Something special has been brewing this year. It’s the tenth anniversary of COPENHELL, and the organizors won’t let that event pass in silence. Literally.
Earlier in the year, the song “Ulvens ed” (The Pledge of the Wolf) was released on YouTube and Spotify. The song was composed by BERSÆRK guitarist Lars Evers (lyrics) and two of the most respected Danish guitarists, Tim Christensen (DIZZY MIZZ LIZZY) and Jacob Binzer (D-A-D). Produced and mized by none other than Jacob Hansen (Volbeat and numerous others). The line up for the song was completed by Casper Popp, the singer of Bersærk, drummer Allan Tschicaja (formerly of Royal Hunt and most notably PRETTY MAIDS) and guitarist Nicklas Sonne from DEFECTO. The Black Sabbath inspired song with lyrics in Danish songs great live as well!
I’d expected that this would be a short intermission sort of thing where this song and possibly a couple of others would be played. I’d planned to listen to this and then rush on to MUNICIPAL WASTE on the Pandemonium stage. That’s not how it’s going to play out.
It turns out that the Copenhell folk have gathered no less than 40 metal musicians from a multiude of Danish bands to do cover songs. As silly as that may sound, there’s also something fascinating about seeing all these metal musicians teaming up around the music they love. And, believe me, there are excellent musicians among these forty people, spanning three generations of the Danish scene.
The presenters are Jacob Binzer and radio host and long-time Copenhell stage maestro Carsten Holm. They do this lots of humour and a number of anecdotes. Very entertaining couple!
The next song is something I’d swear I’d walk away from under normal circumstances: An AC/DC cover. “TNT”, even. The reason I’m not walking away is that the two guitarists are Ken Hammer (PRETTY MAIDS) and Soren Andersen (Glenn Hughes among others), backed by drummer Allan Tschicaja and Helhorse bassist Theis Thorgersen. The singer is Mirza Radonjica-Bang from SIAMESE. And, my goodness, he nails it! Talk about doing a Bon Scott. Amazing singer.
Moving from Aussie boogie rock to PANTERA, “Walk” is introduced as the next cover. This time taken care of by member of ASPHYXION, MØL, RISING, CABAL and BAEST singer Simon Olsen. Heavy shit and tasteful choice of shorts, Simon!
BLACK SABBATH is naturally also on the menu. One could have hoped for a more bold or different choice, but “Heaven & Hell” is it. This time, the performers are Ronnie Atkins (PRETTY MAIDS), ARTILLERY guitarist Michael Stützer, MERCENARY guitarist Jakob Mølbjerg, as well as drummer Tschicaja and bassist Thorgersen.
Copenhagen based hardcore band NYT LIV are enforced today by shouter Esse from HateSphere and the three RISING members Jacob, Morten and Anders. The song is called “Hårde tider” (Hard times). I’m not quite familiar with the track, but it sounds good!
I suppose that a MOTÖRHEAD tune is inevitable. The respect for Lemmy will live on for many, many years, and it should. “Born to Raise Hell” is probably the oddest delivery of the entire gig. Singer Oskar Frederiksen from SLÆGT is really not a performer in the traditional sense. He’s totally awkward, a bit like an obtuse teenager. He doesn’t sound much like Lemmy either. Next to him is guitarist Lola Hammerich. She looks like a little girl with a big guitar. She doesn’t even remotely look like someone who belongs here. I suppose that in itself is very metal. The rest of the line up consists of Rasmus from The PSYCHE PROJECT on the drums, bassist Holger Frost from MØL and RISING guitarist Jacob Krogholt.
Not the best of the covers so far.
Here’s something I started to hope would come. SLAYER! The dream team on the strings consists of Pepe from HATESPHERE, Michael Stützer from ARTILLERY, bassist Michael Ehlers from BLOOD EAGLE (formerly also HateSphere). Rasmus from KILLING GANDHI competently handles the drums and Michael Dahl (ARTILLERY) does his best to emulate Tom Araya. He does a decent job, although he isn’t at all Araya. The song? “Angel of Death”, no less. Very cool.
A METALLICA song is, you could say, also a very natural choice for an occasion such as this. The choice of song, however, is a bit of a surprise. A pleasant one, at that! “Ride the Lightning”! Guitars and vocals very capably handled by Nicklas Sonne from DEFECTO, the other guitar by none other than MERCYFUL FATE legend Hank Shermann. Michael Ehlers has stayed on the stage with his bass, whereas the drums are now handled by the extremely talented Bastian Thusgaard (DAWN OF DEMISE/SOILWORK). Awesome cover version.
Speak of surprises: The next song is a celebration of the band that gave name to a genre. DEATH’s “Pull the Plug” is aired by a line up consisting of growler David Mikkelsen (UNDERGANG), guitarists Anders Lundemark (KONKHRA) and Lasse Revsbech (BAEST), bassist Martin Kristensen (also KONKHRA) and drummer Rasmus Schmidt (ILLDISPOSED). Excellent execution, great surprise, very nice.
Last song of this very special event is something that is probably mostly extra special for us Danes. The song is by a band called GASOLIN’. The singer of GASOLIN’ passed away not so long ago, and this is also a homage to him. The song is called “Rabalderstræde”, and the line up sees DIZZY MIZZ LIZZY’s Tim Christensen, Jacob Binzer and BERSÆRK singer Popp back on the stage. This time, they are joined by BERSÆRK drummer Simon Gleerup Meiner and VOLBEAT bassist Kasper Boye Larsen. This version is only slightly more heavy than the original, and that’s actually and very respectful.
So what I thought would be a short parenthesis on this Saturday turned out the be whole lot more. A special event indeed.
1. Ulvens ed (Omvendt Korstog)
2. TNT (AC/DC)
3. Walk (Pantera)
4. Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath)
5. Hårde tider (Nyt Liv)
6. Born to Raise Hell (Motörhead)
7. Angel of Death (Slayer)
8. Ride the Lightning (Metallica)
9. Pull the Plug (Death)
10. Rabalderstræde (Gasolin)
Playing Time: 45 minutes-ish
Far too many to mention!