Copenhell Festival 2012 at Refshaleoen Copenhagen, Denmark

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The first act out on the second day of the festival was the British legends Saxon at the Helviti stage at 2.30. We got a little delayed because of problems with the train over the bridge and we could hear Saxon play when we came to the entrance so we hurried up to the stage and we think we only missed about 15 minutes of the show.


We were in time to hear the last notes of “I’ve Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)” and luckily we were in time to hear “747 Strangers In The Night” that followed. We were so late that Anders couldn’t get into the photo pit.

The members was as always:

Biff Byford – lead vocals

Paul Quinn – guitar

Nigel Glockler – drums

Nibbs Carter – bass

Doug Scarratt – guitar

During the show a patched denim vest was thrown up to the stage and Nibbs put it on and had in on for most of the show. Byford asked if we wanted to hear a slow or fast song and the fans shouted for a fast one. Byford announced “20.000 ft” and the crowd loved the choice of song. Byford and Carter was the once who moved around the most on stage. Byford told us that the next song was written when the band got a letter from a convict in America sentenced to the death penalty and inspired from that they wrote “To Hell And Back Again”. At the end of the song Glockler fired off a shorter drum solo after which Byford said that it was time for Mr. Quinn to kick off the next song which was “Crusader” – needles to say another crowd pleaser.




As in most songs,  the crowd sang along and the mood was high not only amongst the crowd but also on stage. Byford praised the weather and said that when they performed at the Download festival it rained. He dedicated the next song to the fans and it was the classic “Denim And Leather” and Byford invited the fans to sing a long on their own in the chorus. Byford said that he hoped to see us in Wacken and that they are going to bring along the eagle to Germany. The band continued to spit out classic songs such as “Motorcycle Man”, “Strong Arm Of The Law” as well as the last song “Princess Of the Night”. As soon as the last song was over, they thanked the fans and headed off stage.






60 minutes went by really fast, for us 45 minutes, and we were really sorry that we had missed the beginning of this excellent show. It’s strange that the band got so little time to play when the rest of the acts got 90 minutes to play and why on earth put them on so early during the day?


Set list

Heavy Metal Thunder

Hammer Of the Gods

Power And The Glory

I’ve Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)

747 Strangers In The Night

20.000 ft

To Hell And Back Again


Denim And Leather

Motorcycle Man

Strong Arm Of The Law

Princess Of The Night

The sun was actually shining also this day and we visited the Pete Beste exhibition before it was time to walk back to the area to see the next band. It felt like the organizers had put some serious efforts into making the area work even better than the last year and they had really managed to do so. The only negative thing was that there were no meet and greets like last year. A meet and greet is a great way for the fans to meet their idols and vice versa. Meshuggah on Helviti was our next pit stop and the band currently released their album KOLOSS earlier this year. After the narrator had presented the band was the stage filled with smoke but with no band. About 10 minutes after scheduled time came the band out on stage and finally kicked off the show.


Meshuggah began their show with “Demiurge” and while the intro played Kidman stood with one foot on the monitor starring crazy at the audience. “Pravus” followed instantly and while the songs was played came more and more smoke on stage and it felt like the smoke machine also had went crazy. “Combustion” followed as well as “Lethargica”. If you’re not a fan of the band it can be pretty hard to grasp the content and the essence of the music and this kind of music doesn’t stick to your brain at once. Two songs from the new album was played in “Do Not Look Down” and “The Hurt That Finds You First”. Meshuggah was really tight and the band consists of extremely skilled musicians. And by the judge of the huge amount of people are the band as loved in Denmark as they are in Sweden.





The band members are:

Jens Kidman – lead vocals

Fredrik Thordendal – lead guitar

Tomas Haake – drums

Mårten Hagström – rhythm guitar

Dick Lövgren – bass

“New Millenium Cyanide Christ”, “Future Breed Machine” followed and the song “Dancers To Discordant System” closed the show and 70 minutes of Meshuggah had ended.




