Copenhell Festival 2016 at Refshaleoen Copenhagen, Denmark

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Friday

On the second day bands like Entombed A.D, Megadeth, Epica, and King Diamond were scheduled to perform so there was nothing to consider but getting in the shower and getting ready for another day at Copenhell! With thoughts of the border controls we went pretty early just to make sure we arrived at the festival on time. At the station it turned out that all the trains were cancelled or delayed because of the storm the day before. Almost one hour later our train turned up, however it didn’t stop at Copenhagen airport but at the next one, just like yesterday. So we had to go off, then wait 20 minutes for the train back to the Airport…in other words we got delayed. Hooray for the commute connections in Sweden/Denmark, they never cease to amaze us. To make a much longer and irritating story short we got to the festival around 5 and almost missed Amon Amarth which was our original first show to see.

Amon Amarth

The sun shined over Amon Amarth who released their brand new album JOMSVIKING in the middle of June 2016. The band got help from drummer Tobias Gustafsson who only played on the album, but not live. On stage hung a huge backdrop portraying the new album cover and on each side of the drums there were rune stones as well as huge Viking dragon heads that blew smoke. When we arrived, the band ran through “Destroyer of the Universe”. “War of the Gods” followed and as always when it comes to Amon Amarth, it was full speed ahead straight through. Hegg raised his mead horn and said that beer feeds strength and naturally “Raise Your Horn” continued the afternoon. The line-up in the band is:

Johan Hegg – lead vocals
Olavi Mikkonen – guitar
John Soderberg – guitar
Ted Lundstrom – bass
Jocke Wallgren – drums (session member)

Hegg had the fans scream and shout on command and thanked the crowd for the support. “Guardians of Asgaard” followed and LG Petrov came on stage to guest on the song; he also sings on the album and it was great fun to once again see the mighty Hegg and legendary Petrov together in action. The majestic “Twilight of the Thunder God” ended the show and their time in the Danish sun was over for this time.

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Set list
The Pursuit Of Vikings
As Loke Falls
First Kill
Cry Of The Black Birds
At Dawn’s First Light
Death In Fire
Deceiver Of The Universe
War of The Gods
Raise Your Horns
Guardians Of Asgaard (feat LG Petrov)
Twilight Of The Thunder God

Judging of the 30 minutes of the show we managed to catch, the band was as solid as ever and delivered some hard hitting metal music. We were really irritated that the commute made us miss the show. What are the odds that you’re going to miss a show if you start to travel to the show 2 hours before it even starts!?

copenhell_2016_the_festival_14We left the Helviti stage and went over to the smallest stage (Paendemonium) to see Entombed A.D in action. The original members of the Swedish old school legends Entombed are fighting over the use of the band name and until further notice singer LG Petrov is running Entombed A.D with all new members. The debut album came out in 2014 and at the end of February this year came the follow up DEAD DAWN. Besides the solid line-up the band added another guitarist in Guilherme Miranda from Brazil. The band toured themselves through Europe at festivals this summer and since Anders is a huge fan of the band, we thought it was going to be fun to see them live. The show stood against Epica but it felt like Entombed A.D won the battle of the crowds. It was a great decision to take on another guitarist because their music needs a second guitar in order to add richness and depth. The band was scheduled to kick off their show at 7.30. The time went by really fast and suddenly we heard the intro.

Entombed A.D

As soon as the band showed up, the audience screamed even louder. The last one on stage was LG Petrov, looking really happy with the support. “Midas In Reverse” and “Stranger Aeons” marked the beginning of the show and really woke people up on this warm summer night. Petrov thanked the crowd in Swedish but changed instantly to English saying it was nice to be performing at Copenhell. “Second To None” followed. The band’s line-up is:

L.G Petrov – lead vocals
Olle Dahlstedt – drums
Nico Elgstrand – guitar
Victor Brandt – bass
Guilherme Miranda – guitar

Petrov and Brandt moved around the most while the rest of the band stood mostly solid on their spots. “Eyemaster” made the fans scream at the top of their lungs and it was nice to hear an old classic pick. Petrov varied between Swedish and English as he thanked the fans and said it was time for “Dead Dawn” which was followed by “Living Dead”. Music-wise the guys have left their patented death n’ roll to focus on Swedish death metal, which in my opinion was a smart move. Petrov growled as brilliantly as ever and he was backed up by the heaviness from Brandt and Dahlstedt. Elgstrand and Miranda completed each other perfectly and we were really impressed by the band’s solid line-up. “The Winner Has Lost” brought down some crowd surfing and a circle pit. As it was time for the next song Petrov said that we might know it; “Revel In Flesh”.

