Friday, 30 March 2012

Hellfest is happening

My original summer plan was to go to Wacken and Sonisphere. Generally over these two festivals, the bulk of my musical taste is catered for. There is always a band I want to see at another festival, but usually not enough to make me reconsider my entire summer plans. Then the Download Festival 2012 line-up was released and shit all over everything I had planned. I should stress by this I mean that it is an awesome line-up which continues to get better with each announcement. With works blessing, I moved my booked leave for Sonisphere to cover the dates for Download and purchased a weekend ticket. So then my plans were Download and Wacken and that really covers my tastes and I think there is very minimal crossover of bands. There was one big band that is in Europe at the time missing from both line-ups who I really want to see again, and that’s Edguy. Enter Hellfest.

Hellfest not only have Edguy, but they have a stunning overall line-up. I kept looking at the line-up and eventually decided that “I have to go”. It was too good to miss. I asked work to extend my June leave and I would repay the time in December (December Mike is going to be pissed off!) and after a fair bit of discussion – it has been approved and the ticket/travel has been purchased. So, the purposes of this blog will be to listen to something of every band and say whether or not I like them. I may say a few words about the band/act as well. I will do it stage by stage (rather than day by day) as the constant scrolling will just annoy me. Anyway, starting with Main Stage 1 (appropriately):

Megadeth – Didn’t expect to see these guys headlining but they are a good band. I will definitely watch them depending on clashes (Saw them at Sonisphere last year so not that urgent to see them again).
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Can’t wait to see these. I know it’s not even close to the original line-up anymore but much like Thin Lizzy, if they can still bring it live then why not tour under the name. Should be a lot of fun, especially Free Bird
Gotthard – Don’t know much by them but they sound a bit like Edguy. Power metal/hard rock style music – I’m pretty much always in favour of this.
Unisonic – From what I’ve heard they sound very good. I hear it is Michael Kiske’s first band since he left Helloween so for me this has a lot of potential.
Molly Hatchet – I know them because of a song I’m convinced was on Guitar Hero but I might be wrong. Anyway, they seem alright and well worth a watch.
Lizzy Borden – Again from what I’ve heard they seem alright.
Bukowski – Some of the riffs this band has at their disposal are just immense. Definitely worth seeing this lot.
Alpha Tiger – Not overly fussed on this lot but whatever, I’ll give them the time of day if there is nothing else on.
Guns N’ Roses – This one interests me as I have no idea what time they’ll come on stage. I’m ok with them though as Hellfest appears to have a late licence. I’m seeing them in Manchester though so if I don’t see their whole set....oh well.
Within Temptation – Heard them do Ice Queen at Twickenham and saw them do 3 songs at Download 07. Would like to see a longer set of them.
Sebastian Bach – From what I’ve heard, his solo stuff sounds awesome. I am in favour of this booking as it is unlikely I will see him at Download.
Uriah Heep – These guys sound like they will be a great band to watch. Classic metal? Yes please!
Steel Panther – Big old meh bags! Death to all but metal = comical. The rest? S’ok I guess.
Crashdiet – They bored the shit out of me at Wacken. I don’t think I’ll give them another chance.
Kobra And The Lotus – Might give them a watch if nothing else is on!
Koritni – More hard rock goodness = fine by me.
Ozzy Osbourne & Friends – This one will be interesting as it is obviously in place of Black Sabbath playing all the festivals. As I will be seeing Black Sabbath the week before (and saw Ozzy last year), I won’t be heartbroken to miss this, but I will try to see what surprises there are in store.
Motley Crue – Download 2007 was epic beyond proportions. Sonisphere 2010 was really disappointing to the extent I left early to get a spot for Rammstein. Hellfest 2012? Well, let’s see what happens. Hopefully they won’t set fire to their stage show again.
Slash – Cheers Slash for playing Hellfest which allows me to see Prodigy at Download. You sure are a good egg.
Blue Oyster Cult – This set will be watched for two songs, and I am not ashamed to admit that I don’t know anymore. It will be great though.
Black Label Society – The more I listen to BLS, the more I don’t care for them. I should catch them once though so I’ll give it my patterned “if there’s nothing else on then I’ll watch it”
D-A-D – Not bothered about seeing these as they’ll be at Wacken. Probably will catch them once though
Girlschool – I need to see Girlschool. I’ve had so many chances and to my shame, I have never seen them.
Vanderbuyst – Listened to one song. I like it. Sounds like the sort of thing I’d like a festival.

