support Livløs + Wrath Of Belial
author RUB date 17/02/18 venue VoxHall, Århus, DEN

Hatesphere has long been one of the clear heavyweights of Danish death metal, and since they are nearing 20 years of existence, it is no surprise that they have produced plenty of records by now. The 10th of its kind is being written as this review is being uploaded, but before that, as a token of appreciation, the band has chosen a different kind of theme for this specific tour. Their previous albums, “Serpent Smiles And Killer Eyes”, “The Sickness Within”, and of course their 2003 EP “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Black” (hence the name of the tour “Something New, Something Old, Something Borrowed, Something Live”) are all celebrating various anniversaries. This would eventually result in a very different setlist than what the audience is normally accustomed to. Along with them, the band has brought Wrath of Belial and the local act Livløs, who delivered a blast of a concert almost exactly one week ago in Randers, so it was going to be interesting to see whether they still were ready to warm up this Saturday’s metal crowd.

All photos courtesy of Sebastian Dammark

Wrath Of Belial

As the first band of the evening takes the stage, it is clear that we’re dealing with death metal with a capital ‘D’. And even though the turnout at this point is rather slim, the band still manages to raise hell when they begin their set. More people quickly join in from the café but it seems difficult for the band to get the crowd moving. And if that wasn’t enough, something is clearly off with the sound; it’s like one of the two guitars is way higher in the mix than the other — and I’m even stationed in front of the mixer. The soundscape is so off and distorted that the vocals completely drown in it, especially as the snare drum is much too audible in the mix. Luckily for the people who decided to catch this first act of the evening, the band is not noticeably bothered by this, nor is the audience; people immediately start moshing in the middle of the room.

“This next track is about drinking”, warns the lead singer as the intro to “Set Sails for the end of the World”. The track is unsurprisingly greeted by loud cheers and even though the group only has 30 minutes in which to play their set, they make the best of the time and the unfavourable sound conditions. The concert never manages to get into full gear, but the majority of the crowd seems to be able to look past the imperfections and enjoy it anyway.


Whatever minor sound issues were present during the former gig are instantly fixed when Livløs conquers the stage. And I say ‘conquers’, because the band is clearly riding a wave of success at the moment, and they’re radiant with confidence. It is clear to see that the band is on home turf here, with frontman Simon Olsen commanding the crowd in admirable fashion. The pit sparks into action instantly as the first track is aired and only grows in size as the second track gets underway. The concert already seems very similar to the one I witnessed just a week ago, but when it is delivered with such vigour and intensity, why change anything? It is obvious to me that they still slay!

The short set is a tour de force in groovy death metal, which the growing audience really enjoys, as all the horns and whirling long hair in the air are clear testimonies to. The time flies by quickly, which again underlines what excellent performers these boys have become. And as the set nears its conclusion, Olsen screams, “go round-round-round-round”, to get the circle pit going. The audience is even treated to a cameo by Bersærk’s vocalist Casper Roland Popp during the title track to their debut album, “Into Beyond”, and that once again, unsurprisingly, ignites the dance floor. For the final song of the evening, the crowd pays its dues with a wall of death, though it awaits the ‘go’ from Olsen after he has, in a humorous fashion, demanded to see blood. Whether it is one of the crowd members’ or his own that he means is unclear, but he whirls himself into the arms of the audience during the last stanza, and proves once again that this band just doesn’t have it in them to disappoint. Impressive!


Even though the setting for tonight’s Hatesphere show isn’t as intimate as the one at Loppen in Copenhagen the day before, the venue is still pretty packed. Kicking things off with “Lies and Decent” off the band’s 2007 outing, “Serpent Smiles And Killer Eyes” (which celebrated its anniversary last year), the dance floor explodes. Following this strong start, we’re treated to two tracks from “The Sickness Within”, first in the form of “Murderous Intent” and since in the shape of “The Fallen Shall Rise in a River of Blood”. The crowd clearly loves these pieces, so when the tempo is slowed down for this heavier third song, everyone’s neck muscles are undoubtedly warmed up.

The tracks keep coming in a steady pace and variety, representing all of the albums except 2002’s “Bloodred Hatred”, and the first song of the evening to stem from their self-titled effort from 2001 is “Hate”, which has a song by Roxette played as its intro to huge laughs from the room. The entire band is in a jovial mood and so is the crowd. This ignites some friendly wrestling, which attracts the attention of the security — but fortunately nothing serious happens. Before next track, vocalist Esben Kjær Hansen says that he is suffering from a throat infection, though this is not at all audible; the band sounds just as strong as ever. Jumping back and forth between their various albums, we’re also treated to a song, which Hansen announces as “Sådan er kapitalismen” (“That’s how capitalism is”) and sings entirely in Danish.

The “borrowed” part from the name of this tour is justified by the inclusion of “Ill Will” by D-A-D and of course “Caught in a Mosh” by Anthrax, which appear on, which appear on their self-titled effort and the “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Black” EP, respectively. This ensures that the pit inferno explodes once again, and Hansen makes the audience scream the chorus back in “Caught in a Mosh”. This is followed by the live favorite, “Drinking with the King of the Dead”, which has the entire room bouncing up and down. After several rounds of pit-action, the real treat of the night is then aired in the form of “Feeding the Demons” — a very underrated Hatesphere song if you ask me, which has only been played once live prior to tonight (and that was the day before in Copenhagen). A definite highlight of the night.

The gig has now long surpassed the one-hour mark and is fast closing in on the two hours, but the crowd is yet to grow tired. That is, those who still remain, as it sadly seems like people have started to leave the venue, which has grown fairly hot because of all of the moshing. This continues until the concert is over, where the amount of people inside the venue is almost embarrassingly low, making it obvious just how many people have already left for whatever reason. This still doesn’t stop the remaining audience from going crazy, however, and the pit is operating almost nonstop. “Iconoclast” is played with a cameo from Livløs’ Simon Olsen instead of Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder fame, since the latter is out touring at the moment. But again, Olsen proves himself worthy of taking on this guest vocalist duty. Before “Sickness Within” closes this ballet of the brute, Hatesphere even takes a crowd request in, in the form of “To the Nines”. Along with a huge wall of death, close to two hours’ worth of old, new and borrowed Hatesphere material, and overall a very successful evening in the name of death metal, the band then thanks the remaining audience to the tune of the Danish movie classic “Olsen-banden”, and leaves us flabbergasted at what we’ve just witnessed.



  • 01. Lies and Deceit
  • 02. Murderous Intent
  • 03. The Fallen Shall Rise in a River of Blood
  • 04. Resurrect with a Vengeance
  • 05. Release the Pain
  • 06. Lines Crossed Lives Lost
  • 07. Hate
  • 08. Only the Strongest
  • 09. Murderlust
  • 10. Kapitalismen (cover of a '60s Danish anthem of the left)
  • 11. The Beginning and the End
  • 12. Deathtrip
  • 13. Ill Will (D-A-D Cover)
  • 14. Caught in a Mosh (Anthrax cover)
  • 15. Drinking with the King of the Dead
  • 16. Forever War
  • 17. Feeding the Demons
  • 18. The Coming of Chaos
  • 19. Iconoclast
  • 20. On the Shores of Hell
  • 21. New Hell
  • 22. To the Nines
  • 23. Sickness Within

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