Hellfest 2019 – Day Three – Saturday13th July 2019
It was a rough nights kip in the back of the van for one reason or another. Maybe the chair leg wedged under my hip was the cause or maybe it was the heat, either way a strong coffee was needed after waking up! It was a big day for us, today was our first interview of the weekend with Carach Angren so we were a bit nervous about it. Tom slept great so he was volunteered to do the talking!
After a hearty breakfast of coffee and peanut butter cups we headed to the arena for another awesome day of bands and entertainment. Today felt hotter. There was something about it, even early on in the day, that just felt so much warmer than the Friday. Luckily we were heading straight for the tents this morning so would be out of the heat for a bit. First up was Cybecore in the Alter. These industrial death metal dudes from Germany really woke us up! They were heavy as hell, technical and looked freaking awesome! Tom enjoyed them – “cool fear factory esc industrial metal. Sound was good and they were tight and had cool costumes on!”
Next door in the Temple Wolfheart were getting ready. I’d listened to this guys before the festival and was dead excited! Again, death metal isn’t usually my thing but these guys were pretty melodic at times. Also groovy and technical. They really ticked a lot of boxes for my musical taste buds and I well enjoyed them. They’ve just played a few shows in the UK with Carach Angren so I am really hoping they come back when I have some spare time to go check them out again! Tom concurred – “powerful and heavy melodic death metal. Really tight and heavy!”
It was nearing the time for our interview with Carach Angren so we grabbed a little breakfast and then headed to the press tent to meet with our host Jessica from Season Of Mist. She was awesome and instantly made us feel at ease as we were nervous as hell!
We met Dennis and had our interview, what a nice guy! I think we rushed it a little as we were done in less than 10 minutes but he seemed really engaging and tolerated our noobishness. Once done and happy with ourselves we headed back to the arena for some more abuse from the heat! Temps were really starting to rise and checking the forecast gave us highs of 30 degrees. We are two lads from Yorkshire, we just ain’t used to that kind of heat! Luckily for us the next few acts were in the tents.
Dool are a prog-rock doom band from Rotterdam with some really groovy riffs! The whole band seemed right in the zone and it was a really great listen. Lessons learnt from a photographers point of view though, red light and smoke do not make for great photos!!! It was hard work but hopefully I got a few decent snaps of the band. I think Tom thought they were a bit awesome – “dark rock. Lovely melodic leads with doomy riffs and awesome female vocals on top. Awesome chill-out music.”
Next for me was Mantar. I was very intrigued by these when I heard there were only two of them. A drummer and guitarist, that quad amps, uses baritone scale guitars tuned ridiculously low and switches in bass amps in the guitar signal!! OH YES! I am a huge freaking gear head and this screamed at me! They were heavy as hell and loud to boot. I loved every second of it. Tom went and saw Allegaeon – “technical death metal. Again really tight, awesome leads and riffs. Was great to finally see 1.618 live!”
I hung around the Valley after seeing Mantar coz up next were Sumac. I’d not heard much by them but knew they were a heavy ass doom band, something right up my street. But nothing quite prepared me for just how heavy they actually were! Bloody heavy!! Tom agreed – “way doomier than I was expecting. Heavy as fuck.”
Once my head had settled down after the stomping Sumac gave it we moved over to the Alter where the stage was being set for Carach Angren. After chatting with Dennis earlier and getting to hear some of the mindset and inspiration behind the music I was keen to see them. They put on a cracking show. Dennis was all over the stage like a man possessed and so theatrical as well. They had elevating platforms for both guitarist and keyboard so seeing them give another dimension to the show was pretty cool. Tom – “Great stage show and energy, sound was good and we interviewed Dennis the singer earlier in the day and he was a lovely bloke, really friendly.”
It had been super hot for most of the day and we decided it was time for a sit down and to celebrate that we actually managed to do pretty well on our interview, watched the band and took some decent snaps of them, so we headed to the VIP bar! This was our first mistake. At the bar we found they served Skoll. A lemon and vodka infused beer that tasted like lemonade! Then we pumped in to an old festival buddy that I’ve known for years from the good old days of forums, Fro aka Paul from Damnation festival. After a few more pints of Skoll and a great chat with Fro, he asked us what time it was and if Jo Quail was on. He had booked her for Damnation festival and told us we had to check her out. So we did and wow. A little bit of calm in the whirlwind that is Hellfest was just awesome.
We said our goodbyes to Fro after it and headed over to the main stage to catch ZZ Top. We had had a cheeky few pints by this time and were feeling a little tipsy but thoroughly enjoyed the show they put on. Tom – “classic blues rock, everyone was drunkenly singing along to the hits. Classic!”
While we were watching ZZ Top and chatting away to each other, I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned to find a rather large dude draped in a Canadian flag. He heard us talking in English and told us he was part of a larger group that were kicking about called “Hellfest United Nations Travellers” and asked if we wanted to come and join them for a beer near the bar. Beer? Yeah man! So we followed the flag and met up with his group of travellers. This is what makes Hellfest just one of the best! These guys had flown from Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand and other countries around the world for this one festival. Most of them had made plans to spend time in France after Hellfest, some to go see Rammstein in Paris, others just to go on a little holiday. But the one thing that had brought them together was this place! Just awesome!
Me and Tom got separated at some point and the Skoll had really hit home by now. I was in a bit of a party mentality so kept going by heading to see a band I had seen many times before, and in all honesty sounded very poor most of the times I’d seen them. Cradle Of Filth. Now I don’t know if it was the sound through the PA, the Skoll, or the vibe but they crushed it! Danny Filth was on point! His vocal was insane and how the hell he manages to do that high pitch screech night after night is just awesome.
After Cradle I trotted over to the Valley to catch my last band of the day and a band I’ve been longing to see for some time, Cult Of Luna! I am a big post-metal fan and think some of the work these guys do is just insane! I have no idea how but I managed to get some quality snaps of the band, well, in my humble opinion anyway, haha. I really, really enjoyed the set. I was just lost in my mind and it was incredible. The walk back to the van that night was awesome, it really felt like a dream. However I didn’t dream when I crawled into my sleeping bag I just promptly passed out!