The last day of the festival was now here and it included acts like Hammerfall, Turbonegro, Bloodbath, Nuclear Assault and the two headline acts, The Darkness and Ghost. The festival had booked so many bands this year that the semi-large acts were scheduled to perform at the smallest stage (Pandaemonium). A few of those acts were Nuclear Assault, Marduk, Saint Vitus, and Blues Pills as well as the Danish acts Solbrud and Raunchy. The last day also included a lot of meet and greets possibilities with bands like Gojira, Asking Alexandria, Hammerfall, The Darkness and Nuclear Assault. We didn’t have time to check out the meet and greets the day before and this day offered no exception to that rule because we were focused on seeing the bands live. However it’s fun that the festival organizes meet and greets for the fans that wants to meet their idols up close and in person. We got on the train in time to see Hammerfall perform at 4.30 and came to the festival with an hour to spare. Something the festival maybe could improve for next year is to create a schedule for when the shuttle buses come and go. We just missed one bus when we came from the metro and no one waiting in line knew when the next bus was due to come.
Hammerfall took a break back in 2012 that lasted for 2 years. The band is one of the biggest power metal bands in the world and released their latest album (r)EVOLUTION in 2014. About the same time as the album’s release, drummer Anders Johansson announced his departure. The session drummer that replaces him on tour is David Wallin (Pain). A huge backdrop with the band’s mascot Hector hung on stage and two sets of stairs were built on either side of the drums. The closer we got to the show, more people started to arrive and soon the presenter came and introduced the Swedish power metal legends to the Danish crowd.
The intro kicked off and one by one came the members out on the stage greeting the fans, singer Joacim Cans came out and fired off the first song “Hector’s Hymn” and it was full speed ahead. Cans asked if the fans were doing fine and the fans answered him with screams. “Any Means Necessary” followed and the fans at the front of the stage pushed forward to try and get closer to the band. Hammerfall is:
Joacim Cans – lead vocals
Oscar Dronjak – guitar
Fredrik Larsson – bass
Pontus Norgren – guitar
David Wallin – drums
Cans wanted to see hands in the air and then followed “Renegade” and “BYH”. Cans said that the band had been doubting that anyone would come to see them so early during the day but they were glad that so many were gathered in front of the stage to see some true heavy metal from Gothenburg, Sweden. Next up was a song taken from the album CHAPTER V UNBENT UNBOWED UNBROKEN. It was “Blood Bound” which seemed to be a crowd pleaser because the fans all went crazy.
The band felt solid together, especially Cans and Dronjak who are the core of the band, joked around with each other and with the audience. Everyone seemed to be in a great mood. Cans’ lead vocals leave a lot to wish for but I guess he fits the band’s music and image. The band’s music is also a little bit too melodic for our tastes but hey, it was a fun show to waste an hour seeing. To our ears however, Hammerfall’s music is light power metal rather than heavy power metal. Cans wondered how many that had seen the band live before and almost everyone raised their hands. “Well”, he said, “then you all know what to do when I say Let The Hammer”…and the fans shouted “Fall!”. The song that followed was of course “Let The Hammer Fall”. Cans, Dronjak and Norgren were the ones who worked the hardest with getting the crowd going, Larsson was really anonymous and stood near the back during the entire show. “Live Life Loud” and one instrumental song continued the afternoon after which it was time to fire off two epic tunes in “Threshold” and “Last Man Standing”. In the middle of “Last Man Standing” Cans joked with Dronjak and sang “Oscar has a giant penis”. But since he sang it in Swedish I don’t think it many but us understood the joke. The next song for the afternoon was “Hammerfall” and Cans and the band thanked everyone for the nice treatment. Dronjak and Norgren ran up the stairs beside the drums playing the song from there.
We have to admit that the band consists of very competent musicians that know how to handle a crowd and even though we missed seeing Johansson in action behind the drums, Wallin did a good job replacing him. “Bushido” taken from the latest album (r)EVOLUTION was the next song up and Cans told us that the album gained 4 top-positions on the charts worldwide. He also said that the band might come to Copenhagen in November to perform again and when the fans heard that they screamed at the top of their lungs. Cans introduced the band members after which it was time for the monumental classical song “Hearts On Fire” which included the usual sing along in the middle. That song ended 70 minutes of power metal in the sun. The show didn’t include any breathtaking moments for either of us, but we agreed that seeing a Hammerfall show is a good waste of time if you don’t have anything else to see and do. The band always gets us in a good mood when they play live. The set list included numerous of classic songs that made the fans sing along and they really appreciated what they saw and heard.
