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  COPENHELL FESTIVAL 2012
Xander

Xander

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copenhell

Copen-what I hear you say? Welcome to Denmark's premier outdoor Metal festival, two days of pure Metal in the heart of Denmark's capital, København - directly translated to 'Purchase-one-port', but we just say Copenhagen.

Copenhell started life in 2010 to a mere 4,000 Metallers and is located in the front yard of the old ship builder's dockyard. Now in it's third year the festival has doubled in ticket sales and brought one of the best festival line-ups I have ever seen.

In comparison to something in the UK, the festival is quickly catching up to the kind of scale of Bloodstock Open Air, minus the camping - which due to the location is pretty short on grass so very limited to just a couple of hundred campers with branded tents already set up!

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The layout offers two main stages alternating sets so that you don't miss a single act and now a fully pledged stage for upcoming danish Metal acts. A modest food court for eating and cigarettes and plenty of bars including a Jäger bus, Tuborg bus and Vodka Bus. Additionally this year there was a photography exhibition in an old ruined industrial offices, a cigar lounge and a fenced off court in which you smash up scrap cars! Bands start at lunch and the headliner starts at midnight!

So on to the bands and this year actually had less than last year but with such an awesome line-up I didn't even notice! A pre-festival party warm-up occurred the Thursday night for campers opening with Svartsot - true viking-Metal from the homeland!

Mordax stood strong with a modern breed of melodic Metal, definitely worth checking out! The night closed with the odd Danish band, Red Warszawa. Musically and stage wise you could almost compare this band to a poor man's Gwar that allows stage divers - as long as they can give you a violent wedgy.

This band were seriously crazy, with the guitarist ending up naked, the singer kissing men and the band's own personal waitresses. Musically not so great and singing in Danish so I had no idea what about, but the enjoyment level was fun and the crowd loved them with many knowing the songs and what was going on! The band finished about 1.00am.

copenhall

FRIDAY

Upcoming band Barricade kicked off the main festival on the Pandæmonium (third) stage followed by Skeletonwitch on the Hades (second) stage, hugely appreciative to the Danish crowd and then Killswitch Engage on the Helvíti (first) stage. So Jesse back with Killswitch, vocally I didn't like Howard but he had a good charisma on stage. How would Jesse do on the newer songs?

Well he sleighed it and loved performing for his first time in Denmark! Adam seemed a little calmer today probably due to a strapped up knee but still ran around like a loon regardless and sang a nice little song: "I love Denmark, Denmark I love you".

Although the car park is next to the arena (I slept in the car/drank) and due to the nice atmosphere and friendly locals, although the band's alternate, it's still pretty easy to miss bands!

Brutal Truth I missed but Anthrax, although playing the same set as at Download Festival the weekend before, gave such a good performance.

I missed All Shall Perish but no way I would miss Mastodon, who got off to a great start but then seemed to get a bit average, nowhere near as great as their set earlier on in the year. Loved it nonetheless.

Gojira sounded wicked and went down very well with the day being closed by Slayer. A pretty standard set from the band but not too long, so plenty of juicy tracks and not too much filler.

copenhell

SATURDAY

Today the festival opened a couple of hours early with happy hour at the bars - now there's a nice idea! Saxon kicked of the Helvíti stage, intially perhaps slightly put off by a smaller audience but warming well and allowing the crowd to choose tracks throughout the set.

Meshuggah caned it. I'd seen them many years ago and got a little bored and I was kind of expecting the same again as the tracks can get a little tedious, but sat on the hill in the sun with a beer the band went down phenomenally well. I was damn impressed.

Natives, The Kandidate, ripped up the Pandæmonium stage. Part of the modern Metal movement in Denmark and on their second album, I'm actually surprised the band hadn't got a slot on one of the main stages.

Immortal, although loud and black, were quite upbeat and Trivium, well, I caught a couple of tracks the week before and was not totally impressed with the new drummer. Having now heard a full set I see how good he is but he can get too carried away with the double bass and it can sound sloppy. The rest of the band worked very hard though and earned the respect of the crowd.

Lamb Of God I was a little disappointed with the week before but this week they punched me in the face - what a corker of a set! You just never know what's going to happen at a LOG gig and they will play anything! Not only this, they demanded the audience move and the crowd obeyed, creating (according to the stage compere) Denmark's largest circle pit. This pit was big and it didn't lose momentum whatsoever and didn't stop until the song finished - even the band were impressed. Well done Copenhell!

Soulfly thundered through their set with Max calling for circle pits every song but moods were starting to wither as the rain started to fall, but a great set with a great new band, the crowd especially loving the Sepultura tracks.

So that leaves us with Marilyn Manson. Last time I caught him a few years back he wasn't exactly sober enough to do the job so I was ready for a less than great show, but I was not prepared for this.

By now the heaven's had opened and the rain was thrashing down and MM made us wait fifteen minutes until he came on stage. That was not a great start and what's worse is what he made us wait for. Half the lyrics he forgot, the half he remembered were sung to the rhythm of something completely different and when he was singing, he was facing the back of the stage to the amps!

The compere had boasted the attendance for the festival at 8,000 but I doubt half of that were left watching Manson, a decision easily made due to the rain to either take shelter in one of the beer tents, or simply leave!

Marilyn has definitely lost it but I most feel sorry for his band. The music they are playing is actually pretty flawless and sounding great, leaving me with the thought they must only be doing it for money, as it's not like they are treated with respect on stage!

So all in all this festival was kick ass, the lineup and performances were seriously good and Copenhell as a festival really is a blooming product from Live Nation. If you've got some money to spend on flights and a hotel and want to try something new, go for it, you won't regret it!

3.7.12


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