copenhell_2016_entombed_a-d_live_1copenhell_2016_entombed_a-d_live_2copenhell_2016_entombed_a-d_live_3copenhell_2016_entombed_a-d_live_4copenhell_2016_entombed_a-d_live_5copenhell_2016_entombed_a-d_live_6copenhell_2016_entombed_a-d_live_7The epic “Wolverine Blues” continued the show and needless to say that song was one of the most anticipated ones. Petrov asked if the fans were ready for another great song and fired off “Left Hand Path”. “Supposed To Rot” ended the show and the band thanked the fans for the huge support. They took a group-selfie with the fans went off the stage. (Anders) – As a hardcore fan of the original Entombed from the early days, I think Entombed A.D delivered a rock solid and important show. This is Swedish old school death metal as its best and no one plays it better than Entombed A.D, not at the moment. Petrov impressed as always on stage and he have held the metal flag high since the late 80’s.

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Set list
Intro
Midas In Reverse
Stranger Aeons
Second To None
Eyemaster
Dead Dawn
Living Dead
The Winner Has Lost
Revel In Flesh
Wolverine Blues
Left Hand Path
Supposed To Roth

After having enjoyed 60 minutes of epic old school death metal it was time to head back to see some thrash metal at Helviti stage. It took a while to get back and it was obvious that this day was totally sold out. There were a lot more people compared to the day before and everything took a lot longer to do, like getting to the other side of the area, getting to the toilets, and getting something to drink.

A lot has happened in the Megadeth camp during the past few years, including adding new members are drummer Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork) and guitarist Kiko Loureiro (Angra). January saw the release of the brand new album DYSTOPIA and in May former drummer Nick Menza tragically passed away. He was one of the founders of the massive Megadeth sound when he was a part of the band in between 1989-1998. The previous album SUPER COLLIDER wasn’t one of the best Megadeth album I’ve heard (Anders) and to be honest I haven’t listened a lot to DYSTOPIA. Megadeth is not one of the best live acts and has always had a tendency to be pretty boring to look but maybe they were going to prove us wrong this time. The ramp that reached out to the audience from the day before was now gone and on stage stood a huge video screen placed behind the drums and on each side of the drums screens were placed as well. The back line looked quite impressive and it was now only to wait for the show to start.

Megadeth

The members faced the crowd as the intro played and first song out was the classic “Hangar 18”. Mustaine stood as always, bent over his mic grinding the lyrics through his teeth and it was hard to see his face. “The Threat Is Real” from DYSTOPIA followed after which Mustaine said good evening and dedicated the next song to Menza and it was “Tornado Of Souls”. Megadeth today is:

Dave Mustaine – lead vocals, guitar
Kiko Loureiro – guitar
David Ellefson – bass
Dirk Verbeuren – drums

Mustaine isn’t known for his sense of humor and his nice way but he actually seemed to be in quite a good mood this night. Not that he talked much in between the songs but we could almost see tendencies of a smile here and there. Loureiro is a real vitamin injection to the band and he did a great job handling the guitar. “Wake Up Dead” and “In My Darkest Hour” followed and the fans started a circle pit at the front of the stage. Mustaine said it was time for the title track from the album DYSTOPIA and the fans seemed to like the song and once again formed a circle pit. Then came one of the most anticipated songs in “Sweating Bullets” that sent the fans into total bliss. Mustaine let the fans do the singing and Loureiro and Ellefson had the fans to clap their hands.

copenhell_2016_megadeath_live_2copenhell_2016_megadeath_live_3copenhell_2016_megadeath_live_1copenhell_2016_megadeath_live_4copenhell_2016_megadeath_live_5The new song “Fatal Illusion” followed and Mustaine introduced Ellefson on bass. Everyone but Ellefson and Verbeuren then went off stage and out from the speakers came Mustaine’s voice as an intro to the song “Poison Was The Cure” that was the next song and the band re-entered the stage. It felt like everyone at the festival attended the show and it was a bit crowded. “Poisonous Shadows” followed and for Megadeth this actually was a fun and vital performance. The two major hits “Symphony Of Destruction” and “Peace Sells” ended the show and Mustaine asked if the fans had a good time. The band’s mascot Vic came out on stage dressed in a suit and the show ended with him.

