Hellfest Summer Open Air 2009 - Friday 19th

Event: Hellfest Open Air 2009
Written by: Darkside Momo, Collin, Ivor, wrathchild, Marcel Hubregtse, Baz Anderson, Bas, Moocher
Published: 10.07.2009

Galleries:

Hellfest Open Air (Misc) - Clisson, France,19-21 June 2009 by Moocher (70)
Hellfest Open Air - Clisson, France, 21st June 2009 by Moocher (188)
Hellfest Summer Open Air 2009 - Clisson, France, 21.06.2009 by Ivor (123)
Hellfest Open Air - Clisson, France, 20th June 2009 by Moocher (195)
Hellfest Summer Open Air 2009 - Clisson, France, 20.06.2009 by Ivor (116)
Hellfest Open Air - Clisson, France, 19th-21st June 2009 by Baz Anderson (237)
Hellfest Open Air... a few more... by Darkside Momo (80)
Hellfest Summer Open Air 2009 - Clisson, France, 19-21.06.2009 by Ivor (63)
Hellfest Summer Open Air 2009 - Clisson, France, 19.06.2009 by Ivor (107)
Hellfest Open Air - Clisson, France, 19th June 2009 by Moocher (249)
Hellfest Open Air 2009 by Collin (24)
Hellfest Summer Open Air Festival, Clisson, France, 19/20/21 June 2009







(Momo) Last year, in the Hellfest 2008 report, Jeff said : "Metal Storm was once again one of the partners of Hellfest (and you can be sure that we're not near of the end of this collaboration)". Well, it did prove true - sure bet -, and so a not-so-small delegation of Metalstormers came to once again have fun and decibels for three days!
Now off with the self-glorification and on with the report! Memories for some, a reminder that Hellfest was not (once again) to be missed for the others, here's what follows up. Enjoy!
One word of 'warning' though: due to the wide range of tastes in the staff members, be prepared to have conflicting points of view...


Table of Contents

Introduction

Thursday 18th

Friday 19th
featuring reports about: Orakle, Karma To Burn, Melechesh, Eyehategod, Soilent Green, Pentagram, Misery Index, Torche, Voivod, Samael, Papa Roach, Kylesa, W.A.S.P., Entombed, Down, Anthrax, Repulsion, Heaven And Hell, Saint Vitus, God Seed, Mötley Crüe

Saturday 20th
featuring reports about: Trepalium, Offending, Grand Magus, Dagoba, Vader, Skinless, Devildriver, Heaven Shall Burn, Aura Noir, Cradle Of Filth, Clutch, Moonsorrow, Soulfly, Betrayed, Amebix, Immolation, Gojira, Enslaved, Machine Head, Killing Joke, Sacred Reich, Marylin Manson, Nanowar Of Steel

Sunday 21th
featuring reports about: Black Stone Cherry, Hacride, Adagio, ADX, Aborted, Keep Of Kalessin, Wolves In The Throne Room, Pain Of Salvation, Kataklysm, Dragonforce, Ufomammut, Destruction, Pestilence, Stratovarius, Queensrÿche, Mastodon, Europe, Suicidal Tendencies, Moonspell, Dream Theater, Electric Wizard, Amon Amarth, Manowar, Brutal Truth

Conclusion

Acknowledgements





Introduction / generalities

(Marcel) After having attended the much lamented 2007 Mudfest version and having missed the 2008 due to work obligations I was much pleased by the huge improvement in the organisaional set-up of this year's Hellfest. A first noticeable plus was that the camping was closer to the main ground and more or less split up into three separate campsites. A second plus was that at the camping a tent was added where one could consume a beer and eat some food and "enjoy" some so-called funny acts. Thankfully the programming of the tent didn't only include "funny" acts such as Nanowar Of Steel and Grum Lee but also a metal DJ, although his choice of songs was on the safe side, and also some unknown bands which at times surprised me pleasantly.

The festival terrain itself was also much imrpoved in its set-up and the way it looked. Great artwork and such, ample toilets and bars (But unfortunately no rinsing of you glass when ordering a new drink.), a food corner with enough varied choices of food, and a big metal market.

The press area was also very nice indeed, with loads of shade under the trees and loads of pieces of art giving the garden area a special feel to it.

Hellfest certainly have come a long way organisation wise since the 2007 disaster. So, don't be surprised to welcome me again next year. Especially if the programming remains the strongest of all European festivals. Now this is how I perceive a metal festival to be, loads of variety in subgenres (including non-metal such as Killing Joke, Mad Sin, and quite a few hardcore bands) and besides well-established names also up and coming bands and local talent.





(Momo) Still the biggest (and by far!) metal festival in France, the metal froggies couldn't miss this year's Hellfest. We weren't alone, thought, as nearly a third of this year's audience came from England!

This year, the number of stages was upgraded from three to four. The number of bands playing did not increase dramatically, instead the bands' playing time was globally longer (during the evening at least).
The 4 stages were 2 open air ones (mainstage 1 & 2) and 2 under tents (Rock Hard tent and Terrorizer Tent). At a given time there were two bands playing, either on the mainstage 2 and under the Rock Hard tent, or on the other two. The schedules where almost always respected, but some bands did play a bit longer than allowed... Then again, how can one ask to Heaven & Hell to stop playing because of a schedule?
And finally, in the Metal Corner (a tent in the campsite) were scheduled other shows, like Grum Lee, Nanowar, or Pastors Of Muppets...

The sound, overall, was ranging from great to amazing. Each year it gets better, in fact.

