The Hellfest evening shift includes Killing Joke, who unleash their best numbers from a very extended catalogue ranging over a very healthy 40-year career, plus we hear from Alice Cooper, Nine Inch Nails and Megadeth (again).
Killing Joke, Alice Cooper, Nine Inch Nails, Megadeth.
Hellfest 2022 – 24 June 2022.
Words: Dany Jones
While Killing Jokes industrial post-punk vein allows for keyboard-laden tracks and a bouncy dance beat, the tone is, in contrast, one of darkness and doom. Coleman says, “There is gonna be a war,” introducing War Dance and “as food shortages increase, we will all turn on each other. We will go primitive,” before unleashing Primitive.
It is hard not to love Killing Joke and Coleman’s intense theatrics.
But, speaking of theatrics, the next action is the absolute master of all. With a monumental horror-themed stage show, the rain starts falling for Alice Cooper. However, their resilient audience remains unscathed by the elements.
What an incredible set-up consisting of several costume changes, props, entire dramatic scenes. We see a dying bride and the wicked death beheading Alice, all backed by an incredible band. It is hard to take your eyes off the three guitarists playing very distinctive styles yet beautifully marrying together into this sensational performance.
While one may argue that the songs may sound a tad passé, the skilful arrangement and the fresh and totally mesmerizing stage show render this artist truly immortal.
While we run for a quick cheeky drink before the NIN set begins, we pass by the Valley where New Model Army are blasting a rather epic sounding Here Comes The War.
It is a real shame that we cannot stay for longer, however. NIN are the must-see of the day.
The Trent Reznor gang have never sounded better, and the whole set takes us through a journey of an altered state of mind. Their sound is incredibly crisp and simply powerful all the way through. Whoever may have had any doubts, NIN may have been going for over 30 years, yet they are still as strong as ever.
Reznor pauses for a minute. “First time we are here,” he says. “This place is crazy. And so intimidating to see so many bands that inspired us like Killing Joke, Ministry, and Alice Cooper. But there are also so many friends Health, Youth Code, Nitzer Ebb.”
He then asks if the guys are still here and invites Health on stage to duet on Isn’t Everyone.
Megadeth are on their second and closing set of the second night of part two of this mammoth festival and literally, they take no prisoners. The eminence of this band truly goes through the roof in terms of skill, and we are before absolute pros.
Drummer Dirk Verbeuren is a true delight to watch with his engaging performance. Kiko’s shredding is so natural and smooth, and the new addition ex-Quiet Riot bassist James LoMenzo just fits like a glove.
There is a new found tenderness in Mustaine when he tells the audience that he is beating the shit out of cancer and that he is ever so grateful to be here again. “Yesterday we released a new single. We are in a great mood today, so we are gonna play some songs we haven’t played in a long time.” He is positively beaming.
Hellfest 2022 will be held over two weekends in June, featuring 350 artists on six stages. For more information visit www.hellfest.fr/en/
You can read all the MetalTalk Hellfest coverage at metaltalk.net/tag/hellfest-2022
This year there is also a virtual edition, Hellfest From Home. For more details visit fromhome.hellfest.fr