Copenhell - 2015

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Opening our last day at Copenhell this year, and being the first band of the day on the Hades stage, was Denmark’s own, precious, folk metal masters – Huldre.

“Good morning everybody! Some of you have surely just come up, and some of you have probably already had a little one.”
- Nanna Barslev (vocals)

The second largest stage was atmospherically and naturalistically decorated with branches and leaves, bones and horn. The band members had their usual attire on, and we were all set for a trip to a dark, damp forest, led through old stories by this ragtag band of trolls and fairies.
Well-trodden paths were our way as we set out, as the band begun with their ever-opener, Beirblakken, and through eight songs in all we got a good selection of tracks from their debut album, and a single as of yet unreleased track called Varulv. If you’ve kept up with Huldre’s liveshows however, this song can hardly be called new, although it is a very good extension of their canon, and a great live track to boot.
To stay in that same imagery, the band was taking to boots as well, meaning they had some lively footwork going on – someone had not been drinking their head off the day before, that’s for sure!
Yes, the band members, one and all, gave a strong and lively performance, complimenting their already strong and lively music. I’d especially like to compliment Lasse Olufson and Bjarne Kristiansen, who had both really stepped up their game – musically, they always deliver, but I have sometimes wished for a more active performance, and that’s exactly what I got here! Nanna Barslev and Laura Emilie Beck were both divine and funny as hell, just as we are used to, and even though they didn’t take up quite as much space as their comrades, both Troels Dueholm Nørgaard and Jacob Lund got their time to shine as well. The former was actively playing around in the instrumental track Spillemand, wherein Barslev joined the crowd, and Beck was seen playing flat on her back. The latter rose to the occasion, quite literally, as he stood and played through the beginning of Skærsild.

“It is solstice tonight, so the magic is strong!”
- Barslev (vocals)

Yes, Barslev joined the crowd in dancing when she wasn’t needed at the mic, but the Copenhell crowd didn’t actually need such incentives to get off their proverbial asses. In fact, the party begun to warm up already in the beginning of the show, and steadily grew as the show went on. Varulv is one track to point out, as it had a very nice sing-along section, where the audience was instructed in how to take part of the repeated chorus on their own, with great response of course.
All the love shown for the band couldn’t possibly go unrewarded, now could it? No, it surely couldn’t! Huldre, as the worldly band that they are, came prepared for this. In Knoglekvad, they sent little pieces of bone with cute, red bows tied around them, flying into the crowd, with the intention of letting people bring them home as a memento of the show. Something else than your usual batch of guitar picks and drum sticks, isn’t it?

Having Huldre play the Large Hades stage, proved a well-deserved confidence in the band’s abilities, something they lived up to in the best of ways. Their recent excellent result in the Wacken Metal Battle competition has undoubtedly opened a few new doors for them, and now we can only hope that this will soon lead to a follow-up album to go with the bigger shows. Honestly, I don’t know who’s lost in the woods here, but the fact that Huldre hasn’t been signed to anything or anyone yet, clearly proves that there are several record companies out there in dire need of solid guidance in the murky undergrowth of the Danish metal scene.


Gennem Marsken

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