The weather was nice, near perfect if you ask me, as it was sunny, but not too hot because of the clouds regularly hiding the sun. Of course the drawback was that the nights were cold, but I'm sure quite a lot of metalheads were too drunk to notice anyway.

The camping and parking area were too small (they were almost full on thursday night), however the reaction of the organization was infinitely better than 2 years ago (feel the experience now!). The problem was not really their fault though, as Clisson hasn't, as of now, all the facilities a fest this size needs.

But, once again, the only real problem was with the toilets and showers in the campsite. Either there still weren't enough (sure bet for the showers), or they weren't cleaned enough (twice a day wouldn't be a luxury), but the smell and global state was just horrible after a few hours...

A problem that has been solved, however, is about the food stalls on the festival grounds. This time, the choice was nearly gorgeous, with a lot of variety, from kebab to tartiflette to african food to many other things... It was just amazing, and the sheer number of different sellers assured that the wait wouldn't be too long this year. A great improvement.





And now, before starting with the Friday report, let's have a little peek in the Metal Corner on this Thursday evening...

Thursday 18th

Grum Lee And The Bears

(wrathchild) I was eager to see Grum Lee for his "reunion tour". I think this eagerness may have got on the nerves of some of my festival mates, especially those unable to understand the French language... And I can't blame them, since Grum Lee brought some friends and performed an electric show with another guitarist and a drummer with a setlist made of various rock and metal classics ("Breaking The Law", "The Gods Made Heavy Metal", "Highway To Hell", etc.) covered in French. Problem (as with most concerts actually): the vocals were hard to catch when the whole band was playing and that took away most of the fun, unfortunately. A fully acoustic show would probably have been a lot more enjoyable, but still it was more than enough to start the Hellfest in a good mood.




Disfunctional or winners of the "Rock Insane" contest

(wrathchild) Ok, I haven't seen this show, and can't even tell you the name of the band... But as I walked back to my tent on Thursday night, a guy talked to me and said he was heading back to the Metal Corner to see his friends' play. I hesitated for a moment since he mentioned it was a sort of prog band, but I guess laziness stroke me at that precise moment so I did as planned and proceeded to sleep. Only, through my earplugs I could hear a few good riffs and solos that sounded very interesting...
So if you happen to have information about the last two bands that played in the Metal Corner on Thursday, please drop a comment!


Friday 19th

Orakle 11:00/11:30, Rock Hard Tent

(Collin) Due to the queue at the entrance of the festival I could only watch the last two songs of their set, but it was as I imagined: with a really good sound (a feature common to almost all the bands of the weekend), their avantgarde black metal took on a whole other dimension. The vocals are about as good in a live environment as on album, and the already rather massive crowd was really present and cheerful. The band members told me afterwards that they had been really surprised to see so many people for the first show of the fest. Altogether, a really interesting start!



Band Gallery by Moocher


Squealer 11:35/12:05, Mainstage 2

(wrathchild) First band I really watched was Squealer, a French hard rock band I had barely heard of before but after this show I'm sure I'll notice the name. Cause even though it could sound rather standard, it was good, great. The rest of the crowd seem to share my enthusiasm.



Band Gallery by Moocher


Karma To Burn 12:10/12:50, Rock Hard Tent

(Collin) Instrumental stoner + daytime + mainstage = not a good combination. I've never been a fan of Karma To Burn in the first place, and their droning, drowsy set did nothing to rekindle my feelings for the band. I believe Karma To Burn must be nice to experience in a cramped, smoky venue. They just seemed lost on this big stage.



Band Galleries by Ivor and Moocher


Melechesh 12:10/12:50, Rock Hard Tent

(Bas) The first band I saw of the festival was Melechesh. What can I say? They were exactly the right thing to get me started! Heavy and fast, just like black metal is supposed to be, with a lot of catchy melodic guitar parts thrown in to boot. Although I did need a short while to get used to the rattling sound of the drumming, their set was thoroughly enjoyable. A very nice discovery as I hadn't heard them before and a fantastic way to start a festival-day.

(Momo) A band I didn't really know beforehand, but one I wanted to check out of curiosity. I was well inspired, as their melodic black metal is just really good in a live setting, and the middle-east folk parts just added to the catchiness of their set. They had quite a big audience, and the conclusion for everyone at the end was: 'gooood!' A nice surprise!

(Marcel) What better way for me to kick off the festival than with a band I somehow had never yet seen live. First thing that caught the eye that although it was still early on the Friday the Rock Hard Tent was already nice and full, welcoming the band as lost sons. Ashmedi, Moloch and Xul were helped out live by bass player Kawn, thus now making this a half Dutch band. At the start of the gig Kwan couldn't be heard that well and not everythign was right in the mix yet, but thankfully after a couple of songs all this was of the past and the audience got to enjoy an energetic set of black thrash with a great clear live sound. The Middle Eastern melodies coming to full glory in the sunny weather and Ashmedi's vocal deliveries added that extra bit to the music. The 40 minutes playing time were over before I noticed it and were certainly a perfect opening for the festival.



Band Galleries by Baz Anderson and Moocher


Eyehategod 15:10/15:50, Mainstage 2

(Marcel) Almost forgot that the much revered sludgers of Eyehategod were on because I was enjoying some drinks in the press area garden. Thank God that the sound of the two mainstages could be heard in the press area or else... So after downing my cool yellow liquid God in one go I set off to enjoy the band from the field. And enjoy it I did. The first things that struck me were the extremely tight playing of the band and the awesome sound generated by the PA system. However, as I am not too familiar with the band's work I didn't recognize any songs, although I am quite sure that they did play some songs off their Take As Needed For Pain classic. Everyone witnesses Eyehategod was left awestruck by the tightness and deliverance of it all. Could it be I had just witnessed one of the highlights this early on in the festival already? As it turned out a couple of days later, yes this certainly was one of the true highlights of Hellfest 2009.



