Copenhell Festival 2015 at Refshaleoen in Copenhagen, Denmark

Spread the metal:

copenhell_logo_3_2015

Thursday

When I looked out the window of the first day it was raining, of course. I think the festival hasn’t had one single year without at least one day of rain. The weather didn’t help the spirit but I convinced myself it was going to end as soon as the first band was going to take the stage. Better to think positive than let the weather get to me, I thought. I took the train over the bridge, the metro and the shuttle bus and it all went pretty smooth. The bands that lured me over this day were Body Count feat Ice T, Cannibal Corpse, Exodus and Suicidal Tendencies. Even though the first day was pretty short there were a lot to look forward to. When I got to the festival about 1.30 in the afternoon there was a long line of people waiting to get photo passes etc., so it took a while to get into the area. The clouds had lifted and the sun broke through the sky. The area looked pretty much the same as last year with food stands and wardrobe to the left as well as the smallest Pandemonium stage. To the right more food stands were located but also a rum and cigar bar as well as the movie theater.

copenhell_2015_oveview_5The huge building beside the Hades scene featured a huge painting of the wolf mascot, placed so it looked down on you wherever you went. It was really scary and extremely cool. The metal market and the biergarten was located a little further into the area on the right but I didn’t have time to take a closer look because it was soon time for Life Of Agony to kick off their show at the Hades stage at 4.30. The entry to the pit was flooded so the crew directed us over to the other side of the stage to get in. A few minutes before the show the presenter came on stage and introduced the band. The usual flame on the top of the stage went off and marked that the show was about to begin and in came the band.

Life Of Agony

“Plexiglass Gale” was the intro before it was time for “River Runs Red” and the band’s singer Caputo ran out on stage. Caputo thanked the fans for being there and the mood was at the top from the very start. The band is:

Mina Caputo – lead vocals
Alan Robert – bass
Joey Z – guitar
Sal Abruscato – drums

There was nothing but a backdrop on stage and the band had a lot of space to move around on. “Bad Seed” followed and Caputo thanked the festival for letting the band come and play and the show continued with “Love To Let You Down” and “Method Of Groove”. The audience felt a bit slow but maybe that depended on the early hour. However, the band worked really hard to get the crowd going and they treated the fans with a high energy performance. Caputo said the band hadn’t been in Denmark for 10 years and apologized for that, “But now we’re here and we’re just a bunch of crazy Italians from New York that’s going to play for you.” “Lost At 22”, “Weeds” and “I Regret” continued the show and for a non-fan of the band like me I was pretty content with what I saw. It was full speed right ahead and the band seemed to be having fun on stage. Caputo said the band really enjoyed being here and thought the festival was lovely and fired off “My Eyes” and “Through And Through”.

copenhell_2015_life_of_agony_live_2copenhell_2015_life_of_agony_live_3copenhell_2015_life_of_agony_live_4

“Underground” ended the show and both band and fans seemed to be really happy with the show. Caputo thanked the fans once again and 50 minutes had gone by pretty fast. The band did what they should and I can’t think of anything that made me disappointed. The sounds system worked well and the smoke machine was handled with care – that’s all I ask for, ha ha.

copenhell_2015_life_of_agony_live_5copenhell_2015_life_of_agony_live_6copenhell_2015_life_of_agony_live_7

Set list
Plexiglass Of Gale (intro)
River Runs Red
This Time
Bad Seed
Love To Let You Down
Method Of Groove
Lost At 22
Weeds
I Regret
My Eyes
Through And Through
Underground

Now it was time for me to go over to the largest stage to take a look at a band I never heard of called A Day To Remember. Well you can’t be familiar with all of the bands on the festival so I decided to take a look at what they had to offer. A lot of people were gathered in front of the stage waiting for the show to begin so I guess the band is pretty well known. On both sides of the large Helviti stage there are beer stands and on top of each stand there are containers holding the huge flamethrowers that announce that a show is about to begin. The flamethrowers have been around since the first year of the festival and are a nice way of telling everybody something’s beginning. After a short introduction of the band by the presenter, it was time to kick off the show.

