Copenhell - 2015

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

It was with some trepidation that we went to see Hammerfall as the first large band on the final day of Copenhell. It had been some time since they truly amazed us, and their last show we’d seen, Wacken last year, had been like watching a train wreck in slow motion – we could see the disaster unfold before us, but were unable to do anything to stop it.
We were, however, in a very good mood after Huldre had opened the day in a splendid way, and thus Hammerfall got one more chance to redeem themselves.

“We were in doubt if there would be anyone to watch Hammerfall at five in the afternoon. But here you are, so thank you!”
- Joacim Cans (vocals)

Yes, we weren’t the only ones giving the Swedes a chance this day. A large portion of the Copenhell crowd had made their way up to the final opening of the Helvíti Stage, and before us we saw a stage decorated with three large backdrops and a couple of stairs – a rather bare stage in Hammerfall standards, but enough to make it work, I suppose.
The stage had something else that caught me by surprise though, and that was the large and nicely decorated David Wallin drumkit taking up a lot of room. Where was Anders Johansson? And what was Wallin, whom we know well from his work with Pain, doing in his place? These were all questions that would have to wait until later, as the band was now entering. Time for surprise number two, as I saw Fredrik Larsson donning the bass. I distinctly remember reading that he was taking a break, and that Stefan Elmgren should have stepped in for him during the tours, a fact that I was quite looking forward to, as Elmgren had been the only one worthwhile watching at that dreadful Wacken show last year. Oh well…

Hammerfall opened their show with Hector’s Hymn, the opener of last years’ album (r)Evolution, and although we didn’t know it, it soon turned out to be one of those power metal hymns that you can sing along to even though it’s the first time you hear it.
In came surprise number three, and this was by far the most positive one – Hammerfall actually seemed like they were going to put on a good show! Ok, this was only the first song, but so far things looked good.
Next up was the live staple Any Means Necessary, and at this point the crowd truly woke up as well, and cheered loudly, when they weren’t singing along that is.

“How many are watching Hammerfall for the first time? (lots of shouts) What the hell, that’s almost all of you! We’ve been playing for 18 years, where have you been?!”
- Cans (vocals)

The band kept building, and the performance proved that they still had something to give, despite what recent times might have led us to believe. Oscar Dronjak was even jumping in places, and whether or not we were supposed to see his KISS underwear, I’ll leave to everyone’s own speculation.
Pontus Norgren also showed a funnier side than he usually lets on, as he chased Cans off the stage when it was time for his solo, a solo which quickly transformed into an instrumental medley, where all of the musicians took part in blending several of the band’s own songs into a new form, all the while posing and smiling.

“We have a signing session at six, and if you’re not there, we’ll come out and find you!”
- Cans (vocals)

Copenhell was smiling too, and for good reason. Through the nine songs, plus a medley, Hammerfall truly showed that they were still up for delivering entertaining shows well worth visiting. A ‘best of’ setlist, and a will to play is apparently all that is needed. Doesn’t sound so hard, does it?
I just hoped that they would stay this course in the future, as Cans was already tentatively announcing a concert that would bring the band back to Copenhagen as soon as November this very year (it ended up being pushed to December, but we will not hold it against him).


Hector’s Hymn
Any Means Necessary
Blood Bound
Let The Hammer Fall
400 Meter Medley
Last Man Standing
Hearts On Fire

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