Band Gallery by Moocher


Soilent Green 15:55/16:35, Terrorizer Tent

(Collin) I was expecting sludge and groove, instead I got grind. Soilent Green obviously established their setlist for a brutal crowd: they ditched the sludge and picked up the fastest and heaviest songs from their discography. Their music has a dynamic nature that grabbed the audience by the throat and didn't let go until their point was made. Alright, they didn't totally drop the sludge and groove because it's their nature, but they mainly sounded like a massive fist repeatedly pounding the audience down into the ground. One of the best sets of the day. I am still in awe.



Band Gallery by Moocher


Pentagram 16:40/17:20, Mainstage 2

(Marcel) Although rumours were already rife on Thursday evening concerning Pentagram's cancellation it was only just before the show would get on the way that the public was informed (in both English and French), leaving behind many a sad face. Pentagram was one of the big draws at this year's Hellfest since it would be their first gig on European soil since God knows how long.


Misery Index 16:40/17:20, Rock Hard Tent

(Collin) Let's conduct a little experiment: choose a wall. Any solid, concrete wall. Run as fast as you can towards the wall and crash into it. That hurts, right? Now let's imagine, for the sake of discussion, that this wall you've just crashed into is very pissed off and wants to retaliate. It runs at you and hits you at full speed. Only the wall is hundreds of times stronger and more solid than you, and just leaves a shapeless heap of blood, bones and organs where you were standing a few seconds before. Well, this wall is Misery Index. The gross pile of bloody stuff is still you, after the Misery Index show. I can't describe it better. One motherfucking intense, mesmerizing wall of sound.



Band Galleries by Baz Anderson and Moocher


Torche 17:25/18:10, Terrorizer Tent

(Collin) Hey, that was nice and unexpected! I didn't know Torche beforehand and went to see them on a friend's recommendation. I quite enjoyed their stoner metal offerings, mainly because the musicians seemed rather laid back, which gave the show a friendly, almost confidential atmosphere. The music was really heavy (heavier than on album, I've been told) and catchy, but the only thing that bugged was the vocals, that sound weak compared with the rest: this band would be better off as a completely instrumental threepiece or with a stronger vocalist.



Band Gallery by Moocher


Voivod 18:15/19:00, Mainstage 2

(Momo) Avant-garde thrashers veterans Voivod crossed the Atlantic to visit their French cousins for the first time in ages, and this show was special in many ways. It was the first time we saw the band without Piggy (who, for those who missed the information, died of a colon cancer in 2005); Daniel Mongrain, Martyr's guitar player and vocalist, was on guitar duties. Judging on the huge smile on Snake's face (and on the others too), I'd say they were happy to be here. And well, we were happy too! And while the audience was not extremely big, it was very reactive. Seeing the setlist, it's no wonder actually!
A nice surprise was included in the middle of the set. Snake welcomed on the stage an old member of the band... None other than Eric Forrest, of course! (as Eric lives in France, it was an easy thing to do) And then, on with a two-singers Tribal Convictions!
Great show, great music, a lot of emotions... One of this year's highlights for sure.

Setlist : The Unknown Knows / Overreaction/ Panorama / Global Warning / Tribal Convictions (with Eric Forrest) / Ravenous Medecine / Nothingface / Astronomy Domine (Pink Floyd cover)



Band Galleries by Ivor, Momo and Moocher


Samael 18:15/19:00, Rock Hard Tent

(Bas) After over five hours without seeing any bands; checking out the festival area, doing an interview, and talking to Metal Stormers I only knew from the internet so far, it got time to get down to business again. I didn't really know what to expect from my fellow Swiss metalheads, but decided to just check them out. I already saw them once, but that was two and a half years ago. Although I wasn't very euphoric at the time, there's one very good thing about tastes. They change, they mature. The four guys (who needs a drummer anyway?) of Samael put on a great show. Very tight and with an overwhelming stage presence, they delivered their electronically-enhanced black metal in a professional, yet powerful manner. Good band, good show, good surprise.



Band Galleries by Baz Anderson and Moocher


Papa Roach 19:05/19:55, Mainstage 1

(Bas) Usually curiosity is a good thing, especially at a festival. Sometimes however, it's a really horrendous human attribute that can seriously threaten one's sanity. Yes I decided to watch Papa Roach out of curiosity because I liked them as a kid, and yes, I regret it. That vocalist has to be one of the worst rappers I have ever heard, and believe me, I've heard quite a bunch of bad ones. Next to being out-rapped by most 13 year old amateur gangstas, his normal singing doesn't fall short of being an instrument of torture as well. The actual instruments couldn't save him either, they weren't quite as bad as he was, but to put it simple; they still sucked. The first few rows - almost exclusively youngsters - seemed to immensely enjoy the show, while most of the Hellfestians, practically all of the older ones, waited for it finish. Some of them more patiently, others less. Roach finished their set with their mega-hit Last Resort. Not very surprising, furthermore I stopped liking that song when I was 14.



Band Galleries by Baz Anderson, Ivor and Moocher


Kylesa 19:05/19:55, Terrorizer Tent

(Collin) I love festivals because beside the great atmosphere with relaxed people, you always get to discover cool bands that you had, for some reason, always ignored. Case in point, Kylesa. I have never heard this band on album, but their show left a lasting impression on me. Like Wolves In The Throne Room, this was a hypnotic show, much similar to Neurosis, with the notable difference that Kylesa actually sounds a lot like Neurosis. Oh, of course they are not in the same league as the US gods, but then again nobody is. And being half as good as Neurosis is still much better than most of the bands out there. Good though static performance, great atmosphere, cool vocals. Yet another nice show!