A Day To Remember

All of the members ran together out on stage and the first song played was “The Downfall Of Us All” and the audience was with the band from the very start. Toilet paper was thrown out from the stage by the band and crew and the show continued with “2nd Sucks” and “Right Back At It Again”. The line-up is:

Jeremy McKinnon – lead vocals
Neil Westfall – guitar
Joshua Woodard – bass
Alex Shelnutt – drums
Kevin Shaff – lead guitar

McKinnon said that “We are A Day To Remember from USA and it’s the first time we’re here.” He wanted the fans to form a circle pit and said the band was going to play a pop song called “City Of Ocala”. The bands consists of very young guys playing metalcore or post hardcore if you want. In my ears it was more metalcore though. The eager fans in front of the stage formed a circlepit and moshed along with the music. I could see some crowd surfing as well and that went along during most of the shows on the festival. The visitors at Copenhell seemed to be loving crowd surfing! The singer asked how many had seen the band before, which wasn’t many. Well let’s fire off “I’m Made Of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of”.

copenhell_2015_a_day_to_remember_live_1copenhell_2015_a_day_to_remember_live_2copenhell_2015_a_day_to_remember_live_4copenhell_2015_a_day_to_remember_live_5

All of the members in the front ran around like crazy people and really got the crowd jazzed up. For me the band didn’t do a lot and I didn’t like the music at all. However, the audience loved it and that’s what matters, I guess. The 50 minutes went by really slowly and I almost regretted attending the show. It wasn’t my cup of tea and I was pretty glad when it was over and it was time to move over to the other stage to witness some good old death metal music.

copenhell_2015_a_day_to_remember_live_6

Set list
The Downfall Of Us All
2nd Sucks
Right Back At It Again
City Of Ocala
I’m Made Of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of?
All Signs Point To Lauderdale
Mr. Highways Thinking About the End
Have Faith In Me
Sometimes You’re The Hammer Sometimes the Nail
All I Want
The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle

While we waited for Cannibal Corpse to go on, the rain had begun to drip over the area. It continued to drip on and off and in between came the sun out; it was a very strange weather the first day. Cannibal Corpse was about to hit the stage at 7 pm on the Hades stage. The band released the album A SKELETAL DOMAIN last year. The only thing that was placed on the stage was a backdrop and the band’s gear, nothing else.

copenhell_2015_primordial_live_1The presenters came out on stage and in his hand he held a vinyl copy of a Cannibal Corpse album which he told us was the reason he began to listen to extreme music. The flamethrower burst out fire and it was time for the extreme metallers to begin.

Cannibal Corpse

The fans screamed the band’s name over and over again and finally they came out on stage. “Scourge of Iron” marked the beginning of the show and the fans in front of the stage went crazy. The security in the pit was kept busy during the show lifting over people that were crowd surfing. “Demented Aggression” followed and there were no sign of relaxation from the band. They plowed their way through the show like an angry bull in a bull-run. The line-up in the band is:

George Corpsegrinder Fisher – lead vocals
Alex Webster – bass
Paul Mazurkiewicz – drums
Rob Barrett – guitar
Patrick O’Brian – guitar

“Evisceration Plague” followed instantly and there was no surrender from the band. They kept on demolishing the crowd during the entire show with their frantic music. Corpsegrinder wanted to see everyone head bang to “Stripped, Raped And Strangled” which was followed by “Kill Or Become”.

copenhell_2015_cannibal_corpse_live_1copenhell_2015_cannibal_corpse_live_2copenhell_2015_cannibal_corpse_live_3copenhell_2015_cannibal_corpse_live_4The music of Cannibal Corpse really woke up the crowd and the drowsiness that began the day was blown away. Corpsegrinder then said it was time to play a song from the new album and it was time for “Sadistic Embodiment”. Circle pits and crowd surfing was standard during the show which made the band look really happy. “Icepick Lobotomy” followed and in “I Cum Blood” wanted Corpsegrinder everyone to once again bang their hands and form a huge circle pit. It felt like this band was one of the ones the fans had longed to see the most and therefore the crowd behaved really hardcore. I really hope that no one got hurt in the circle pits and the head banging.

