Hellfest 2022, Edition Two, is underway, as everyone has had the chance to recharge their batteries from last weekends spectacular. Bring Me The Horizon and Pentagram.
Hellfest – Bring Me The Horizon, Pentagram – Sunday 20:25
Dany Jones brings news from the pit. Bring Me The Horizon [full review to follow] just delivered an electrifying set which saw the entire pit explode and follow every instruction from a very grateful Oli Sykes, who told people when to mosh, circle pit, bang heads or even come to give him a hug.
Meanwhile, at the Valley, Pentagram opened the proceedings at their most adept and in full form.
These veterans of the old school of riffology have everyone headbanging in true stoner fashion with heavy down tuning, a steady phat beat and hypnotic refrains while the singer nods along.
“This is the first song I ever recorded when I was 59 years old,” Bobby Liebling says. Then he tells some great stories.
Hellfest – Bullet For My Valentine, Sabaton, Kreator, Avatar – Sunday 16:25
Dany Jones. News from the pit. Bullet For My Valentine cancels their press conference. However, we catch Avatar, who delights us with their refreshing dark sarcasm. They are excited to be back and say that their persona on stage is not a gimmick but rather a liberation. A free expression of who they really are, and they are the same way off stage.
It is then the turn of Sabaton to gracefully answer questions, and while not recalling that a stage nearly collapsed on them in the USA, or the singer losing his voice right before their set at Hellfest in 2019, they hope to become a permanent fixture.
While we position ourselves for Bullet for My Valentine, Ugly Kid Joe concludes their set by delivering an energetic Ace Of Spades to pay tribute to Lemmy and the mighty Motörhead.
Bullet For My Valentine are causing absolute mayhem, including circle pits and an outright wall of death. We even have a Santa and a frog crowd surfing.
Kreator played a stunning set on 24 June 2022, including the live premiere of Strongest Of The Strong. Mille Petrozza was asked if there were any plans to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their debut album, Endless Pain, in 2025.
“I don’t think we’re one of those bands that really celebrates anniversaries so much,” he said. “I’m totally aware of the fact that it’s gonna be four decades very soon, but we haven’t planned anything.
“But maybe we’ll do something. I don’t know, really. Something might happen, but at this point, we’re busy playing, getting back into the groove. Because, like all the bands, we haven’t experienced live music for so long.
“But in 2025, if things go well, we’ll be back on track. So maybe there will be something, but nothing has been planned yet.”
Hellfest – At The Gates – Sunday 13:00
Dany Jones. Having written the review for Baroness, I’m reminded of the At The Gates Hellfest set, from 17 June.
This was not one for the faint-hearted, and it sure showed just how many can actually appreciate excellent musicianship. With star drummer Adrian Erlandsson (ex-Cradle of Filth, Paradise Lost and drummer in The Haunted), the Swedish Metallers will take you through a journey of sheer brutality marked by heavy down tuning, a barrage of fast double pedal, a ton of groove and beautiful dark melodies.
In other words, all that defines utterly wonderful Death Metal.
Riff by riff, At The Gates latched onto every single one of their fans’ souls and shall possess you for eternity.
We did take a peek at the tent next door and could not help but wonder that if they say that perfection is divine, Baroness are certainly what comes closest.
Hellfest – Jerry Cantrell – Saturday, 1AM
Kahmel Farahani. Although the clock has ticked over into Friday night and it’s rapidly approaching one in the morning, there is one final and very special show to be seen for those hardy enough to keep standing.
Alice In Chains founder, guitarist, singer and songwriter extraordinaire Jerry Cantrell has little if anything left to prove. After releasing a stellar solo album last year, the Grunge icon is free to do as he pleases.
Tonight that means playing a truly magnificent, AIC hit-filled set to an adoring throng of lucky fans.
Cantrell and his band simply demolish the crowd in the best possible way, playing Man In A Box, Check My Brain and Got Me Wrong one after another.
Cantrell is surely one of the finest songwriters and guitar players of his generation, and tonight he lays it down for all to see. Playing his superb solo single Brighten before AIC’s Would sends the crowd over the top.
Hellfest – Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke – Friday, 17:25
Words: Kahmel Farahani.
Today as the weather remains overcast, the mainstages are a tale of two halves, with mainstage two keeping everyone’s spirits high with joyous anthems from the likes of Danko Jones and Dragonforce.
The first stage is something else entirely. Today, specially curated by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, the mood is one of electronic, gothic and industrial beats with sets from artists as eclectic as Killing Joke, Nitzer Ebb and Ministry.