(wrathchild) I followed Collin to the Terrorizer tent although I had no desire to see any of the bands performing in there during those 3 days in Clisson (I would have liked to see a bit of Pig Destroyer though, but that didn't happen). The band on stage was completely unknown to me: Kylesa. They have two singers (the bassist and the guitarist - a girl, blonde, that has to be said) but that was not enough to make it purely original. I even think the singing is the worse part of their music, cause the rest was sufficiently enjoyable.



Band Gallery by Moocher


W.A.S.P. 20:00/20:45, Mainstage 2

(Baz Anderson) It was time to travel back in time as we revisited the days of a rock band with a frontman fit for a rock band. Who could miss W.A.S.P. and Blackie's huge rock star attitude. He walks on stage with tassel-y boots, a ripped W.A.S.P. shirt and trousers so tight you could clearly see what kind of package Blackie carries. So a festival never will have perfect sound, but W.A.S.P. sounded great blasting out such classics as "Wild Child" and "Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)". It's the attitude that keeps the spirit of rock alive, although I might wear something looser next time.



Band Galleries by Baz Anderson, Ivor and Moocher


Entombed 20:00/20:45, Rock Hard Tent

(Bas) Entombed was the next band I scarcely knew, but wanted to see nonetheless. Their rather melodic Swedish death metal was really nice for a short while, but after a quarter hour I had enough of it. It wasn't really bad, but it wasn't really good either and they just didn't quite manage to tickle my fancy. I had expected them to be a bit more brutal, but they weren't, neither were they very interesting to me in any way. Time to leave the tent and wait for the next band.

(Collin) Entombed was one of the bands I was looking forward to the most. I love this band and I had heard so many good things about their live shows that I was almost ecstatic before it started. I think their set will go down as the single most disappointing moment of the festival for me. And yet nothing was missing: the fat, dirty guitar sound, the groove, the great setlist (ending on Left Hand Path is the best idea one can come up with), the homeless-style charisma of LG Petrov... What am I complaining about then? Actually, I can't say, the show simply lacked the spark of craziness that would set the Rock Hard Tent on fire. It was just... lifeless, and maybe a bit redundant. In any case, it totally failed to move me and left a foul taste of frustration in my mouth.



Down 20:50/21:50, Mainstage 1

(Collin) Somehow I've always succeeded in missing Down every time they played in clubs or festivals nearby. So it was with undisguised satisfaction that I tried (and failed miserably) to worm my way through the massive crowd in front of the main stage for one hour of southern sludgy stoner metal. Most young people in the audience never had the opportunity to witness Pantera when they were still together, and you could see in their eyes that they considered Phil Anselmo as a kind of messiah. And that's exactly what the guy acted like. Talk about charisma and playing with the crowd like a puppet master and his strings... But mere stage presence would be chicken shit without great music to go with it, right? And oh boy, did Down deliver. They were probably a little pissed off that WASP played a little longer than planned so they kicked off their set while Blackie Lawless and co were engaged in a direspectful (for the other band) encore. Then, with a massive sludgy sound, top-notch musicianship and amazing vocals, they proceeded to beat the audience senseless. With a setlist that focused a lot on the first album and did not fail to include all their "hits" (Losing All, Lifer, Stone The Crow, New Orleans Is A Dying Whore), the whole set went on without a hitch. And to top it all off, they offered a monumental rendition of Bury Me In Smoke, with its famous groove-defining closing riff. Possibly the best song I've heard the whole weekend, and undoubtedly one of the top five shows for me.



Band Galleries by Baz Anderson, Ivor and Moocher


Anthrax 21:55/22:45, Mainstage 2

(Bas) Of course I knew Anthrax already. The thing is just that I was never a fan of oldschool thrash metal. I like a couple of old Metallica songs, but that's pretty much it. And so it happened that when Anthrax started I was on my way to catch some Repulsion, who were playing at the same time. Walking past the American thrashers I realized something though. As much as they bored me on CD, they were a fucking blast on the stage. Proving they can still rock the shit out of a young metalhead like me after 28 years of band history, Anthrax delivered a damn headbangable and energetic set. I wasn't the only one thinking this though, there were only few bands at Hellfest that got the area facing Mainstage 2 as packed as Anthrax did. In the end I still watched some of Repulsion, but I came back to watch the rest of Anthrax pretty soon…



Band Galleries by Baz Anderson and Moocher


Repulsion 21:55/22:45, Rock Hard Tent

(Bas) To replace the cancelled death metal giants Deicide, Hellfest booked the American oldschool grinders Repulsion. I had been looking forwards to these guys but ended up being severely disappointed. Everything they played sounded so damn similar that I had difficulties not to think someone must have pressed the repeat-button. Yes, of course, this is grind, no, of course, I didn't expect a lot of variation. But Repulsion seemed to have invented some kind of anti-variation. Like machines set to exactly one set of movements. Over and over. And over and over. And over and over. And over and over. And over and… I'm out. Back to watching Anthrax.