“Make Them Suffer” followed, after which Corpsegrinder asked if there were any old school fans in the crowd. He dedicated the song “A Skull Full Of Maggots” to them and it was followed by another classic song in “Hammer Smashed Face”. Corpsegrinder asked if the ecstatic crowd wanted to hear another song which they of course wanted and it was the last song for the night that followed in “Devoured By Vermin”, taken from the album VILE.

copenhell_2015_cannibal_corpse_live_5copenhell_2015_cannibal_corpse_live_6copenhell_2015_cannibal_corpse_live_7copenhell_2015_cannibal_corpse_live_8That ended 55 minutes of skull-crushing death metal in its purest form. The Corpses delivered a solid show and I have nothing negative to say about the show at all. It was brilliant in every possible way!

Set list
Scourge Of Iron
Demented Aggression
Evisceration Plague
Stripped Raped And Strangled
Kill Or Become
Sadistic Embodiment
Icepick Lobotomy
I Cum Blood
Make Them Suffer
A Skull Full Of Maggots
Hammer Smashed Face
Devoured By Vermin

While the band was playing their last song I had to leave and head over to the Helviti stage once again because it was time to see Body Count with Ice T in action. Everyone probably knows about Ice T and who he is and who hasn’t heard the infamous “Cop Killer” song? Body Count released three albums during the 90’s and the latest album MANSLAUGHTER was unleashed last year. It was going to be really interesting to see what Ice T was going to do on stage because he is a pretty impulsive person.

Body Count

The members all walked out and faced the roar from the fans and fired off the show instantly with “Body Count’s In The House”. One person was missing though, but he showed in the middle of the song. Of course it was Ice T that everyone’s been waiting for. “Body M/F House” followed and Ice T walked around on stage watching at the crowd, looking satisfied. He said it was nice to be at Copenhell and asked if the fans were doing good. He announced “Masters Of Revenge” as the next song and the show rolled on. He continued with saying “I’m not Ice T, and I’m not Ice Fucking T, my new name is Ice Fucking T bitch!” – which made the audience scream and then the band fired off “Bowels Of The Devil” and “Necessary Evil”. Body Count is:

Ice T – lead vocals
Ernie C – guitar
Sean E Sean – sampler
Vincent Price – bass
Ill Will – drums
Juan Of The Dead – guitar

Ice T seemed to be a bit unfocused while he was wandering around and he rambled on in between the songs. He sounded confused, that’s for sure. There was a bunch of people on stage and everyone in the band did their best to get the crowd in the right mood. Ice T asked where all the real men were, the men that we need to teach kids the right values when they grow up. He said that he and the band come from South Central Los Angeles where you have to be a real man to survive. He followed up his little speech with “Manslaughter” and the band wasn’t bothered by any sound problems, the sound system worked perfect. Ice T brought up another guy on stage and asked if we knew who he was? “It’s my son Little T”, he said, “and he has to come away from South Central because it’s dangerous there.” “Drive By” and “Voodoo” followed and Little T helped out his father with the rap. The band felt tight and solid and even though Ice T sounded a bit confused when he gave his speeches it was a great show and it was really nice to see a legend on stage.

copenhell_2015_body_count_live_1copenhell_2015_body_count_live_2copenhell_2015_body_count_live_3copenhell_2015_body_count_live_4copenhell_2015_body_count_live_5Ice T said that it now was time for Little T to show what he’s got and Little T took the mic, wanting the fans to scream for him. Ice T said – “No, let’s show him how we do it in Copenhell, scream for me!, and the fans gave a roar. “There Goes the Neighborhood” followed and at the end of the song everyone in the band but drummer Ill Will left the stage and it was time for a drum solo. It was a mediocre drum solo that was left wanting, but on the other hand are drum solos fun?

The rest of the band re-entered the stage after the solo and it was time for Ernie C to show what he’s got with a guitar solo. “There Goes The Neighborhood” was really extended because of all the solos but finally it ended. Ice T asked how many had seen the band before and a few fans raised their hands. He asked how many are hardcore fans of Body Count and a lot more screamed and raised their hands and Ice T smiled looking really happy. He said that “many like us but Barack Obama still hasn’t called me during his 8 year in the White House.” “He’s got my number”, Ice T said, “and I think he could give me a call, he has never seen us live either, he could call me and we could play some World of Warcraft in the Oval Office.”

