Hellfest celebrates its 10th anniversary this year so we’ll have to adjust our pants to a yet another epic line-up. Just like in the previous years, the festival takes place in the picturesque surroundings of Clisson, France. Between 19-21st June the organisers of Hellfest promise no less than a little piece of musical history with the help of some legendary bands on six stages.
The two mainstages bring you the big names. For the fans of punk and hardcore the Warzone stage provides the base camp. If you’re more into stoner rock and doom the Valley stage is your port of call. Everything black, death and corpsepaint will gather at the stages of the Altar and the Temple.
There are many reasons this festival gets sold out earlier every year. Apart from the actual line-up, what gives the essence of Hellfest is the experience you can’t get elsewhere and it ticks many boxes. Do you want to listen to your personal favourites? Just camp in front of the stage of your choice and you’ll get entertained for three whole days. Do you want to educate yourself with bands or genres you’re not familiar with? You can do that, too. Do you want to see the bands of your teenage years and bring back some memories? No problem. Do you want to see bands your parents raised some hell to? Sorted.
Traditionally, Hellfest has got the most varied and strongest performers’ list in Europe. In this year’s line-up The Altar and The Temple stages changed a bit after last year’s heavenly ass-kicking running order. But it doesn’t mean they won’t be interesting at all for those who devoted themselves to the most extreme side of music. The darkest tent will give home to the evil hordes during the toughest weekend in June and provide a shelter from the cruel sunshine.
One of the opening acts will be the relatively freshly formed Bölzer (The Altar) from Switzerland. This two-man project broke the traditions as they definitely found the way between black and death metal. Bölzer is a really powerful metal machinery.
The British supergroup Vallenfyre (The Altar) will worthly attract several fans as many legendary names can be found in the band. Vallenfyre can be considered as the side project of Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and At the Gates. As technically it is.
Vorkreist (The Temple) will be the first fugitive from hell this year. Surprisingly, French bands are rare as white crows on every Hellfest but this year Vorkreist will stick the French flag upon the altar before anyone else would have a chance.
The Latvian Skyforger (The Temple) started as a black metal band but nowadays their eclectic music is a fine mixture of pagan folk and metal genres. Skyforger embraces the ancient history and pagan mythology of its home country.
Bloodbath (The Temple) and Dying Fetus (The Temple) have been following the same brutal path for many years now. Their technically killer music will give no peace. During their shows the mosh pit will be a dangerous place for sure.
From the haunted shores of England Cradle of Filth (The Altar) is a regular visitor to Hellfest. The reputation of this extreme symphonic gothic horde is doubtless wherever they are heading. Classical Cradle anthems and dark lullabies will make the mass move and so will their newer materials.
With its legendary Norwegian black metal background Satyricon’s (The Altar) name always stands out from any event’s line-up. Their musical approach has changed a lot during the years and the band turned into different directions. Every time when they play live they never forget to pay their respect to “Mother North” and to their Northern heritage.
In terms of underground bands an incredible trinity will provide us the most unique moments.
Infestus (The Temple) from Germany will prove us how a one-man black metal project can be placed on a live stage. Obviously, with session musicians Infestus promises a good show in the footsteps of Taake. The mysterious Swedish Craft (The Temple) never played before 2014 however they’ve existed since the late ’90s. Tracks like “Fuck the Universe” and “Total Soul Rape” describe the band’s nihilistic nature quite well. Another French cult band called Mütiilation (The Temple) will return from its death and head straight to Hellfest. This band belongs to the French underground black metal congregation Les Légions Noires. Mütiilation’s appearance is also a unique moment as they did only two shows back in 2001 and will play only at Hellfest this year. Underground to its bones.
Yes, the legendary Mayhem (The Temple) is still active; however, the recent atmosphere that surrounds the band cannot be compared to the original spirit. Although with Mr. Csihar on vocals some ancient tracks could still manage to evoke some old feelings…Such which the British thrash horde will do. Venom (The Temple) was the first who put the two words black and metal together so the show they will give us can also be seen as a history lesson.
Cock and Ball Torture (The Altar) is a relatively funny name behind a less than comic grindcore band. However, the band is not really about the activities involving male genitals. Cock and Ball Torture is recommended to everyone and not just to the members of the stronger gender. Another remarkable name, Prostitute Disfigurement (The Altar), covers a brutal death metal band from the Netherlands. They are also armoured with enough heavy songs to create a killer atmosphere.
A legendary name from Bristol will reinforce the British metal presence. Onslaught (The Altar) has been active for an unbelievable 30 years now and worthly reached the cult status within the thrash metal scene. Their gig will be one of the most memorable for many of us.
No need to introduce Obituary (The Altar) from Florida. Obituary is one of those bands that exist since their genre was formed many decades ago. Definitely a must-see band before they will be gone forever.
Nidingr (The Temple) will deliver some unusual Norwegian tunes spiced up with a bit of industrial influences. Strongly recommended to the fans of the Norwegian scene. Khold (The Temple) is also part of the Scandinavian circle. Both bands are guaranteed to provide quality Nordic metal. Despite their wide and varied discography none of them have managed to build up a significant fan base so far.
Many different genres kneaded in one with Triptykon (The Temple). The Swiss band is led by the legendary Tom G. Warrior. His name guarantees a hard-hitting gig.
Hypno5e’s (The Altar) experimental musical approach will perfectly fit to the French avantgarde formation called S.U.P. (The Altar). Both bands are recommended for those who are open for something new and unusual, properly dark but still easily digestible.
After eleven years of deadly silence German Morgoth (The Altar) came out with a brand new album earlier this year. On this occasion they will perform old classics as well as brand new material for the pleasure of many. Morgoth’s gig is also a historical moment for 2015.
The masters of death metal Cannibal Corpse (The Altar) still tirelessly write new songs and perform old ones about torturing and grinding human bodies and corpses. Original sound from Florida with disturbing lyrics. Not for the faint-hearted.
Last but not least, At The Gates (The Altar) from Gothenburg will gather us for their take on melodic death metal. Tomas “Tompa” Lindberg left Lock Up not long ago in order to sacrifice all his powers and focus on his original band. Their latest album At War With Reality was released last year after nearly a decade.
To sum it up, as far as the extreme black and death metal scenes are concerned, we can see the French presence will be a bit stronger compared to previous years. Nonetheless, this preview clearly shows that this is still just a small slice from the future cake of Hellfest.
Check out Vivien’s Hellfest preview article for the two mainstages here.