Main Stage 2

King Diamond – Quite like what I’ve heard and this guy’s old band (Mercyful Fate) inspired Metallica. So I’m in favour.
Dropkick Murphys – This booking, much like the booking of Slash, allows me to miss them at Download to see someone else. Cheers Dropkicks!
Turbonegro – Not all that interested truth be told.
Heaven Shall Burn – I was so gutted that they weren’t doing the Portsmouth Rise To Remain gig that I didn’t go. I will catch these guys without a doubt.
The Bronx – A band who I’ve heard so many good things about, have enjoyed listening to previously but never seen. I should rectify this yeah?
Street Dogs – Saw these at Reading and they weren’t bad. I might go see someone else instead though.
Black Bomb A – I really quite like these so I’ll probably give them a watch.
Hamlet – I love some of the riffs I’ve heard from this band so I’ll probably give them a watch as well.
Betraying The Martyrs – Not bad at all!
Machine Head – A strong booking for any festival but seeing as they are at Download and Wacken, I may go see someone else.
Edguy – One of the main draws of the festival for me so yes, they will be watched without a doubt.
Exodus – Wacken 2008 – Awesome. Islington Academy 2009 – not so much. Got to see them
Sacred Reich – They are at both Wacken and Hellfest. I will likely watch them at both.
Death Angel – Another quality thrash band that I cannot wait to see.
Channel Zero – Another one of those bands that seems packed full of riffs. They sound really good.
Gama Bomb – Seem like a crazy thrash band in the same vein as Municipal Waste. It could be a fun watch for a minute or two though.
Suicidal Angels – More thrash is not necessarily a bad thing. It could be worth a watch.
Lamb of God – Absolutely quality band and its cool to see they are headlining a stage.
Trivium – After their set at Wacken last year, I can’t wait to see them again. Be it at Download or Hellfest (or both!)
Hatebreed – Wouldn’t mind catching these after I missed the Wedgewood Rooms gig due to illness.
Devildriver – Download, Soton headline show and Hellfest. That makes up for not seeing them since 2007 right?
Walls of Jericho – Not opposed to some more hardcore. It is nice that a lot of the similar genres have been put on the same stage, but that stage alternates with another so you get a blend of styles.
August Burns Red – Not heard much by them but I really like what I have heard.
All Shall Perish – I really dug these guys the first time I heard them but having gone back recently, not so much.
Do Or Die – Really enjoy what I’ve heard so far. Definitely would like to watch them.
L’Esprit Du Clan – Can’t make my mind up on this lot. Might give them a watch. We’ll see.

Summary – I want to see most of the bands on the two main stages which overall shows the strength of the line-up when it comes to my likes and dislikes of music. There is a fair bit of overlap with other festivals I am going to but there is also a good number of bands who I would only get to see at Hellfest. Plus, they have Edguy. Awesome.

