



Wardance – guitar solo Ian

In The End

Got The Time

Among The Living


Be All, End All


Neon Knights

I am The Law

It was the perfect way to begin the festival experience with Brutal Truth and Anthrax and to our surprise it hadn’t rained at all yet. The rain had been dominating this summer in Sweden and Denmark and the sun has been like a mirage for far too long now. In awaiting for Mastodon went we over to the food stands to grab a bite to eat and there were actually more food to choose from compared to last year and that’s positive for sure.



The food stands were more scattered this year and was placed both at the entrance as well as over by the Hades stage which narrowed down the lines a lot, which was positive! We took a look at the merchandise stands while we waited and soon was it time to head back to the Helviti stage to see Mastodon. The crew had prepped the stage and we could see a backdrop with the cover of the latest album on it. And guess what, a few minutes later began it drip from the sky.


“Black Tongue” kicked off the show and it moved on into “Hand Of Stone” and the audience tagged a long right from the start. It felt like Mastodon was a really anticipated band and it was pretty obvious that the band had a really strong fanbase in Denmark. The show moved on with “Crystal Skull”, “Dry Bone Valley” and “Octopus Has No Friends”. Everyone who has seen Mastodon live before knows that there are hardly no talking in between the songs, maybe only a thank you and nothing more. Mastodon sure let the music do the talking. Others songs played were “Stargasm”, “Blasteroid”, “Crack The Sky” and “All The Heavy Lifting”. Just like Anthrax on the other stage had also Mastodon a great sound and the lighting was good too. The show ended with “Blood And Thunder” and that closed 1.15 minutes of Mastodon music.





Set list

Black Tongue

Hand Of Stone

Crystal Skull

Dry Bone Valley

Octopus Has No Friends



All The Heavy Lifting


Curl Of The Burl

Bedazzled Fingernails

Aqua Dementia

Iron Tusk

March Of The Fire Ants

Blood And Thunder

Mastodon delivered a solid and rock hard show but this bands music is something you ought to have listened to before you see a show with them. Their music can be quite complicated and it takes a lot from the listener, their albums are no easy-listening-pieces.


The dark had now set and the rain had stopped and it was time to walk over to the other stage to catch a glance of the French act Gojira. The band has currently released their highly acclaimed album L’ENFANT SAUVAGE and at 11 o clock was it time for the band to enter the stage.


The fans that had gathered to see the band welcomed their heroes with cheers and claps and didn’t stop until the band went of stage. The first song for the night was “Space Time” taken from the 2001 album TERRA INCOGNITA. “Clone” followed and we couldn’t but be impressed by the really tight and focused band that stood before us.

Gojira are:

Joseph Duplantier – lead vocals, guitar

Mario Duplantier – drums

Christian Andreu – guitar

Jean Michel Labadie – bass

The show continued with songs like “Backbone”, “Remembrance” and “Flying Whales”. Duplantier thanked everyone for being there and said it was great to be playing in Denmark. Then he introduced “Wisdom Comes” that was followed by “Orobours”. Unfortunately for the bands on the Hades stage the lighting was really poor and almost all of the bands stood in either darkness or in terrible red light. Luckily the sound worked better and it was a treat listening to songs like “The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe” and “Toxic Garbage Island”.





Then it was time for a song from the new album that came out at the end of June and it was the title track  L’ENFANT SAUVAGE. The last song for the night was “Vacuity” and as soon as the song was over left the band members stage and many of people in the audience had by then already moved over to the main stage in order to get real close to the headline act of the night – Slayer.

Set list

Space Time




Flying Whales

Wisdom Comes


The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe

Toxic Garbage Island

L’Enfant Sauvage


Gojira delivered a strong and solid performance and the bands technical and skilled death/thrash metal impressed everyone that saw them. After that we did what every else at the festival did and headed over to the Helviti stage to see the headline act Slayer. Since Jeff Hannaman is still suffering from the spider bite he got, Gary Holt from Exodus filled in for him on guitar and we were really eager to see Holt in action together with Slayer. Slayer hasn’t released an album since 2009 with WORLD PAINTED BLOOD, however, Slayer was one of the major reasons why I (Anders) went to Copenhell this year. There was a huge crowd that had gathered in front of the stage and at the stroke of 12.00 we could hear the intro and see the band walk on stage.


Araya walked on stage with a huge smile that he kept on for the entire show. It felt like he was really happy to meet the Danish fans and that he was really content with the show. “South Of Heaven” began the show and what better way to kick off a show? The fans went berserk right from the start and they stayed in that condition for most part of the show. Araya thanked the wonderful audience after the song and introduced the next song with screaming the title “World Painted Blood”.

The line-up was:

Tom Araya – lead vocals, bass

Dave Lombardo – drums

Kerry King – guitar

Gary Holt – guitar

“War Ensemble”, “Die By The Sword” and “Chemical Warfare” followed instantly as well as “Hate Worldwide”. King and Holt completed each other perfect on guitar and formed a mortal duo. Araya asked if we liked our freedom and that freedom can cost a lot and fired off “Mandatory Suicide” and we couldn’t but admire the band for its solid sound, the really tight performance and razor-sharp guitar duels. It felt like Holt was the well needed fuel-injection the band needed and Holt did an amazing job on stage. “Altar Of Sacrifice” headed straight into “Jesus Saves” before it was time to ram over the hungry fans with “Seasons In The Abyss”. Something worth mentioning is that Araya does less talking now in between the songs compared to what he used to do. Mostly the songs follow each other without any talking in between. Just as for the rest of the acts on the Helviti stage, the lights were really good and Slayer had also been given an amazing sound so there weren’t anything to make a mark on this night.




“Hell Awaits”, “Postmortem” and “Snuff” followed shortly and it felt a little strange not to see Araya headbanging like he did in the good old days but I guess his back-problems is the reason. “Angel Of Death” ended the ordinary set and the band walked off stage straight after the song had ended. Araya said thank you and he and the rest of the band left. But 1.10 wasn’t enough Slayer-time for the rabid fans and they shouted for more. Shortly came the band back and Araya thanked the fans and the festival for letting the band come and play and fired off the first encore “Dead Skin Mask”. “Rain In Blood” followed instantly and that magic song ended the excellent show. Slayer had been then playing for about 1.30 and as soon as the band left began also the majority of the people also get out of the festival area that now was almost pitch black and also quite cold.







Set list


South Of Heaven

World Painted Blood

War Ensemble

Die By The Sword

Chemical Warfare

Hate Worldwide

Mandatory Suicide

Alter Of Sacrifice

Jesus Saves

Seasons In The Abyss

Hell Awaits



Angel Of Death


Dead Skin Mask

Reign In Blood

By now had the clock turned 1.30 and we start to walk to the shuttle buses and begin our journey back to Sweden. We had a great first day that contained a lot of great music and even the weather seemed to be working in favor of the festival. This was over all a great start of the two day festival.


Check out the next page and read about the second day….