Copenhell - 2023

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

So far, the day had brought nice and light music, as well as party music to no end - all that was about to end…

Saturnus was celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, as well as the release of their first full length album in 11 years, The Storm Within. The stormy weather that had wreaked havoc on the festival shortly before was now abating, making it safe for bands to continue playing and fans to stand around and listen. As frontman Thomas Akim Grønbæk Jensen remarked, it was a fitting day for the album release, because of the album title and the fact that the cover features a very stormy artwork. Not only that, but the title song of said album was chosen to open the show on this day. Very fitting indeed, but thankfully, Saturnus didn’t manage to call the storm back with their inadvertent plea, and the rest of the day proceeded without further incident.

“The show tonight is dedicated to Julio’s father who died a few days ago. It wasn’t certain that Julio would come here, but his father told him he should do what he loves and have fought hard for.”
- Jensen (vocals)

Saturnus certainly brought the heaviness to Copenhell’s Friday, in more ways than one, but they did it in a way that was uplifting rather than depressing, and when Indee Rehal-Sagoo led the crowd into clapping along with the intro, everyone seemed inclined to follow him.
In general, the crowd was more than happy to applaud the doomy band, as well as give enthusiastic shouts and encourage them with horns held high.
And why not? Saturnus was giving an intense and emotional performance, as well as a powerful one. This was my first introduction to the band’s newest members, guitarists Rehal-Sagoo and Julio Fernandez, who were both well fitted for the band, and helped lift the performance - if Fernandez was marked by the above mentioned tragedy, which I’m sure he was, he didn’t let it impact his delivery in any way!
Brian Pomykala Hansen also made a mark with his lively headbanging throughout.

“We’ve been super nervous about this show. We did bring a couple of new tracks along, but with one guitarist from England and one from Spain, you don’t exactly hit the rehearsal room every Wednesday and Thursday, but it turned out pretty well.”
- Jensen (vocals)

It turned out pretty well indeed. The new members were, as mentioned, good for the band, and the two new tracks that made their live debuts, The Storm Within and Breathe New Life, as well as The Calling (which, despite also being from the new album, had been played live before) promised well for Saturnus’ new musical endeavours - and who can argue with a release party at Copenhell?!
The rest of the not so long setlist was nice and varied from the band’s long career, perfectly showing why their 30th anniversary is something to celebrate.


The Storm Within
Empty Handed
Forest Of Insomnia
Breathe New Life
I Long
The Calling
Christ Goodbye

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