Hellfest 2022 / Slapdown “will do everything to honour this opportunity”

The French village of Clisson, with its historic ruins and picturesque river, returns with Hellfest 2022 for a marathon double edition with 350 artists on six stages over an extended weekend. It seems like the entire Heavy Metal world is looking at this year’s Hellfest as the event of the decade.

The two weekends will see performances from Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, Scorpions, Avenged Sevenfold, Faith No More, Deftones, Megadeth, Korn and much more.

Slapdown, from France, released their debut full-length Fundamentally Wicked in October 2021, delivering thirteen songs of violent, fast, brutal, and dynamic Heavy Metal and the band is excited to be on the bill for this year’s extra-special event. “It was unexpected to get the call,” the band said, “especially after all these postponements and cancellations over the last two years. We immediately accepted, and we will do everything to honour this opportunity.” 


17jun(jun 17)10:00 am19(jun 19)12:00 pmHellfest Part One, FranceClisson

24jun(jun 24)10:00 am26(jun 26)12:00 pmHellfest Part Two, FranceClisson

Slapdown released their first EP, Cult, in 2018. “It was certainly appreciated by the fans. Cult was a way to show the direction we will now take. Our earlier style was softer. Everything on Cult was homemade, including the recording and design, but we needed something to give to the public.”

With the EP released and a few gigs under their belt, it felt like Slapdown was on the rise, but then Covid-19 put a big stop to things. “It was very hard to stop playing,” they said. “To stop working with the band and no gigs. But it was a good reason to do our best to prepare our first album. And after the lockdown, we immediately went to the Kohlekeller Studio to finalize our project.”

Slapdown. Cover of Fundamentally Wicked.
Slapdown. Fundamentally Wicked.

This was achieved with the release of their first full-length Fundamentally Wicked in 2021. The theme is about serial killers. “It talks about real stories of real serial killers,” the band said, “and especially about things that push them to do that, the pulses that make them become the monsters we know.”

The album opens on Intro, building atmosphere, but then bang, Disappear smashes in. It has a great riff with an undertone that is fast, brutal, and dynamic. Disappear is a great introduction to the record. “We chose Disappear for the opening track with its dynamic speed riff for a ‘punch’ effect,” they said. “This song gives the nature of the album: Powerful and direct. The riffs are made to give aggressive energy. We always think of live. We want energy in the pit.”

Beware is another great track. The style of this track, full-throttle, is sure to fire the Hellfest crowd into a frenzy. “That’s what we hope. That is what this song is made for.”

The Cover of Fundamentally Wicked is superbly gruesome. “A strange and ugly guy, looking angry with a chainsaw, ready to shred,” is how the band describe it. “That’s how we want the people to feel when they listen to our album. Our graphic designer [HPB Graphic Design] understood it well.”

Fundamentally Wicked is a good album, all the way through to the last track Born Evil, a great, moody song with a fantastic riff and another one that will be great to experience live. “Thanks! It’s one of our favourites too,” the band said. “Born Evil will forever have a place on the set live. It was a chance to have Julien Truchan of Benighted to put his legendary pig squeal into. We hope he can join us at least once live.”

Slapdown says they will prepare the set for Hellfest much like other gigs, “with a few little adjustments to make it the best as possible. We want that the public has fun, and us too.”

Hopefully, with Hellfest, this will mark the start of better things for the band. “For the rest of the year, we would like as many gigs as possible to promote Fundamentally Wicked.” Slapdown are already writing their next album and hopes to tour and “play as far aroundd the world as possible.”

With a building Extreme Metal scene in France, there are more venues to host this type of material. “There is an audience for Extreme Metal in France, with good bands such as Benighted and Gorod,” they said.

Hopefully, with bands such as Slapdown playing in Hellfest, this will see Extreme Metal grow further in France. “Thanks for your support,” Spaldown say. “It’s never too much. Support your local bands, continue to talk about us and our peers, and help keep Extreme Metal live.”

Slapdown play Hellfest on 17 June 2022 on Hellstage at 8:15 pm.

Hellfest 2022 will be held over two weekends in June, featuring 350 artists on six stages. For more information visit www.hellfest.fr/en/

This year there is also a virtual edition, Hellfest From Home. For more details visit fromhome.hellfest.fr

Hellfest 2022 - Festival poster

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