Heaven And Hell 22:50/23:50, Mainstage 1(I REFUSE to call this the Crüefest Stage)

(Momo) Pure magic, no less. Forty years after the release of the very first Black Sabbath album, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler are still some of the greatest musicians around. While playing awesome parts, they don't even break a sweat, maybe just cracking a wry smile sometimes. And then there's Ronnie James Dio. The oldest metal singer around still has his beautiful voice, and certainly a great charisma onstage!
And the sound, you'll ask? In front of the stage, it was crystal clear; one could hear every single guitar or bass note. Just awesome.
So yes, it was one hour (or, to be exact, one hour and ten minutes, as they did jam during the Heaven And Hell song) of pure magic, a great but short journey in a beautifully heavy musical world.

(Bas) I felt it was in a way my duty to watch the band usually credited with the invention of heavy metal as such, with of course mr. Holy Diver fronting them. Not only did they start it though, they're still a damn fine band up to the current day. The show was modest, yet enthralling, the sound was clear and the musicians - and also some of the songs - nothing short of legendary. This was a concert to be watched with a mixture of respect and awe, and that's exactly what a large part of the Hellfest-crowd was doing. Definitely worth seeing before you die (or before they do, which, statistically seen, will probably happen sooner).

(Marcel) Let's be honest here. I have never been a fan of Dio-era Black Sabbath cause imo Dio's voice isn't really suited to the sort of music Black Sabbath is best making. Dio's vocals are too power metal like for the doomy dark sort of music Black Sabbath became well-known for.
But having seen the Heaven And Hell concert DVD about two years ago I was actually impressed by it all and was willing to give Black Sabbath with Dio another chance here at Hellfest.
I should have known better, because damn, was I once again dispappointed (just like all those years back with albums such as Heaven & Hell and Mob Rules). Okay, Dio still has an incredible set of golden pipes and still blows almost almost every single vocalist present this weekend off the stage, but why o why, did Dio, Iommi, Appice and Butler have to play so goddamn uninspired? Butler not moving an inch from his place and just going through the routines like the rest of them. Dio hit every single note perfectly but was just going through the motions with his stage banter. And to add insult to injury they finished the set with that song I hate most... Heaven And Hell, yes, we all had to sing along again, and, yes, it was drawn out into eternity once again. My God, how boring can a song get because of all this. Even Metallica's Seek & Destroy live isn't as yawn inducing as this.
I know loads of people present at Hellfest thought that Heaven And Hell gave a brilliant performance, but I also know for a fact I wasn't alone in my assessment on this gig. Is it maybe due to the fact that people really don't want to see fault with something they had pined for for so long? Making them blind to the averageness of it all? Or is it that attending gigs for 26 years now, and seeing at least 100 a year, has made me jaded and a sourpuss?

(Baz Anderson) Well it's not every day you get to see Black Sabbath live is it. They may be flying under the name of Heaven & Hell, but even Iommi's guitar picks had Black Sabbath printed on them. Playing a set comprised mostly of Black Sabbath material they gave the French audience a real treat by playing these songs that may never see the light of day again. Dio as always was very polite with the audience and built up almost a friendship with them before the end of the set. "Fear" from the new album made a great appearance but it was the classics such as "Children Of The Sea" and "Heaven And Hell" that shone brightest. Unfortunately no "Neon Knights" included in the set, it seems as if the band are playing on the evil, almost doom side of things.

(wrathchild) You know, I never liked Black Sabbath. I tried several times but never could I get into their music. Still I was curious to see Heaven & Hell, for at least it was with Dio - and Dio's got all my respect for the man and the singer he is. Yet again, the only song with Dio that I can remember is "Love Is All"... Why am I telling you this? Well, just to make sure you understand I had no real expectations and was only being curious enough to watch the show. And with this state of mind, I can say I was very impressed, by the music itself and by the musicians (it's nice to a real musician on the bass guitar you know). They sounded like no other band and managed to set a vintage atmosphere without the whole thing getting boring. Clearly one of my highlights from Hellfest 2009.



Band Galleries by Baz Anderson, Ivor and Moocher


Saint Vitus 23:55/00:55, Mainstage 2

(Collin) The opportunity to catch a St Vitus show in France certainly won't arise every two months, and for that particular reason I pity all the people who left the festival grounds before the proto-doom gods walked up on stage. Yes, St Vitus caught the Candlemass disease: French people know shit about doom metal, and so like with Candlemass last year the audience was scarce to the point of an insult. So much better for the few courageous souls who wanted to see Vitus though, as we could be really close to the stage. Now, the band members seem really old and tired, almost crippled, like these old hippies who look twenty years older than they actually are. But although they didn't move at all, they delivered what is for me the best show of the festival. The psychedelic, 70's prog rock edge of their music was really transcended by the cheap and repetitive but strangely mesmerizing visual effects. Also, the sound was absolutely brilliant. When they played The Lost Feeling, it was as if the bass envelopped us in a surreal, foggy dimension that multiplied the effect of their drug-inspired music. Wino's vocals were also as fine as they've ever been. Like Marcel said, they finished their set with "Born Too Late" and left the audience almost in a trance. This was really a special show, one of a kind that you don't get to witness very often. And for that reason too, I pity those who didn't give St Vitus a chance.

(wrathchild) It certainly didn't help that I was freezing by the time Saint Vitus came on stage. It was very pleasing to see those old dudes and their unique sound, yet I discovered I wasn't very receptive to that particular sound.

(Marcel) After the disappointment which was their reunion show at this year's Roadburn I was quite apprehensive about what they would be like at an open air fest such Hellfest.
I needn't have worried. First off the setlist contained more of their classic songs than the one at Roadburn, but most importantly the weakest link during that show had been kicked out of the band. So, Armando Acosta had been replaced by Henry Vasquez. This replacement was like the difference between night and day. Now an extremely tight rhythm section was backed by Dave Chandler's great guitar work and Wino's brilliant vocals. The band played as if their lives depended on it and they had to prove something. A great set of tradition doom metal in the vein of early Black Sabbath was poured over the decimated crowd (where the hell had everyone gone?) making me forget that misnomer Heaven And Hell. To top off a great gig the set was ended with 'Born Too Late', an anthem for quite a few metalheads.