The Altar

Cannibal Corpse – They are one of those annoying bands who played a really intimate gig in Portsmouth when I didn’t like them, and now I am favourable to them, they are never in this country! I will give them a watch if the clash is not hideous.
Obituary – I seem to recall being relatively bored by this band at Wacken 2008. I’ll give them another go though if time allows.
Brujeria – I’m informed this is a death metal all-star band. Musically they are alright though so again, if there is time.
Nasum – I’m not crazy about them, so I’m inclined to say that I won’t be seeing them.
Vomitory – Not bad as far as death metal goes. Could be worth a watch.
Unexpect – I don’t even know where to start with these. I feel like this would be the soundtrack to a nightmare about clowns. I don’t know how that is relevant. Moving on...
Benediction – Think I’ve listened to these before this writing but not very often. I like what I am hearing now though.
Benighted – This band are not for me.
Trepalium – They aren’t bad. I guess if nothing else is on then I could give them a watch.
Entombed – Not bad at all. Definitely the same situation as Cannibal Corpse though as they are the headliner. If there is not a bad clash then they could be watched.
Napalm Death – I think they would likely lose a clash but it depends who with, as they are at Wacken.
Aborted – Random fact, on an episode of the RRP, I pretended like I was going to play the new Panic At The Disco single and played an Aborted song. Anyway, I don’t like Aborted so won’t be seeing them.
Origin – I don’t think Origin are for me.
Necrophaglia – Quite like what I’ve heard from this band. Could be worth a watch.
Avulsed – That would be a no.
Haemorrhage – That would be a no.
Rompeprop – That would also be a no.
Jesus Crost – Looks like I won’t be visiting this stage much on the Saturday!
Children of Bodom – Wouldn’t mind seeing Bodom again. I haven’t seen them since 2008. They are a headliner though and likely to be up against some stiff competition, especially on the Sunday.
Suffocation – I’m gonna say no to these.
Lock Up – Really wouldn’t mind seeing these live.
Brutal Truth – Didn’t really like what I heard there.
Insomnium – Not bad at all. Will try and see them here or at Wacken.
Dying Fetus – One of those that fall into the category or “if there was nothing else on”. And I mean literally nothing else!
Blood Red Throne – Wouldn’t mind catching a bit of their set if there is no clash.
Hour of Penance – Not bad I guess. Probably not one I will catch truth be told.
Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition – And that’ll be a no.

The Temple

Amon Amarth – Probably won’t watch these at Hellfest as they are one of the bigger bands at Wacken, but if I have my compass set correctly, they are going to be in a tent at Hellfest, which certainly has its appeal.
Satyricon – I really like what I’ve heard of these guys. Had the chance to see them before and missed them so if it comes up again, will have to at least try and see them.
Moonsorrow – Not bad at all. If there is a chance to see them, I might just.
Taake – Now this is black metal that I like. Will have to try and see this lot.
Darkspace – I think something was raping my ears when I was listening to Darkspace. It could be the music but that is unconfirmed.
Endstille – Not a fan. Sound too much like fucking Mayhem for my liking!
Solstafir – Had a quick flick through their stuff and there was nothing that inspired me.
Belenos – Not a fan really.
Merrimack – Not that bad.
Behemoth – I just can’t get into Behemoth. Maybe I should see them and see if that helps.
In Extremo – These guys sound really good.
Enslaved – Not a fan of this band.
Shining – I would say it depends which Shining it is playing, but I’m not a fan of either so it doesn’t really matter.
Djerv – From what I’ve heard, they are fairly good.
Ascension – Power metal? Didn’t expect that on this stage. Quite a good band.
Necros Christos – They aren’t awful (I found myself listening to quite a bit of them while nonchalantly flicking through a magazine while writing). Could go and see them if the times work.
Oranssi Pazuzu – Very mixed feelings about this band so will probably not bother seeing them.
Glorior Belli – Not really a fan so probably won’t see them.
Dimmu Borgir – Would love to see these at Hellfest but chances are I will catch their Orchestra show at Wacken. Again though, the idea of seeing them in a tent is very tempting.
Arcturus – I’m really quite interested in this band. Black metal with clean vocals. Shall do what I can to see them. A lot on at the time though I want to see! Hmm...
Ihsahn – Really enjoying what I’m listening to. Another possible clash ahoy!
Vulture Industries – Not bad at all.
Anaal Nathrakh – Never really liked them before this listen. I still don’t care for them much. Odd really as it’s the same vocalist as in Benediction.
Forgotten Tomb – Pretty good stuff from this band. I am liking it.
Liturgy – I don’t think they are for me.
Winterfylleth – Listened to them after they were announced for Wacken. I’m not doing it again!
Aosoth – Not....awful. Probably won’t see them though.

