Hatebreed

support Aphyxion
author PP date 24/04/16 venue Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DEN

Sunday night shows are always tough. Tonight's attendance is brutal, though, with only roughly 350 people present at the 1100 capacity Amager Bio. It's surprisingly few considering the stature of a band like Hatebreed, but the choice of a weekday and the fact that they've played here a LOT in recent years might have something to do with it. Copenhell and Roskilde Festival performances are in recent memory, alongside a Lille Vega concert in June that ultimately was cancelled due to bus trouble, so that could also be a contributing factor. Either way, Hatebreed make the most out of tonight's show, as we'll see later on in this review.

Aphyxion

Aphyxion

Tonight's supporting duties have been honored to melodic death metallers Aphyxion from Ribe, Denmark, who start their set to an almost empty Amager Bio. Jamey Jasta might say we all have to stick together when it comes to rock and metal genres, however, I find it hard to believe hardcore fans have much interest in death metal, no matter how melodic or unmelodic it might be, but especially not a mediocre one like Aphyxion. The sound echoes like crazy in the venue, doing the band no favours of course, but at the end of the day, you can't get around the fact that while Aphyxion can write fine Gothenburg-inspired melodeath riffs, their vocalist is just plain boring. With virtually no range to his style, he delivers a monotonous growl without character, which is occasionally drowned underneath the guitars. The lone high point of their set comes during "Consumer Consume" (at least that's what I believe the song was called), and only because here we have their rhythm guitarist providing some much-needed contrast via coarse screams. "Here comes an old bitch", the vocalist says in a classic Jylland way of presenting things, before the band play "Despicable" from four years ago. Sure, his movements are elaborate, and there's the occasional synchronized headbang from the band (especially during last song "The New Breed"), but overall the set is rather boring for a simple reason: the songs just aren't better than that.

5

Hatebreed

Hatebreed

There are only roughly 350 people at Amager Bio, but it's just enough to feel like there are enough people for a good show. That's my pre-show estimate, but what goes down after is probably one of the very best Sunday shows I've seen to date. Hatebreed come out the gates roaring with a mission to make up for last year's cancelled show, getting the obligatory new song off "The Concrete Confessional" out of the way right away before embarking on a parade of their classic material, unlike nothing we've seen at their previous shows. "Tonight! Songs off EVERY...SINGLE...ALBUM on our discography, so you can tell your friends and make them jealous and feel like a dick for missing out on this show", Jasta tells us, and he's not kidding around. We continue with "Perseverance" - "Let me see your fists!" echoes out mid-song and a sea of fists responds - and "Become The Fuse", and the mosh pit floor is already awash with beer and empty cups.

Hatebreed

"How the fuck are you feeling!?", Jasta screams at us, continuously ensuring the crowd dynamic keeps intensifying by jacking up the energy levels on stage in the best Scott Vogel style. It's not difficult to see where the Terror vocalist finds his inspiration from. "It's a Sunday, so it is OUR job to get you moving, to get you singing, to get you dancing...", Jasta begins, before continuing directly into the classic "Born to bleed, fighting to succeed" lines of "In Ashes They Shall Reap". The crowd is bouncing in a frenzy with fists flying high up in the air and the lines recited in a thunderous fashion that defies the smallish attendance numbers. "Smash Your Enemies" off "Perseverance" follows together with "Betrayed By Life" from their 1997 debut "Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire", underlining that Jasta wasn't kidding about what he said earlier. They are going through some seriously old material in what feels like a precision guided response to having to have cancelled their previous appearance in Copenhagen. "Songs from every album, all 22 years. I promised", Jasta shouts, and before we know it, we're into another Hatebreed classic from "The Rise Of Brutality", namely "Live For This", a perfect moment to get the whole venue gang chanting along in passionate fashion. The energy levels at the venue are already unbelievable at this point for a Sunday, and we're just eight songs or so into their set.

Hatebreed

At this point it dawns upon most of us we're witnessing something special: a tailor-made Hatebreed setlist for the long time fans that's unlikely to be repeated outside the confines of Amager Bio for quite some time. "World's Apart" - when's the last time you heard Hatebreed play this one from 22 years ago? What about "Empty Promises"? Or "Under The Knife" from their 1996 EP? No wonder the circle pits are massive and the mosh pits looking violent and bruising from the outside. It's of course helped by the near-constant interaction by Jasta, whether it's the demands to get our fists or hands up, or to "keep it going!", or genuine statements like this one: "So why is a death metal band playing a hardcore show, you might ask? The reason is that we've got to stick together. Thrash metal, punk rock, stoner, we all gotta stick together. As long as the guitar is coming off an amp.", to which the crowd responds with massive applauds and cheers as they should in a world where it feels like rock and metal music is fading away from the mainstream attention.

Circle pit action

Another massive sing along follows for "Honor Never Dies", but it's far from the only one. We've heard "To The Threshold", "Defeatist", and "A Call For Blood" each receive a huge reaction from the crowd, but in reality, pretty much every song has the floor engaged in ferocious activity. The response is justified. Some of these songs haven't been played live for over ten years, and the band play them tightly, and with a revitalized passion. If anything, Hatebreed are playing with a fire under their arses and it rubs off on the crowd. By the time "Destroy Everything" closes the venue after 75 minutes of continuous moshing in a spectacular fashion where literally everyone in the crowd is jumping into each other, we can look back at an absolutely awesome concert that's been characterized by one of the best Hatebreed setlists you'll ever see. When the vast majority of your set is off the first three albums while all other albums are evenly represented (with the exception of the "The Divinity Of Purpose" and "The Concrete Confessional"), you know you've witnessed a rarity.

Setlist:

  • 1. A.D.
  • 2. Perseverance
  • 3. Become The Fuse
  • 4. Everyone Bleeds Now
  • 5. In Ashes They Shall Reap
  • 6. Smash Your Enemies
  • 7. Betrayed By Life
  • 8. Live For This
  • 9. Beholder Of Justice
  • 10. To The Threshold
  • 11. Worlds Apart
  • 12. Defeatist
  • 13. Before Dishonor
  • 14. Proven
  • 15. A Call For Blood
  • 16. Honor Never Dies
  • 17. Empty Promises
  • 18. This Is Now
  • 19. Under The Knife
  • 20. As Diehard As They Come
  • 21. I Will Be Heard
  • 22. Last Breath
  • 23. Destroy Everything

Photos by: Peter Troest

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