Copenhell - 2022

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Having started the day with The Raven Age and following up with The Hellacopters, things definitely took a turn for the heavier, darker side, as we showed up at the Pandæmonium stage to check out Benediction.

“A request for the guy doing the lights, will you turn the fucking sun down?”
- Dave Ingram (vocals)

It’d been nearly 10 years since the last time we saw Benediction, and things had happened. Most notably, Dave Ingram was back on vocal duties, taking the spot back from Anaal Nathrakh’s Dave Hunt who’d had it for a number of years. On bass we had Dan Bate (ex-Blaze Bayley) instead of former longtime member Frank Healy, and on drums we saw Giovanni Durst (ex-White Wizzard) step in for Perra Karlsson. Yeah, there’ve been a few changes in the band in between these shows as well, but let’s not worry about them now.
The show opened with what sounded like a Japanese prayer choir, although I could easily be mistaken about the origin of it. After this, however, there was no mistaking that what we were in for, was a right good English pummeling, as the band opened the show with Iterations Of I. Equal to the brutality, we were also quickly introduced to the lighter, funnier side of the band and the show, as Ingram made his entrance wearing an elf’s hat, which he promptly threw to the adoring and entertained audience.

“It’s beer o’clock! Cheers! Skål!”
- Ingram (vocals)

While Dave Hunt was in the band for quite a few more years than Ingram has been so far, they only released two albums in that period, and only one song from that era, They Must Die Screaming, made it into the set this day. Scriptures, the band’s latest album as well as Ingram’s return album, was unsurprisingly well represented, as well as older material. Not so old as to include Ingram’s debut album The Grand Leveller or the Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway led band debut Subconscious Terror however, which I’m not sure why. Maybe there just wasn’t enough time?
There was both time for the band to grind out classic death metal slabs though, as well as Ingram getting to chat to us in between said songs - something he chose to do both in English and Danish.

“Jeg har faktisk boet i Danmark i 25 år, så jeg kan godt snakke dansk, but since we’re an English band I’ve got to speak English so these idiots understand. Oh, sorry, did I call you idiots?”
- Ingram (vocals)

This certainly had the Danish crowd going a bit more bananas, and Ingram did find the time to mention that it was in fact his marriage anniversary the upcoming Monday, with a sly wink to his wife who stood at the side of the stage, and that the band of course stood with Ukraine; both statements were met with loud and enthusiastic cheers. Interestingly, Benediction was slotted semi together with Ukraine band Jinjer, who were playing on the Helvíti stage through the latter part of Benediction’s set.
Overall, the crowd seemed to be very happy with the band. There was a good moshpit going from early on in the set, and while there were quite a few people to begin with, the crowd grew throughout the set.
We were very happy as well. The band went above and beyond any and all expectations in delivering a performance full of fun, energy, and good death metal times. It was so good in fact, that I don’t hesitate calling it the most positive surprise for me, and one of the most memorable shows of the festival.


Iterations Of I
Scriptures In Scarlet
Progenitors Of A New Paradigm
Unfound Mortality
They Must Die Screaming
The Grotesque
The Dreams You Dread

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