Copenhagen, Denmark 
May 4th 2007


Old-school thrash metal is not really that big in Denmark. May 4th is a national holiday in Denmark, and still Pumpehuset with its 600 people capacity in the wee country’s capital is not quite sold out.


The audience is primarily quite young, many of them sporting their Trivium t-shirts, a few, like myself, of the more greying and balding kind, are mostly here to see Annihilator.


Yours truly is one of the latter, whereas Benny, the other representative on this fine evening, has been going on about Trivium over the past weeks and now wants to see them follow up on the splendid ‘The Crusade’ album on the stage.


American outfit Sanctity open the ball. The sound engineer is generous with the volume from the beginning, and this is to be proven true for the rest of the evening. Sanctity play thrash and therefore fit quite well into tonight’s package. There are many good passages with lots of groove, energy and heaviness here and there, but overall, the songs lack coherence and singer Jared is not quite ready for the clean vocal parts




The interesting situation for Annihilator’s Jeff Waters is that he’s on tour with a singer who’s taken up the guitar and therefore needs to concentrate more than usual, plus he’s got two new guys – out of which one of them is merely 17 years old (!). Is that going to work? Well, yes, Annihilator does as usual impress with immense tightness and versatility.


The only minus is the sound. Regretfully, Waters’ guitar is at times hardly audible in the mix, and Padden’s vocal is uncommonly loud. If the singer/guitarist had had a lesser voice, it would have been pure torture, but Padden has become a really, really good vocalist by now and impresses with the way he masters the classic Annihilator material, most notably the Never Neverland title track.


Despite a bone fracture, Waters is hopping about eagerly and looks enthusiastic as ever. Brian, the young bassist, looks like a happy little boy who’s having the time of his life, whereas Padden takes on the more sinister, concentrated bearing as classics like Set the World on Fire (one of my personal favourites), Fun Palace and King of the Kill are aired to the great joy of the old-school fans present tonight. Two new songs, Operation Annihilation and Clowns on Parade, have found their way into the set, and they both work out nicely live.


The biggest cheers come out when Alice In Hell is aired at the end of the nine song set list, proving yet again that this is one of the ultimate thrash/speed metal classics.


Let it be no secret that this hag would wish that Annihilator had been the top of the bill on this evening.




Now, I’m still hoping that Trivium will prove me wrong on that one.
It has to be part of the story that we are two members of the crew going to this gig.
Benny has been going on about Trivium for quite some time now, because he likes The Crusade quite a lot (according to his girlfriend, anyway…), and he is convinced that Sanctity and Annihilator will be blown away by the young hopefuls.

What happens next is a bit bizarre. Trivium enter the stage. Their sound is marginally better than what we’ve heard previously on this evening, but no more. Two or three songs into the set, I can tell that my partner in crime is not at all amused. He is, in fact, immensely disappointed and decides to leave! I try the ‘but we have to review this’ option, but to no avail; off he goes into the night, and there goes my Trivium expert!

Here’s Benny’s comment a couple of days after:
Crap. Crap with crap on top. Crappy sound and crappy performance.
Extremely disappointing considering that I think their studio albums are brilliant.
I had enough after only three songs and left.

If zero is the score for not showing up at all, then my score can only go as high as 4.
One point for each band member who showed up. No extra points for the music or the show.
Score: 4/100

Right...I can’t be quite that harsh on Trivium, although it is hard for me to get into the hype.
I have The Crusade album, and I can see that they do things I objectively seen should find cool. I just don’t. It hasn’t yet managed to get under my skin, and this evening doesn’t change that one bit.

The sound is muddy, no doubt about that, and that doesn’t make anything better, but if only the songs had been memorable in any way, that wouldn’t have mattered. Just like Sanctity, they have some really cool and heavy parts, but all in all, their songs won’t stand the test of time.

My impression is that the rest of the audience doesn’t really get that excited either – only during the two last songs of the set plus the two encores, there’s a real response from Pumpehuset, and when the last tone has rung out, I go into the night, only feeling that I saw one really great act tonight, namely Annihilator.



Attending: Thomas & Benny