Any Means Necessary
Let The Hammer Fall
Live Life Loud
400 Meters Medley
Last Man Standing
Hearts On Fire
After seeing Hammerfall we had a little break and decided to head over to the Paendemonium stage to see Nuclear Assault. The band was doing sound check when we arrived and not many people had gathered yet. The sun shined down and it was a really pleasant afternoon at Copenhell. Nuclear Assault is, as everyone knows, an iconic thrash metal band from America led by Dan Lilker. The band was put to rest in 1996 but has performed on and off since then and the work on the EP that was released in June this year began 2013.
The band is currently out on a farewell tour called Final Assault Tour that landed at Copenhell on the third and final day of the festival.We could see a small backdrop with the band name and logo on it on stage but there was nothing more than the gear and the backdrop. More and more thrash heads started to show up the closer it got for the band to begin their show, the more crowded it became.
One by one the members came out and faced the applause from the crowd. It seemed like the band was highly anticipated by the people at the festival and the show began in a furious tempo with “Rise From The Ashes”. The song instantly made the fans form a circle pit in front of the stage and with that the mood for the show was set. John Connelly moved around the most on the stage while Lilker and Eric Burke stood solid on their spots looking dead-cool. Both Connelly and Lilker thanked the festival for bringing them to Copenhell and fired off “Brainwashed”. Lilker said thanks again and asked the fans if they recognized the next song which was “Critical Mass”. The band members are:
John Connelly – lead vocals, guitar
Dan Lilker – bass
Glenn Evans – drums
Eric Burke – guitar
Even though the sound was badly mixed it worked. On the other hand, the band seemed a bit loose; it appeared like they haven’t rehearsed for a while. That didn’t matter though, their mood and happiness on stage rubbed off on the fans making it a great show. The songs didn’t feel as edgy as they did back in their heyday but again, that didn’t matter as the band was here having a great time with the fans. Connelly said that the band was here to have fun with their fans and urged them to be nice to each other and help each other if anyone fell or got hurt. “The security is here for your and our sake”, he continued. “Game Over” and “Bult Fuck” followed and then Lilker said it was time to go old school with a song from the band’s first album GAME OVER and it was “Betrayal”. Then it was time for a song from their latest EP and it was “Analogue In A Digital World” which maybe gives the readers a hint of how the band sounds today.
The band seemed to have a lot of fun and Lilker said it was nice to see that so many remembered the band. “Died In Your Arms” was the last song we saw because Anders had to go to the Helviti stage and gear up for Gojira who was about to kick off their show. I – Ulrika stayed put to watch the show and the songs “Wake Up” and “My America” which followed.
“Hang The Pope”, “Lesbians” and “Trail Of Tears” ended the show that lasted for about 60 minutes. It was an hour of sheer thrash metal madness and even though the vocals and the music needed to be polished, that didn’t’ matter – the joy and happiness of the band along with the fans made it a solid show.
Set list – (not in order)
Rise From The Ashes
Analogue Man In A Digital World
Died In Your Arms
Hang The Pope
Trail Of Tears
The French metal act Gojira, led by the Duplantier brothers, is increasing their fame in Scandinavia. Even though the band doesn’t have a new album to support they are out on tour playing stuff from their 2012 album L’ENFANT SAUVAGE as well as earlier material. The band had nothing but a backdrop and gear on stage and there was no doubt that the band was really anticipated because a lot of fans were gathered in front of the stage when Anders got to there. The presenter came out and introduced the band and for some strange reason the band played two and a half song before the photographers were let into the pit.
“Ocean Plant” was the first song of the evening and the fans formed a circle pit as soon as they heard the song’s first tones. It was full speed ahead from the very start and the show continued with “The Axe” after which singer Joe Duplantier thanked Copenhell for supporting the band and said it was nice to be back. “The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe” followed and we were struck by how tight the band was. They really delivered some strong metal music that hit us like a hammer on the head. “Backbone” followed and it was after that song the photographers were let into the pit. Gojira is:
Joe Duplantier – lead vocals, guitar
Mario Duplantier – drums
Christian Andreu – guitar
Jean-Michel Labadie – bass
Joe once again thanked the crowd and said he wanted to see everyone move in “Love”. After that song it was time for the photographers to move out from the pit and singer Joe wanted to see a wall of death during “L’Enfant Sauvage” and his will was granted, the crazy fans did as they were told and while we held our breath they all ran towards each other in a crazy frenzy. The visitors of Copenhell really love to crowd surf and to run around in circle pits and those activities took place during almost every single show we saw during the festival. Joe Duplantier once again thanked the fans and asked if they were ready to go crazy in “Toxic Garbage Island” and the madness continued in “Wisdom Comes”. Joe Duplantier said that the band had performed at the festival before and that they really loved the crowd in Denmark. “Flying Whales” and “Oroborus” followed and those two songs ended the ordinary part of the show.
