Copenhell - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Headlining the final day of Copenhell, was one of the most saluted names metal has to offer - Slayer! And I know you didn’t just read that, you shouted it. Even if it was only in your head.

“You guys having fun? Wait a minute, I should do this more mellow, right? ARE YOU HAVING SOME FUCKING FUN OR WHAT?!”
- Tom Araya (vocals/bass)

Slayer did what Slayer does best - they came out the stage, completely unpretentious, and mangled the audience with unrelenting thrash metal. No new record has come out these past couple of years, so it was a familiar, yet engaging, introduction to the band, when Delusions Of Saviour was played over the PA system. Nearing its end, the band came out, and as soon as that final, ringing tone came to an end, they themselves beat us down with Repentless.
It was a lively band that met us. Gary Holt was ripping it up in his usual manner, and Kerry King was actually on top as well. Paul Bostaph was hard to get a good glimpse of, but he looked busy, and while Araya was tied to the microphone, he was all smiles and jokes throughout. Well, at least the few times the musical onslaught let up for a second or two, to let us catch our collective breaths.

There were a lot of songs to get through though. Being the headliner is a commitment, and it was a committed band Copenhell had hired. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m no good at keeping up with Slayer’s releases, so I didn’t instantly recognise all that they play. On the other hand though, it was very much a best of setlist, with the classical live cuts present to excite the crowd. Even if you haven’t studied each and every album, the songs that make it into the live set stay there, and in all likelihood they have been heard at other shows.
And if any, Slayer is a band that lives well on their classic repertoire. You simply can’t go a show without Dead Skin Mask (I’ve never heard it introduced as a snuggle song before, which was quite funny), or the South Of Heaven / Raining Blood / Angel Of Death trio, to name but a few. And you won’t, because Slayer is everlasting in their presentation - you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, and the band delivers what the fans want.

Judging from what was going on around me, what the fans wanted was a soundtrack for burning of any and all residual energy left after three days at the gates of hell. This is, of course, what they got, and they weren’t shy in paying violent respect to the band for providing it. The moshpit was enormous, and surprisingly so, considering how many people were up crowdsurfing. It may have been Rob Zombie who asked everyone to get on top of everyone else, but it seemed Slayer was actually going to make it happen!
Slayer was definitely a worthy headliner, and they were the perfect band to close down the Helvíti stage, on this the last day of Copenhell 2017. No surprises, but a damn fine show nonetheless.

Setlist (incomplete):

Delusions Of Saviour
Mandatory Suicide
Hallowed Point
War Ensemble
Dead Skin Mask
Seasons In The Abyss
Spirit In Black
South Of Heaven
Raining Blood
Angel Of Death

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