Killing Joke deliver shivers down the spine at Hellfest

Seems like time never passed for Killing Joke, who have endured a steady and successful 40-year-long career. Their audience embraces over three generations, and it is rather heartwarming to see that, at Hellfest, even the youngest not only appreciate but truly digest their back catalogue.

Killing Joke, Hellfest 2022
Killing Joke, Hellfest 2022

Words: Dany Jones

Coleman and co get greeted with warmth, and, from the early notes of the distinctive bass line of Love Like Blood, the pit turns into a dancefloor. However, the juxtaposition between the sombre and the political is what contradistinct this band.

“There is gonna be a war,” says Jaz Coleman, and here follow the notes of War Dance. It is pretty disconcerting how relevant this theme is nowadays despite this song having been written over 40 yrs ago.

An intense I Am The Virus, is followed by chants from the most hardcore fans, just like one cosy family joining up at the gathering. Coleman is dressed in his trademark uniform, the familiar black Spider jumpsuit he performs with.

Killing Joke, Hellfest 2022
Killing Joke, Hellfest 2022

Maybe that be that of an ex-con or a fugitive escaping the asylum. Added to his theatrics, he never fails to give you shivers down the spine.

“As food shortages increase, we will all turn on each other. We will go Primitive.” Then the self-titled song erupts in the air.

Killing Joke, Hellfest 2022
Killing Joke, Hellfest 2022

The Death and Resurrection Show has the pit head bobbing and dub away all along, while Total Invasion gets introduced as the song about the coming war, and we clearly get Coleman’s stance on the topic.

Killing Joke, Hellfest 2022
Killing Joke, Hellfest 2022

One may want to rehash the old argument, should politics and music mix?

For Killing Joke, this has been a 40 years resounding “yes”.

Dany Jones, MetalTalk. Hellfest 2022
Dany Jones, MetalTalk. Hellfest 2022

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

You can read all the MetalTalk Hellfest coverage at

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

Hellfest 2022 - Festival poster

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