Three hours from Paris in my car, it’s probably the longest ride as I drive, I can’t wait to be on site, I count every minute while my car player is shuffling a playlist that I create each year based on the bands playing Hellfest.
I’m finally there, the wonderland for each metal fan, truly excited to see what’s new this year.
As usual, my first stop is the press area, a luxury lounge that we all appreciate, all thanks to Hellfest management for taking such good care of the press.
The art invested in the area is magnificent, the small lake turned into a swimming pool, a gothic swimming pool to properly describe it.
Hellfest comes back for the 13th edition, you can’t control it was this year’s slogan, and it really describes the festival, you can’t really control what Ben and his team are up to each year, they never fail to amaze us.
As the year before, 13th was sold out in a matter of hours with the lineup locked in a box in Ben’s office, this is truly incredible, it only shows how Hellfest became a cult for us, no matter who plays, WE WILL BE THERE.
But of course this did not stop Hellfest from bringing the finest in the industry each year, every time we say this is the biggest yet, it runs out we were wrong, each year it gets bigger and bigger, you will understand what I mean at the end of the article.
The first day kicked off at about 10:30, yeah, beer and metal, it can’t get any better as a breakfast.
Six stages were on fire, bringing multiple genres of Heavy Metal.
The main stages were busy with some great groups, Sons Of Apollo had their Hellfest debut, and they were great performing their debut album, a prog band that consists of Portnoy, Sherinian, Bumblefoot, Sheehan and Jeff Soto, or shall we call it a super group!
It was a non-stop kinda day on the main stages, band after band, from Tesseract to Meshuggah, Joan Jett to Europe, Steven Wilson, Hollywood Vampires, Stone Sour and finally the almighty Judas Priests that headlined the first night, WOW, what a show, Halford was truly a heavy metal god.
The last band to play the main stage was A Perfect Circle.
The stages, Altar, Temple, Valley, and Warzone had an amazing atmosphere as well with bands: Therion, Satyricon, Napalm Death, Bad Religion and Rise Against.
Day one was a blast…
The second and third day is where usually the atmosphere starts to pick up, everyone was looking forward to a fat second day, on the bill: Iced Earth, Killswitch Engage, ACCEPT, Septic Flesh, Carpenter Brut, Exodus, Amorphis, Arch Enemy, Alice In Chains, Megadeth, Marylin Manson, Nightwish and the mightiest of all to headline day two… IRON MAIDEN
Now you get the idea why I called it a fat day…
IRON MAIDEN had a magnificent show, it is amazing after all these years how these guys can still manage to WOW the fans.
The third and final day, it is always a sad feeling approaching the end of Hellfest, but we were on for a huge surprise.
After a long day of heavy metal with bands like: Powerwolf, Jonathan Davis, Bullet For My Valentine, Katakalysm, Enslaved, Body Count, Children Of Bodom, Nile, Limp Bizkit, and to headline the last day Avenged Sevenfold were up for their first ever headline of Hellfest, it is really great to present a younger generation band to headline the biggest metal festival in the world, I love the music of A7X but I felt that their show wasn’t really up for headlining Hellfest.
It was a blast, by all means, an edition that you surely can’t control.
But that wasn’t just it, Hellfest team decided to change their policy of not announcing the bands for the next edition, they decided to give us something this year, but as we know by now that Hellfest don’t do things as usual festivals do, they had something big planned for us, it was an announcement for 2019.
Lights out on the main stage, few minutes of silence and suspense, lights are back and there’s someone on stage….
It’s Joey DeMaio of MANOWAR, yes you heard it damn right, Joey DeMaio came all the way to Hellfest to announce the return of Manowar to headline Hellfest 2019.
These are some of his words:
Hellfest is the true festival of the world, You haven’t seen shit yet… Net year Manowar will come, and we will strike the fucking ground and crack it open with the ultimate power and spectacle of light, that is my word and that is what will happen, we’ve never broken our word for the French fans and we never will…
ARE YOU WITH US? DEATH TO FALSE METAL…
ARE YOU WITH MANOWAR?
VIVE LA FRANCE
That was his closing statement and the fans went nuts…
Hellfest is now in the history books for another amazing year, now all we have to do is wait impatiently for the complete lineup to revel…
The thriller is at it’s the best level
Enjoy our photo gallery from the three days combined taken by Sharbel Kanoun
Metal Bell will be there again in 2019…
STAY METAL \m/
By: Sharbel Kanoun