The fans all shouted for encores and Mario Duplantier came out on the stage and asked if the fans were ready to hear some more Gojira music. “Vacuity” was the first encore out and after that Mario Duplantier fired off a pretty boring drum solo. Joe Duplantier thanked the fans first in Danish and then in English and fired off “Where Dragons Dwell” which was the last song out for the 70 minutes long show.
The show was simply brilliant; the music as well as the performance were flawless. We had nothing bad to say about the show and it was hard to leave the area because we could easily have listened to more from the band.
The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe
Toxic Garbage Island
Where Dragons Dwell
After a shorter break it was time for us to head over to the Hades stage to see the nutballs in Turbonegro do their thing. Neither one of us had seen the new singer Tony Sylvester live in action before so this was a show that we really looked forward to seeing. Sylvester joined the band shortly after the previous singer Hank Von Helvete left in 2010 and 2012 the first album with the new singer came out, titled SEXUAL HARASSMENT. This Norwegian punk/rock n roll act doesn’t perform much outside Scandinavia so if you have the chance to see the band you ought to take it.
We had seen many people from the band’s fan base, Turbojugen, during the festival and it’s quite easy to recognize a Turbojugend because of their jean jackets with the Turbojugend patch on the back. All of the Turbojugends were gathered in front of the Hades stage to see the band and we joined them.
The fans shouted when the band came on stage and the band set the mood instantly with their amazing party punk rock ‘n roll music. “You Give Me Worms” was the third song and it was followed by the epic hit “All My Friends Are Dead”. The fans sang along with the band during the entire song and the party vibe was high. Sylvester said that Copenhagen is the city of arts and crafts but it’s not a nice city, it’s a city of evil design and a “City Of Satan”. Sylvester was a really fun and sarcastic front man that really put an edge to the performance. The line up is:
Tony Sylvester aka The Duke Of Nothing – lead vocals
Euroboy – guitar
Rune Rebellion – guitar
Tommy Manboy – drums
Happy Tom – bass
Sylvester said that the nice thing with festivals is that you meet a lot of friends there. “Turbonegro is best friends with Ghost”, he said, “and we hung out with them earlier today and when I asked Papa if he could score some blow to me he said “No”, then I said this to Papa “Blow Me Like The Wind”!”, and Sylvester laughed. The set list was perfect with both older as well as current songs that made the show a real party. Sylvester said that “almost 95%” of what he said this night was true, then he said that kids from Denmark go to Norway to get drunk and the obvious song to that was of course “Wasted Again”. “Get It On” and the amazing cover of “Money For Nothing” continued the show. After that he divided the crowd into half and one side was arts and the other one was crafts and the meaning of this was that one side should scream “I Get”, and the other side “Erection”. He did that a few times and the crazy crowd followed his lead and shouted “I Get Erection” which also was the name of the song that followed.
Anders was now forced to head over to the Helviti stage where The Darkness was about to begin but I (Ulrika) stayed put in front of the madness at the Hades stage. Sylvester asked if the band had time to do one more song which they did and after that the band had played for 60 minutes and their time in the spotlight at Copenhell was over.
It was 60 minutes of magic and we really wished that the band could play for another hour. Sylvester is the perfect front man for Turbonegro and he managed to do the older songs to his own. We were really satisfied with what we had seen. We felt a bit reluctant to see The Darkness but decided to give them a chance.
The second headliner for the final evening was The Darkness what was about to hit the stage at 9.30. This band hasn’t been on our radar at all as the band was put to rest back in 2006 and was brought back to life in 2011. In September last year the new drummer Emily Davis joined the band and at the beginning of June the new album LAST OF OUR KIND was unveiled.