All eyes are on the industrial stage as Nine Inch Nails will make their Hellfest debut tonight.
Hellfest – Helloween – Friday ,14:54
Words: Kahmel Farahani.
The anticipation for German metal legends Helloween is high tonight, and as the curtain falls, the crowd erupts in cheers as the band launch into Eagle Fly Free.
The Pumpkins United lineup has, since its return in 2017, been responsible for some of the finest shows and one of the best comeback albums of all time.
They show no sign of slowing down tonight as both frontmen Michael Kiske and Andi Deris take turns singing lead while the triple-guitar onslaught is truly mesmerising. Classic anthems like Dr Stein and Future World sit perfectly next to new songs like Best Time Of My Life.
Guitarist Kai Hansen takes the lead for a medley of old-school, Walls Of Jericho era songs like Starlight before the rest of the band return for a crushing I Want Out to close. Still at their very peak, Helloween deserves the accolades and then some.
After a week of heatwaves and sunshine at Hellfest, the weather has taken a turn for the British, as rain and wind have been the conditions for Friday.
Hellfest – Thunder, UFO – Friday 10:16
Words: Kahmel Farahani.
British Rock institution Thunder are on after Tyler Bryant, and they certainly have the goods for a festival.
With an ageless voice and a most charming stage presence, Thunder frontman Danny Bowes is just what we need this afternoon. Belting out anthems like Backstreet Symphony and Dirty Love, Thunder leave a sea of smiling faces behind them after such a brief set.
Speaking of Legends, Phil Mogg and UFO are back at Hellfest on their Last Orders farewell tour.
While age has definitely taken the edge off UFO as a killer live act, their songbook is still undeniably one of the best and today, they play everything from Rock Bottom to a set-closing Doctor Doctor.
Hellfest – Thursday, 20:40
Whitesnake, down to one guitar with the illness of Reb Beach, played their first single guitar gig since 1985. Steve Vai joined for the last song of their set, Still Of The Night.
Following Vai’s own impressive solo set, Whitesnake took the stage one man down. That doesn’t slow the band down, though, as they power through hit after hit, from Love Ain’t No Stranger to Crying in The Rain.
Hellfest – Thursday, 19:15
“See that line that goes along past the merch?” says Kahmel Farahani. “That’s the ‘togs lining up to get a shot at Whitesnake.” We eagerly await that photo!
Hellfest – Thursday, 18:52
Words: Kahmel Farahani
Opening things up with a thunderstorm of noise on the mainstage, Phil Campbell and the Bastard Suns are laying down a blistering set. With the official inauguration of Lemmy’s memorial statue tonight, it’s no wonder that Phil chooses to pack today’s set full of Motörhead songs and crowd-pleasers.
From Damage Case and Bomber to Ace of Spades and the set-closing Overkill, Phil and his sons bash out a fitting and joyous tribute to Lemmy and Motörhead’s immortal catalogue of music.
Coming to Hellfest with their tried and tested brand of feel-good, bare-bones blues rock, Tyler Bryant and co play through a rollicking feel-good set.
If there is any criticism, it’s that while Tyler Bryant definitely has the musical chops and the stage presence, the thing that he is truly lacking is songs. While Rock It and Mojo Working are fine festival fair for a fine summer afternoon, it’s still yet to be seen if Tyler Bryant can really dig deeper and come out with something truly engaging and original.
Today he leaves a crowd of happy people behind, and for now, that’s enough.
Hellfest – Thursday, 16:52
Words: Kahmel Farahani
“I’ll speak for every artist here,” Steve Vai says of the reception of his latest album, Inviolate, “it’s always nice to be appreciated for your contribution. That’s the engine of creation. With Inviolate, I decided to get focused.
“Lots of my albums in the past have been a bit dense musically, but with this album, it just went boom. It’s the right record my fans were waiting for because I do challenge them sometimes.”
Vai plans to return to the studio soon to finish recording the third instalment of The Real Illusions trilogy of albums. “If you put it out and you’ve really got the goods,” he says, “it’s gonna rise. The cream always rises. It’s about how it can serve me, and I’m gonna find the benefits of how this can help me. It’s up to the individual to determine the quality of what they’re going to get and how you’re going to react to it.”
Vai recently made his long-awaited return to Dublin, the capital of Ireland, in support of his remarkable new album Inviolate.
“I’ve never really been into buying lots of stuff,” he said today, “but back when I realized I actually had some money, I went out and bought seven Harley’s.”
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