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Hellfest 2011, Part 1 - Friday, 17/06

Event: Hellfest Open Air 2011
Written by: Darkside Momo, Deadsoulman, Ivor, Jeff, White Winter Sun, wrathchild
Published: 22.07.2011


Hellfest Open Air 2011 - Clisson, France, 19.06.2011 by Moocher (86)
Hellfest Open Air 2011 - Clisson, France, 19.06.2011 by White Winter Sun (163)
Hellfest Open Air 2011 - Clisson, France, 19.06.2011 by Ivor (223)
Hellfest Open Air 2011 - Clisson, France, 18.06.2011 by Moocher (87)
Hellfest Open Air 2011 - Clisson, France, 18.06.2011 by White Winter Sun (112)
Hellfest Open Air 2011 - Clisson, France, 18.06.2011 by Ivor (158)
Hellfest Open Air 2011 - Clisson, France, 17.06.2011 by Moocher (83)
Hellfest Open Air 2011 - Clisson, France, 17.06.2011 by Ivor (215)
Hellfest Open Air 2011 - Clisson, France, 17-19.06.2011 by Ivor (44)
Hellfest Open Air 2011 - Clisson, France, 17.06.2011 by White Winter Sun (157)
Hellfest Open Air 2011 - Clisson, France, 17-19.06.2011 by White Winter Sun (37)
Hellfest 2011 - Just A Few (NSFW) by Darkside Momo (11)

Hellfest Summer Open Air Festival, Clisson, France, 17/18/19 June 2011

Table Of Contents

And then… the featured bands are:
Hangman's Chair
Valient Thorr
Svart Crown
My Sleeping Karma
Suicide Silence
Malevolent Creation
In Solitude
The Dwarves
The Answer
Church Of Misery
Alter Bridge
Maximum The Hormone
The Cult
The Exploited
Karma To Burn
The Young Gods
Iggy And The Stooges
Morbid Angel
Rob Zombie
The Melvins
In Flames
Monster Magnet

wrathchild: Here we are, at Hellfest, for one last time in Clisson! Err... well no, 'cause even if the organizers have to leave the spot for the construction of a new school, they managed to stay in the same city for the future and will hold the festival somewhere right in the middle of what has been the camping site again for this 2011 edition. And while the slogan for this year was "Our music, our religion", the upcoming fest has already been dubbed "A new battlefield". Promising, isn't it?

But let's go back to June 2011. In case you visited the place the previous year, you just have to know that it was very similar. Stages and stands at the same place, same decorations, etc… [The Hellfest Staff warned beforehand there wouldn't be many changes this time, as it was the last year in this configuration. Plus, no real need to change what already works well, right? - Momo]

Still, they did improve a few things. For instance, they added an LED sign display to inform the festival goers about what's going on. And there was a new stand, held by the music store and Hellfest sponsor, "Woodbrass", where people could try some fine guitars and effects (yours truly only bought a Marshall mug - makes my morning coffee rock every day).

Momo: And then there also was the camera on the rotating arm, ideally placed between the two mainstages. Nothing extraordinary compared to bigger fests, but still another step forward for Hellfest. And this camera proved really useful to record the shows that were broadcasted on Arte live Web, the web channel of the French and German television network (check the shows either on the site in French or the one in German).

Did you know... How the partnership with the TV station ARTE was obtained?
It's really simple actually. Last year, Sombrero (a film/report company) recorded Gojira's show at Les Vieilles Charrues (the biggest - mainstream - festival in France). They broadcasted it through Arte and got loads of positive feedbacks, and asked us if we would be interested in doing the same. Of course we agreed and you can see the result… it's just great! Next year we will try to do it again and have more bands!

wrathchild: Sanitary-wise, I haven't spent my time checking if this was completely true but it seemed to me that once again, toilets were emptied and cleaned more often. And once again we got more showers in the camping.

Momo: The food was on average the same as before, most of the booths were already there the previous years. But it's also the first time that the famous tartiflette failed some people - thankfully, not me

Just a word about the glasses: smaller, they had two designs - so they ran out of stock too quickly. This year also saw the appearance of small wine glasses, that held a bit less drink than the typical 12cl, but were given for free. And they're cute! Sadly, the bad quality printing easily goes off, just like on the 2008 glasses.

Hellfest also released another Hellfest beer. But contrary to last year's amber ale, this year's brew was a blond one. Not bad, but much more generic. Deal with it…

Did you know... How many liters of beer were drunk during the weekend?
100 000 liters!!! New record! (it was 85 000 last year)

wrathchild: The most dreaded thing during open air festivals is the rain. Remember 2007, or look at the pictures we took in the Galleries... we're laughing about it now but at the time we were desperate. And this year, rain was announced, especially on Friday. And rain we got, especially on Friday but we survived easily and no mud has been sighted in the camping and festival sites. So yeah it was cloudy and windy almost all the time, but this is something I was quite thankful about, even though the wind was annoying and at times freezing under the Rock Hard tent.

Now, don't start thinking that the atmosphere was as gray and cold as the weather. This year, Hellfest was sold out at the beginning of June and thus the crowd was bigger and probably more diverse than ever, though I can't say people were crazy mad. Still they made a friendly and pretty good audience, perhaps a bit tired on Sunday.

Momo: I totally agree with Wrathchild here, except on one thing: the audience could really become totally nuts in the blink of an eye. It started pretty early with Suicide Silence, and went on and on, with some pretty violent climaxes on Saturday (Kreator, Terror…)!...

Plus, quite a few band members could be met by and large during the fest (as always), least of all the Svart Crown guys who enjoyed the whole fest, or the Loez brothers from SUP who immensely enjoyed Bolt Thrower

As far as security was concerned, nothing to add, really. Apart from one of my biggest complaints: it took more than a whole day, until Hail Of Bullets on Saturday, for the RockHard tent security staff to understand that the crowd-surfers were not to be pushed back but welcomed in the photo pit - as everywhere on the fest grounds.

