Copenhell 2024, (June 22) Day 4 Review

Ice might be older and wiser but the fire behind his eyes remains as do his views on life as he shouts into the microphone during Body Count's set.

Words and Pictures: Adrian Hextall / MindHex Media

Now in its 14th year and 10 years since it moved into the big leagues, expanding from a 2-day festival to a 3-day feature that would include major headliners such as Iron Maiden, Copenhell, 4-days of metal at its finest since 2019 is once again over for another year.

Packed to the brim with top tier talent from multiple genres, the festival in Refshaleøen offers something a little different from the likes of Graspop, Download, Hellfest and other A-grade events on the summer circuit. Copenhell likes to trade on the ‘hell’ element of it’s name and we get a setting and artwork to match everywhere. Whether it’s plague doctors, abandoned graveyards, mysterious creatures lurking in the woods of Gehenna, witches surrounding a boiling cauldron, it’s fair to say the presentation to the assembled masses is like nothing of this realm. Steeped in fantasy, even hosting its own Copenhell Con where talks on all things from Middle Earth, Winterfell, Hyrule and even some things in relation to a galaxy far, far away are covered, Copenhell attracts a colourful palette of fans who are there to soak up a four-day visual extravaganza.

Saturday June 22

Dropping into full ‘Irish’ mode, the starting conversation went “Last day… beer and shots then?” Several Tuborgs and skull shots later and we were set to enjoy the final few bands of Copenhell 2024.

Although we didn’t male it over in time, we could hear Mimi Barks on the Gehenna stage kick-starting proceedings and by all accounts, she tore the stage a new one, even performing part of her set in the crowd. My first band of the day and one that blew me away was Danish combo Siamese.

Described by lead singer Mirza Radonjica as a mix of rock, R&B, and heavy metal, the band could best be described as a heavier Danish Linkin Park. Radonjica’s voice is a dream to listen to and hit the highs and lows with ease during their hour long set.

Their music carries a mix of dual vocal parts, crunchy riffs, violin solos and, with them having some left over, they tapped into Machine Head’s pyro pots and used the remaining jet fuel to deliver a memorable spectacle and a band whose back catalogue I need to now dig through.

J.J. & The A’s, already making a name for themselves in the UK brought some more punk to the table or perhaps I should say Mojito Bar. Nowadays, punk bands are expected to deliver on the musicianship as well as the attitude and J.J. & The A’s ticked both boxes. Their special sauce however is to have a mojito bar at the side of the stage where the 5th member of the band would mix drinks and hand them out to lucky members of the crowd. That’s a win as far as I’m concerned.

Accept showed all comers just what class, experience and the songs looked like when presented to a festival crowd. It’s hard to believe they’ve been back playing for some 14 years now with Mark Tornillo upfront and whatever the naysayers might say, this is my favourite era of the band. Great music, great shows, great band.

Hatebreed followed with their hardcore show that went down a storm with the crowd (as you can see below from the charging wall of death) but was a bit too raw for me to truly enjoy. It did however prep everyone for the arrival of one act I’d never seen live before, namely Body Count.

 

I first came across Ice-T when I was at university in 1989. Never one for rap music, my preference needing guitars and drums and the odd “Woah-oh” in the vocals, rap passed me by for years. That is until Body Count arrived making me appreciate cross over music and no one, at the time, did this better. Raw, aggressive and filled with the same level of humour and provocation as his rap work, the material from the band lives and breathes Ice-T’s approach.

Ice might be older and wiser but the fire behind his eyes remains as do his views on life as he shouts into the microphone during the band’s set. Nowadays he’s supported by son ‘Little Ice’ described as backing vocalist and hype man. Never has a musicians role been better described as Little Ice did exactly what was asked of him and helped whip the crowd into a bouncing frenzy while Ice-T, Ernie C along with Juan of the Dead, Vincent Price and Ill Will gave the band their groove. Opening with the classic ‘Body Count’s in the House’ they also segued into Slayer’sRaining Blood’ before transitioning into ‘Postmortem’.

There Goes The Neighbourhood’, ‘No Lives Matter’ reminded us that Ice has always spoken his mind in his lyrics and of course the necessary (the fans demand it be played) but controversial ‘Cop Killer’ as ever closed out the set. ‘Born Dead’ and ‘This Is Why We Ride’ gave us a 2 song encore and then they were gone, leaving a shell-shocked and exhausted crowd.

An end of festival drink up post Body Count in the R.I.P. area of the festival arena gave us an hour or two before our last band of the weekend Tool took to the stage. Now I’ve heard mixed things about Tool. Enthralling, mesmerising, intense, the pinnacle of musicianship and more from one side of the fence. From the other side, dull, droning, too long, self-indulgent can just as readily be applied to the band.

My view… I’m not the biggest progressive rock fan. Tool do take it to the extreme as far as a set being an ‘experience’. The visuals are all animations rather than shots of the band, the songs themselves are sprawling, they meander like the Amazon river through the whole of South America. The songs are truly ethereal beings that transcend normal approaches to listening to music. I think some medicinal enhancement might be needed to truly appreciate the band, but I was the designated driver so “smacked off my tits” wasn’t an option.

As we wandered away and back to the car, buzzing from the mix of bands, artists, stories and experiences we’d encountered over the weekend, once thing was clear… roll on Copenhell 2025.  

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  • 2024 06 22 Copenhell - Siamese-6
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  • 2024 06 22 Copenhell - Siamese-17
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Day 1 Review

Day 2 Review

Day 3 Review 

 

 

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