“I want you all to say “it’s really fucked up” and then “Body Count””, Ice T counted to three and wanted the fans to scream for him. He wasn’t satisfied and counted once more and finally it was time to hear “Body Count”. The song really ignited the fans and they all went crazy when they heard the song. As expected both the circle pit and the crowd surfing was re-charged by the song and it was almost a war field in the middle of the crowd. Ice T said he was happy to see so many women in the audience and that the next song was a love song, he wanted the fans to scream KKK and said if we hated racism like him scream louder and the song “KKK Bitch” followed. Ice T asked if there were any Slayer fans in the crowd and almost everyone screamed and waved their hands in the air. Ice T asked what happens if we mix Slayer and Body Count? Well we get chaos and “Disorder” and the band did a great cover of the old Exploited song.

copenhell_2015_body_count_live_6copenhell_2015_body_count_live_7copenhell_2015_body_count_live_8copenhell_2015_body_count_live_9Ice T thanked the fans for the support and noticed a little kid in the audience and asked how old he was, “12” the kid responded and Ice T was blown away. He said that the kid easily could have gone and seen a Justin Bieber concert but chose to be at Copenhell looking at Body Count and told the kid that if he ever got in trouble or needed any help he only had to call “Uncle” Ice T or anyone in the band. Or, he said you could say “Talk Shit, Get Shot” which was the song that continued the evening. Ice T told the audiences to first raise one hand then the other and that it now was time for the festival’s new national anthem in “Cop Killer” which was definitely the song that the majority of the people had been waiting for to hear. The band did an excellent version of the hit, loaded with energy and vitality. He introduced the band and the show ended right after that and 60 minutes of sheer rawness and vitality was over.

copenhell_2015_body_count_live_10The fans shouted for more music and Ice T shortly returned to the stage saying that the band had a little more time to play on and that the ending of the show was so good that they wanted to do some more songs. “Truth, justice and fuck the police”, he said and many people have been shot dead innocent by the police in America which isn’t OK, so the evening continued on with “Born Dead” as the first encore. It transcended straight into the next song “Institutionalized”, originally by Suicidal Tendencies. Ice T once again introduced the band and for the second time this night they all went off the stage. 10 more minutes had passed and what an amazing show the band brought to Copenhell. The only thing to make a remark on was the very confused stuff that Ice T said in between songs. He felt a bit unfocused from time to time but that was nothing that hurt the show which was one of the better ones this first day of the festival.

copenhell_2015_body_count_live_11

Set list
Body Count’s In The House
Body M/F Count
Masters Of Revenge
Bowels Of The Devil
Necessary Evil
Manslaughter
Drive By
Voodoo
There Goes The Neighborhood
Drum solo
Body Count
KKK Bitch
Disorder (The Exploited cover)
Talk Shit, Get Shot
Cop Killer
Encores
Born Dead
Institutionalized (Suicidal Tendencies cover)

Straight after Body Count had ended was it time to head back to the Hades stage to see the legendary Suicidal Tendencies in action. The rain was about to make another entry at the festival but that didn’t matter because I was so eager to see Suicidal Tendencies that I didn’t care if the rain poured down. During 2013 the band released the album 13, which also was the band’s first studio album for 13 years. In August last year the bass player Tim Williams passed away and new on bass is Michael Morgan. The band also got a new drummer in Eric Moore, who had played with the band earlier. The stage was rigged with nothing but a backdrop and gear and in front of the stage stood eager fans anticipating the kick off to the show. They shouted “ST ST” again and again in wait for the band to show themselves.

Suicidal Tendencies

Everyone but singer Mike Muir entered the stage and the first song out was “You Can’t Bring Me Down”. When the intro was played, Muir ran out on the stage. The fans shouted even louder when they saw his entrance. As maybe many of you know, Muir doesn’t stand still when he’s on the stage; he’s like a whirlwind and moves around the stage during pretty much every gig. He also stays pretty far back on the stage and it can be a bit tricky to capture him live in action with photos. “I Shot The Devil” followed and the fans jumped around and the band and fans fed off each other’s energy. It was pretty fun to see that the fans and the band were totally symbiotic with each other and that lifted the show a level. Needless to say, a circle pit was formed right away and the crowd surfing began as soon as the first tone was played. Suicidal Tendencies is:

“Cyco” Mike Muir – lead vocals
Dean Pleasante – guitar
Eric Moore – drums
Nico Santora – guitar
Michael Morgan – bass

”Freedumb” followed, and as like the previous shows the sound system was flawless. Moore stood up from his drum chair shouting “WAR” while the fans answered him with screaming “INSIDE MY HEAD” and the song with that name followed. The fans sang the song together with Muir and he hardly had to sing anything on his own. “Subliminal” and “Possessed To Skate” continued the show and fans only had to lean back and enjoy what the band presented. The classical songs were lined up and Muir didn’t do much talking in between the songs, he let the music do the talking instead. The band was solid, tight and seemed to have a fun time on stage and it was fun to watch Muir run around. How he managed to keep up the tempo was a question we asked each other many times during the show. The band has been active since 1981 so he isn’t that young, good old Muir.

copenhell_2015_suicidal_tendencies_live_1copenhell_2015_suicidal_tendencies_live_2copenhell_2015_suicidal_tendencies_live_3copenhell_2015_suicidal_tendencies_live_4copenhell_2015_suicidal_tendencies_live_5Muir said it was a while since the band last visited Denmark but that it was fun to be back. The fans shouted “ST ST” back to him and he smiled. When the band came to the Danish customs they thought they were a motorcycle gang Muir told us; finally the band was let into the country and Muir had told customs that the band was going to visit their family. “And with family, I mean you guys!”, he shouted and pointed towards the fans. He brought up fans on stage while saying that there is my brother, my sister etc. and the stage was packed with lucky fans. “Now the entire ST family is gathered”, Muir said and “are you ready for “I Saw Your Mammy”?”. All of the fans on the stage went crazy and started to jump around and it was hard to see the band because of the fans. Finally we could catch a glimpse of Muir who was standing on the drum kit trying to see something above all the people. He thanked the fans and the crew helped everyone down on the ground again. Muir got a little impatient because it took the crew a while to get everyone off the stage and he said that we have to get our ST family down.

copenhell_2015_suicidal_tendencies_live_6copenhell_2015_suicidal_tendencies_live_8copenhell_2015_suicidal_tendencies_live_7copenhell_2015_suicidal_tendencies_live_9copenhell_2015_suicidal_tendencies_live_10So was it time for a wall of death and Muir wanted the fans to part. “Cyco Vision” was the song and as soon as it began the wall of death ran towards each other. Both fans and band smiled and seemed to love the wall of death. I hope no one got injured. Then followed “Pledge Your Allegiance” and Muir said it was time for the fans to pledge their allegiance. The song was extremely popular and it was one of the songs that the fans had been waiting for to hear. In the middle of the song it changed into “Memories Of Tomorrow” before it went back to “Pledge Your Allegiance” again. That extended song ended the 70 minute long show and the fans all shouted “ST ST” while the band went off the stage.

copenhell_2015_suicidal_tendencies_live_11copenhell_2015_suicidal_tendencies_live_13copenhell_2015_suicidal_tendencies_live_12copenhell_2015_suicidal_tendencies_live_14The set list was jammed with classic tunes and I, as well as the fans, loved the show. Once again Suicidal Tendencies showed that they are one of the reigning hardcore thrash acts in the world and nothing can go wrong with Cyco Mike behind the mic.

Set list
You Can’t Bring Me Down
I Shot The Devil
Freedumb
War Inside My Head
Subliminal
Possessed To Skate
I Saw Your Mommy
Cyco Vision
How Will I Laugh Tomorrow
Pledge Your Allegiance
Memories of Tomorrow
Pledge Your Allegiance

Parts of the crowd started to move to the other stage while Suicidal Tendencies played their last songs because it was soon time for Slipknot to make their entrance to the festival on the Helviti stage. The darkness had now swept in over the area so the mood was perfect for the masked band. Despite being June, it was really cold and I was still a bit wet from the rain earlier during the night. Ulrika texted me and said that Black Stone Cherry had cancelled their performance the next day because they had been in a car crash, luckily everyone was safe. To replace Black Stone Cherry the festival brought in the Danish hardrock act Pretty Maids which was a really pleasant surprise for the both of us. Since I wasn’t given a photo pass to Slipknot I decided to not see them and instead focused on Exodus.