Set list





Do Not Look Down

The Hurt That Finds You First


Rational Gaze

New Millennium Cyanide Christ

Future Breed Machine

Dancers To A Discordant System

Meshuggah delivered a rock solid show. Kidman is a ridiculous yet potent frontman that sure knows how to get a crowd in the right mood. The only negative thing was the smoke machine that made it hard to sometimes see the band. But it felt like both the band as well as the fans were really happy with the show and that is what counts.



Korpiklaani was the next act on the Hades stage and that booking had to be the most unexpected one for this year. While the hardcore Korpiklaani fans had gathered in front of the stage I (Ulrika) sat on the hill looking at the band. I didn’t have any plans on forcing myself into the pit looking at a band I hadn’t heard before, I was content sitting on the hill getting a first impression of the band.


We counted six members on stage including instruments like accordion and harmonica and violin. It was full speed ahead with the bands polka metal and the singer/guitarist Järvelä thanked the fans for being there and supporting the band. He said that this was the first time the band performed in Denmark. Songs that was played included “Hunting Song”, “Journey Man” and “Wooden Pints”. Järvelä said that the Danes sure had some really good beer and that the next song was about beer and firs off the song “Beer Beer” which was followed by songs on the same theme like “Happy Little Boozer” and “Tequila”. Some of the fans danced on the spot to the songs and there was no doubt that Korpiklaani was quite popular. “Vodka” was the name of the last song on their 50 minutes show and when it was over looked the members quite happy with what they have seen and experienced during their first show in Denmark.





Well, we thought that Korpiklaani was one of those bands one can miss and not be sad over. There was nothing at all that impressed us or made us want to hear more.

Something that I  (Anders) want to bring up to the table was the situation in the photo pit. There were far too many photographers in the pit at the same time and it was really hard to do your job and get good pictures. There were also a few that had photo passes but no cameras that was in the pit, taking photos with their cellphones…..come on!


Over to the Helviti stage then and Immortal. As soon as the narrator had presented the band the stage was filled with smoke and everyone waited impatient for the madness to begin.


(Ulrika) First on stage was drummer Horgh who entered to the notes of a majestic intro. He sat down behind his drums and behind started the backdrop rise and we could see a fullmoon rise. It was a really cool beginning. From each side then entered Abbath – lead vocals, guitar and Apollyon – bass, b-vox and fired off the mighty “All Shall Fall” followed by “Sons Of Northern Darkness”. Abbath said that Immortal finally had arrived to Copenhagen and the fans welcomed their favorite act warmly. Abbath moved around and across stage during most of the time and we got to see his famous crab walk live. “Damned In Black” and “Triumph” followed and Abbath seemed to be very pleased with the feedback from the audience.




In the middle of “The Sun No Longer Rises” Abbath was about to spit out his chewing gum but it ended up getting tangled in his hair. Not such a black metal moment seeing Abbath getting furious ripping chewing gum out of his hair maybe. The bands black metal worked really well on a sunny evening but would have gained a lot in adding a second guitarist in order to create a more full sound picture. “Tyrants”, “The Call Of The Wintermoon” was followed by “One By One” and “Battle In The North” which was the last two songs and Abbath said thank you and he and the members walked off stage.





Set list

All Shall Fall

Sons Of Northern Darkness

The Rise Of Darkness

Damned In Black



The Sun No Longer Rises


The Call Of The Wintermoon

One By One

Battles In The North

Immortal should no doubt have been scheduled to play much later in the evening when it had gotten dark, their music suits the night much better than late evening with sunshine. However did the band pull off a great show with a perfect set list.

While a few went over to Biergarten, the rest of the crowd went over to the Hades stage where Trivium was about to begin their performance. The band is still touring on the 2011 album IN WAVES and the bands mallcore/thrash metal has gained quite a huge fanbase. Judging of the huge amount of people that had gathered in front of the stage, Trivium has a pretty loyal fanbase in Denmark.


