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Festival report: Copenhell

in Live Reviews by
Copenhell crowd

Photos by Alexander Brandel. Text by Oliver Brandel

Placed at the old facilities of B&W. A Modern waste land in central Copenhagen. Just 50 meters

from the old metal foundry, we find Copenhell. The biggest metal/rock in Denmark( and probably

the only one worth mentioning.) The festival saw the day of light in 2010, and have now grown

quite big over the last 5 years.

Before arrival I heard that the tickets for thursday and friday was sold out. The expectations were

high. After entering the gate to Copenhell I was mildly disappointed. So much space, so few

guests. I stood in the food area, where every kitchen was given a cliché name, like “Hell Burger”

and “Devil’s Thai Corner”. From there I could spot all 3 scenes at the Copenhell. Helviti, Hades and

Pandæmonium. No music, just people walking around, laying down on the hill, that surrounds and

the area, and enjoying the sun, just like the rest of Copenhagen.

Gojira live at Copenhell
Gojira live at Copenhell

All in all, the surroundings didn’t really impress and I thought that this was going to be a very long

festival. Yeah sure, you had all the vital stuff a true metal festival needs. Viking land, pop-up tattoo

shop, patch shops, beers and pork barbecue. But all that couldn’t counter the the fact that it felt

deserted and some how half finished.

Suddenly, the warmth of a thousand suns (It felt that way) blasted through the area. Copenhell

used a very clever technique to tell the audience, that a new band was entering a stage. BIG A**

FIREBALLS. Now we were talking!

I was soon to realize the real nature of Copenhell.

The strength of the festival wasn’t this half-finished apocalyptic waste land. It was amazing bands,

amazing audience and an amazing vibe of love, not just for the music, but for all fellow metal

heads gathered at the end of world, or at least Copenhagen.

 

Solbrud live at Copenhell
Solbrud live at Copenhell

Solbrud

Solbrud went on stage and gave the audience what they asked for. Uncompromised black metal,

just as it should be. With the debut album “Jærtegn”, Solbrud really made something special. An

album that made all the critics bow down to the new heroes of black metal.

The frontman Ole Luk screamed like he was possessed by Satan himself. The quartet from

Denmark showed everybody why the hype was so big and very real. For the first time in my life, I

actually enjoyed black metal. An demonstration of brutal force and big talents.

Primus live at Copenhell
Primus live at Copenhell

Primus

Big mushrooms on the stage, funny smelling tobacco in the air. Primus was about to enter Helviti.

With Les Claypool in front, slapping the bass to pieces, Primus took us to their psychedelic world.

the cartoonish and wierd music that makes the band who they are, doesn’t really work at a venue

like this. Slow beats and a lot of funny noises didn’t make the crowd go crazy. They tried, they

really did. I don’t blame the band, I blame the bookers. It was not a bad concert at all, it just

seemed misplaced, especially when 80% of crowd only know the for their contribution to the South

Park intro.

Turbonegro live at Copenhell
Turbonegro live at Copenhell

Turbonegro

The Norwegian band Turbonegro is mostly known for their parody of rock n roll and Pride worthy

outfits. It was stupid and funny, just like you want Turbonegro to be. Who dosen’t love Hank von

Helvete, the chubby frontman in hot pants and face paint. They gave everything they had and the

audience enjoyed every second of the musical comedy on stage. Always funny to watch. If you

don’t like music, just bring your best earplugs and have a laugh!

Gojira

The best concert at Copenhell. Period. No one stood a chance. No friendly chit-chat with fans, no

funny comment, just pure evil death and technique. The French band Gojira dominated the stage

and spanked the ears of the audience. Hypnotizing death mixed with the sounds of djent makes a

perfect cocktail, just ask your bartender. Especially the L’Enfant Sauvage gives a perfect picture of

what modern death should sound like. There is nothing more to say. The came, they saw, the

conquered.

