Bölzer w/ Serpent's Lair, Denial of God – Live Report

Copenhagen called for a bright spring weekend with some dark music: Bölzer, Denial of God and Serpent’s Lair played at Pumpehuset on Saturday, May 6. The sunny day lead us to Christiania where we found out from a dressed colorfully Irish lady with two small green glitter top hats adorning her head on the toilet of Woodstock Cafe that people were gathering for the Global Marijuana March. Well that explained all the dressed-up people around…and here I had begun to worry the late breakfast or early lunch beer on an empty stomach and the smoke wafting through the alleys had caused me to see things. The day continued at the Street Food Market to enjoy some food and drinks in the sun before heading to central Copenhagen and Pumpehuset in the evening.

Pumpehuset (Photo by Eija Mäkivuoti)

Pumpehuset greeted us with a nice courtyard entrance over which chains of colored lights later cast a lovely summer-in-the-city kinda feeling and a convenient wardrobe system with both lockers and a staffed coat check. After the sunny day outside, the atmosphere in the venue seemed even darker upon entering, and Danish black metallers Seprent’s Lair only enhanced that feeling with their performance. A perfect contrast to the colorful and bright day: bleak, black and dark.

A decent crowd had already gathered and was slowly getting into the swing of things. I instinctively liked the vibe of the venue and the band, candles illuminating the stage. Serpent’s Lair enshrouded the audience with a pleasant heaviness and captivating melodies that lead through the songs from slower to faster parts, always keeping a driving pulse. A promising start into the evening, and always a pleasure to discover a new band for oneself!

Serpent's Lair (Photo by Eija Mäkivuoti)

Next up was Denial of God, and the audience already gathered in front of the stage way before the band even got on. It took a while for them to get started but everyone was enjoying themselves with beers and chats with friends – an overall relaxed Saturday evening atmosphere. When the guys set foot on stage, the crowd got immediately into it, from the almost gothic intro to the songs that combined (black) metal and more rock’n’roll parts. Vocalist Ustumallagam told stories with his theatrical gestures. The audience headbanged, shouted and put their arms up – Denial of God are clearly beloved by their Danish brethren, even if it wasn’t really my cup of tea. But thanks to that there was time for more beer!

Denial of God (Photo by Eija Mäkivuoti)

Anticipation grew and it was getting more packed before Bölzer were finally set to take the stage. Raw energy was unleashed over Pumpehuset as soon as the duo started playing, and the audience dove in head first, letting themselves be washed away by the music. With an allure of mystery, KzR on a Lemmy style set up mic and HzR on the drums took on the evening and were greeted by an excited applause. Both seemed to lose themselves in their own music, headbanging. The audience soon followed and responded to the intensifying groove.

Bölzer (Photo by Eija Mäkivuoti)

The guitar melodies were cutting through the night, and the drum beats mounted up to the sky, the atmosphere wove a tight net over the crowd, and it was one of these moments where you could forget about everything outside of just this song, this moment….until you got pushed because a couple of guys were carrying out their very wasted friend, holding him up by his belt. Luckily, that was only a short distraction in between songs like Hero that combine the energy, melancholy and beauty that make Bölzer so intriguing.

Bölzer (Photo by Eija Mäkivuoti)

It is always amazing how only two people can create more intensity and deliver such live performances when many bands with many more members do not even come close. Between the bright, melodic 10 string and the low bass darkness, the music was complex but oh so captivating. You seem to find yourself in a dark earthy cave while at the same time basking in the gleaming sunlight.

Bölzer (Photo by Eija Mäkivuoti)

Towards the end, the floor was sticky, the air stuffy and people were sloppily drunk headbanging and still, it was (metal) magick.

Check out the full gallery by Eija Mäkivuoti here.

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