The sun rose early on Saturday sending off many a metalhead down to the festival site for some refreshing tunes. Finding a parking spot was an even greater ordeal today, so we all got ready for a nice hike. Nobody said metal was for pussies.
We got on site when Lez Zeppelin were raising hell on the main stage, an all female outfit playing classic Zep. There are worse ways to start of your Saturday morning.
We were all the more enticed however with Sub Rosa, an American troupe that also consisted mainly of women. Their atmospheric, moody music was the perfect tone to wash away the dust of the previous day.
Time to get heavy at the Altar. Like yesterday it was the ideal stage for good old school death metal with the mighty doom death of Incantation being a personal favorite. There were however, more than enough reasons to stick around with Pungent Stench and Gorguts. The undisputed Kings of the Altar stage were, however, Nile, who played a majestic set with a crystal clear sound that did not muffle their complex arrangements. This is something that can be said for the whole festival in general. The sound from the various stages was pristine and powerful, something not easily accomplished on an outdoor happening like this. Therefore, raise your hands for the technicians for a job well done.
Despite there being around 53 bands to witness across 5 stages every day, there was still plenty of other stuff to enjoy at Hellfest. For instance, you had the extreme market and various smaller merchandise stands that were beautifully stylized into the landscape. It’s also incredible how well the in house merch keeps selling out each year. By the second day pretty much most of the various shirts and trinkets had sold out already, including the notorious Hellfest handpuppet.
You can’t survive on music alone, therefore there were many exquisite meal stands that catered to every taste from vegan to full on BBQ. As Clisson is situated right at the heart of the Muscadet region, we took the opportunity; well several ones actually; to taste some of their fine, white Muscadet wine. A savory treat next to your average pint of lager.
But, we weren’t on a gastronomical weekend out, so back to the music. The temple was dedicated to the pagans today with many a folk metal turning the tent into a dance festival, heathen style. Relative newcomers, like Trollfest and Eluveitie stook shoulder to shoulder to old school veterans Skyclad. All this frolicking humour was lost however, on the bizarre depressing art of Niklas Kvarforth’s Shining and the po faced, yet blacker than black Gorgoroth.
The main stage took a turn for the melodic with some bonafide blasts from the past, starting out with Extreme. Even though they may be best known for the übercheesy ballad, “More Than Words”, they tried to get a bit rockier for the Hellfest audience.
Next up were a pair of distinguished dinosours in the shape of Status Quo. Even while being of a more than respectable age, these veterans proved they could still rock in front of a packed audience that pretty much knew the words to every tune.
A bit later Soulfy took the stage, outdoing even Sepultura in sheer brutality from the day before. Pretty funny to hear classics like “Roots Bloody Roots” two times in a row.
Aerosmith and Deep Purple had the honour to headline both main stages this evening while Carcass and Phil Anselmo with his Illegals destroyed the Altar and the Valley.
With the vertebrae of our necks firmly dislodged we headed back after a very successful day 2.