Crowd at Copenhell
Crowd at Copenhell
Marduk live at Roskilde Festival
Marduk live at Roskilde Festival

Marduk

Probably the most evil and satanic band on the bill this year. The devil frontman, Mortuus, screams

out “are you fucking with us tonight?!”. The responds was silence. People just stood there, liked

they were nailed to the pavement. I’ve got the feeling, that this concert was going to fall directly to

the ground. Sure it was last day and people were drunk and tired, but still, there was almost no

response for the 2/3 parts of the concert. At last! Marduk succeeded with getting the crowd going,

but it wasn’t enough to save the concert, although they play quite well.

Asking Alexandria live at Copenhell
Asking Alexandria live at Copenhell

Asking Alexandria

The pretty boys from Great Britain went on stage and first pit was filled with women, waiting for

their One Direction of metal. Mixing metal with electronic music from Sonar festival, is not best

combination, but the ladies didn’t care, because the band is cute. It was quite obvious to see, that

a lot of the crowd only bought their ticket to see AA, and didn’t come for the “real” metal. But what

can you say. Their music is catchy and the hardcore fans loved it. No great technique or lyrics, but

a hell of energy and presence. It was actually not as bad, as I would have thought.

The Darkness live at Copenhell
The Darkness live at Copenhell

The Darkness

Wasn’t this supposed to be a metal festival? Sure, all the people at Copenhell knows “I Belive In A

Thing Called Love” and can probably sing the most of it, but aren’t these guy like 60 years old by

now? It is clear from the get-go that this is going to be one hell of a tough crowd as the audience is

filled with conservative metal heads. But the guys from The Darkness actually did it! With their 70s

rock and roll attitude, funny performance and well mastered instrument, it was possible to conquer

the audience. They gave a good show, but it was possible to tell that the band was a bit road-worn

after the last 15 years. Especially when singer, Justin Hawkins, couldn’t hit his signature high

notes. Very funny, but not amazing.

 

SESSION: Cold Specks

in Sessions by
Cold Specks (Photo by Alexander Brandel)

“Born all in the dark wormy earth, cold specks of fire, evil, lights shining in the darkness.” These lines from James Joyce’s Ulysses would later inspire the stage name of Somali-Canadian singer-songwriter Ladan Hussein. Somehow you can hear her sound in these words; layered and complex, full of soul and beauty.

On a mild January morning, after playing a sold out show at Vega the night before, Cold Specks arrived at the Black Tornado to perform some songs from her second album, Neuroplasticity. Here is the atmospheric ‘Absisto’ and the soulful ‘Let Loose The Dogs’.

The session was recorded at the Black Tornado Studios. This is also where the portrait of Cold Specks by Alexander Brandel was taken.

VIDEO: Metro Cult – Transparent

in Blog by

A new video is out by the Danish post-punk band Metro Cult. Directed by Johannah Jørgensen the video makes great use of Copenhagen’s architecture transforming the city into a bleak concrete backdrop. Their new EP is out today (May 14th) on Mass Media Records.

AUDIO: Soho Rezanejad – ‘Idolatry’

in Blog by

Soho Rezanejad former member of Gold Lip and collaborator with Lust For Youth and Kasper Bjørke, has shared her debut single ‘Idolatry’ today (11th May). Generating dark pop anthems with her seductive baritone vocals, Soho explores the sinister areas of electronic-pop. A debut EP is on the horizon with a rough date scheduled of fall 2015.

Listen to ‘Idolatry’ below:

LIVE REVIEW: Screaming Females, Loppen, 28.04.2015

in Live Reviews by
Screaming Females

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Much is made of Screaming Female’s frontwoman Marissa Paternoster’s guitar playing, and rightfully so[/inlinetweet]. Her technique is hard to match, but while she can shred like it’s nobody’s business, she has an intuition that makes Screaming Female’s music interesting and tactful rather than a wanton display of her skills.

Live, however, you can’t downplay the significance of the band’s rhythm section. The bass in particular contributes so much to the propulsion of each song, and is what gives their set a punk feel, even though Paternoster’s riffs take them far away from that territory.