copenhell_2015_oveview_4copenhell_2015_oveview_6copenhell_2015_oveview_5Much had happened in Exodus and people have come and gone for a few years now and the band released their album BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT last year. Band leader Gary Holt is, as everyone knows, now a member of Slayer and is not a part of Exodus during this tour. Exodus was about to enter the stage at 12.15 at night but it seemed like a lot of people already had left the festival straight after the Slipknot gig. A dedicated fan base stood positioned in front of the stage when I came and soon after out came the presenter to introduce the band. It took a few minutes until the band came on stage but then the thrash fest was about to begin.

Exodus

“Black 13” was the first song out for the night and it was taken from the latest album 13. Singer Steve Souza thanked the crowd for the applause and said it was fun to be at Copenhell. “Blood In Blood Out” followed and Souza walked around with a smile. The fans applauded and cheered when Souza asked if they were doing fine and the band fired off “Children of A Worthless God” and the band felt like a well oiled machine. It seemed like they had a good time together on stage and that rubbed off on the fans. Exodus line-up is:

Steve Souza – lead vocals
Lee Altus – guitar
Jack Gibson – bass
Tom Hunting – drums
Kragen Lum – guitar, session-live

Souza had a winter-like cap on his head when he came out on the stage which looked a bit funny. The band worked really hard to get the crowd going and the dedicated fan base was eager to respond to the band’s encouragement to jump and scream. Souza said that the band had been around for 35 years now and have released 10 albums and they are still here (well the band haven’t been active for 35 years but…) and Souza said it was now time to play a little song taken from the debut album BONDED BY BLOOD in “Piranha”. That made the fans go crazy and circle pits and crowd surfing was already taking place. It was hard to take pictures of the guys because the lights were a bit poor and it was pretty dark. Everyone also moved around quite a lot so I had difficulties getting proper shots. “Salt The Wound” followed and when the band played the intro to “Angel Of Death” Souza said that Gary Holt was missing in the band but that he was out touring with Slayer and that Exodus had a really great guitarist to replace him in Kragen Lum from Heathen. He wanted the fans to give Lum a warm applause which the fans did. “Blacklist” continued the chilly night but luckily Exodus’ music brought heat and energy to the area and even though Lum is new in the band he and Altus really bonded. Those two seemed to be completing each other perfectly. Souza’s voice was great and Exodus 2015 seemed like a really harmonic band. “Body Harvest” followed and Souza asked if the fans had a good time with the band.

copenhell_2015_exodus_live_1copenhell_2015_exodus_live_2copenhell_2015_exodus_live_3copenhell_2015_exodus_live_4He said that he thought the festival was great and that the band was really happy to be playing at Copenhell. “Bonded By Blood” followed and do I even have to say what that song did to the fans? Lucky was an understatement of the mood in front of the stage. Souza wanted to see a circle pit in “The Toxic Waltz” but the fans had already made sure that a pit was formed and ready to go when the song fired off. The last song out for the night was “Strike Of The Beast” and Souza and the band left the fans with a warm goodbye. The show lasted for 60 minutes and it was pure thrash metal heaven.

copenhell_2015_exodus_live_5Exodus showed that they are still one of the top thrash metal acts in the world today and Souza did a great job behind the mic. I missed seeing Holt in action with the band but Lum did a great job replacing him and I don’t think that any fan of the band that saw the show felt that he couldn’t match up Holt.

Set list
Black 13
Blood In Blood Out
Children Of A Worthless God
Piranha
Salt In the Wound
Blacklist
Body Harvest
Bonded By Blood
The Toxic Waltz
Strike of The Beast

The Exodus show marked the end of the evening at Day One of the festival. I and the rest of the fans headed home in order to get some rest for the next day. It was really cold outside so it was nice to get into the shuttle bus and get a little warm. The highlights of the first day at Copenhell were Body Count featuring Ice T, Suicidal Tendencies and Exodus. The low point was the weather; why does it always rain when it’s Copenhell??
The following day began for us with Pretty Maids but more about Day Two on the next page.

copenhell_logo_7_2015