Copenhell 2015

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Review & photos by  Anamaria Carla Ionita



In these few short years, Copenhell has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the Scandinavian festival circuit. The organizers have never intended for the festival to be just a usual music event, but rather a celebration of the metal culture as a whole. Located in a somewhat obscure location (at an aging industrial area), close to the city-­‐but not close enough to be easily reached, the surroundings give the festival incredible authenticity and a good feeling of belonging. A security guard told me that Copenhellis the best and easiest festival to cover; compared with other festivals is the unity and fellowship unparalleled. Here, the care for each other is the key.




First day in hell: Thursday, June 18

So this was my 3rd year in hell, Copenhell. To start, what marked me the most was the very poor lineup this year, the only big headliner was Slipknot, but guess what, they’ve been to Denmark a couple of months before, so no enthusiasm here.


Cannibal Corpse
Cannibal Corpse

Thursday for me started with Butcher Babies but after having a pair of silicone boobs shoved in the face, I decided it’s not for me, and better let the men have a chance to see what the miracle of science can do.

Next stop, Cannibal Corpse. Their performance was great, but due to the heavy showers (a usual thing at Copenhell) there was a lack in engagement from the public. Corpsegrinder and co. delivered one hit at a time, lots of songs from their newest album, such as “Scourge of Iron”, “Evisceration Plague”, “Demented Aggression”and “Kill or Become”but there was also room for a few of the good ‘ol crowd-­‐pullers like “Hammer Smashed Face”, “I Cum Blood” and “Stripped, Raped and Strangled”. My personal opinion on their scene presence: damn boring.

Talking about Suicidal Tendencies, Mike Muirwas just as energetic and active as always. A good show that contained hits such as “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow”, “Pledge Your Allegiance”and “Possessed to Skate”ending the performance with an open stage.

Suicidal Tendencies
Suicidal Tendencies
Suicidal Tendencies
Suicidal Tendencies
Suicidal Tendencies
Suicidal Tendencies


Another day in hell: Friday, June 19.

Friday started with Ensiferum. Even though I am a huge fan, I had mix feeling about going and see them this year since I am not at all a big fan of their latest album “One Man Army”, a tad too blackish for my taste. Despite all that, the band was incredible (few minor glitches due to some technical difficulties) and full of life. I always wandered why they were on the schedule at 15.30, but checking their tour dates I immediately saw that they had another concert in the exact same day in France. As the battle songs continued hovering the festival grounds, the audience begun shouting, running around in circles and pretty much enjoying themselves.


Black Stone Cherry drove into a gas station in Ireland and thus, the band was out –and Pretty Maids were in –the pride and joy of Denmark. Predictably, age and the fact that we’ve heard them so many times before, the lead singer’s Ronnie Atkins desperate calls for sing-­‐alongs were futile. The band didn’t leave an impression of much more than a replacement called in last minute.

pretty maids_4
Pretty Maids
pretty maids
Pretty Maids

With their new album ”At War With Reality”out, Swedish legends At The Gatestook over Hades at 18.00. Many people said that the band was uninspired and that their appearance was outside edge, but I for one, thought that Thomas Lindbergwas strong on his feet. He continuously tried to get the crowed going and in the end succeeded in delivering a good atmosphere among the crowed. The band delivered one classic after another and especially “Slaughter Of The Soul”and “Blinded By Fear”.

at the gates_2
At The Gates
at the gates_3
At The Gates

Led Zeppelin used “The Ocean” as a metaphor for their live audience (“Singing to the ocean..”), starting with this, I want to emphasize the magnitude of the crowd when Rise Against took over the stage. The band set the bar high for energy and fast pace straight out of the gate opening with “The Great Die-­‐off”,continuing with “The Good Left Undone”, “Give It All”, “I don’t Want to Be Here Anymore”and “Survive”to mention a few. Tim Mcllrathis incredibly charismatic and he entertained the public all the way through the entire show, going and singing into the audience from the very first songs. This is a great example of the give and take between artist/audience. What struck me the most was their incredible modesty as they thanked the crowd graciously and repeatedly.

This year Copenhell’s brought to Denmark for the first time ever the Irish from Primordial. Lead singer Allan A Nemtheangastuck out from the rest of the band, dressed in rags while the others had the plain old black t-­‐shirt. The theatrical touch blended in very well with their performance.


Kreator’s show was exactly what you would expect from a European thrash metal legend. The songs sounded perfectly even on the poorly tuned speakers and Miland Petrozza’s stage presence was enough to make the crowd go wild. Heavy riffs, machinegun drums and a flaming stage accompanied Mille’s voice. Songs like “Choir of the Damned”, “Enemy of God”, “Terrible Certainty”, “Endless Pain”, “Awakening of the Gods” were in the band’s repertoire. Personal note: Kreator delivered an intense and aggressive performance.


Last day in hell: Saturday, June 20.


Saturday started with Hammerfall. A quite good show, amazing sound –clearly showing that live sound they are famous for; but something was not quite right. I cannot really put my finger on it, either I outgrew them, either their presence was dull and lacking passion.

Asking Alexandria was a true horror, from start to finish, from their clothes, to their age-­‐inspired narcissistic egos, and to the music… The crowd (mostly 17 year old chicks) went wild for some odd reason.

Gojira put Copenhellon its knees as they did back in 2012. They kicked off with “Ocean Planes”,continuing with “The Axe”, “The Heaviest Matter of the Universe”, “Backbone”, “Love”and the terribly acclaimed “L’Enfant Sauvage”.The band played well over 70 minutes and during the song “Flying Whales”the audience formed a huge pit up front and several times it developed into a big circle pit.It was great to see the band being in such close contact with the fans, since lately it has been notedto be a lack of interaction between the two sides. Front man Joe Duplantier and bassist Jean-­‐Michel Labadie where in a terrific mood.


Turbonegro, the band I wanted to see for more than 10 years. Seeing Turbonegro live is more than just a concert, it’s a glimpse into a whole way of life. A culture that you wish you could understand but know you never will. One of the seminal punk bands of the 90’s, Turbonegro has been influential in many many ways. Always known for a crazy / campy costuming and lyrics that love to point out the absurdity of modern life, this underrated Norwegian powerhouse is still kicking ass and taking names.From old favorites to tracks from their very latest effort, “death punk” is alive and well and Turbonegro is rocking harder than ever. The Tubojugend, their rabid fan base was out in force, moshing and singing along with wild abandon. Great to see that such an amazing band still hasn’t lost its touch after all these years. Too many acts these days think that with some makeup and a few gimmicky costumes, you can churn out any old crap. I urge them to come see how it’s really done.Songs like “I Got Erection”, “Money For Nothing”, “Get It On”, “Blow Me (Like The Wind)”and “City of Satan”roared at Refshaleøen Saturday night.


About the festival life, what can I say, you didn’t had so many opportunities like other big festivals, but to mention a few activities: axing a cabbage in Asgård (cause why not), beating the living sh*t out of a car (proudly sponsored Lej et Lig), sitting on coffins near a bar-­‐church or watching some theatre, oh sorry, I meant to say wrestling in the Biergarden.


Conclusion: Was the program thin this year? Yes, yes it was. The program could have been better? Undoubtedly, but it is also a matter of taste. Copenhell became a lifestyle and it is growing strong every year by its loyal metalheads. Looking forward to what next year will bring!