Did you know... Police forces told me it was as quiet as usual. Was it still true, like the previous years?
Yes, once again everything went well! The only problem was at the entrance of the festival, but this has nothing to do with Hellfest's audience. We were sold out this year, so some people (not metalheads, obviously…) were selling tickets and were a bit aggressive. We asked our security guys to kick them out of the festival. The police caught the guys and voilà. Nothing else to add

The sound? The main stages saw, as usual, some perfect moments, but also had their share of problems; the wind played no small part in those, but it doesn't explain why the guitars were almost inaudible during a lot of Sunday's Mainstage 2 show. The RockHard tent had on the whole the worst sound (varying from catastrophic to great), but the best sound award goes to the Terrorizer Tent, contrary to the previous years.

Oh, and did you notice these Did you know... parts? Answered by our very own Jeff, they're here to add some bonus bits of info. Check'em out!

As always, Hellfest started with French bands playing, kicking off the first, and probably most varied - in terms of styles - day of the fest.

This year, the MS delegation was whittled down by real life circumstances, so we obviously couldn't cover all the bands… Thus, you won't have anything about Architects, Kruger, The Damned Things and Corrosion Of Conformity

Klone 10:30/11:00, Mainstage 2

Ivor: I've been thinking for a while why a French prog band sounding as good as Klone haven't yet been featured at a French festival as great as Hellfest. Any opinions? I'm still drawing a blank. Nevertheless, the day came when they were to perform here only to get a lousy 10:30 AM spot on the main stage. It was a tough call to get there in time after a monster of a trip the day before but I wasn't to miss one of the bands I really wanted to see. And while I enjoyed this appetizer as much as I could, it felt incomplete. It seems like it was one of those moments when you find out a band sounds better in the studio than a live setting. It was technically a good performance but missing the emotional kick on stage, sort of like shooting blank shells.

Collin: Klone's typically the kind of band which can't really convey their recorded awesomeness on a festival stage. Their branch of groovy progressive metal is both too complex and not enough about catchiness to leave a lasting impression. On their albums, this is counterbalanced by atmosphere, but atmosphere's hard to achieve at 10:30 in the morning on the main stage. However, they had a decent amount of stage presence and an equal volume of groove, so it was a sweet kick-off for this crazy weekend. Oh, did I mention their great cover of Björk's "Army Of Me"? That's what I thought.

Band Gallery by Ivor, Moocher

Hangman's Chair 10:30/11:00, Terrorizer Tent

wrathchild: And so it happened that the first full song I heard at Hellfest 2011 was the last of Hangman's Chair's gig, a band I had never heard of before. I didn't even know they were French and that's nice because I haven't heard of any stoner/doom band coming from my country. For that time of the day (and of the fest) the Terrorizer tent was crowded enough, and by people who did seem to enjoy the band just like I did. 'Cause that one song was good, heavy, and I used it as an opportunity to judge the overall sound in the said tent: it was ok

Valient Thorr 11:05/11:35, Mainstage 1

It's only the second time slot of the fest and we're already faced with a difficult choice between two great live bands: Valient Thorr or Svart Crown… What would have been your choice, catchy heavy or catchy black/death?

wrathchild: Valient Thorr already played at Hellfest last year, it was Thursday at the Metal Corner. I remember well: I wasn't there. And for a year I was reminded of my absence by the fellow Metalstormers who had experienced a heavy, fun and dynamic show. So here was my chance to get my dignity back and... what... am I really watching a bearded-beer-bellied-sort-of-man tiptoeing like a ballerina?!

I quickly got used to this image and tried to forgot about their omnipresent sponsor (Volcom) so as to focus on the music which was pretty good - exactly what I needed in the morning, but to be honest I don't remember any of it now.
The obvious memorable moment was when the singer asked for the crowd to make an alley for him, and they did. Once down on the ground he sat and started to air-paddle, and so did the crowd. That happened on the first and probably less crowded day, in the morning, with a band who was playing in the Metal Corner last year. That's Valient Thorr, enough said.

White Winter Sun: It was the first time that I saw this band on stage (I missed their performance last year at the Metal Corner, shame on me I know). I have heard they are a blast live, so I expected something good… and it was clearly the case. The band delivered a solid show, with a lot of energy and their music was really addictive. Valient Himself was in a great form, striding the length and breadth of the stage during the whole set. The show reached a climax when he decided to descend on the pit, going on a walkabout in the middle of the audience. He also introduced a dance, immediately taken back and followed by the fans surrounding him, leading to a very funny communion. The rhythm remained high till the end of the show and the audience responded well on this first morning. The band left the stage under the acclamations of the festival goers present here. It was my first show of the festival and I already took a huge punch on my face. Thanks a lot guys for this moment which will be ingrained in my head for a long time.

Band Gallery by Ivor, White Winter Sun

Svart Crown 11:05/11:35, Rock Hard Tent

Collin: Having been totally flabbergasted by their set in Toulouse one month earlier, I was really looking forward to seeing Svart Crown again. Their DSO-tinged black death metal has every characteristic required to blow any festival goer's brains out, but unfortunately, such was not the case here. Not because of the band, who seemed to be doing a great job when we actually could hear them over the buzzing white noise that came out of the speakers. It was just inaudible. This was actually a recurrent problem under the Rock Hard Tent for most of the first day. Too bad for Svart Crown, too bad for us.

Momo: Almost as good as one month ago, Svart Crown's set was a good way to start the fest. Almost, I said, as the guys seemed a bit tired (well, 11 AM sure is early), the sound wasn't great, and the surprise element was gone. Anyway, their set was really enjoyable, aggressive and catchy, a good welcome to Hell...fest!

Band Gallery by Ivor, Moocher

My Sleeping Karma 11:30/12:00, Terrorizer Tent

Collin: Psychedelia ftw! I didn't actually know this band beforehand and went to see them only because I overheard Ivor, our photographer extraordinaire, recommend it. What can I say, thanks dude. That was really something else. If not done perfectly, psychedelic stoner rock can be a total yawn fest, but My Sleeping Karma was trance-inducing: after the first couple of notes I felt I was floating in a sort of out-of-body experience, just going along with the music. I could have taken that kind of treatment for about twice as long. And now I'm seriously considering getting into drugs, if I can find anything that has the same effect.

