KB18, Copenhagen - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

As Engel was kind enough to play only five minutes walking distance from our home, we surely weren’t about to miss them, so as they were gearing up at KB18 we packed our bags, cracked open a couple of beers and headed straight over there…

Engel was actually out on a co-headline tour with a band called Avatar, a tour simply dubbed Tour Of The Dead (although it had a more interesting according to Engel’s setlist – The Human Torch Was Denied A Bank Loan Tour), and since this night saw Avatar headline, there had only been one band before Engel, the younger Swedish band Smash Into Pieces.
If you’ve already read my review of their show, you will know that there weren’t all that many people inhabiting KB18 as they played, but when Engel took the stage a small miracle had occurred and the number of people in the audience had just about doubled from that of the support band. The fact that we still weren’t more than 15 doesn’t really enter into it…

Also just as Smash Into Pieces, it seemed that Engel quickly figured that this was one of those shows where thinking; ”Screw it, let’s just have fun” was the best approach, and I can only whole-heartedly agree with them!
So, instead of showing discouragement over the low attendance the Gothenburg metal band went up on the small stage and played as though they were headlining Wacken in front of some 75000 people, and headbanged, posed and played around through their 11 songs long set. A real baptism of fire for the newly acquired vocalist Mikael Sehlin (replacing much loved founding member Magnus ‘Mangan’ Klavborn) one might say, and one might also say that he did very well. Of course he wasn’t as integrated a part of the machinery yet as Klavborn had been, but Klavborn left some large shoes to fill and I doubt this particular gig was the optimal time and place to do so. Sehlin did showcase a good voice though, and he did his best with the audience, so given a bit more time I’m confident this will turn out good.
The drums were still standing in the dark back of the small stage so it wasn’t easy judging Jimmy Olausson’s engagement, but Marcus Sunesson (guitar) and Steve Drennan (bass) worked the stage like the professionals they are, and also showed a playful nature by chasing each other around the pillars holding the place together. There was no running down into the audience, but no one in the band was shy to reach their hands down to shake hands or clash knuckles with the fans in front of the stage.

And fans there were – we may not have been many, but the party was definitely on!
By now the beer drinking had begun to take effect, and in combination with the second stellar performance of the evening I now saw both dancing and a wild headbanging going on, and it really became the show to have this sort of response, just as it was clear that the positive atmosphere helped the band fold even further out with their game instead of closing down and giving up on us, something one could have rightly feared under these circumstances…
One of the loudest responses Engel got was not to one of their own songs though, but rather to their cover of Skid Row’s song Youth Gone Wild. After several attempts by Sehlin at asking us whether we liked the 80ies or not, which garnered only mild acknowledgments from the audience, the band just threw themselves into it, and it didn’t take long before the crowd caught on what was going on and screamed along to the chorus to their hearts content. The cover was very Engelized, but that didn’t bother anyone as it still kicked ass!
Engel was to play one more cover, or so they said as they introduced Sense The Fire as an acoustic version of a Dimmu Borgir song. Well, the acoustic part was true at least, as Sehlin did the first half or so of the song solo, with the rest of the band, and electricity for that sake, only joining in further down the road – another cool rearrangement that worked out really well!

When I wrote that Engel didn’t go down into the crowd earlier it wasn’t entirely truthful. The thing is, they didn’t do it whilst playing, but when the show was done they too came down from the stage and shook people’s hands as they went through the room before heading for the backstage room for a cool down.
It’s hard to say which of the first two bands that rocked the most, although I’ll probably go with Engel as I know them better, and after all they were the entire reason for us coming tonight, and it is only sad that they didn’t get to close the evening. This would have been much better than what actually happened in my opinion, but more on that elsewhere. Suffice to say here that Engel kicked an enormous amount of ass, and I loved every minute of their show!


Cash King
Six Feet Deep
Elbow And Knives
Youth Gone Wild (Skid Row cover)
One Good Thing
Sense The Fire
Down To Nothing
Casket Closing
Question Your Place

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