"Every time I'm on the street
People laugh and point at me
They talk about my length of hair
And the out of date clothes I wear

They say I look like the living dead
They say I can't have much in my head
They say my songs are much too slow
But they don't know the things I know

I know I don't belong
And there's nothing I can do
I was born too late
And I'll never be like you

In my life things never change
To everybody I seem strange
But in my world now something's died
So I just stare with these insane eyes

I know I don't belong
And there's nothing that I can do
I was born too late
And I'll never be like you"



Band Gallery by Ivor


God Seed 23:55/00:55, Rock Hard Tent

(Bas) This was the very first show of God Seed; the new band that had risen from the Norwegian black metal group whose primary influence is satan himself. So, what did they offer to make this concert special? Nothing really. From other people who had seen Gorgoroth before I heard that God Seed was pretty much exactly the same on stage. Next to that I had actually expected much more from a Gorgoroth concert too. Boring, lame, unimpressive, that sums it up pretty well. In the end I believe that for many the only reason to attend the God Seed concert was the naked, crucified woman on stage.

(Baz Anderson) Well there was certainly no heaven here, this was pure hell. The first ever God Seed show took off as Gorgoroth were under Gaahl's control. Two people stood crucified and naked either side of the stage as the band played a full set of the later Gorgoroth material to the approval of the black metallers of the festival. The interesting part will come when the band have some fresh material to pollute the world with. For now God Seed, although scary as hell, haven't moved on from the end of the past Gorgoroth incarnation.



Band Galleries by Baz Anderson and Moocher


Mötley Crüe 01:00/02:00, Mainstage 1

(Momo) Ah. Mötley Crüe. I'm clearly not a fan of the band, but, hey, they're legends, so I planned to have a look at their show. Well, it wasn't that much of a show, in fact. Apart from Vince Neil, who was pretty active (pacing the stage and cheering the fans), the others seemed unconcerned. The sound itself was quite a mess, especially after Heaven & Hell's perfection... So it disappointed many people, even some fans. Too bad, as it was their first show in France in eons.
I left the area after Mick Mars's solo, which happened after 3 songs and was waaaaay too long, so I also missed Tommy Lee's solo. Not that I missed much, as it consisted in stupid banter and rants (or so I was told).

(Baz Anderson) Love or hate Mötley Crüe, they came on stage and did their thing. Three fantastic songs to kickstart the set; "Kickstart My Heart", "Wild Side" and "Shout At The Devil" is one of the best opening three songs you could hope for. The band did however take their sweet time in between songs, and also people are always going to find something to complain about with Vince's voice. Okay nothing is perfect, and perhaps he tried to do a little more audience participation than required, but he can still carry the songs. Newer material sounds decent live but nothing as great as the older hits. A pleasure to watch, but a general faster pace would have been nice.



Band Galleries by Baz Anderson and Moocher


dB Doctor around 01:00/02:00, Metal Corner

(wrathchild) Back to the Metal Corner, in the camping area, outside the festival grounds. There was no way I could miss this show for our dear friend Jean happens to be the singer of this cover band, dB Doctor. "Hellion", "Electric Eye", "Breaking The Law", "Master Of Puppets", "Balls To The Walls", "The Number Of The Beast" and other classics entertained us while Mötley Crüe was headlining the festival on the mainstage (that they had renamed "Crüe Fest Stage", but this point largely contributed to the fact I found it very easy to miss their performance in favor of some good old rocking songs). The crowd of the Metal Corner wasn't very large at the beginning but it grew after each song to finally reach an honorable size. Too bad they couldn't play longer... we could do with more of it, more of those fantastic solos by Jean-Pierre!


Friday bonus recap by Marcel
Besides the four bands I saw in their entirety I managed to catch a couple of songs by various other bands as well, in between my Friday drinking bout, which resulted into an intimate encounter with a tree in the press area.
So here's a quick rundown on those bands:
Taake: good sound, but extremely sloppy playing. Apparently that didn't change during the course of their show
Voivod: sounded good from the press area and played my favourite 'Tribal Convictions' shame I missed them due to free Jack Daniels.
Entombed: came across as tight and dirty as ever
Down: Phil Anselmo was enjoying himself immensely, and the band sounded tight and inspired. Heaven And Hell could learn a lesson from these guys.
Anthrax: Kicking off the show with 'Indians' is of course a brilliant move. New vocalist Dan Nelson is extremely proficient and at times sound quite a lot like John Bush.
Repulsion: I was extremely looking forward to seeing one of the founders of grindcore, but what a deception that turned out to be. Bad sound, horribly sloppy plpaying making Taake sound tight, and such a huge mess that everything sounded the same. Decided to go drinking after couple of songs with a part of the Irish contingent who felt the same about Repulsion as me.
Mötley Crüe: Once again proved why they were never a band of any importance or popularity on the mainland of Europe back when they were huge in the States. Horrendous glam metal supported by egos the size of Mars.


Friday conclusion
(Momo) This was a good start, even if it could have been too much hard rock in the same day for some more extreme ears. Good shows, a great mood already, well we just had to sleep (or drink) before Saturday's show. And we would have to be fresh and ready quite early…





Want some more pictures of bands we haven't written about? Check Baz Anderson's gallery, Ivor's gallery and Moocher's gallery!


