Hellfest made an excellent return this summer season to the in any other case quaint village of Clisson in France. Whereas a typical version of the beloved fest is a jaw dropping ensemble of web sites and sounds, this 12 months’s compilation was epic to the subsequent degree. The 2022 fest drew on the angst and dismay of two years of cancelled editions through the pandemic, and an general absence of large-scale reside music throughout that point. As an alternative of a typical 3-day affair, this juggernaut was strewn throughout 7 days and nights over consecutive weekends and boasted over 350 killer bands.
On most days music began at 10:30 within the morning and ran till 2am the subsequent morning. Within the extreme warmth on the opening weekend or the muddier, cooler climate that the second weekend introduced, near 100 thousand folks a day jammed into the sprawling competition floor, galloping round spectacular phases and artwork installations to absorb their favourite bands.
Two of my favourite days of the competition showcased a significantly bigger variety of feminine artists. The primary Sunday boasted Jinjer, Lacuna Coil, Doro, Twin Temple and an epic, standout efficiency by Battle Beast. The second Saturday featured Nightmare, Eluveitie, Draconian, Epica, Myrkur and Nightwish.
At Hellfest every stage tends to be residence to particular set of genres for avid followers to glom onto and crash out for naps. The legendary Warzone is the go-to spot for punk and hardcore acts and featured such acts as Suicidal Tendencies, Unhealthy Faith, Cro-Mags, Anti-Flag, Social Distortion, Sick of it All, Millencolin, Rise In opposition to, GBH, The Exploited and Agnostic Entrance. Whereas the stage is the least accessible to get backwards and forwards to by the thick, lumbering crowds, 1000’s of followers have made it a convention to simply keep at that one stage for a lot of the weekend.
The Valley stage hosts the stoner steel and psychedelic rock and related issues, and this version it boasted killer bands like Excessive on Fireplace, Baroness, Electrical Wizard, Godflesh, Purple Fang, Orange Goblin, Ufomammut, and Eyehategod. It’s actually outstanding the quantity of people that get blackout drunk and stoned and sleep on the grass immediately in entrance of this stage with out getting stepped on by the 1000’s of individuals or waking up from the noise.
The Temple stage hosts a lot of the black steel and folks steel and was jammed this 12 months with an unimaginable forged together with acts like Mayhem, Rotting Christ, Borknagar, Heilung, Seth, Twin Temple, Moonspell, Marduk, Enslaved, Abbath, Myrkur, Igorrrr, and Mercyful Destiny.
The Altar Stage is the house of all of the loss of life and thrash you possibly can ever ask for, and 1000’s of swirling followers moshed to bands like, Carcass, Sepultura, Dying Fetus, Coroner, Insomnium, Septicflesh, Therion, Decapitated, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Napalm Loss of life.
After which after all there are the 2 towering mainstages that hosted an enormous variety of big-ticket acts like Epica, Ministry, 9 Inch Nails, The Offspring, Sabaton, Deftones, Alice Cooper, Opeth, Ghost, Metal Panther, Airbourne, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Steve Vai, Myles Kennedy, and Korn.
Whereas many true-metal followers make enjoyable of the mainstage headliners, I can solely say that the smaller phases had been noticeably “roomier” whereas bands like Weapons N’ Roses and Metallica had been performing.
The sheer variety of bands introduced some cosmic and attention-grabbing matchups like Nightwish versus Nightmare, Conjurer versus Sorcerer, Cadaver versus Kadavar, Gatecreeper versus On the Gates, Schenker brother versus Schenker brother, and Moonspell versus Moonsorrow. Have to be a cosmic coincidence, proper?
Many bands went out of their technique to convey how unimaginable it’s to have reside festivals and Hellfest again, sharing help for the competition and all of their workers who work tirelessly all year long to arrange such a tremendous expertise. One other essential subject for a lot of bands was the Russian invasion of Ukraine the place quite a few bands flexed for his or her liked of the nation and their folks. Ukrainian outfit Jinjer not solely threw down an unimaginable efficiency, but in addition took a short, acceptable second to handle the state of affairs again of their residence saying, “Our lovely nation is being torn aside by struggle, however we’re all very grateful for the help from world wide. Fuck the struggle!” in what clearly was an emotional second.
Whereas the competition had for a few years a statue to commemorate the legend that was Lemmy Kilmister, this 12 months it was changed by a masterpiece of a towering new statue that’s so unhealthy ass, it seems to be like a powerful sketch transformed into 3D. A really critical and respectful piece of artwork, the brand new statue was a part of a memorialization of Lemmy, having his former bandmates Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee readily available to participate within the ceremony.
No competition protection could be full with out recapping some favourite performances! Whereas no person can see each band at Hellfest, I did soak up an terrible lot so needed to say the seven most bend bending performances that had been my private favorites, as a result of it’s precisely these seven that leap out from the remainder of the pack, as every band had a type of very particular days. So enormous shout out to Ministry, Battlebeast, Kreator, Baroness, Twin Temple and Purple Fang, and to probably the most thoughts blowing of all of them, the extremely mystic and astonishingly heavy Heilung!
Hellfest 2022 Gargantuan Version was actually a celebration of the return of heavy music on an enormous scale. Personally it was my sixth time soaking in all that that gooey, scrumptious Hellfest expertise, and by no means have I seen such elated followers, smiling bands, and upbeat competition workers.
Have been you at Hellfest this 12 months? If that’s the case, what had been a few of your favourite moments? In the event you needed to keep at one stage your entire competition, which one wouldn’t it be? Ever move out on the ft of Matt Pike whereas Excessive on Fireplace was performing? Tell us within the feedback part beneath!