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.
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 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.
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
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!
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
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.
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.
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.