The show began with all of the members on stage and singer Justin Hawkins took on his guitar in the second song. He has a blue suit on but it didn’t take long until he threw of the jacket. He was everywhere at the same time on stage and it wasn’t easy to take pictures of him. He said “Hello Copenhagen” and introduced his brother Dan Hawkins on guitar. The line-up is:
Justin Hawkins – lead vocals, guitar
Dan Hawkins – guitar
Frankie Poullain – bass
Rufus Tiger Taylor – drums
The Darkness wasn’t the band that drew the most people to their show. Many people headed over to the bars to get something to drink or had something to eat while waiting for the night’s highlight, which for many was Ghost. The bands monster hit “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” came in the middle of the show and the fans of course sang along in the song. The band’s hard rock/glam rock worked OK but not more than that and to be honest we spoke to many fans who wondered why the festival had booked them. Hawkins had problems with taking on the higher notes, so partially his voice didn’t convince us at all. The band didn’t feel tight or solid at all and it felt like they hadn’t rehearsed as much as they should have. Justin told the fans not to do drugs because then your nose can follow us, just look at mine he said. Don’t do drugs Copenhagen. He thought the fans were too quiet and handed out the mic into the crowd to let them scream into it. In the middle of the last song Justin climbed on to the shoulders of a security and they walked out into the crowd while Justin sat on his shoulders playing guitar.
The show lasted for 70 minutes and it was all just a way for us to kill time waiting for the next show that was about to be epic. The Darkness didn’t’ impress at all and we were pretty glad when the show was over. Our focus was set on seeing the infamous Bloodbath that was about to kick off their show at Hades in a few minutes.
Much has happened in the band since the beginning and the new singer is the famous and well known Nick Holmes from Paradise Lost. The band’s latest album is called GRAND MORBID FUNERAL and it came out last year. The dark had now swept in over the festival and it offered the perfect atmosphere for the music of Bloodbath. Nothing but a backdrop and gears were placed on stage when we got to there. The presenter came up and said that Copenhell was the place for all kinds of metal, hard rock and old school death metal like Bloodbath. And that was the cue for the band to enter the stage.
The show kicked off right away with the massive “Let The Stillborn Come To Me” taken from the latest album. Holmes was dressed in a monk’s cape and had blood on his face. The rest of the guys were dressed in jeans and t-shirts but Holmes had gone all the way and fit the atmosphere and the music with his costume. The security got busy straight away and helped crowd surfing fans over to the pit. “Mental Abortion” and “So You Die” followed straight away and Holmes asked how the fans were doing. Bloodbath is:
Old Nick Holmes – lead vocals
Per Sodomizer Eriksson – guitar
Martin Axe Axenrot – drums
Jonas Renkse – bass
Anders Blakkheim Nyström – guitar
Holmes said it was time to go back in time and play an older song in “Breeding Death” and the band sounded and felt pretty solid. What can go wrong with maestro Nick Holmes behind the mic?
Holmes saw a Slayer flag amongst the crowd and asked if Slayer was going to play at the festival, well unfortunately not but they did perform at Copenhell a few years back. “Anne” continued the show and even though Holmes moved around on stage it was the rest of the band that did most of the work. “Cancer Of Soul” and “Weak Aside” continued the show and Holmes once again thanked the fans for being there. It was now time to play a piece taken from the epic album NIGHTMARE MADE FLESH in “Soul Evisceration” and the fans seemed to love what they heard and saw.
Holmes didn’t do much talking in between the songs but he isn’t known for being a chatterbox in Paradise Lost either. “Unite In Pain” from GRAND MORBID FUNERAL followed and partially there were so much smoke on stage that it was hard to see any of the members and that was what happened in “Unite In Pain”. “Like Fire” and “Mock The Cross” ended the show but the crazy fans wanted to hear more and shouted for encores. The band shortly returned back to the stage and fired off “Eaten” and “Cry My Name” as Holmes once again thanked the fans for the massive support.
Those encores ended the 55 minute long show and it was a superb way to show off how brilliant old school metal can be performed. Holmes was born to be a singer in Bloodbath and we really hope that he stays in the band for a while. The only negative with the show was the poor lighting and the smoke that drowned the members. Otherwise was this an epic show delivered by one of the best bands in the old school death metal genre.
Let The Stillborn Come To Me
So You Die
Cancer Of The Soul
Unite In Pain
Mock The Cross
Cry My Name
And so it was soon midnight and time for a midnight-mass with the almighty Swedish act Ghost led by the new and mysterious singer Papa Emeritius III. Just like us people had gathered in front of the stage that now was built to look like a church with a backdrop looking like old church paintings. The rain hung in the air and started to drip as we all waited for the mass to begin but that only added to the atmosphere. Anders who is not a fan of Ghost at all wondered why they have become so huge over the past years, I – Ulrika don’t care and love the band totally.