The show began instantly with the title track from the last studio album “In Waves”. Beaulieu and Gregoletto had some serious headbanging going on and when the second song “Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr” followed had the crowd already reached the boiling point. Heafy said that it was great fun to be playing in Copenhagen and to be seeing so many friends. He wanted to see everyone jump in “Rain” and that’s exactly what he got. As soon as the song began, everyone in the crowd began to jump and it was fun to see that the band got such a warm welcome for the first time. The show quickly continued with “Black”, “The Deceived” and “Dusk Dismantled”. Heafy urged the fans to form a mosh pit and the fans obeyed him and granted his will.




The band members are:

Matt Heafy – lead vocals, guitar

Corey Beaulieu – guitar

Paolo Gregoletto – bass

Nick Augusto  drums

Heafy said that the band loves to perform in Europe and that Trivium is coming back in October/November with As I Lay Dying and Caliban. “A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation” continued and “Down From The Sky” and “Throes Of Perdition” ended the show.




Set list

In Waves

Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr



The Deceived

Dusk Dismantled

A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation

Down from The Sky

Throes Of Perdition

Trivium delivered a solid and edgy short show that only lasted for 45 minutes. The only negative thing with the show was the length otherwise was this a solid performance by one of the hottest and biggest acts in this genre at the moment.

Well, it was only for us to rush over to the other stage to see the Lamb Of God show that was about to kick off and a huge crowd had already gathered in front of the stage eagerly waiting for the band to go on stage. This show was clearly one of the most anticipated ones to judge by the number of people and at 9.30 kicked the show off.

Lamb Of God

The fans went crazy when they heard the intro and the show blasted off with “Desolation” that went straight into “Ghost Walking” both songs taken from the new album RESOLUTION. The show continued rapidly with “Walk With Me In Hell” where Blythe sang "Walk with me in Copenhell" which was highly appreciated by the fans and ran around on stage like a madman from the beginning of the show to the very end.  Blythe thanked the fans for their support and fired off “Set To Fail” and “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For”. Lamb Of God also organized the biggest mosh pit of the festival and it was quite a vision to see. “Ruin”, “Hourglass” and “The Undertow” followed and now when the dark had begin to set could we see the lighting on the stage properly and it looked really nice. Blythe said that one of the most coolest places in the world are Christiania and said that the Danes are really cool to let Christiania exist inside Copenhagen. (Christiania is a freetown within Copenhagen that was founded in the late 60’s by people who wanted to have an alternative lifestyle and to be able to smoke pot freely).





“Omerta” and “Contractor” followed and it felt like the audience greeted the newer songs with open arms. After 70 minutes it was time to close the show and the last two songs was “The Number Six” and “Laid To Rest”. But that wasn’t all because the fans wanted to hear encores so the band shortly came out again and fired off “In Your Words”, “Redneck” and “Black Label”. That song set 85 minutes of pure mayhem on stage and Lamb Of God sure pulled off the most intense and sweaty show during these two days.


Set list


Ghost Walking

Walk With Me In Hell

Set To Fail

Now You’ve Got Something To Die For



The Undertow



The Number Six

Laid To Rest


In Your Words


Black Label

Many of the people had already left the show during the last encores in order to see Soulfly on the smaller stage and we also made our way to the other stage. The announcer on the Hades stage came out and said that everyone who had bought Copenhell t-shirts should wear them with pride because the festival had increased and doubled the amount of people to 8000 paying visitors this year.