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This is a band with enough confidence to turn their backs to the audience, to repeatedly form a tight circle around drummer Jarrett Dougherty’s kit and play for themselves, and yet their energy is fantastic. Because when they are facing the audience, Paternoster twists her body in determined, broad movements and swings her hair with a tact that could only have been learned by watching MTV in the early 90s, and enough sweat is flung off of bassist King Mike’s hair to make us all feel a little gross but in a largely good way.

But there’s a huge shift with the intro to “Hopeless.” It’s the first time we really hear Paternoster’s voice clearly, and it’s rich and soulful and quickly supplanted once again by her usual growl.

They end the night first with King Mike handing off his bass to an enthusiastic young man and giving him an impromptu lesson. Paternoster steps off the stage and the two pair crumple to the floor before she, too, hands off her guitar for another member of the audience to take over. It’s fun, an anti-rock star move worth a good laugh (and given the monetary and potential sentimental value of one’s instruments, it’s brave, too), and it brings the night to a definite if surprising close.

screaming_females-04434

PHOTOS: White Hills, Loppen, 14.04.2015

in Photos by

Photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)

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PLAYLIST: Here Today’s Concerts – April

in Blog by

We have updated our “Here Today Concerts” playlist.

The Twilight Sad (Loppen, 03.04.2015)

The Twilight Sad has just released their fourth studio album, Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave, to raving reviews.  Drowned In Sound wrote:  “The Twilight Sad gave birth to one of the greatest British debut albums in living memory. That was in 2007 and just seven years later they’ve given us an indication that they could attain greatness on a par with MBV or The Jesus and Mary Chain. Hell, carry on like this and we’ll be comparing them with The Cure.” Sounds like a band you want to hear, right?

Eyehategod (Loppen, 07.04.2015)

Wearing earplugs to an Eyehategod show is as effective as wearing a bulletproof vest to a catapult festival. As veteran purveyors of sludge metal, the New Orleans outfit grind out blood-encrusted songs that fall on the exploding end of the noise spectrum. Their music is the sound gravity makes with a limitless supply of anvils and anchors, the spectacle of which will be well worth the price of admission.

Kate Tempest (Vega, 13.04.2015)

The obvious reference point to Kate Tempest debut album Everybody Down is the Streets’ second album, A Grand Don’t Come for Free. It is a conceptual album that tells the story of three characters battling loneliness in the big city, with each song representing a new chapter; a rather ambitious undertaking which the young Londoner gets away with quite well.

Calexico (Amager Bio, 14.04.2015)

Calexico specializes in music of the soul by sunset, a style and attitude inherent to the group’s home in the Mexican-American borderlands of Tucson, Arizona. Combining the warm acoustic arrangements of country and the brassy orchestration of Mexican folk music, they can get big and loud without being unwelcoming. Their forthcoming album Edge of the Sun is set to release on April 14, the day of their show at Amager Bio. If ever there were a time and a place…

White Hills (Loppen, 14.04.2015)

Psychedelic New-Yorkers White Hills haven’t released much material in the last couple of years, but that hasn’t kept them out of the lime-light. An appearance on Only Lovers Left Alive–a scene in which the vampiric Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddelston and Mia Wasikowska gloomily headbang to the band in a Detroit club–has cemented their reputation as purveyors of far out cool. Loppen is certainly an appropriate venue for a band with the Jim Jarmusch seal of approval.

Grouper (Jazzhouse, 21.04.2015)

Having listened to Ruins, Liz Harris’ latest album as ambient act Grouper, it’s difficult to picture exactly what kind of performance she will put on at Jazzhouse. How do you haunt a stage the way that album haunts the mind? Undoubtedly with the aid of smoke and mirrors. Even if all that means is a bit of dry ice and some mood lighting, the aural component is smoke you can’t blow out, a mirror you can’t turn away from.

Moon Duo (Stengade, 22.04.2015)

If the East Coast psychedelia of White Hills isn’t enough for one month, Moon Duo are coming to Copenhagen to represent the West Coast. On the back of their latest critically-acclaimed album, Shadow of the Sun, the Duo will be kraut-rocking through Europe, leaving behind them a trail of burned rubber and broken speakers.

