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Live Concert Report: 2021 Metal Aid (Night Two) Amager Bio

For day one, click here.

Night two of 2021 Metal Aid at Amager Bio in Copenhagen, Denmark saw a few more people in the seats despite a UEFA Euro 2020 match, featuring Denmark, happening simultaneously. Between bands I noticed a number of Metal Aid attendees checking their phones for score updates. Alas, even with an early Danish goal, Belgium came back to defeat the Danes 2-1. Everyone was better off focusing on the music.

Night two consisted of Demolizer, Withering Surface, Slægt, and Artillery. Withering Surface and Artillery have been around for decades, while Demolizer and Slægt are on the younger side. Slægt has actually existed for a decade now, even though the members of the band are still in their 20s. The current lineup has been active for six years.

Demolizer got the crowd going with their brand of thrash metal. Young and old seemed to enjoy their energy and spirit. While there were moments of crossover and punk, I was pleased that they were more in the thrash category than what I was expecting.

Withering Surface were next. After a farewell concert in 2005, Withering Surface disbanded. In 2019 they reformed, wrote a new album which was released in 2020, and were booked to play a number of shows, including 2020 Copenhell and Metal Magic. Covid-19 wiped out most of those opportunities, or at least postponed them, so Metal Aid was their first performance in front of a crowd this large in over 15 years. They did get in a few small gigs in 2020 before Denmark went back into lockdown.

They will be at the 2021 Metal Magic Festival in a few weeks. When Michael H. Andersen, the vocalist for Withering Surface and co-owner of Mighty Music along with many other metal titles, asked the crowd how many had seen them at the 1999 Roskilde Festival, not many hands went up. Some of the youngsters in the crowd probably weren’t even born yet. Perhaps one or two were conceived at the 1999 Roskilde Festival. Nergal, of Behemoth, would not be surprised if such a conception were to have occurred.

If you are a fan of Melodic Groove Metal and haven’t heard Withering Surface before, check out their old stuff or their 2020 album, “Meet Your Maker”.

For me, and several others that I spoke with, the highlight of Metal Aid was Slægt. Since 2017 they have been one of my top ten favorite bands, and I don’t see them falling off that list anytime soon. Their last two albums and a 2019 EP are fantastic. Their live performances are always outstanding, energetic, and smile producing. Don't be surprised if they release a new album of material in 2022.

I’ve been lucky enough to see them five times now, even though they have yet to tour the USA. When they visit a town near you, don’t miss it! I would love to see a Slægt world tour with bands like Cloak and Tribulation. Slægt will also be at the 2021 Metal Magic Festival where I will happily see them for the sixth time.

Last, but not least, was the mighty Artillery. It’s been over 30 years since “By Inheritance” frequently made its rounds in my college CD player, but the surviving members continue to impress and deliver the goods.

I saw Artillery at 2016 Copenhell, but I was so jet-lagged and tired that I didn’t make it through more than a song or two before heading home to get some sleep. Artillery went on at Copenhell a 1:15 a.m., and my first act of that day was Solstifir, a full 12 hours earlier. On this evening, at Metal Aid, I was able to relax and enjoy their entire set.

Overall, Metal Aid delivered on the promise of emergency assistance to metal bands and fans alike. Going forward, the metal community can anticipate a return to concerts and festivals that we have so desperately missed during the past 15 months.

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