Gods Of Violence European Tour 2017: Leg 1
Sepultura – special guest
Soilwork – special guest
Aborted – support act
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
GODS OF VIOLENCE is the name of the brand new Kreator album that the band is currently out supporting on tour in Europe. It has been about 2 years since the band last crossed Europe on their own. The majority of the shows the band did on the tour are sold out and the show in Copenhagen was no exception, even though Metallica was in town the same night to be the first act to perform at the newly built Royal Arena. The show took place at Amager Bio which is an old cinema that holds about 1,200 people; on tour Kreator had brought Sepultura, Soilwork, and Aborted, so it was a really heavy tour package that hit Copenhagen as the fifth show of the just-begun tour. Because of the border controls between Sweden and Denmark it can take longer to cross the bridge and because of that I came early so I wouldn’t be late. The doors were going to open at 6 but I was there already at 5 with a lot of other fans. We got into the venue pretty quickly, which was great because it was quite cold outside.
The only original member left in Aborted is vocalist Sven “Svencho” de Caluwe. The band’s latest album, RETROGORE, was released in April 2016. The band likes to record in Denmark and have worked together with legendary Danish producer Jacob Hansen a lot. As the stage was pretty crowded, it didn’t appear that Aborted would have much space to move around but we’d find out soon as no sooner had we entered the venue and it was time for Aborted to go on.
Singer de Caluwe had the crowd going from the very start, taking the band into a pace that was fast, hard, and brutal. All of the band members and fans head banged their way throughout the show as Aborted played an intense show. Circle pits were formed and the two smoke machines on stage spit smoke up into the roof. de Caluwe thanked the fans for the support and said he wanted to see the fans throw the horns in the air. Because of the poor lighting and the massive smoke it was hard to take pictures and the sound system didn’t sound great; it sounded like Aborted hadn’t been given the time for a sound check. de Caluwe wanted to see some “mother-fucking circle pits”, and once outside the photo area it was easier to see what was going down on the floor. de Caluwe wanted the fans to shout “hey hey hey” and everyone did. Despite the bad sound and lights the fans were really pleased, de Caluwe said the band always has fun together with the Danish fans. He ordered the fans on both sides of the stage shout & sing on command and everyone bellowed at the top of their lungs.
That ended the night for Aborted who seemed really happy with the night’s performance. The band thanked the fans, took off their instruments, and left the stage. Aborted did a great job as opening act, managing to get some mayhem going during the 30 minute show. The only things that worked against the band were the sound and lights but on the other hand, the fans and the band lifted each other and made the show worth watching.
A new back drop was raised, some gear changed and so it was time to see Helsingborg, Sweden’s Soilwork. The band’s been through a lot of member changes and the latest one occurred when drummer Dirk Verbeuren left last in 2016 to join Megadeth. The only remaining original member is singer Bjorn “Speed” Strid and to be honest, I kind of lost interest in the band after the 2010 year album THE PANIC BROADCAST. Since then the band’s released three albums and one live DVD, none of which I have really cared to listen to any closer. More people had arrived and the balconies had been opened, always an indicator of a full venue.
“The Ride Majestic” opened the show and “Nerved” followed instantly. Just like Aborted, Soilwork wasn’t given much space to move around on stage. “Rise Above the Sentiment” came next as Strid stood in the middle of the stage with one foot on a monitor while singing. He did a circle move with his hand and a circle pit formed straight away. The fans were pretty wild, jumping and screaming along with the songs. The line up in the band is:
Bjorn Speed Strid – lead vocals
Sven Karlsson – keyboard
Sylvain Coudret – guitar
David Andersson – guitar
Markus Wilbom – bass
Bastian Thusgaard – drums (session member)
Strid thanked everyone for the support and said the guys thought it was great fun to be playing in Denmark again. “Bastard Chain” continued the show & circle pit after which an acoustic guitar intro came out from the PA, igniting “The Living Infinite 1”. The lighting was really poor again, with almost no lights in front of the stage, only at the back. Strid and Coudret moved around the most and Strid took a look at the crowd, saying that the fans looked really good and full of rock n’ roll. Next up was the title track from the THE CHAINHEART MACHINE, during which Strid urged the fans to shout louder and louder and go even more mental.
It felt like the band was a bit tired; I have seen them much more edgy and on fire than they were this night. The next song was really mosh friendly Strid said, and it was “Two Lives Worth of Reckoning”. I kind of miss the old members in the band; for some reason the “new” Soilwork didn’t feel as tight and cohesive like they were in the past. Strid wanted to see more circle pit action in “Late For the Kill, Early For the Slaughter”. Despite his urging of the crowd, Strid felt uninspired and mostly stood still. The final song was taken from what is probably their most successful album, STABBING THE DRAMA, and it was again the title track. After that, the band thanked the fans and walked off the stage.