The media darlings are about to release their third album titled MELIORA in August and the band have once again changed singer into Papa Emeritius III. The stage was set like a church room and it really added atmosphere to the festival that now was covered in darkness.
The intro “Masked Ball” marked the beginning of the show and it all kicked off with “Genesis” with all band members besides Papa on the stage. He came out and faced the fans roar and fired off the new song “From The Pinnacle To The Pit” taken from the band’s new album MELIORA which is due to be released in August. The fans admirations for the band showed no mercy and the crowd surfing and sing a long continued during the entire show. The personal favorite song “Ritual” continued the show and Papa asked how the girls and boys at the festival were doing. “Here comes something for the boys”, he said, laughed and kicked off “Prime Mover”. Another new song taken from MELIORA in “Majesty” followed after which the stage turned pitch black and Papa re-entered the stage after a while with incense and the song that followed was the epic “Con Clavi Con Dio”.
Even if you don’t like the band it’s hard not to get affected by the devilish atmosphere the band builds up. Papa and the nameless ghouls are masters of creating an atmosphere that creeps up on you. It was not only Papa Emereitius III who had a new pope-outfit, the nameless ghouls also wore new costumes that looked like black tuxedos and they all wore demon-masks that looked quite scary.
The latest single “Cirice” moved the mass along and it was followed by “Stand By Him” and the breakthrough hit “Elizabeth” which made the fans sing a long at the top of their lungs. Papa joked around on the stage showing his shoes and wrists, laughing his spooky laugh and asking if we had a good time at the mass. It’s really hard to say if the guy is Swedish or not because he spoke with a strange accent. However he sang as good as the previous popes and I wonder if the change of popes is just a hoax? I think it’s the same guy that sings on all the albums.
The sound was great and the band was really tight and solid, it was hard to not be sucked into the show and it felt like I didn’t mind the rain at all, I only wanted to stand there and see the ghouls do their thing. “Satan Prayer” followed and when I heard the intro to my personal favorite Ghost song of all time “Year Zero” I was in heaven..or hell who knows, ha ha. Papa asked if we had a good time or if we wanted to go home, the fans all shouted that “NO” they wanted to hear more from Ghost, Papa laughed and fired off “Absolution” which also was the closing song.
However the fans weren’t ready to let the band go home and shouted for encores and Papa came back and said that he wasn’t ready to leave his adepts without more music. The first encore out was the excellent Roky Erickson cover of “If You Have Ghosts” and Papa said that the lyrics said it all. “Monstrance Clock” ended the show and the festival and what a better way of saying goodbye with such an amazing song.
The show lasted for 75 minutes and I wanted to hear and see more from my favorite ghosts but it was time to say goodbye and leave the festival for this year. It was the perfect way to end the festival with having a visit from Ghost; their music was the perfect way to end three days of excellent music and performances.
From The Pinnacle To The Pit
Con Clavi Con Dio
Stand By Him
If You Have Ghosts
The last band out at the festival was Red Warszawa that played at the Paendamonium stage at 1.30 but since we’ve never heard of them and were satisfied with the evening, we headed home. When we walked out from the festival we heard rumors that it soon was time to set light to the giant wooden wolf that was placed at the middle of the area, the day after we saw pics of the wolf in flames and it was a mighty vision. As usual it was a blast being at Copenhell; the festival always offers great music, great atmosphere and friendly people and a lot of beer if you like that. It sure is the wildest hard rock/metal party in Scandinavia and besides a few weaker performances we really enjoyed our stay at the festival.
It’s a great thing that the festival continues to broaden the music styles and allows acts like Primus, The Darkness and Hammerfall to perform amongst all the extreme metal acts, it’s the right way to go and we hope that the festival continues down that path. The festival was visited by about 10.000 people a day we read in one of the daily news papers during the three days. If that is the number, we don’t know if the festival will not say how many there were at the festival this year, and we guess that most of the people were as happy as us with what they had experienced.
A huge thanks and hats off to all the people that worked at the festival: the security, the volunteers and everyone is worth a big thank you. Also thanks to the sponsors at Royal Beer, Jegermeister, Red Bull and Hi-Fi Klubben for making sure the festival can be arranged. The dates for the next years festival is already set. I hope to see you all at Refshaleoen at Copenhell 16-17-18/6 2016.
Thanks to head of press at Copenhell Festival Mikkel Mo for the help with press/photo-pass to the festival.
Big thanks to Jeppe Nissen at Live Nation Denmark for the help.
More info about the festival here