Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Heavy Days in Doomtown Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark May 2-5th, 2013

May 2nd

This is the festival’s 2nd year and it looks like it is going to be a great success once again. For those who do not know this is a DIY festival where no one is paid and all artists play for expenses only and what they can make from merchandise. IT is a combination of heavy intense music and ART! They have brought in like 10 artists from all around the world to create unique displays and exhibitions. There are people from all over Europe at this festival, with most coming from Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Lots of Finns! 

19:30 Tom (Ex- Church of Misery) and his girlfriend, arrived in Denmark at 17:30 and we had some food at my place and took off for Forum station to drop off most of my synth gear for the ØSC gig on Sunday and then a walk over to Stengade 30, where the first bands play and people can get their wristbands, etc.. Those with a 4 day ticket.  Bottom Feeder was already playing when we arrived and the room was packed and hot, so we hung out outside and chatted with a lot of people and checked out the art upstairs. I saw 2 songs.

Set List: Void, Tension, out of the..., Grinding Teeth, On Life support, Trusted by Few

22:00 Saw High Priestess of Saturn from Norway play. I really like the new record they released on Svart and was really looking forward to seeing them. They play slow doom with a female vocal and heavy organ sound. The organ player plays a lot of cool stuff while the rest of the band lays down the riff and groove. In the middle of their set they did the song Cymbaline by Pink Floyd, which was a real surprise and quite cool. The last song, On Mayda Insula, was a sort of a jam track and the organ player did a great solo while the guitar player seemed uncomfortable soloing, more a riff dude, and he did not let himself get lost in it and really go free. Anyway, it was a solid set of all the songs from the record. Cool stuff.  High Priestess of Saturn Mayda Insula live

Huata (France)
24:00 Huata from France were up next and I was starting to feel really out of it and tired as I have just arrived from Tokyo the night before and am still getting used to the local time again. Anyway, the singer was dressed like a monk in a red robe and guzzling off a wine bottle (pretty sure if was filled with beer though as it foamed..) and the band laid down some heavy stuff. The singer was excellent and really powerful and also played organ stuff on a small Korg keyboard. They had some sound samples here and there as well as some pre-recorded psychedelic sounds on a few of the tracks. The bass player played some really cool stuff with some nice use of effects.  I think the guitar player, while playing really heavy stuff was not very interesting at all. Saw him tune is guitar and he only tuned the top E string as that was more or less all he needed! Anyway, it was a very intense band and great heavy evil pagan lyrics and sound. People were pretty high and drunk by now and really into it as well.

I left before they finished and did not get to see Hexvessel. That is like the 3rd time I have missed them. End of day 1. 

Day 2

Toner Low is on first at 17 and I also want to check out all the art exhibits upstairs in the library adjacent to the main hall, so I hope to get there a bit early. 

18 Toner Low were great and had some nice marijuana visuals and the crowd dug the grooves but the set was a little short at only 40mins. We hung out a lot with the band after their set. TONER LOW Live at HDDT 2013

I saw a bit of the UK band Alunah but I have never really liked them that much. The female singer also plays guitar, but her voice just does not really speak to me with much emotion. The songs are ok but also, not really doing anything that interesting or new for me. The room was pretty full and people seem to enjoy it but I just could not get into it. They for sure have some great riffs and strong songs from time to time and we could hear them outside the room as they had the door open. 

Set List: Demeter's Grief, oak Ritual, Call of Avernus, Feedback/Phaser, Heretic Order, Chester Midsummer, White Hoarhound, Belial's Fjord

Saturnalia Temple
19 Siena Root (only had a brief minute to say hello to my friends in the band) had a different singer and 2nd guitar player from the last time I saw them. The band is changing all the time. The singer has this great husky voice and I think it worked well. I think he is the guy from the Swedish southern rock band, Backdraft. The other guitar player was very bluesy and great as well. I had not seen the band so loose and jammy in a long time. Much less controlled in their 1hr set including a drum solo with all the fire and stuff. It was a great set of mostly older songs and two new songs. They opened with a jam into Trippin’ from the first record. Into the Woods was a heavy one for the HDDT crowd. Conveniently Blind was a short new rocker that I filmed. The band ended the set with Coming Home. Great short set. 

Approx. Set List: Dreams of Tomorrow, Trippin', Into the Woods, Words, Conveniently Blind, Mishra Kafi, Coming Home

20 Saturnalia Temple had the small room totally packed and I was up front with the bass player from Toner Low. We were totally into it. This is a great psychedelic DOOM band from Sweden. I love the way the guitar uses these really far out effects and delay. There is not a single guitar player in this genre that plays like he does. Very cool. Nice delay on the vocals also gives it a more psychedelic sound. Great 1hr set. 