The crowd wanted to hear more than the 60 minutes the band already had played and shouted for encores. The first and only encore was “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” which made the fans ecstatic. That was the last song for the night and the show ended at 9 when the darkness started to take over the area.

copenhell_2016_megadeath_live_6copenhell_2016_megadeath_live_7copenhell_2016_megadeath_live_8copenhell_2016_megadeath_live_9copenhell_2016_megadeath_live_10copenhell_2016_megadeath_live_11copenhell_2016_megadeath_live_12The show was really great and we were surprised and pleased to see such a great mood from Mustaine. He smiled when he left the stage and we got the impression that he actually had liked being on stage this night.

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Set list
Prince Of Darkness
Hangar 18
The Threat Is Real
Tornado Of Souls
Wake Up Dead
In My Darkest Hour
Dystopia
Sweating Bullets
Fatal Illusion
Dawn Patrol (intro)
Poison Was The Cure
Poisonous Shadows
Symphony Of Destruction
Peace Sells
Encore
Holy Wars…the punishment due

After Megadeth we decided to take a closer look at what the festival could offer food-wise and it turned out that there were actually a lot of different stands that offered something to eat for all kinds of tastes. They really expanded the amount of food and liquor stands over previous years which was well needed since there also were a lot more people attending the festival this year. But just as last year, we were a bit disappointed when we saw the metal market mostly consisted of t-shirts and not many actual physical albums, pretty strange with thought of that hard rock/metal fans are one of the most loyal when it comes to purchase actual albums etc.

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ú

The meet and greet was brought back this year and the organizers had posted on their Facebook site and written out on the tent which bands were was coming. One of the main sponsors this year, as the previous ones, was the Danish brand Royal Beer who earlier this year released a promo film where you got the impression they were going to release a special Copenhell beer this year. However it turned out it was the same version as last year and the can didn’t even have a new cover art-work. The price of the beer had also been raised by 10 DK, but if you didn’t want to drink beer there were also soda, shots and other liquor to buy.

Before it was time to see the evenings headliner King Diamond, we walked over to the Hades stage to catch a little of Trivium’s performance. SILENCE IN THE SNOW is the name of the new album that follows up the 2013 VENGEANCE FALLS. Paul Wandtke is the new drummer and now the only remaining original member is band leader Matt Heafy. The drums were placed on a podium with devil masks beside it and a lot of people had gathered in front of the stage the closer it got for the show to start. Just before 9.30 the narrator came out and introduced the band and started to fire up the crowd.

Trivium

The band kicked off with “Strife” and the crowd surfing began. The security in the pit had a lot to do and since Anders stood in the pit he saw the madness up close. Because the Hades stage is much smaller than Helviti, the pit is also smaller so it was a bit crowded amongst the photographers. “Rain” and “The Deceived” continued the show and the line-up in the band is:

Matt Heafy – lead vocals, guitar
Corey Beaulieu – guitar, unclean vocals
Paolo Gregoletto – bass, unclean vocals
Paul Wandtke – drums

Heafy thanked the crowd and said he wanted to see everyone jumping up and down in “Shattering The Skies Above”. The intro “Snowfall” went straight into “Silence In The Snow” and Heafy wanted the people back at the hill to participate in the show. “I see you all”, he said and fired off “Down From The Sky”. All the three in the front worked hard to get the crowd going and Heafy thanked the crowd for being so supportive. “Until the World Goes Cold” and “Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr” continued the night and as Heafy announced the last song he looked really happy with what he and the band had achieved together this night which was total chaos and disorder together with the crowd. “Capsizing The Sea” transcended into “In Waves” and then 60 minutes of metalcore was over.

copenhell_2016_trivium_live_1copenhell_2016_trivium_live_2copenhell_2016_trivium_live_3copenhell_2016_trivium_live_4Since neither of us are fans of the band we thought the show was OK but not more than that. Metalcore isn’t our thing but the fans loved it and the band built up a great atmosphere and that’s why we stayed and watched them. The guys had great time on stage and seemed to love the support they got from the fans and that felt really nice to see.

Set list
Strife
Rain
Watch The World Burn
The Deceived
Shattering The Skies Above
Snofall/Silence In The Snow
Down From The Sky
Until the World Goes Cold
Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr
Capsizing The Sea/In Waves

The clock was now 10.30 and it was about 30 minutes until the headline act King Diamond would enter the Helviti stage. Of course the rain started to drip down during the last of the Trivium show which was typical, never a Copenhell without any case of rain but that didn’t seem to bother the large and happy crowd that waited for King Diamond.

The Danish metal legend is out touring again, this time with a new bass player in skilled Swedish player Pontus Egberg (ex- The Poodles, ex-Lion Share etc). He is out performing the album ABIGAIL and has toured through USA and now it’s time for Europe to get its dose of evil. The 60-year old veteran has been saying for several years now that he’s about to release a new album; his latest one is still GIVE ME YOUR SOUL….PLEASE which came out in 2007. Today the band is more of a Swedish band than ever with three Swedes together with their Danish and US colleagues.

