The Sweaty Serenity of a Heavy Metal Mosh Pit

A Photographer Captures Thrashing Headbangers in Their Moment of Bliss

On December 9, 1983, Jacob Ehrbahn rocked out like he’d never rocked out before.

He was 13, a suburban Dane who’d never been to a metal concert. The Scorpions—a year off their hit “No One Like You,” a couple of months away from “Rock You Like a Hurricane”—were in Copenhagen, on tour. Ehrbahn showed up early with his friends to get a place right in front of the stage. Once the guitars fired up, they were transported to another world.

“Heavy metal music was a new thing to us,” Ehrbahn …