21 Procession, a doom rock band from Chile (but live in Sweden) packed the Main stage hall and gave a very rocking set, much more heavy metal than anything else so far at the festival but people really dug it and the sound was very good. I was outside listening for most of the set but saw a few songs.

Bell Witch
22 Bellwitch were a strange duo from the US. A drummer who sang deathly vocals at times and a player with a clean voice and a 6 string bass. He played some really interesting stuff with tapping, octaves, and then this doomy stummed bass sometimes. Some parts were heavy and intense and others were very melodic and droney and while some of it was really good some parts were just too boring. They needed some really far out projections while they play. It would make a huge difference. The room was totally packed like sardines to start but after 10mins people started to leave. Interesting and different for sure..

23 CONAN… what can I say, this was unfucking believably massive… Shit.. The volume was like 130db and the PA went out twice during the show. The bass frequencies vibrated the hair on the back of your head! Very intense stuff. The crowd was really into it. About half way through the concert, Dave (who lives in Denmark), he used to play bass with CONAN, joined the band on 2nd bass for one of their old tracks (from the Slomatics split). I filmed this one. The sound was just so massive… Wow.. cool live band even though I don’t listen to their records.. 

I was pretty blasted and did not stay to see Beezelbong or Samothrace. 

Day 3

Slept into 9 this morning which was great. The festival starts at 16 today and Danava is on at 17, whom I really want to see. Not sure I will get a nap before I head out today or not. We will see. Lots of cool bands today as well. 

16:30 Grime from Italy just finished playing and this is some pretty heavy sludgy stuff, not really my cup of tea. The room was not totally packed yet as people are starting to come back to life and arrive again. They only played like 30 mins.  Vocals sounded like screams from the Grave. 

Great sunny weather and people are in a great mood. I went and checked out the artists in the library but the displays were very small. I was surprised so little artwork was there. Some really cool stuff for sure. 
Danava Take 1

Met Johnny and Tobias from Transubstans and some more Finnish people. 

17:20 Danava had the nightmare of not only monitor issues on stage but the main PA fuse box blew out and they had to stop their show after only 3 songs. Done… Major bummer. They are right now trying to figure out where to reschedule them. We will see if they play again or not. I spoke to the guys and they are really cool people. 

18 Lecherous Gaze really kicked ass. I had fun talking to the guitar player Graham earlier. All really nice people. This was just kick ass rock and roll music with a bit of punky attitude. Think Black Flag but with Ted Nugent on guitar or something like that. They ended their set with a crazy version of Johnny B goode with the singer out in the audience going crazy with the fans. Fun stuff. 
Set List: Animal, Ravenous, Scorpion, Bagagazo, Lyrin in the Road, Skidz, Born on a River, War Woman, The Grasp/Redeemer, Johnny B Goode

19 COUGH was super loud, slow, heavy and depressive as ever. These guys are really intense. I only heard about 30 mins but they are a super powerful band. Phew.. Crowd was packed and totally into it as well. 

20 So the guys from Shadow of the Torturer are late so they slotted in Danava in the small room and they played a kick as 45mins set and were excellent. It is cool music and really complicated stuff. Like math rock in a way but with a 70s blues rock feel. Very cool and and great players all of them. Everyone is like soloing all the time. The best bass and drummer of the entire festival probably. Blew us away…

Pagan Alter
21 Pagan Alter had the main hall packed and the sound was great and they totally smashed the place with their great NWOBHM style. They were all in a great mood and happy to be part of this festival. The singer had a cold but was great. I thought they were much better here than at Roadburn. Lead guitar player was excellent. Crowd really seem to know a lot of their songs as well. They played a little over an hour. Great concert. 

22 Meth Drinker, like the name implies was insanely intense. Grindcore DOOM, just plain nasty angry heavy shit…. some people were totally blown away but for me it was too much. I had to go outside.. Room was packed and hot as well. 

Mournful Congregation
23 Mournful Congregation from Australia had a good crowd in the main hall for their brand of Funeral Doom. They have three guitar players who mostly play the same lines but the guy on the right with the flying V did most of the solos and they had some nice harmonies as well in the more mellow parts. They were doomy but not tuned down that low and had a cleaner guitar sound. Songs are long and pretty slow but people were into it. Good band.

24 HEAT, a band I was really looking forward to was next and they were great. I was up in the front and it was a bit to crazy with people smashing you around all the time. There was one Danish asshole who was just being a jerk and provoking this cool guy with the big Vol 4 back patch who was front and center. Just pushing him all the time and finally the girl next to me had had enough before this guy was going to turn around and smash him and she just dragged his ass straight out the door and threw him out and came back. That was cool.. Anyway, they were way more bluesy than I had thought they would b. This has one or two of the guys from Samsara Blues Experiment in the band. While the singer is not that strong, he puts in a great performance, while the rest of the band kicks some ass. Lots of nice solos from both guitar players. It was a great set especially the last song, was long and great. Crowd loved it.

