Copenhell: day 2 in hell

DeathbyRomy: The darkest horse of the festival!

This was my first time seeing DeathbyRomy live, and I have to say, I was as surprised as I was delighted. And I think most other people there were too. I had of course checked out a few of her videos beforehand, and my initial thought was that there was someone with a lot to say, and who could offer something a little different. But the live performance was completely different from what I was expecting.

First of all the music. This isn’t my go-to genre if it even belongs to one, but her brand of, let’s call it sort of industrial trap core, for lack of a better term, is incredibly intense, and her songs all seem very personal. She goes from singing to screaming pretty much flawlessly, and not only does she have a strong voice, but knows exactly when to change the tone of it in her songs to create great buildups and brutal breakdowns. The music, at times, has a pretty big emphasis on the bass, which is a little unusual, but very welcome, as it lets the bass player shine too.

I was blown away by the energy and great back and forth between her and the two other members she had with her on stage. There was a drummer too, but he remained pretty stationary, as drummers tend to do. The same can not be said for the three young women, who managed to completely fill the Hades stage, the second largest of the festival, something that even more routined artists can struggle with. They were all either doing their own thing, or working in tandem, and you were always sort of trying to keep track of what the others were doing. So while there really was little need for a stage show, the pyrotechnics did add to the intensity of the show.

Opening the second day of Copenhell, the crowd wasn’t huge, but everyone there got caught up in the moment, and gave resounding applause. There was even a circle pit going. DeatbyRomy was possibly the biggest surprise performance of the festival, and we’re only on the second day. If you ever have the chance, I highly recommend seeing them live, regardless of preferred genres!

Thy Art is Murder: Heavy hitters from around the globe!

Coming all the way from down under, Australian band Thy Art is Murder, is here to bring the pain. With their signature deathcore sound, leaning more and more towards the death than the core, it doesn’t take them long to get the crowd going. After the second song the first of at least 3 circle pits throughout the show is raging on, and after only about 10 more minutes of their incredibly fast guitar and drums, and Sean Delanders’ gutwrenching screams and hellishly deep and guttural growls, we get the first wall of death.

Being one of the earlier bands of the second day, you see a lot of people nursing hangovers on the hill. But as one of the few bands so far, the crowd actually grows throughout the show, and soon the ratio shifts, and there are more people in front of the stage than on the hill. But what else can you expect from a band that’s been around for almost 20 years, with six studio albums and a very loyal fanbase? They know how to give a great show, and should you somehow have managed to never hear about them, I highly recommend checking out both the new and old albums. The lead singer might have changed, but the quality sure hasn’t.

NAKKEKNAEKKER: Denmarks rising stars!

I was super happy to see Danish death-metal band Nakkeknaekker (neckbreaker) on the roster for this year Copenhell. Having had them play in a bar a few years ago, I knew right away that they were going places. The fact that they had to leave the bar immediately after because they were underage, didn’t stop them from delivering an amazing show, and it’s nice to see how much these youngins’ have grown in the last few years. Not only do they have a great stage presence, jumping around all over, but their sound is filled with that same youthful energy and speed. Delivering their take on classic death metal, incorporating a few new elements, they’ve made their sound which is both recognizable and void of stagnancy. The vocals are on point, the guitar solos and riffs are just spectacular, and how the drums aren’t catching fire must be some sort of trade secret.

And the crowd is running amok. Getting as close as I could, I was still nowhere near the front, and the flock of people there to see them extended as far back as I could see. Even the people in the back with no actual view of the stage were headbanging along. And when lead singer Christoffer Kofoed jokingly said this would be just a ’terrible’ time for a circle pit, the cloud of dust that was raised was the biggest I had seen so far. They’re also very much in the running for most crowd surfers this year. Hopefully, we’ll get to see them at Copenhell in the future, if they aren’t still out touring the rest of the world, and if we do, they need a bigger stage for sure. Given enough years, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them headline one day either. Check them out if you haven’t already!

Tom Morello: A living legend on the guitar!

Tom Morello is probably best known for being the guitarist from Rage Against the Machine, and the sound of his show at Copenhell very much shows that. He has developed a very distinct personal style and has a whole slew of tricks to make his guitar sing. This is good, because the emphasis is very much on the guitar-playing, and much less on the song aspect. It’s catchy, dynamic and technically incredible. The man is a legend for a reason.

And his experience on stage shows, for example when he invented a new song for Copenhell on the spot while they were fixing an amp. The crowd was large, although most had fallen back to sit on the hill and just enjoy the show. His interaction was laid back and humorous, as seen when he finished the show with the song “Killing in the name of”, and had the crowd sing every lyric, all the way through.

Most everyone knows Tom Morello’s work in some way, shape or form, but this was my first time seeing him live, and I was NOT disappointed.

Limp Bizkit: Hit after hit after hit!

This was my first time seeing Limp Bizkit live, and I was incredibly surprised at how different their sound was in person. It was much more raw and unpolished compared to their studio tracks. And who knew that Fred Durst, the bizkit himself, had such a capacity for screams and metal sound? Perhaps he wanted people to know that he COULD, without having to flaunt it, as he mentions that he was told they weren’t metal enough for Copenhell. He has always been very much known for not giving a f***,  while also not being super self-important, which also comes to show when he enters the stage wearing a yellow reflective vest a few sizes too big. In contrast, lead guitarist Wes Borland has donned a golden crusaders helmet with hanging chainmail and crosses, a stylish choice for the distinguished gentleman.

Together with the drummer and DJ, who uses snippets of old classics like Slayer, Ozzy and Journey songs in between their own, they transport you right back to 1999! Durst is great at speaking to the crowd, entertaining us with little anecdotes and building the atmosphere between doling out the hits. And you kinda forget just how many hits they do in fact have. Enough to fill the entire hour they’re on stage

Durst also isn’t afraid to tell the crowd to get up and surf, while reminding everybody about the etiquette while doing so. My only regret about seeing Limp Bizkit for the first time, is that I never had the chance before, but if I ever get it again, I’ll jump at the opportunity

Photos (c) Morten Holmsgaard Kristensen

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