Soulfly entered the stage just when the first rain drops attacked the area….and what’s the deal with Copenhell and rain? The rain has partially poured over the festival three years in a row now. The rain didn’t stop the most hardcore Soulfly fans to give the band a warm welcome. The show began with “World Scum” that went straight into “Blood Fire War Hate” and again did the poor lighting fail on the Helviti stage. The lighting and the eager smoke machine made the band stand in either darkness or in fog which made it really hard to see the band. However, the members are:

Max Cavalera – lead vocals, guitar

Marc Rizzo – guitar

Tony Campos- bass

David Kinkade – drums

When Cavalera introduced “Refuse/Resist” you can believe the madness amongst the fans. Despite the huge fan-support it didn’t seem like Cavalera was in great mood and the same went for his voice. He sounded tired and not good at all and after having heard so many great growlers during the festival it was painfully obvious that time has taken its toll on Cavalera’s voice. As for Anders who have been to numerous shows with Cavalera through the years, and even witnessed the first ever show wit Sepultura in Scandinavia, it was a big disappointment to see this sad show. The new drummer and bass player didn’t add much to the equation and did a performance that is easy to forget. Kinkade was nothing compared to Igor Cavalera. “Prophecy” and “Back To The Primitive” followed but Cavalera had problems to get the crowd going and many left to get good spots to see the headline act that was going to perform after Soulfly on the other stage.




After “Intervention” which included an instrumental jam as well as a few notes from “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath it was time for a drum solo and everyone but Kinkade went off stage and the crew put out three bongo drums on stage. And hey, why a long drumsolo when you only have 60 minutes to play with on stage? That didn’t feel totally necessary. Cavalera, Rizzo and Campos came on stage and pounded the drums together with Kinkade and killed a few valuable minutes. Then introduced Cavalera his two sons Richie and Zyon that was going to growl with him in the song “Revengance”. “Roots Bloody Roots” ended the show but the band came back to do encores which turned out to be “Jumpthefuckup” mashed up with “Eye For An Eye”. After that left the band the stage and 55 minutes of poor singing, rain, and a not so inspired singer was over.


Set list


World Scum

Blood Fire War Hate



Back To The Primitive


Drum solo


Roots Bloody Roots


Jumthefuckup/Eye For An Eye

As you may have noticed already, neither of us liked the show at all. And for one who hadn’t paid Soulfly any attention (Ulrika) this show didn’t make me want to dig deeper into the bands music. We did as so many others already had done and moved to the other stage where the crew prepared the stage for Marilyn Manson that was about to headline Saturday. By now the rain had really taken over the area and we were wet into the bone. Anders headed over to the photographers line and got the info that he wasn’t aloud to take any pictures of Mr. Manson. The pictures were only reserved for the big paper magazines and not for any fanzines at all. Annoying? Yes, but expected. We decided to leave the festival and to not see Manson. No pictures….no review.

What words can sum up this years edition of Copenhell festival? Well, it was as always a really great line-up of bands the organizers had gathered and it felt like there were more people attending the festival this year. The transportations worked perfect and there were no problems finding the shuttle buses or getting a seat on them. It was a smart move to put the Pandemonium stage on the area and to put Danish bands on the stage. Many fans were probably really happy to see some local acts perform and it was a great opportunity for the bands to get to perform on a festival and to get some live feed. Over all was it a really nice version of the festival also this year and it was great to see the black metal exhibition by Pete Beste. The festival always have something exiting to see and explore besides the performing acts and this year was no exception. The festival has potential to grow even more and have already grown from 4000 visitors to 8000 this year.



The only negative thing was that there were no meet and greet with the bands and – why put Saxon on stage so early? The lack of security over the area was obvious when we witnessed a full blown fight between two guys in one of the food stands. No security or nurses showed up at all?!?! The lighting on the Hades stage was below standards but luckily the lighting on the Helviti stage was much better. It feels like Copenhell has potential to become a larger festival and that it has everything it needs to grow even more in the future. This is now the biggest metal festival in Denmark which is fun because Denmark needs a metal festival like this because by now all countries have at least one. The band for next years festival begins to announce at the beginning of 2013 so there are a lot of time to plan your visit to Copenhell. Keep your eyes open.

We really hope and looking forward to attend the festival next year and we pray to the weather gods for only sunshine and no rain. Good work Copenhell!!


Thanks to Mikkel Mo and Soren Jakobsen at Live Nation Denmark for help with press/photo-pass to the festival.

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