The 40-minute show didn’t impress me. I have seen the band much more focused and on fire than they were this night. Sure, the set list was varied and included a lot of great songs but something lacked in their performance.
The Ride Majestic
Rise Above The Sentiment
The Living Infinite 1
The Chainheart Machine
Two Lives Worth Of Reckoning
Late For The Kill, Early For The Slaughter
Stabbing The Drama
The majority of the people in the club were younger males (not too many females) and I could also see some familiar Swedish faces around. Next up on the list was Sepultura whom I have liked since the release of ARISE. I think that album, along with CHAOS A.D, are two modern classics, however I stopped following them after the release of ROORBACK in 2003. The band has gone through a lot of member changes and personally speaking, I miss Max and Igor too much to bother picking up on the band again. The last time I saw them live was back in 2014 and I haven’t listened to their new album MACHINE MESSIAH at all.
On stage, the Sepultura gear came up and the band had a huge backdrop that was even bigger than Soilwork’s. The crew didn’t work fast because the tour had just begun and they hadn’t developed their routine yet, but and at 8.05 it was time for the Sepultura.
“I Am the Enemy” was the first song out and the fans greeted the band with cheers and claps. “Phantom Self” followed straight away and it felt like the fans were one with the band right from the start. In “Choke” Green used the single drum that was standing at the side, thanking the fans for the support and asking if they were ready to hear “Desperate City”. The band’s line-up is:
Derrick Green – lead vocals
Eloy Casagrande – drums
Andreas Kisser – guitar
Paulo JR – bass
In the middle of the song Green had the fans scream at his command; he was already soaked in sweat even though the show just had begun. A small circle pit was formed after which Green said it was two weeks since the band released MACHINE MESSIAH and that it was time for the band to play a few songs from it. The first one out was “Alethea” and Green worked hard to connect with the crowd, as did Kisser. Paulo JR mostly stood solid on his spot. Green didn’t do much talking in between songs, he mostly just introduced the next tune. “Sworn Oath” followed, after which Kisser took the mic saying it was fun to be playing in Copenhagen. “In 1989 we recorded the album BENEATH THE REMAINS and from that album comes “Inner Self”. That song woke up the crowd who were shouting “hey hey”; it seemed like this was one of the songs the fans had been waiting for. “Resident Parasites”, taken from MACHINE MESSIAH followed, and after some change of gear it was time for the epic “Refuse/Resist”. That definitely got everyone inside the club going. Green let the fans sing the majority of the chorus and as the song is one of my personal favorites, I loved every minute of it. After another short change of gear Green said he wanted to see the fans “Arise” for him and of course the fans went mental when another classic was played for them.
The rhythm section of Casagrande and Paulo JR felt solid and Kisser delivered some edgy guitar work. Green did a good job as front man but I wished he would have tried harder to entertain the crowd. He seemed a bit tired and uninspired; I have seen him doing better than this. Green asked how the fans were doing and took out his drum sticks to fire off “Ratamahatta”. Kisser and Green shared the lead vocals on the ROOTS song. The final song for the night was of course, “Roots Bloody Roots”. The fans sang along during the whole thing. Green paused the song and let the fans sing on their own which went really well, after which the band took off their instruments, thanked the crowd and walked off the stage.
With a few exceptions the set list included mostly new songs which felt pretty OK; it was fun to see how solid Sepultura now are as a band. However, for me personally I don’t find today’s Sepultura interesting; I miss the Cavalera brothers in the band. Even though Green felt a bit tired, the fans seemed to love the performance so I guess I have to give the show one thumb up for effort.
I Am The Enemy
Roots Bloody Roots
Lots of the people left the floor and hit the bar while waiting for Kreator and strangely, many also left the club after Sepultura. I went outside to catch some air before it was time to see the night’s headliner, and the reason why I was attending the club. Kreator has been active since way back and have gone through some member changes over the years. The band’s maintained a heavy tour schedule and recently released their latest opus, GODS OF VIOLENCE. The stage looked really cool with the band’s huge back drop in the center and three video screens. The band also brought a lot of lights with them and it all looked really promising. The fans started to get a bit anxious but luckily it didn’t take long until the crew had prepared the stage.