Ivor: Having discovered this awesome band with their last album Tri I was really surprised to see them on the Hellfest bill when first names were announced. Not only didn't I think they were Hellfest material, I also didn't think they had caught enough attention for that. But there they were and delivered a psychedelic experience even better than on the album. As far as psychedelic stoner goes, this is as good a call as you can make. A box you call your skull was effortlessly opened, your brain taken out for a ride, and gently returned after the show. No damage - just super-charged.

Band Gallery by Ivor

Suicide Silence 11:40/12:10, Mainstage 2

Hellfest started only a bit more than one hour ago, right? Well, Suicide Silence's first song saw the first circle pit of the weekend. That bode well for the rest of the fest indeed!

White Winter Sun: Deathcore is not really my cup of tea and even though My Sleeping Karma plays at the same time under the Terrorizer Tent, I wanted to catch this band on stage to see one of their live performance. The band was well in place, Mitch Lucker screaming himself hoarse and wearing a wide range of mimics. The band delivered a powerful set punctuated by several circle pits such as on "Braveheart". Indeed several festival goers were highly motivated on this song to such an extent that they started the circle pit before the countdown from the singer!

Band Gallery by White Winter Sun

Malevolent Creation 12:15/12:55, Rock Hard Tent

White Winter Sun: I was rather disappointed by this show mainly due to the sound. Indeed the guitars were clearly drowned in the mass, which was a damageable point. Otherwise the musicians were rather static on stage, but very effective, while Brett Hoffmann tried to inject enthusiasm into the audience. The general performance was good (clearly it is not the first show from the band, they are veterans now), but this fucking sound left a pretty bad taste in my mind. What a pity!

Band Gallery by Moocher, White Winter Sun

In Solitude 12:30/13:00, Terrorizer Tent

wrathchild: At short last the rain began to pour down on Hellfest, enough to have me enter the Terrorizer tent. There I discovered In Solitude, from Sweden, playing heavy metal with a certain NWOBHM feel that should have been a bit more prominent if only we could hear the rhythm guitarist. At least, the whole sound was clean and the band delivered an enjoyable performance.

The Dwarves 13:00/13:40, Mainstage 2

wrathchild: After In Solitude, I got out the Terrorizer tent and it was still raining. But the worst was that there was nothing interesting on the running order, the only band playing was The Dwarves, on Mainstage 2. A quick look at the said stage was enough to realize this band wasn't anywhere near to something I would stand more than a few seconds, musically and esthetically speaking - despite them claiming they're the best looking guys in the metal scene. They are certainly the kind who love it when you call them morons, so they make sure they behave so.
Their music was somewhat hardcore, punk, perhaps a bit more metal at times and with lyrics including lots of variants of "let's fuck". I can't really go into more details since I found it a better idea to queue at the Hellfest merch stand... 30 minutes later I had not been able to move forward so I got out the queue and aimed at the food stands instead, while the rain had calmed down.

Oh, and they invited topless girls on stage.

And the singer crowdsurfed twice.

Band Gallery by Ivor, Moocher

The Answer 13:45/14:30, Mainstage 1

White Winter Sun: Replacing Disturbed, The Answer clearly does not play in the same register. Anyway people were in front of the Main Stage 1 to hear some solid Hard-Rock. This was my first time with this band, and I must admit that I was pretty impressed by the performance of Cormac Neeson who has delivered great vocals during the whole set. He was definitely into his music, possessed by it, and passing off the emotions to the audience. The whole set was solid and the music well-executed by the other members. A nice discovery for me and a really enjoyable moment too. Their performance will make me check their discography.

Band Gallery by Moocher, White Winter Sun

Dødheimsgard 13:45/14:30, Rock Hard Tent

Momo: DHG were the first band I really wanted to see, as they don't play that much live, and I really loved Supervillain Outcast. Well, what to say? Their set was uneven, with great moments and less glorious ones. It was pretty cool when it finally kicked off, but DHG is a slow machine to start. Not that Vicotnik (guitars) and Kvohst (vocals - quite supervillain-y in his make-up, a bit demon-like) spared any effort, but the other guitar player and the bassist seemed unconcerned (at best) by the show. Without surprise, the setlist was centered on Supervillain Outcast, but a few oldies were played as well. All in all, I quite liked it, and had a good time.

Collin: Let's get to the point: I quite enjoyed Dodheimsgard but I can't help but feel a bit cheated somehow. Like Momo said, about half of the band didn't seem extremely concerned by what was going on around them, the sound was only slightly less atrocious than Svart Crown's, and the show took quite a while to really kick off (which is a bit of a problem on such a short slot). What was left then? The singer's crazy looks, the sheer quality of both their old and more recent songs and a great deal of variation between the tracks. Enough for a good moment, but falling short of truly making a difference.

Å Slakte Gud
The Snuff Dreams Are Made Of
Sonar Bliss
21st Century Devil
Ion Storm
Vendetta Assassin
Traces Of Reality

Band Gallery by Ivor

Dagoba 14:35/15:20, Mainstage 2

White Winter Sun: To be completely honest with you, I am not a huge fan of this band. My coming to Main Stage 2 was essentially to check the performance of Nelly Wood (vocals in The Glorious Bruce) who won the band/Metallian's contest (the prize was to sing with Dagoba at Hellfest 2011). The show of the band was powerful, they undeniably became beasts on stage. Even though I personally found their music a bit repetitive and very mechanic after a couple of songs, the fans were rather crazy from the beginning of the set. The band has orientated the set list on all their hits, contributing to create turmoil in the pit. The band also succeeded in doing the first wall of death of the festival upon the song "It's All About Time" [and probably the biggest]. Then, after a quick introduction, Nelly hit the stage and starts to interpret "Waves Of Doom". Her vocal performance was good and she left the scene under the acclamations from fans. This done, I left the spot and went to the Rock Hard Tent to check the performance of death metal veterans Krisiun.

Band Gallery by Ivor, Moocher

Church Of Misery 14:40/15:20, Terrorizer Tent

Collin: Thus started two hours of pure Japanese ownage of Hellfest. I'm going to make it short for you: believe what you have read all over the Internet - Church Of Misery is one of the best live bands I have seen in the past couple of years. The singer's a maniac and the rest of the band is about as wild as they can get. Combined with the absolute madness of their own brand of stoner metal, they ripped the place apart. Unbelievably crazy. In my top 3 of the festival.

Band Gallery by Ivor

Alter Bridge 15:25/16:15, Mainstage 1

After touring last year with Slash, Myles Kennedy came back to Hellfest with his band, Alter Bridge. Heavier than you might think.

Band Gallery by Ivor Moocher

Krisiun 15:25/16:15, Rock Hard Tent

White Winter Sun: The Rock Hard Tent was full for the performance of the Brazilian metallers (perhaps the rain outside has helped a tad). They were very cohesive (as always I would say) and their performance was a huge kick in your ass. Alex Camargo (bass, vocals) was very talkative with the audience, interacting with the people during the whole set. Alex Kolesne was also impressive behind his drum kit: he is definitely a killer machine. The band concluded his set with "Kings of Killing" under the ovations from the people. The band also took time to thank largely the fans for their support. A very good Death metal show. You're welcome guys.

Band Gallery by White Winter Sun

Maximum The Hormone 16:20/17:10, Mainstage 2

Momo: Maximum The Hormone are not an easy band to catch on these shores, but I was really surprised by oh many people did actually wait for them… And even more enjoyed their show! See, these Japanese are fucking nuts. So the audience reacted likewise. Mosh-pits, screams and jumps were the response to the various antics of the bandmembers, and particularly those ultra-speed rants in Japanese - which no one understood, but that wasn't a problem, as cheering and roaring seemed a good response. A funny surprise!

wrathchild: On my to-see-list for Friday,there was only one band: Maximum The Hormone. Not that I know much about the Japanese outfit - just like many of you, I first heard of them while watching the Death Note anime, but got to hear more of their crazy music afterwards. To define this music is not an easy task... let's say it's a mix of hardcore, metal and pop, with lyrics mainly in Japanese.

All 4 members do some singing, even their female drummer who also addressed the crowd in a language that hardly 1% of Hellfesters were able to get (and your dedicated MS staffers are part of the 99 other percents) before trying to instruct us about the moves required in the next song. I think it was the last one, "Koi no Mega Lover" and it sounded a bit more electric than the studio version. The guys on stage are just like their music, crazy Japanese people at their best! And they were even blessed by the sun, who made a few appearances, enough to get me sun-burnt .
Most of the attendees I talked with afterwards considered their performance one of the best of the festival, and I concur even if my expectations biased my opinion. At least no one can deny it was a refreshing sound not often heard during those huge European metal fests.

Collin: Thus ended two hours of pure Japanese ownage of Hellfest. I don't know what's in the water in the Land of the Rising Sun, but I'll have the same please. Save for the spoken bits in Japanese which were a bit too long, Maximum The Hormone's show was 50 minutes of pure concentrated energy. And also heaps of fun. Because Maximum The Hormone is all about having fun onstage and in the pit. But it's not stupid fun, since they are also very competent musicians AND singers, switching from J-pop to hardcore in the blink of an eye. All the fun and energy were highly infectious and turned the crowd into one crazy cheering long-haired blob. One of the great sets of the weekend, and certainly the one I had the most fun watching.

Band Gallery by Moocher

Eyehategod 17:05/17:50, Terrorizer Tent

We missed the sludge masters this time. Almost, as we still have some pictures for you…

Band Gallery by Moocher

The Cult 17:15/18:05, Mainstage 1

So-so reports surrounds the performance of this cult (pun intended) hard-rock band…

Band Gallery by Ivor

Primordial 17:15/18:05, Rock Hard Tent

White Winter Sun: Now to the Irish metallers with the Celtic touch, Primordial. As soon as the first tunes resounded under the tent, Alan "Nemtheanga" Averill immediately ranted to the audience, which was clearly waiting for the band; once again he perfectly handled his frontman position. The rest of the band stayed in the background, but remained a good support to the peregrinations of their frontman. The sound was a little bit disordered at the beginning of the show. Fortunately, it became better as the time passed, avoiding totally ruining the group's performance. Three new songs from the band's latest album, entitled Redemption At The Puritan's Hand, were played: "No Grave Deep Enough", "Bloodied Yet Unbowed" and "Lain With The Wolf". Same as on the CD, these songs worked perfectly in live conditions, especially "Bloodied Yet Unbowed" which grows on you as the song develops. Simply enjoyable. Finally, the show ended on "Empire Falls", concluding a nice show led skillfully by a charismatic frontman.

Collin: I missed them in 2008, so this time I was ready to miss both The Cult and Eyehategod to get a glimpse of the Irish gods. And... I don't know... I got mixed feelings. The sound still wasn't really good in the Rock Hard Tent, but more than that it's just the new songs that tend to drag on and on until all you can do is beg for them to stop or fall asleep. And they mostly played those. Not even "Gods To The Godless", "Empire Falls" and Nemtheanga's over-the-top presence could completely save Primordial.

Momo: Nemtheanga was pissed like… like I don't even have a clue as what could have put him in such a rage. His furious energy saved a set dragged down by too many mid-tempo, overlong songs from their latest effort, as the contrast between some of these and "Empire Falls" easily demonstrated. And for fuck's sake, I really wanted to hear "As Rome Burns" live again. Far from the awesomeness of their 2008 show under the Terrorizer tent, this was nonetheless quite a good moment.

Band Gallery by Moocher, White Winter Sun

The Exploited 18:10/19:00, Mainstage 2

Collin: I love mohawks. Especially red ones. Especially when they're attached to a pissed off Wattie. I know The Exploited aren't the most subtle punk band around, and onstage it's mostly the hardcore and metal parts that stick out, in a constant assault of the senses. Although I like this band, I eventually found that there wasn't enough variation to their short tracks to keep me interested for the whole 50 minutes. It was very fine nonetheless and if you want violence, anarchy and constant ranting, The Exploited's the way to go.

Band Gallery by Ivor, Moocher

Karma To Burn 18:20/19:05, Terrorizer Tent

Momo: Well, I've not that much to say about them, really… I was just eating my tartiflette while I distractedly listened to them. And well, I'm supposed to hate stoner, but they had a really heavy sound which I found very pleasant. Surprises happen everytime!

Band Gallery by Ivor

Down 19:05/20:05, Mainstage 1

Collin: Copy paste the show from Hellfest 2009, just slightly less overwhelming. Otherwise, everything I remembered from two years ago was there: Phil Anselmo's stage presence, the greasy riffs, the massive sludgy sound, the great vocals and top-notch musicianship, the awesome setlist, the 10-minute repetition of the ending riff of "Bury Me In Smoke" (if that is not one of the greatest riffs ever, I'll cut my balls, you know, like this guy), the impression of being aurally raped by the whole state of Louisiana, everything I tell you! The only missing thing was the effect of surprise, but since one should not live in the past, I'll just say that this was yet another truly great show by my favourite New Orleanians (yes, that's the real word).

Band Gallery by Ivor, Moocher

Vader 19:15/20:05, Rock Hard Tent

They started where they left off during their tour with Marduk, with "This Is The War", erasing the stain of their average 2009 Hellfest performance.

White Winter Sun: The music from these Polish metallers can be found rather repetitive and linear after several songs, but it remains very effective on stage. Once again the performance was solid. All musicians were in great form droning out songs in pure savagery. When Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek announces a cover song, the atmosphere becomes even more electric. It's time for the classic "Reign In Blood" but… failure! The band starts "Black Sabbath" with the Vader trademark; a really good cover. This song achieved, the band immediately ended their set by playing "Reign In Blood" (from you-know-who) which was as the rest of their set: blunt and powerful. A pure blast!

Band Gallery by White Winter Sun

The Young Gods 19:35/20:20, Terrorizer Tent

wrathchild: This time again, I ended up in the Terrorizer tent because of the rain. I probably would have gone there anyway because The Young Gods made a great performance there last year, a performance I missed, and a performance that my fellow Metalstormers/Hellfesters remember as one of the best of the 2010 edition despite being shortened due to a power breakdown...

And the full show was indeed very good, filled with "grower" songs, I mean, loops that go from low to high, the highest being when the powerful sound of the keyboard gets in and blasts a lot more than the guitar would. I bet some unprepared listeners lamented the lack of straight metal parts, but for me, here's a good summary: electronic, hypnotic, fantastic

Momo: And so, The Young Gods came back, and there was no power shortcut this time. The sound was a bit less heavy than last year, maybe a bit less powerful, but much clearer (as we already stated, the Terrorizer Tent had an awesome sound all the time), and definitely reminiscent of their last tour. Just as the setlist, which was a shortened version of what we saw during the Everybody Knows tour. Definitely enjoyable and hypnotic, but not surprising for me so I managed to get out before the end to see Meshuggah's full set.

Band Gallery by Ivor

Meshuggah 20:10/21:00, Mainstage 2

Momo: Oh my god, what a blast! And I thought they were good in 2008… Well, they indeed were, but this was a few steps above, to say the least. No need to describe Meshuggah's music again, right? But there was a little twist this time: Fredrik Thordenthal totally changed all (or, at the very least, a whole lot of) his solos. They were weird and convoluted as always, but different - and even better if you ask me (but it might not be everyone's opinion).

On a sidenote, I never would have believed it beforehand, but Meshuggah are some Love metal, to be sure. Or, at the very least, supersexy swingin' sounds, your choice. I mean, right next to me a couple kissed and hugged during the whole set (preventing all the while the people right behind them to see the stage). Plus, during "Bleed", two half-naked girls wandered near and danced, asking guys to kiss their tits. Some obliged, of course.

Band Gallery by Ivor, Moocher

Iggy And The Stooges 21:05/22:05, Mainstage 1

Collin: This year's Hellfest was also the place to be for a "which-of-these-old-people-rock-the-most" contest. Of those I've seen, Iggy wins by quite a large margin. Mainly because where Scorpions, Judas Priest and especially Ozzy look and act like decrepit elders, Iggy runs, jumps, sings and screams as if age had no grip on him. Although his show was as professional as expected, there was still a hint of all the craziness and obnoxiousness that probably were oozing from a Stooges show decades ago. So Iggy went on being all weird and reptilian, asked people from the audience to get on the stage, insulted his band members when they fucked the beginning of "Search And Destroy", destroyed an innocent mic stand for no apparent reason and more generally seemed to be having quite a good time. That was really fun to watch. And since the setlist was brilliant, one that was fun to hear too. Altogether, a really good time was had by all parties involved.

Band Gallery by Ivor, Moocher

Belphegor 21:15/22:05, Rock Hard Tent

White Winter Sun: I have never seen the band on stage before this Hellfest 2011 edition, so I was a bit curious to see one of their performances. Once again the sound was not top-notch, but it did not really impact the performance of the Austrian black metallers. The musicians were well in place, often in the same line, supported by an insane drumming on the background, reinforcing the savage side of their music. Also Hel "Helmuth" Lennart was harboring several interesting mimics during the whole set. Finally the last tunes of "Bondage Goat Zombie" resounded under the Rock Hard tent, closing an intense set.

Band Gallery by White Winter Sun

Morbid Angel 22:10/23:10, Mainstage 2

So, none of us saw Morbid Angel? Well… There's this little thingie that put most of us off our feet. Sure, Momo did plan to see them, but he was unavailable… By most accounts their show was good, with David Vincent having his great voice again, and the whole set being more than correct.

Band Gallery by Moocher

Clutch 22:10/23:00, Terrorizer Tent

Collin: And on to the best show of the festival, hands down. I don't think I have ever seen such an energetic band onstage. Clutch were so all over the place that they made Church Of Misery look like Scorpions (we'll get to it). They didn't really move that much, but they just owned the place, you know? I mean, of course Clutch is a great band to begin with, but they have so much energy that they just transcend their bluesy, stonerish hard-rock to an almost divine level. But energy is the key word here. At times it seemed that the Terrorizer tent would not be able to handle such amounts of energy and awesomeness and would just collapse, to the probable dismay of the hordes that packed its inside. Anyway, the sound was pretty much perfect, the execution flawless, the groove omnipresent, the crowd extremely responsive (besides apparently knowing all the lyrics) and the vocals simply brilliant. Neil Fallon's really got quite a range, as proven by the devastating rendition of "Electric Worry" to close out the show. Simply the best performance of the year for me.

Ivor: If you missed Clutch at this year's Hellfest you might as well say you weren't at the festival at all. I saw Clutch for the first time here two years ago on the main stage and that was awesome but somehow not exactly a bullseye experience. This year they were in a Terrorizer tent and that was THE place to be. Clutch was a freaking bomb dropped in a sauna. The bonding feeling of the band and the crowd going at it is what a proper concert experience is all about. Awesome stuff. Seriously, it doesn't get much better than Clutch on stage. It was a wipeout.

Band Gallery by Ivor

Rob Zombie 23:15/00:45, Mainstage 1

Momo: With my migraine I was in a fitting state to see him as, like a zombie, I walked and behaved (well, not with "brains!" but "head hurts" as my motto). For all I remember of the half-hour I saw, he sounded not too bad - but far from awesome - and I'm pretty glad he played a few songs from his White Zombie past… Not that his solo career's bad, but Astro Creep: 2000 easily outclasses anything else he's done.

Did you know... Why did Rob Zombie left stage earlier?
He was not so motivated I think. I just believe that he understood at the festival that a big fish (In Flames) should play just after them with loads of firework and stuff (stuff that Rob Zombie didn't bring with him in the end…). Too much pressure probably ! ^^

Band Gallery by Ivor, Moocher

Possessed 23:15/00:15, Rock Hard Tent

Collin: Now, that's what I call a nice oldschool show! From the first notes of "The Exorcist" to the final explosion of "Death Metal", through most of Seven Churches, death metal legends Possessed just showed what being passionate means. Tight as a (insert any farm animal)'s ass, powerful, humble, the band just seemed to live the moment. While the first few seconds of seeing Jeff Becerra on his wheelchair were indeed sort of weird, once I realized that this guy breathed metal and just couldn't hide his happiness to be there with his fans, it made me notice how great and dedicated a frontman he is. Despite the brutality, possibly the most intimate show of the weekend.

The Melvins 23:30/00:30, Terrorizer Tent

Collin: I'm not familiar with The Melvins but I managed to catch their last 20 minutes right after Possessed. A nice surprise I must say. They were much faster, much more interesting and much less pedantic than I remembered and served a massive slab of noisy and experimental, though largely undefinable metal. As with Kylesa I didn't really get the point of the two drummers thing, but the rest was totally enjoyable. They made me forget how tired I was at this point.

Ivor: It might seem a bit weird but I went to see The Melvins solely based on their looks and the genre tag. Anything looking like The Melvins has to have something to it. A good call instead of Rob Zombie on the main stage which I wouldn't have minded to see until the end. When I reached the photo pit and saw a band consisting of a bass, a guitar, and two drummers my jaw dropped. That sort of pretty much defined the experience of this band. The intensity they had on stage was overwhelming and even though I think the two drummer thing ain't exploited as much as it could be, it was total fun to watch them bounce rhythms off each other. And while the music itself lives up to the crazy looks, it were the drummers who totally stole the show. This was a grand surprise and the experience of the day (let's discard Clutch, I totally knew them to knock the tent down) and would've been the surprise of the festival if not for Kylesa.

Band Gallery by Ivor

In Flames 00:50/02:00, Mainstage 2

wrathchild: The organizers had the clever idea to not let people without anything to watch on any of the two mainstages so they apparently made In Flames start 5 or 10 minutes ahead of schedule. And thus I was ashamed to miss the explosive beginning of the concert, with "Cloud Connected", cause I was... errr... stuck in some toilets and thought I had all the time I wanted due to Rob Zombie's quick and short performance.
Again, not a huge In Flames fan here. The only two shows I had attended so far also happened during festivals: Graspop 2005 under a tent and Hellfest 2008 on a mainstage, a show that was already using pyrotechnics. This time they added even more pyro but more importantly, they also brought a good mood with them, making it enjoyable. It seems to me that the new guitarist provided the rest of the band with extra enthusiasm as they went on with songs like "Pinball Map" and "Only For The Weak". As for the new songs (I did listen to the latest single and found it was horrible), I can't really say, as I was heading for the Rock Hard tent to have a glimpse of Mayhem's ceremony. It didn't sound bad... But still, to me the main problem was and always will be Anders' voice. I just can't stand it. If you could, then I bet the whole show was excellent whereas to me, it was only entertaining.

Collin: Having been really disappointed by In Flames at Hellfest 2008, I hadn't initially planned to see them. But just as I was on my way to a good night sleep, the show started with "Cloud Connected", so I decided to watch at least this song, especially since the fireworks really woke me up. Then they blasted through "Trigger", and I found myself singing like a groupie. R2R is my favourite In Flames album, you see. I contemplated going to sleep during "Alias", but then they treated us to "Pinball Map", and so on to "Only For The Weak", "Take This Life" and "My Sweet Shadow". And then I realized the show was over and I had spent one hour watching an interesting set. Beyond the visual aspect with all the explosions and the sparks, it was all much better than I expected. Even the newest songs stood the test of the scene pretty well I must say. So ok, they didn't play anything earlier than the Clayman album and it was by no means an original show, but it was entertaining and that's all I ask at 2 in the morning.

White Winter Sun: Ha… The In Flames case… or how to support a band that deceived you on its latest albums? Joke aside, I was a bit curious to listen to some new stuff in "live" conditions. Indeed the first single "Deliver Us" did not convince me at all when it came out at the beginning of May. The Swedish metallers started their show with "Cloud Connected" and under a huge profusion of fireworks. As soon as the first tunes of this song started, the audience immediately became crazy. Clearly fans were here and the band was awaited as well. The first thing to notice is that the group was very pleased to play here tonight: Anders was very talkative with the audience and Niclas Engelin, the new guitarist, never stopped smiling during the whole show. Of course all classics were played, among them "Pinball Map" and "Only For The Weak" which was sung by the fans. Interestingly, ([scandalmonger mode on] and surprisingly I would say [scandalmonger mode off]), the new songs played tonight "Deliver Us" and "Where The Dead Ship Dwells" did not sounded so bad as I was expected. Finally the show ended on "My Sweet Shadow" once again with a profusion of fireworks. Then the band quit the stage after long salutations and under the acclamations from the fans. It was not the best performance of the day, but at least it was a really decent gig to conclude this first day.

Band Gallery by Moocher, White Winter Sun

Mayhem 01:00/02:00, Rock Hard Tent

wrathchild: The last time they played at Hellfest, most of us were actually waiting in vain for Evile to appear in the Terrorizer tent. Their show had been canceled at the last minute... So instead, we spent our time laughing at Mayhem on the Mainstage 2 right in the middle of the afternoon.

This year Mayhem was to end the day in the Rock Hard tent, performing an exclusive special show named "Liberation by Evil". So this was to be taken seriously. So seriously that you might already have heard that they used real human bones! Shocking? Well, I don't see why there's so much fuss about it. I mean, I studied biology at school and we had this real human complete skeleton right inside the classroom and no one was shocked, believer or not. Unless they took them illegally from some graveyard, really, where's the problem? Besides, it's hard to tell the difference between a real bone and a fake one, especially when watching the show from a certain distance, which I was. I stayed only for a few minutes, so I won't be able to comment on the music and the songs they played or not, but what I saw was Attila motionless behind a sort of altar (a decorated table) brandishing a skull from time to time while singing, looking as if he was conducting a black mass (and eventually hiding the drummer). The others had the rest of the stage for them.
I went back to the campground after that. I could have regretted not having stayed if what we were unofficially announced had happened: Attila being burnt on a cross at the end of the show. Unfortunately, no one was able to tell me about it, and I can't find any video so I suspect this was only a rumor.

And most black metal fans were hugely disappointed by this set.

Did you know... Some stuff about Mayhem's special show?
They needed a whole week to build their "special show" at the festival (you probably saw the result in pictures…). According to our tech guys, it was something that they could have done in less than one hour…

Band Gallery by Moocher

Monster Magnet 01:00/02:00, Terrorizer Tent

Ivor: It's been a while since the only time I saw Monster Magnet live and I was hoping to catch a really great show. The downside of it was that they were the last band in the Terrorizer tent, starting at 1 AM. By that time I had been running around already 14 and a half hours, since 10:30 AM. This was to be the 20th band I took pictures of that day! So, you can imagine me being tired as hell by the time. Of what I could get my ears to listen to and my brain to accept, the band was great and enjoying themselves on stage. Dave seemed to be in a good mood and better shape, less fat than I remember. But while it all seemed right and very Monster Magnet, I couldn't take it much. You don't normally walk out on Monster Magnet... but I had to...

Band Gallery by Ivor

Next on Metal Storm…

Saturday 18th
The featured bands are : Lyzanxia, Whiplash, Mekong Delta, Hemoragy, Municipal Waste, Destruction, Sodom, Kreator, Coroner, Headcharger, Arma Gathas, Crucified Barbara, Total Fucking Destruction, Angel Witch, Severe Torture, Hammerfall, Hail Of Bullets, UFO, Exhumed, Shai Hulud, Thin Lizzy, Skyforger, Comeback Kid, Apocalyptica, 1349, Dancefloor Disaster, Black Label Society, DRI, Septic Flesh, Scorpions, Bolt Thrower, Triptykon.

Sunday 19th
The featured bands are : Audrey Horne, Zuul FX, Impureza, Turisas, SUP, Red Fang, Atheist, The Ocean, Firewind, Arkona, Orphaned Land, Knut, Duff Mc Kagan's Loaded, Tsjuder, Ghost, Pain Of Salvation, Cavalera Conspiracy, Kylesa, Anathema, Mr. Big, Morgoth, Goatsnake, Doro, The Black Dahlia Murder, Judas Priest, Korpiklaani, Electric Wizard, Therion, Ozzy Osbourne, Dark Tranquillity, Hawkwind, Opeth, Cradle Of Filth, Kyuss Lives.

Photos by Ivor, Moocher, and White Winter Sun. All rights reserved, do not use without permission.



Comments: 18   Visited by: 195 users
22.07.2011 - 02:11
Baz Anderson
Really nicely put together!
22.07.2011 - 02:28
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Even though it's a shame I decided not to go (hell, once again by far the best open air festival line-up of Europe by far this summer) it was the best decision I ever made in my life
but will be there again next year, if the festival doesn't grow too much (30,000 a day is actually already way too many people for me) and the line-up is of the same quality, to help you guys out. And also the organization. 100,000 litres of beer in three days isn't that much considering that was for 90,000 in total. That equates to about 15 glasses per person in three days time

just to compare when Dynamo Opern Air was a one day festival and drew 20,000 people they sold 45,000 litres of beer in that one day
so I guess you people need some help from some real beer drinkers
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

22.07.2011 - 03:25
Jason W.
Great first part to the article guys, excellent pictures all around as well It's interesting to see some of the opinions on bands like Primordial that were there when I went in 2008, and the opinions this time around. Glad to see the tartiflette still around - that'd be part of the draw to get me to return one more time someday
"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley
22.07.2011 - 08:54
Spirit Molecule
spirit molecule
Great read, it just makes me feel shitty for not being able to be at hellfest. I hope i can make it someday, before it gets too crowded that is, and the line up goes bad. This year had probably my favourite line up, especially the terrorizer tent. Reading the clutch review almost made me cry
If you never wake up from a dream does it become reality?

Last fm
Don't click here
22.07.2011 - 09:40
Nice work folks!

I went for the first time this year and was really impressed (and absolutely destroyed by the end of it; long days!).

Highlight of the day for me was Meshuggah. They are a band I used to love a lot, but haven't listened to in some time and this performance made me pick them up again and I am glad I did!
22.07.2011 - 14:26
Retired Staff
Tartiflette failed some people? What's this about? you guys can't just go and say bad things about Tartiflette! Nooooooo!!!

A shame about Rob Zombie being not that good and stopping early, they would've been one of the bands I'd want to see the most if I were there. And about Mayhem, well, black metal imagery is just stupid.
BAS - Beautifully Accented Sexiness
22.07.2011 - 18:12
Darkside Momo
Thanks for all the comments!

@Marcel: French people usually drink far less beer than that. Didn't think to ask Jeff about the wine, however.

@cam: yeah, Meshuggah was probably my best show on Friday too

@Bas: I think it was Collin who was ill because of it...

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
22.07.2011 - 19:46
Did we make Ivor an honorary Frenchie in order to contribute to this article?

great read, glad to hear WWE enjoyed Valient Thorr and that Clutch rocked.

sad about Mayhem. maybe some of the bm showmanship might work in smaller, intimate clubs... but just seems ridiculous for crowds. i recall reading about Dissection engaging in similar silliness, standing around in silence, backs to the crowd, circled around a few candles at another past summer fest. just cut the shit and lay people to waste with your music.
get the fuck off my lawn.
22.07.2011 - 20:39
I watched Morbid Angel and enjoyed them, though not as much as when I saw them last (which was also with David Vincent, but before the new album). The set list was good, with a few of the actual death metal tracks from the new album, but mainly ABCD album material, including Angel of Disease among the regular crowd pleasers. The only (for me) totally cheesewagon moment of their show was "I Am Morbid", which was a bit of a mood and momentum killer. It was also odd when Vincent announced the name of the new album as if it was some call to arms, expected to set the crowd to mouth foaming. The actual result was more akin to the applause given to a tidy two-putt for birdie.

They're actually playing right now at Tuska. I'm in Helsinki, but sick. I toughed it out to see At The Gates, but decided to give Morbid Angel a miss tonight!
22.07.2011 - 21:20
Darkside Momo
@ BitterCOld: nope, Ivor is not a frog at all. In five years (five Hellfests) he didn't learn five words of French eternal shame on him!

@ cam: Tuska as a quite awesome line-up this year...

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
22.07.2011 - 21:23
Oh and a another cool thing about Morbid Angel at Hellfest was Phil Anselmo rocking out and worshipping Tim Yeung from behind the PA stacks. His facial expressions when watching Tim were hilarious. He had a quick chat and hug with the other guys between songs, too.
22.07.2011 - 21:39
@Momo: Agreed! I saw nothing today but At The Gates, though. Hoping to be in better shape tomorrow. I especially look forward to Blind Guardian, Devin Townsend and confirming that Elvis is alive Wintersun exists.
22.07.2011 - 21:41
Darkside Momo
Written by cam on 22.07.2011 at 21:39

@Momo: Agreed! I saw nothing today but At The Gates, though. Hoping to be in better shape tomorrow. I especially look forward to Blind Guardian, Devin Townsend and confirming that Elvis is alive Wintersun exists.

Hopefully you'll be... At the Gates were awesome in 2008, and BG and Devin rock!

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
23.07.2011 - 04:02
LeChron James
I must acquire Hellfest beer. Tremendous article on the part of all involved. I WILL make it out there one of these years.
Kick Ass, Die Young

Less is More
Stay Pure
Stay Poor

Music was my life, music brought me to life and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz in my head that only I can hear.
23.07.2011 - 14:25
Darkside Momo
Written by LeChron James on 23.07.2011 at 04:02

I must acquire Hellfest beer. Tremendous article on the part of all involved. I WILL make it out there one of these years.

Dunno where you could find Hellfest beer now... But if you do, try to get your hands on last year's amber. Not exceptionnal, but quite good nonetheless

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
23.07.2011 - 14:36
Valentin B
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 22.07.2011 at 02:28

but will be there again next year, if the festival doesn't grow too much (30,000 a day is actually already way too many people for me)

I still don't get what you find so repulsing about festivals with more than 20,000 people. I can see what you mean if there'd be a really HUGE crowd like at Wacken (like the 75,000 people for Iron Maiden last year) but 30,000 is almost nothing.

Anyway great report as always, looking forward to the next two days.
Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil.
24.07.2011 - 02:10
Bad English
Good rewiew, I enjoy it and Arte is good channel, all bands what I try there
played good quality, I try see all bands what I like next week

Im to lazy to look true all times when bands played but in same time Eyehategod and The Cult is I dont know how to say
Both bands can be headliners,
Ok 2 bands but + Promordial same time , thats why I hate such festivals whit 2-4 stages

Does Melvins singer still wear those werry old Dic Martens what he weard years ago when I saw band live(ON TV)

and Zombie and in flames ... both sucks

and last band well it was lil better how all opening bands in early hoyurs of morning, cognac helps wake up some 60 years old :p
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
24.07.2011 - 02:13
Bad English
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 22.07.2011 at 02:28

100,000 litres of beer in three days isn't that much considering that was for 90,000 in total. That equates to about 15 glasses per person in three days time

man isnt it how much you drink per year

Momo screw wine, 60 years old Cognac from Jeff's private collection be better how wine, belive me
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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