Colin Stetson (Jazzhouse, 22.04.2015)

Stetson’s New History of Warfare trilogy, recently completed, has gone a long way in redefining the capabilities of the saxophone. Thanks to circular breathing techniques and microphones inserted in strange places, Colin Stetson has turned the usually jaunty sax into an instrument of bleak and violent landscapes. Eerie pulsations and terrifying screeches are the order of the day, and we look forward to experiencing them in Lynchian environment of Jazzhouse.

Screaming Females (Loppen, 28.04.2015)

Actually there is only one female in the New Jersey Punk outfit Screaming Females, Marissa Paternoster. Even though she is tiny, she fills the stage in a way that stops the question “why are they called that then?” popping into your head. Her powerful vibrato and brutal guitar work is hard to match. Their 2012 album Ugly was recorded with Steve Albini and gained praise with publications such as Pitchfork. On their new album Rose Mountain the band explores new territory which results in a more refined sound which holds great promise for the future.

AUDIO: The Soft Moon ‘Deeper’

in Blog by

Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)

Post-punk on peyote, maybe? Descriping The Soft Moon is not an easy task. Being the brain child of singer-songwriter Luis Vasquez, the synth-based project is minimal, yet challenging. You can now stream the new album ‘Deeper’ at NPR – and make sure to get tickets for their concert at Loppen in May: Soft Moon live at Loppen in Copenhagen on May 20th 2015

PLAYLIST: Sónar Copenhagen

in Blog by

Since its beginning in Barcelona in 1994 the electronic music festival Sónar has expanded to over 46 cities acros the globe. This weekend Sónar is coming to Copenhagen. We have made a little selection of artists that will be playing the festival.
With a slight focus on local artists, our playlist spans the electronic pop of Kwamie Liv to the techno-infused avant-garde industrial soundscapes of artists like Puce Mary and Vessel.

Sekuoia

Sekuoia, the moniker of Alexander Bech Madsen, produces atmospheric and dreamy electronica with dry beats and synths. Listen to Here Today’s session with Sekuoia from last year, as well as the one Sekuoia recorded together with Ice Cream Cathedral.

Vessel

In 2014 Vessel released their second studio album, Punish, Honey, described by Sonar as “one of 2014’s most stimulating and challenging”. Drowned In Sound wrote “It’s broodingly mechanic, and yet harrowingly human; it’s truly Bristolian, and neither futuristic nor nostalgic; it’s simply and unignorably now.”

Tri Angle, Vessel’s label, is also home to artists like Haxan Cloak and Forrest Swords.

Kwamie Liv

Kwamie Liv is on the rise. Big time. Simple as that.

Factory Floor

Factory Floor is a band that has to be seen live. With influences that range from Throbbing Gristle to Depeche Mode their sound combines dark and industrial tones with a rapturous rhythm section.

AV AV AV

AV AV AV was formed in late 2013 by three already established names on the danish electronc scene: UNKWON, ELOQ AND DJ E.D.D.E.H. They first track ‘All Good’ became a summer essantial and since then AV AV AV has progressed at a steady pace, with a big show at DR Koncerthuset and a spot on the poster for Roskilde Festival 2015.

Puce Mary

When Frederikke Hoffmeier goes on stage she is Puce Mary, an artist known for her experiental music, shifting from sound art over minimal synth to techno. Puce Mary is released on labels such as Posh Isolation, Freak Animal and Ideal Recordings.

Taragana Pyjarama

Taragana Pyjarama’s debut album was relased on the German label Kompakt, which is about as high as you can get when it comes to European electronic dance music and ambient pop. Before that – in 2011 – he had an EP out on French label Fool House. His sound has been compared to artists like Panda Bear. Taragana Pyjarama’s latest release, Nothing Hype, is published on Wyrd, his own label. Here Today did a session with him in 2013 which you can listen to below.

Sonar Copenhagen will take place on the 13. & 14. of March 2015

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