The stage and backline looked similar to the one he brought with him to the festival a few years ago with a staircase on each side of the drums leading up to a big balcony. Candles and chandeliers were placed all over the stage and behind it all hung a backdrop portraying the cover of the latest album. It was a really nice set up that brought some mysterious atmosphere to the festival and it was in the air that King Diamond was going to deliver something extrordinary at Copenhell.

King Diamond

“Out From The Asylum” marked the beginning of the show as the members walked down the stairs and entered the stage. As soon as the fans saw King Diamond they screamed at the top of their lungs. “Welcome Home” followed and an old lady came in from the side of the stage in a wheelchair. As King Diamond sang she fought with him and hit him. “Sleepless Nights” continued and the line-up in the band today consists of:

King Diamond – lead vocals
Andy LaRocque – guitar
Mike Wead – guitar
Pontus Egberg – bass
Matt Thompson – drums

King Diamond looked as evil as always when he said “Good evening Copenhell, it’s nice to be back again”. “Helloween” followed and the small drizzling of rain had now turned to a full blown waterfall but the fans didn’t pay the bad weather any attention as they cheered for the King while he announced “Eye Of The Witch”. King Diamond said it was time to head back in time and play “Melissa” and when the fans heard that they all screamed on the top of their lungs. It was really nice to hear an old Mercyful Fate song. King Diamond asked if we were doing fine and invited us to “Come To The Sabbath” and the fans sang along with the band. It started to get a bit hot on stage and King Diamonds make-up started to melt the further into the show he got. Everyone disappeared from stage as the intro to “Them” came on and it was followed by the intro to “Funeral” and as the intro preceded a young girl came out on stage along with the rest of the band and “Arrival” was a fact. She stood behind the drums and gave a very dramatic birth to a baby. Two masked men came and put her in a coffin and gave the baby to King Diamond and he tore the “baby” apart. The woman came out here and there as the show moved on holding candles etc. And now was it time for King Diamond to take on the ABIGAIL album as “A Mansion In Darkness”, “The Family Ghost” and “The 7th Day Of July 1777” followed.

copenhell_2016_king_diamond_live_1copenhell_2016_king_diamond_live_2copenhell_2016_king_diamond_live_3copenhell_2016_king_diamond_live_4copenhell_2016_king_diamond_live_5Wead and LaRocque completed each other perfectly and the same went for the rhythm section. It was really nice to see Egberg in action since he is one of the best bass players in Europe. We were impressed by how great the voice of King Diamond sounded and with the vitality he moved around on at stage, it’s hard to believe the man turned 60!

King Diamond asked if we were ready to hear “Omen” and the huge crowd screamed yes, “The Possession” and “Abigail” followed instantly and King Diamond thanked everyone at the festival for letting the band come and play. It was a bit hard to understand and hear what King Diamond was saying when he talked because he spoke in Danish and it can be a tricky language to understand even though we’re neighbors. “Black Horsemen” continued the magnificent theater act the band put on, and the entire ABIGAIL album was ran through but not in order. “Insanity” ended the show and it felt like almost everyone at the festival had come to see King Diamond.

copenhell_2016_king_diamond_live_6copenhell_2016_king_diamond_live_7copenhell_2016_king_diamond_live_8copenhell_2016_king_diamond_live_9copenhell_2016_king_diamond_live_10copenhell_2016_king_diamond_live_11copenhell_2016_king_diamond_live_12copenhell_2016_king_diamond_live_13The band treated us with an amazing show and it was great to hear the entire ABIGAIL album song by song (although he played the album in reverse) The show was truly one of the highlights of the festival and we really hope that King Diamond is going to release a new album soon.

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Set list
Out From the Asylum (intro)
Welcome Home
Sleepless Nights
Halloween
Eye Of the Witch
Melissa (Mercyful Fate cover)
Come To The Sabbath (MF cover)
Them (intro)
Funeral (intro)
Arrival
A Mansion In The Darkness
The Family Ghost
The 7th Day Of July 1777
Omens
The Possessions
Abigail
Black Horsemen
Insanity

As it was really wet and a little cold and the clock had turned 12.30 is was time for us to head home satisfied with what we’ve seen. It was not fun at all with all the rain again, and despite the fact that Abbath was still left to perform we chose to leave the festival. Many with us left the premises but it didn’t take long until we sat on a warm bus heading for the metro and the train home to Sweden.

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