Set List: Daymale, Warhead, Siamese Smile, Illusion, Barbarossa, Loving Devotion, Old Sparky, Ending Agirj, Better by You

Day 4

14 I was just about to go out the door to the Metro and the bungy cord holding the the box of CDs onto the trolley with all the vinyl records snapped off and hit me in the face slashing my cheek and lip and now I am bleeding like crazy.. I hope it does not swell up too much… 

15 I finally made it to the festival and stopped bleeding after like 10 mins. A bit sore on the lip. A really nice girl offered to help me from the bus to the festival with all the merch as it was pretty tough to hall this by myself. I have a very good merch spot where everyone walks by. Hope we sell some things. Thomas should be here with the gear anytime. Stefan and Jesper will both come later.

16 Seremonia played on the big stage to a decent sized crowd but they played a really cool concert. A strange psychedelic rock all sung in Finnish with some pretty frantic drumming that seems like he is running ahead of the band all the time. It gives the music this special edge. Pretty high energy stuff and they had a really cool piece towards the end of the show that was really spaced out. Not a lot of guitar solos but cool textures and songs for sure. They only played about 35 mins. Oh yeah.. the drummer came out and did a 1min flute solo during one of the last long pieces as well. That was something unexpected. Here is a cool video from the show.. enjoy...

17:30 Nocturnal are jamming away in the Dødsmaskinen (small hall). I am not so wild about the singer but they had good energy and a lot of guitar solos. Very 70s rock style. Crowd seem to dig them as well. I bought their 7" record. 

19 I had some food with the guys and gal from Seremonia upstairs. Super nice and cool people. Dark Budda Rising just totally blew me away. Super loud, super heavy and psychedelic. The set was not that long but so powerful. I think they played 40mins. The blood ritual makes it all so intense but the mix of this super heavy stuff, then a really spacey part and the end with all this psychedelic guitar textures from the guy on the right.. Nils and I were blown to bits… Amazing band….  One of the best of the entire festival.
Dark Budda Rising

Resonaut is playing now. I saw the first couple of songs and did not really get into it at all so I am back at the merch stand, where I can hear them but not see them. I have to say that they did not really catch a groove at all to start but the end of their show they sounded really great and it all really built up in a super cool way. The festival is packed with people now. I think I heard it was basically sold out now. 

20 Saturnus, a 20 year old Danish melodic doom death metal band play in the big hall now. A really good crowd. I have not really ever liked this band much mainly due to the death metal vocal. It just kills it all for me but they played extremely well and craft some great songs as well. All the guys in ØSC are now here and in a really good mood. 

21 Skraeckoedlan are a fairly new Swedish band with only 2 records and this is the last gig of their tour they said. The room was quite packed and they rocked the place with some high energy stoner rock but with some cool twin guitar parts, almost like southern rock a few times and good melodies. I expected them to do a lot more solos and stuff since they have all these guitar pedals but did not seem to use them much. Rocking stuff.. Here is a video of the opening track from the show. 

22 Kadavar are playing in the big hall now but I have to set up and soundcheck for the ØSC gig at 23. I only heard a bit of some of the stuff but I could see the hall was packed. 

01:20 Wow.. what an amazing gig for us. We had so much energy. Not a lot of slow spacey stuff but a lot of high energy 70s blues rock and roll with heavy riffs and massive guitar solos. Tom and Stefan really connected on a higher level and played killer together. Amazing musical communication. Jesper and Thomas really held the bottom down and I just spaced out. Sound was amazing on the stage so we all could play our best. We played for nearly 2hrs and people were totally into it. The room was never totally packed but a lot of people. Daniel the organizer popped in a few times and seemed to dig it. The Finns were up front and said they were blown away. Great comments from the Dark Budda Rising people. I had a great time but am totally exhausted now. Thanks to Love from Siena Root for helping me out with selling the merchandise.

Amazing festival and so glad I was part of it once again. Congrats to the organizers for a wonderful event. This will grow to be considered one of the best music festivals in Northern Europe if they can get this kind of line up of bands each year.. Hope to see you next year. 


  1. Aaaargh! Would've loved to hear about Hexvessal and Kadavar but twas not to be... funny but of all the bands you saw these two would've been the most interesting to me... besides of course the great OSC!

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  3. Thanks for this great reading. Kadavar will be back in Copenhagen on Friday Nov 8th 2013, when they play at Beta.

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  5. Please note the text of the original article has been modified.

  6. This was a super festival. I liked it more than Roadburn. Such a relaxed atmosphere. Pagan Altar, Dark Buddha Rising and ØSC where personal highlights for me. You should release your gig on vinyl. I would definitely buy it!