Metallers burn down Vega

Heaven Shall Burn
December 8 at Lille Vega

German heavyweights Heaven Shall Burn were booked on a cold and rainy Sunday in Copenhagen. To no surprise, the sparse audience of about 150 wandered around, some with baggy eyes and persistent hangovers from the traditional julefrokost that make Copenhagen seem like a theme park for drunk people during December. 

The night’s festivities were dampened at the onset by the cancellation of Bleed From Within, but Heaven Shall Burn and the curiously-named death metal veterans Dying Fetus would both go on to  delivered convincing performances.

Dying Fetus were particularly brutal, having been allowed some extra time due to Bleed From Within’s withdrawal. Their sound is some of the most technically mindboggling classic death metal I have witnessed. A small but respectable mosh pit also formed during ‘From Womb To Waste’ and ‘Killing on Adrenaline’. Dying Fetus are clearly experienced performers and could have very easily been billed as co-headliners.

After a 30 minute intermission, Heaven Shall Burn stood ready, and with the curtain closed, the quintet notched the volume up to max during the epic opener ‘Counterweight’, followed by the absolute strongest song of the set in ‘Land of the Upright Ones’. Frontman Marcus Bischoff displayed determined charisma, delivering a heartfelt performance and a willingness to get intimate with his audience. As a performer, he retains one of the strongest scream vocals in the genre, and this was masterfully displayed in ‘Hunters Will Be Hunted’, a song against animal abuse and in support for veganism. Despite writing music with very clear socio-political motive, this evening contains no preaching from Bischoff, to the relief of an audience clearly there to enjoy some rib-rattling metal to finish the weekend in style. 

Following the powerful anthem of ‘Godiva’, the brutal ‘Trespassing The Shores Of Your World’ sealed the initial set. Upon their return, the crowd-pleaser ‘Endzeit’ had the moshpit at its apex. Bassist Eric Bischofff was chiefly keen this evening as he swung his massive hair in helicopter style; guitarist Maik Weichert played with equal intensity and pride. The second encore bid the night to an end with ‘Voice Of The Voiceless’. Clearly perfectionists when it comes to their sound, Heaven Shall Burn did indeed burn Vega down this evening, especially with a perfect warm-up in the form of Dying Fetus.