Copenhell - 2023

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Let’s get this out of the way right now. I love Samael, I love their live performances, and they were one of the bands I was looking the most forward to seeing this year at Copenhell.
Alright, on to the review.

Samael was closing the day down on the Pandæmonium stage, and let’s be honest here - it had been quite a day! Pantera, Testament, Life Of Agony to name but a few of the highlights.
Still, Samael was the place to be, or whatever you say, but people weren’t!
Very disturbing! Honestly, when we ran over there to secure a good spot, there were only about a good handful of people or so hanging out, no more. Ok, so Samael was set to play at the same time as Meshuggah, who arguably can be seen as better known to a wider audience, but honestly, c’mon. How often do we get to see Samael in this shining little kingdom of ours?
Alright, to be fair, more people did show up in time for the show, and some also dropped in during it, but I was genuinely surprised there weren’t more people around. Upside, more space for me to rock out, I guess!

I apologise for the downer intro, and promise things will pick up from now on.
Samael had brought a fairly minimalistic stage setup, but had done an interesting thing in combining a traditional backdrop, this one depicting the Passage moon, and having a video projected background as well, basically overlaying the video on top of the painted backdrop, creating an extra interesting layer compared to just having the one or the other.
The most interesting thing to watch however, was the band of course. They kicked things off with Rain, and from there on out it was a fairly straight forward best of style setlist, perfect for this kind of show, where the only one I was really surprised not to find on it was Red Planet, which I think would have gone down like a cold beer on a warm summer festival day. Oh, and Jupiterian Vibe of course, where was that? Ok, sure, I could name plenty of songs I’d like to put in there, but not one I would like to take out to make room.

Setlist aside, Samael treated us to an absolutely ace performance, where Vorph was a strong frontman, present and engaged both during songs and between, and the rest of the band was extremely energetic despite the lateness of the hour. It was a party through and through, and both band and fans jumped, headbanged, and had a hell of a good time. From my spot in the front row I could feel the action beside me, and the few times I looked away from the stage to see what was going on behind me, it seemed that the band’s magic worked there as well. I don’t know if everyone sang along to all of it, but we were a dedicated few who did.

To be honest, it’s hard to pick out any specifics from this show as it all blended together in one long stream of joy, where my only nitpick (and this truly is a minor detail) is that the volume could overall be a bit louder. On the other hand, since the mix was as good as it was, that’s hard to complain about as well. So yeah, I absolutely loved every second, and if it hasn’t become apparent by now, Samael delivered my favourite show of Copenhell 2023.
Here’s hoping they find their way back shortly.


Angel’s Decay
Son Of Earth
The Ones Who Came Before
Solar Soul
Shining Kingdom
Infra Galaxia
Reign Of Light
Baphomet’s Throne
Black Trip
Black Supremacy

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