Royal Arena, Copenhagen - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Danish deathcore band Aphyxion was one of the lucky four to get picked to open for Metallica at their quadruple concert at the Royal Arena back in February this year. Contrary to the other three bands though, Aphyxion was the only band which didn’t get to play at that time, because of the one cancelled show due to James Hetfield’s bad throat.
A rescheduling of the show meant that these five youths had to wait just about half a year more before getting their due time in the limelight. That time was now…

“Do you have any idea what an insane feeling it is to be standing here?!”
- Michael Vahl (vocals)

After a dramatic and bombastic intro, the band came onto the stage. Vocalist Vahl said a lightning quick “What’s up Copenhagen?!”, and the band was straight into their first song. Or so their behaviour would have us believe, but I have to admit, the godawful sound at the beginning of this show didn’t let on. It was as if the soundtech had completely forgotten that the show had begun, and that he hadn’t turned the dials up yet. With the first song being used as an improvised soundcheck by the sound of it, the quality of the sound did go up eventually – not very high though, and this quite important factor continued to irk the band and audience throughout the show. There were hints of detailed layers of synth sounds and the like, but they never really got through, and the live instruments had a very twangy effect which I doubt was on purpose.

The performance was all up to the band however, and here they put in an acceptable effort. No doubt they were having a great time being on the stage, in the middle (yeah, Metallica’s special stage, you know) of an already quite well-filled arena. I daresay, without knowing the band intimately, this must have been their largest gig to date, in their just above ten years long career.
So, what did they do with it? Well, mainly played songs, which is understandable – of course they’d want to deliver as much music as possible in their limited time. Vahl spoke a little between songs, but not so much as to take away from playtime. During the songs, he used the stage to its full capacity, often changing sides to take in as much of the audience as possible. The two guitarists, Jonas Haagensen and Bertil Rytter, Also changed sides with each other, although not as frequently, and Jakob Jensen (drums) and Jais Jessen (bass) stayed in their respective places throughout. With Jensen, this was of course not surprising, and Jessen’s excuse seemed to be that he was delivering backing vocals, and that he felt he’d better stay close to his mic.

Even with such a large audience and a band in a good mood, there wasn’t a whole lot of interaction going on. Understand of course that this was in no way a metal crowd, not exclusively at least. A band Metallica’s fame branches out and attracts all sorts of people, even people who wouldn’t generally listen to our favourite genre. To them, the hard-hitting music and growled vocals of Aphyxion must have seen a daunting task to overcome, rather than the musical bonus treat they were meant to be.
With this, it wasn’t surprising that there was very little action to speak of during this support gig. A few shouts between songs were offered up, and Vahl managed to get quite a few to raise their horns upon request.

All in all though, the experience fell a bit flat, given the problems mentioned above. Not the best introduction one could have to the band, but hey, I’m glad they got a chance, now that the spring gig fell through for them.


More from same event:

All Aphyxion reviews:

Latest uploads: