The 3-day festival has marked over the years its position as one of the biggest and most anticipated festivals in the world of Rock and Metal. Clisson was attended by 50,000 fans to watch more than 150 bands. This year was yet another dream fest for all music lovers who attended.
Even though the organizers did their best to pay justice to their attendees by not having 2 big bands play at the same time, I didn’t have the time to watch all bands I wanted to watch, so I will just limit my review to mostly bands that are unexpected to be reviewed with some bands that really left me in awe.
On a side note: This was my first trip to Hellfest, and now I know why they call it that, because it was hot as hell.
ONSLAUGHT: They were really good. I enjoyed their show and energy on the Altar stage. The sad part was that only 250-300 people were watching them. But they were an amazing crowd that responded to the great show put up by ONSLAUGHT and did several moshpits during the performance.
DESULTORY: They came up next on the same stage. Around half the people stayed to watch them, but that’s a shame because they were incredible and people should have watched them. They did a great crashing show.
CARACH ANGREN: I was tending to check out bands I never watched before. Carach Angren was on that list. It was the first time I watch them and they blew my mind. The 3-piece Horror Black Metal band from the Netherlands was beyond my expectations, even though they didn’t have a bass player and the band was limited to the vocalist/guitarist, the pianist, the drummer, and a guest guitarist. But they have put a show that makes you live the story they are telling in their lyrics. Their style kind of reminded me of early Dimmu Borgir’s style.
SKINLESS: No comment! It was the best performance for me in Hellfest! The band got reformed in 2013 after breaking up in 2011 and released their first album in decades 2 weeks before the festival. It was unbelievable; they took the Altar stage to a different dimension of moshing and headbanging… So groovy and old school death metal shit! The band’s performance was fused with the energy from the crowd. The venue was packed and Sherwood Webber did literally roll on the stage from his excitement of the crowd reaction. Skinless performed a very satisfying play list that covered all their albums including Only the Ruthless Remain.
OBITUARY: They were the headliners of the Altar stage, and I guess they should have gotten a spot on the main stage because the fans barely fitted the small crowd area. Not less than Skinless, Obituary always puts a show that fans will cherish for the rest of their lives and tell stories about it to their little grandkids. Moshpiting, crowd surfing, headbanging, and singing along… the show was eccentric. They also performed from their old and new material giving a performance that satisfied all their fans.
SLASH: They did a great chill-out show comparing to the bands I’ve been watching; it was awesome to see rock legends still get full arenas with people singing along. What I liked the most about them was that they are really down to earth and have a great crowd/band communication; they make you feel like they are playing at your backyard. Amazing vocals by Myles Kennedy; I never thought he could pull off all those high notes live, but he definitely did.
NE OBLIVISCARIS: I wasn’t impressed by the music; maybe they are not my style, and I don’t want to give a bad judgment. They have a good stage presence and energy, but I couldn’t watch more than 15 minutes, then I left. They did have a big crowd though.
EXODUS: The 36-year-old Thrash gods got a full crowd in front of the Main stage. The crowd went crazy moshing, and the band doesn’t need too much to talk about, they were as expected: godly.
CAVALERA CONSPIRACY: I enjoyed every second of the show! A lot of moshing and several walls of death happened there. They also performed songs from the Cavalera’s Sepultura era, and the fans were jumping with Max and singing along with him. Everyone was enjoying. But as usual, Max’s voice wasn’t at its best and I have witnessed this in many shows.
CANNIBAL CORPSE: They started just five minutes after CC, not on the main stage, but on the Altar stage again; that’s where I improved my running skills! The place was over packed; another band that could use a bigger crowd area. The moshpit was non-stop, the show was legendary, but the sound was bad; I had to get to the back to be able to know which song they are playing.
KHOLD: The Norwegian Black Metal band played the Temple stage. They were good, a little bit above average, but they didn’t gather many fans. They did a good show, but I wasn’t impressed by the music.
Overall pros and cons:
Pros: The festival was a great event that every Rock and Metal head should experience:
- The help center was great. I faced some health issues and they really took care of me, and didn’t leave me alone until I felt better. Everything was well organized and they make you feel safe and not worried about attending the festival.
- Prices were cool, not too expensive as I expected, except for the water. So if you get thirsty a lot? I suggest you drink a beer instead; you will save up some Euros for merchandise.
- The bathrooms are ok, but the best trick to not wait in line is to take your bath at night and not in the morning.
- There are many shops that are located at the center which are pretty much accessible; you can find all the shirts you wish for from extreme metal to rock, as well as CDs, vinyl discs, some Gothic stuff, and other gadgets. There is also a cool Viking place where you can buy drinking horns, Celtic belts, and stuff like that.
- A lot of other entertaining places like “Metal Corner”, “Hellcity Square”, “The Kingdom of Muscadet”, “Metal Market”.
- The camping place was a bit far from the stages, which makes it a bit difficult for attendees who want to take a small rest to do so, as it will be time-consuming.
- Toilets were few, only 6 which are almost always packed with long lines of people.
- Concerning the food, you can buy it with cash, but for alcohol, you can’t, you have to go to a “Cashless” stand to buy the card to be able to buy booze. The problem is not with the card, but with the few places to fill it out. You have to wait in a long line to get your turn to be able to buy booze. Those places should be doubled in the next Hellfest.
I definitely enjoyed Hellfest and I am definitely going next year.
Check out in the gallery below a collection of the photos that our reporter Nahla Sindbad took from the festival to get a closer look of what will miss if you didn’t go next year to hellFest 2016.
Photos by: Nahla Sindbad.