The members made their way on to the stage to the tones of the intro and as soon as the fans saw the guys, they screamed at the top of their lungs as “Hordes of Chaos (A Necrologue for the Elite)” was the first song out. Me and the rest of the photographers were waiting to get into the pit but the security refused until after the first song; I have no idea why this happened. “Phobia” and new cut “Satan is Real” followed as Petrozza shouted “Copenhagen, Kreator is back!” The video screens all showed fire as the smoke machine covered the stage; it was all really cool and atmospheric. Kreator consists of:
Mille Petrozza – lead vocals, guitar
Ventor Reil – drums
Christian “Speesy” Giesler – bass
Sami Yli-Sirniö – guitar
Giesler walked up the stairs beside the drums and played bass behind Reil. At the end of “Satan is Real” we were told to leave the pit. That meant we only a song and a half to take pictures. It was really frustrating that we weren’t told the weird photo rules before the show. “Gods of Violence” was accompanied by a circle pit and a few also tried to crowd surf; it was a busy night for the security at the front of the stage. Kreator opened the show strong and continued to build up speed as the show proceeded. Kreator showed exactly why they were the headliner this night. Petrozza asked if Copenhagen was ready for “People of the Lie” and the old classic made the fans go berserk. Circle pits formed, people jumped up and down, and the temperature rose to the maximum. Petrozza had the fans to scream at his command and they all followed along. “Total Death” was dedicated to all the fans that had been with the band from the start and Petrozza urged the fans to form another circle pit in the middle of the song.
The tempo and music were brutal; it was hard to even catch your breath in between the songs. The members walked off the stage during the intro “Mars Mantra” before coming back and firing off “Phantom Antichrist” with Yli-Sirniö playing guitar while standing behind the drums. Petrozza wanted the fans to tear down the place and encouraged them to shout “hey hey” and said it was time for “Fallen Brother”. He also walked up the stairs behind Ventor as the screens showed pictures of David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Jon Lord, Lemmy, and Dimebag. Petrozza said it was fun to be back in Copenhagen again and he wanted to see the evening’s first wall of death as he divided the fans into two sides facing each other. He wanted the fans to run towards each other on his command and counted to three in German before kicking off both “Enemy of God” as well as the wall of death. The screens showed lightning as Petrozza urged the fans to scream aloud. Fire squirted out from the edge of the stage and showed on the screens during “From Flood Into Fire”, after which the stage turned black. Two people came out on stage holding a large drum banging out “Apocalypticon” which transformed into “World War Now” as all of the members came out on the stage again.
The screens showed pictures of World War 2; it was really dark and atmospheric. Petrozza was, as always, a brilliant front man and the band was really tight. Petrozza, along with his skilled band, knows how to take on a huge crowd. “Hail to the Hordes” followed, after which he said that the band has got a long history together with Copenhagen, “when we first performed here in 1986, we made many friends and Denmark’s got a lot of great bands like Volbeat and Hatesphere. The Danish fans have stuck with the band through thick and thin and we appreciate that”, he said. “Extreme Aggression” followed and “Civilization Collapse” ended the ordinary set of the show. As the circle pits formed during the first song, I thought everyone was going to be exhausted when the 75 minutes extreme thrash show was over, but as the band walked off the stage the fans shouted for encores.
“The Patriarch” marked the first encore as smoke burst from the edge of the stage. “Violent Revolution” came next after which Petrozza went and fetched the flag he uses to wave around, asking the fans to help the band say a word that’s opposite to love but just as strong as love. “It’s time to raise the flag of…”, and the fans shouted “hate!” That was repeated a few times because he wanted to hear everyone at the balcony scream as well. He then thanked the fans for making the Copenhagen show a special one. “Flags of Hate” and “Under the Guillotine” followed before Petrozza asked if Copenhagen was ready for some pleasure and the crowd shouted “Kill” back to him, which of course meant the epic “Pleasure To Kill” was next, which was the last encore for the night. He wanted the fans to form a final circle pit, which the fans did. The song ended with the guys holding up their guitars and fire bursting up beside them. Petrozza thanked the fans for a brilliant evening and said he wanted to come back and see them soon again. The encore lasted for another 20 minutes, which made the entire show last for 95 minutes and when the clock turned 11.10 the show was over.
I can’t but agree that it had been a brilliant night. Kreator showed that they are still one of the best thrash acts around and they still are as important today as they were back in the ’80’s. The backline was amazing and looked really cool and it was nice to see the drums so far out at the front of the stage so the members could walk up the stairs besides just standing behind performing. The set list treated us to some epic classics as well as current killers. Kreator only gets better and better each year as a live act few can beat them in a live situation. They showed why they were the headline act were definitely the best band this night.
The only negative was the debacle in the photo pit during Kreator’s set; maybe the organizers and the crew should have a sit down and make sure everyone has the same photo rules next time.
Besides that, it was this a magic night and I was really grateful to once again see the mighty Kreator live. It was a very happy Anders that boarded the train back to Sweden this cold night.
Choir Of the Damned (intro)
Hordes Of Chaos (A Necrologue For The Elite)
Satan Is Real
Gods Of Violence
People Of The Lie
Mars Mantra (intro)
Enemy Of God
From Flood Into Fire
World War Now
Hail To The Hordes
The Patriarch (intro)
Flag Of Hate
Under The Guillotine
Pleasure To Kill
Thanks to Darren Edwards at Nuclear Blast German HQ for help with press/photo pass.