Next:
Saturday 20th
featuring reports about: Trepalium, Offending, Grand Magus, Dagoba, Vader, Skinless, Devildriver, Heaven Shall Burn, Aura Noir, Cradle Of Filth, Clutch, Moonsorrow, Soulfly, Betrayed, Amebix, Immolation, Gojira, Enslaved, Machine Head, Killing Joke, Sacred Reich, Marylin Manson, Nanowar Of Steel

Sunday 21th
featuring reports about: Black Stone Cherry, Hacride, Adagio, ADX, Aborted, Keep Of Kalessin, Wolves In The Throne Room, Pain Of Salvation, Kataklysm, Dragonforce, Ufomammut, Destruction, Pestilence, Stratovarius, Queensrÿche, Mastodon, Europe, Suicidal Tendencies, Moonspell, Dream Theater, Electric Wizard, Amon Amarth, Manowar, Brutal Truth

Conclusion

Acknowledgements


Photos by Barry, Darkside Momo, Ivor and Moocher. All right reserved, do not use without permission.


 




Comments

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Marcel Hubregtse - 10.07.2009 at 23:45  
Enjoy, people.
routa - 11.07.2009 at 00:37  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.07.2009 at 23:45

Enjoy, people.


Greg Chandler is from Esoteric, I think you meant Dave
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.07.2009 at 01:13  
Written by Guest on 11.07.2009 at 00:37

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.07.2009 at 23:45

Enjoy, people.


Greg Chandler is from Esoteric, I think you meant Dave


Hahaha, yep, you're right. It must have been the booze weakenign my brain at the time
Darkside Momo - 11.07.2009 at 01:15  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.07.2009 at 01:13

Written by Guest on 11.07.2009 at 00:37

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.07.2009 at 23:45

Enjoy, people.


Greg Chandler is from Esoteric, I think you meant Dave


Hahaha, yep, you're right. It must have been the booze weakenign my brain at the time

Corrected!
Valentin B - 11.07.2009 at 01:29  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.07.2009 at 23:45

Enjoy, people.

how come you caught up with so few bands? only 4 sets a day, were you sampling French beer the whole time?
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.07.2009 at 01:36  
Written by Valentin B on 11.07.2009 at 01:29

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.07.2009 at 23:45

Enjoy, people.

how come you caught up with so few bands? only 4 sets a day, were you sampling French beer the whole time?


I did quite a lot of networking backstage and especially on day one loads of Jägermeister and Jack Deniels drinking. Met loads of people I knew so talked with them had a drink with them watched a bit of a set walked to another stage, watched one or two songs there. I was in the press area quite a lot of the time.
The Shape 1973 - 11.07.2009 at 14:00  
Marcel, Heaven and Hell is the perfect live song, It has my favourite riff of all time to start, RJD's still brilliant vocals, crowd sing-a-long parts, great guitar solo, slow start and a fast end, what more could you want? Even got it as my ringtone.

Still that is only my opinion, you are entitled to yours, ha ha, still don't like Burzum.
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.07.2009 at 14:34  
Written by The Shape 1973 on 11.07.2009 at 14:00

Marcel, Heaven and Hell is the perfect live song, It has my favourite riff of all time to start, RJD's still brilliant vocals, crowd sing-a-long parts, great guitar solo, slow start and a fast end, what more could you want? Even got it as my ringtone.



I absolutely HATE drawn out sing-a-long parts. Such a waste of time, instead of doing that they could play a proper song. That's why I also hate drum, bass and drawn out guitar solos live.

But still Burzum keeps on sucking.
The Shape 1973 - 11.07.2009 at 14:56  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.07.2009 at 14:34

Written by The Shape 1973 on 11.07.2009 at 14:00

Marcel, Heaven and Hell is the perfect live song, It has my favourite riff of all time to start, RJD's still brilliant vocals, crowd sing-a-long parts, great guitar solo, slow start and a fast end, what more could you want? Even got it as my ringtone.



I absolutely HATE drawn out sing-a-long parts. Such a waste of time, instead of doing that they could play a proper song. That's why I also hate drum, bass and drawn out guitar solos live.

But still Burzum keeps on sucking.

Come on Marcel, sing a long....On and on its......HEAVEN AND HELL
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.07.2009 at 14:59  
Written by The Shape 1973 on 11.07.2009 at 14:56

....On and on its....


and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on

sooo annoying. If they played it the way it is played on the album that would gain so much extra power. Whereas now it turns into a waste of precious proper song time
Valentin B - 11.07.2009 at 16:38  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.07.2009 at 14:59

Written by The Shape 1973 on 11.07.2009 at 14:56

....On and on its....


and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on

sooo annoying. If they played it the way it is played on the album that would gain so much extra power. Whereas now it turns into a waste of precious proper song time

i kind of agree with this, i mean, no need to stretch it so much when you can play Atom and Evil, Turn of the Screw, Rock and Roll Angel, Sign of the Southern Cross, (or the worst case of all) Neon Knights during that time.

good thing is that H&H has a 90-minute slot at Wacken ( ), hopefully they'll play some more of the awesome songs on the 2009 album, or at least Sign of the Southern Cross.
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.07.2009 at 16:40  
Written by Valentin B on 11.07.2009 at 16:38


i kind of agree with this, i mean, no need to stretch it so much when you can play Atom and Evil, Turn of the Screw, Rock and Roll Angel, Sign of the Southern Cross, (or the worst case of all) Neon Knights during that time.