Summary – There is quite a few bands here who will potentially cause some really nasty clashes with the two main stages (especially on the Sunday). But there is a great deal on the two stages here that I don’t care for, which is handy at a festival.

The Warzone

Tragedy – Really like what I’m hearing here. Another headliner I like....oh joy!
From Ashes Rise – Not bad at all.
Arson Anthem – Yeah they aren’t for me at all.
Integrity – They are alright.
Discharge – I really like what I’m hearing from this band.
Victims – Sounds absolutely quality!
Vitamin X – Not bad at all. They are one of those bands with really short songs though which I’m not a fan of.
Extinction of Mankind – Didn’t really dig what I was listening to.
Strong as Ten – Maybe I’m being dumb, but I literally cannot find owt about this band. Oh well.
Refused – I really like this band and I have to do what I can to see them.
Darkest Hour – These guys are playing Wacken so if I am going to see them, it’ll likely be there.
Unearth – Quality band. Will try to see them but again they are at Wacken.
Dog Eat Dog – Well this is different! Good, but different!
Cancer Bats – I love these guys, but chances are I’ll miss them at this festival.
October File – I really like what I am hearing here
Emmure – Not a massive fan of these.
As They Burn – Not bad at all.
The Rodeo Idiot Machine – Can’t find anything about this band either. What year is this?!
Biohazard – Really quite like this band, but I am still annoyed they cancelled their Portsmouth date and never rearranged. Furthermore, they are a Sunday headliner. Good luck with that one!
Madball – They are really quite good.
The Spudmonsters – Certainly enjoyable that’s for sure.
Evergreen Terrace – Another really good band. What are the odds that all the best bands that I’d never listened to before would all be on the Sunday? #cheers
H2O – Another fairly good band.
Death Before Dishonour – Jesus Christ another quality hardcore band at Hellfest. Me likey!
Hoods – Not bad at all
All For Nothing – This stage is really quite good it would seem.
Lasting Values – Another quality band.

Summary – Well, this stage has caused me some real problems. There are going to be some horrible clashes. It was always going to be the way when there are 6 stages but that realisation doesn’t make it any easier. Anyway, let’s look at the 6th and final stage that Hellfest has on offer this time around.

The Valley

Hank 3 – I really don’t know where to begin. I’m not really into country music as a rule.
Colour Haze – Really quite relaxing but not my idea of a good festival band.
Orange Goblin – How have I still not seen this band?! Argh!
The Atomic Bitchwax – I really like what I’m hearing here.
Brain Police – Another quality band. I am really liking these.
Thou – I’m not sure I’m listening to the right band here, so I have no real comment to add.
Doomriders – Another band that are really quite good.
Celeste – Not bad although I can’t see me going to see them.
Saint Vitus – Really quite catchy this. You know, based on their logo I expected black metal. Never judge a book by its cover etc...
The Devils Blood – I’ve got nothing.
Yob – I’ve got nothing again
Unsane – I really like the small bits I’ve heard of this band.
Ufomammut – Not that bad. Not that good in my opinion though.
Big Business – I’m going to say not for me.
Amenra – Can’t see me going out my way for these.
ASG – Awesome stuff this
Dyse – They’re ok. Not amazing though
Sunn O))) – Not a massive fan. Or indeed a fan for that matter
The Obsessed – Really liking this stuff.
Pentagram – They’re ok but I won’t be watching them.
Dusk – I’ve got nothing
Acid King – This is the type of doom I’m not really into.
Monkey 3 – Same again, not really into this.
Alcest – Not bad at all
Year of No Light – They’re alright I guess
Abysse – I’ve got nothing

Summary – Again there is some stuff on this stage that I would love to see. Obviously I won’t be able to know who I can and can’t see until the times are released but there is more on this stage that I don’t care for than that I do care for, which at this stage is quite handy.

Well, what a line-up this is eh? I can’t wait to go. Overall count for bands I want to see is as follows:
Friday - 29
Saturday - 17
Sunday – 27

I think I may have some clashes to work out!

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