Copenhell - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Walking in the shoes of one of the Big 4 might seem like a daunting task, but if you ask me Testament could fit in that exclusive group any day of the week based on quality alone!
But considering how well Anthrax did here two years ago, how was Testament going to top it for the Danish audience?

“Sorry for the little rain-dance before the show!”
- Chuck Billy (vocals)

Well, the weather was sure as hell not going to support them, that’s for sure! The extreme wind and rain that had previously made me leave Grave’s gig early now postponed Testament indefinitely as security was making sure the stage wouldn’t topple down upon us – I was anxious to see Testament, but I didn’t mind the festival making sure it wouldn’t cost me life or limb.
About 20 or more minutes passed before we were finally cleared to approach the stage, and to further the good will of the festival, they said go for a full concert from these old thrash heads even with the delay, and thankfully so, for the band was all prepped and good to go!
The show shot off with Rise Up from their latest album, Dark Roots Of Earth, and already here Billy had us singing loudly along to the chorus. I haven’t checked this particular album out yet, but the lyrics were thankfully easy enough that even a first-time listener like myself got it soon enough, and after our throats had been warmed up so masterfully, why not continue straight away with More Than Meets The Eye from The Formation Of Damnation where we got the trial of fire with the shouted oh-oh chants.

As you can imagine, Testament was going at it with all they had. Billy was a great frontman as he has been every time I’ve seen them, making small-talk between songs and playing air guitar on that microphone stick he’s always carrying around on stage. He also led us in some more sing-along parts through the gig, and apologised sincerely when he messed up Native Blood so badly that the band opted to stop and take it from the top. What exactly it was that they did I don’t know, but then again I’m not terribly familiar with the song itself, so what do I know?
Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick were also into it and played lively, doing a small circlepit of their own in D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate), but it was actually Greg Christian that stole the most focus this day – I don’t recall I’ve ever seen him so present and seeking to connect with the audience, and the change became him!

But did the crowd connect then? Well, I’ve already told you they did, so that should come as no surprise...
In general, the Copenhell crowd treated this in just the way a well-played thrash show should be treated; there was a whole lot of headbanging and fist pumping, and I have written about the loud sing-along’s earlier, but I would like to point out the circle pit in Into The Pit (surprising place, huh?), and the jam from the band during Alone In The Dark where we once again got a good test of our vocal capabilities.
It was of course the old and safe hits that garnered the most response, but people really seemed to be into the new material from Dark Roots Of Earth as well. As I’ve only encountered rave reviews of this album so far, it should come as little surprise I suppose, but I’ve still met with enough people with the attitude that nothing’s worth listening to after a band’s debut album (for extremists, it’s already sell out when they leave the demo stage), that I am glad when I see people sticking with it and appreciate new material as well.

“One more song, then I’ll make it rain again!”
- Billy (vocals)

Side-rant aside, Testament hit home at Copenhell and had no problem handling the role of the classic thrash band of the line-up. They were current, present, and simply kicked ass.
Oh, and thankfully Billy made an empty threat only, and the weather stayed good the rest of the festival...


Rise Up
More Than Meets The Eye
Native Blood
True American Hate
Dark Roots Of Earth
Into The Pit
Practise What You Preach
The New Order
Alone In The Dark
Over The Wall
D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)
3 Days In Darkness
The Formation Of Damnation

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