We might not agree on much but it seems like we agree here. And I am surprised that you, just like me, don't care much for Neon Knights.
Valentin B - 11.07.2009 at 16:46  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.07.2009 at 16:40

Written by Valentin B on 11.07.2009 at 16:38


i kind of agree with this, i mean, no need to stretch it so much when you can play Atom and Evil, Turn of the Screw, Rock and Roll Angel, Sign of the Southern Cross, (or the worst case of all) Neon Knights during that time.

We might not agree on much but it seems like we agree here. And I am surprised that you, just like me, don't care much for Neon Knights.

i meant i find it pretty shocking that they omitted Neon Knights at Hellfest if i remember correctly, which imo is their most energic track, imo it's a good break from their traditional-doom like songs, and is pretty much a perfect H&H concert ending, really fast and rocking.

still if they swapped Atom and Evil and Rock and Roll Angel for Neon Knights i'd be really happy
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.07.2009 at 16:49  
Written by Valentin B on 11.07.2009 at 16:46

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.07.2009 at 16:40

Written by Valentin B on 11.07.2009 at 16:38


i kind of agree with this, i mean, no need to stretch it so much when you can play Atom and Evil, Turn of the Screw, Rock and Roll Angel, Sign of the Southern Cross, (or the worst case of all) Neon Knights during that time.

We might not agree on much but it seems like we agree here. And I am surprised that you, just like me, don't care much for Neon Knights.

i meant i find it pretty shocking that they omitted Neon Knights at Hellfest if i remember correctly, which imo is their most energic track, imo it's a good break from their traditional-doom like songs, and is pretty much a perfect H&H concert ending, really fast and rocking.

still if they swapped Atom and Evil and Rock and Roll Angel for Neon Knights i'd be really happy



They didn't play Neon Knights, that's right, thank god. So we disagree once again

But I don't understand you saying this " imo it's a good break from their traditional-doom like songs," Heaven & Hell almost hav zero to none traditional doom like songs. When they ha doOzzy on vocals they had loads of traditional doom like songs, but not with Dio, just one or two tht's it. Most of the songs are mid paced power metal songs but that's it.
Valentin B - 11.07.2009 at 17:01  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.07.2009 at 16:49

Written by Valentin B on 11.07.2009 at 16:46

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.07.2009 at 16:40

Written by Valentin B on 11.07.2009 at 16:38


i kind of agree with this, i mean, no need to stretch it so much when you can play Atom and Evil, Turn of the Screw, Rock and Roll Angel, Sign of the Southern Cross, (or the worst case of all) Neon Knights during that time.

We might not agree on much but it seems like we agree here. And I am surprised that you, just like me, don't care much for Neon Knights.

i meant i find it pretty shocking that they omitted Neon Knights at Hellfest if i remember correctly, which imo is their most energic track, imo it's a good break from their traditional-doom like songs, and is pretty much a perfect H&H concert ending, really fast and rocking.

still if they swapped Atom and Evil and Rock and Roll Angel for Neon Knights i'd be really happy



They didn't play Neon Knights, that's right, thank god. So we disagree once again

But I don't understand you saying this " imo it's a good break from their traditional-doom like songs," Heaven & Hell almost hav zero to none traditional doom like songs. When they ha doOzzy on vocals they had loads of traditional doom like songs, but not with Dio, just one or two tht's it. Most of the songs are mid paced power metal songs but that's it.



well i'm not talking about Black Sabbath now, i mean, i'm talking about both BS and H&H, and so even though i don't know everything off their 2009 album by heart but here are quite a few songs that can be labeled trad-doom or at least have trad-doom influences(i'm even gonna listen to the songs i don't really know just to list some more):
-follow the tears
-fear(not really that slow but that satanic main riff sounds pretty doom to me)
-atom and evil
-turn of the screw
-BREAKING INTO HEAVEN - holy shit that sounds like a lost Epicus Doomicus Metallicus track lol

all i'm saying is that the trad-doom and fast songs should balance each other out, but a doom fan like yourself doesn't quite get the concept behind Power Metal now do you? i mean, if they sounded like Sonata Arctica or something sure, i would have got that their sound is way too cheesy and shallow, but ffs Iommi has proved time and time again he could even make Mary Had A Little Lamb into a crushingly blistering heavy metal track.
LeChron James - 20.07.2009 at 05:20  
Epic Dio picture.
Marcel Hubregtse - 20.07.2009 at 13:38  
Written by LeChron James on 20.07.2009 at 05:20

Epic Dio picture.


Yep, when Baz showed it to me after the show that was my reaction as well.
Baz Anderson - 20.07.2009 at 22:23  
Thanks! I knew it was a great one as soon as I took it. He was in the dark most of the set, so taking pictures of him wasn't easy.
LeChron James - 21.07.2009 at 07:46  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 20.07.2009 at 13:38

Yep, when Baz showed it to me after the show that was my reaction as well.

what was your reaction to momo's dude in the cock n ball costume? LOL
Doc Godin - 08.11.2009 at 12:15  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 11.07.2009 at 14:59

Written by The Shape 1973 on 11.07.2009 at 14:56

....On and on its....


and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on on

sooo annoying. If they played it the way it is played on the album that would gain so much extra power. Whereas now it turns into a waste of precious proper song time

I had that same problem with them both times I saw them. It was cool that he got the crowd to chant along with the song, but he really took it out of hand. When I saw them in Toronto in '08 it must have been playing for a solid 15 - 20 minutes, no exaggeration.

Also, I just saw the picture of the guy in the penis costume. It may seem just a small laugh at first, but when you really think about it, what's going through this persons mind? Who says to themselves "I think I'm going to go to this big metalfest dressed like as a cock"?

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