Hells Pleasure 2010
I found out that Hells Pleasure is a cool festival as I experienced the previous one so headed there again this year. Underground feeling, many similar minded people fueled with alcohol, cheap prices and dedication to good metal. Enough reasons to jump in. Of course one of the performers was this heavy rain but it’s festival, take it or leave it, I’ll take it anyway. The first night there were no bands, just people meeting each other and listenining to metal that DJ played. And sure people were drinking alcohol. I was not in the mood but what can you do if a strong horde of maniacs are doing this around you? So finally I ended up drunk and woke up sometime on Friday.
Approximately awake I headed up to see bands in the next morning. Thanks for drinking last night the first band I witnessed was Grave Miasma. To my ears there hasn’t been that many quality bands coming from the island that gave birth to metal in a long time. From my friends I heard I should definitely check them and checked I did, and I liked what was there on the stage. Very dark death metal with a lot of black metal here and there, or vice versa. The showmanship was full of black energy and was like the music itself, forceful. British soldiers with their blood covered faces did a good job. Crushing performance and I’m sure we’ll hear more of these guys.
In Solitude represented traditional metal on this fest and it was a good thing as I think all other bands were either death, black or doom metal. Very eighties sounding metal they play like other "new wave of swedish heavy metal" bands and some of the outfit in some cases could have been taken straight from the Heavy Load band pic. As being a fan of old metal I liked this one, nothing too impressive but earned their place in the festival if you ask me. They’ve listened their Maiden and Priest records and have this swedish touch in it, and it goes to their stage acting too. They can’t be from anywhere else. And it rained like hell but some booze made you at least feel a bit more dry.
Then Excoriate! Been waiting for this maybe more than I even realize. Knowing this band from the demo era it has been a long wait ’til their album was finally released, let alone for me to see them performing live. Actually the band split up long before the album saw the dark of night but luckily they agreed to play this gig despite all the problems they have. Best band so far, maybe best of them all! Now I fully understand why this band needs all their key members until they can do a gig. The vocals were from some abyss, reminded me of Martin van Drunen, John Tardy and the likes but in some way maybe even more twisted. On the stage it was a brutal black mass as they had candles, smoke, skulls etc. to make the show more effective. Total death!
Maniac Butcher was next on the bill. Not too familiar with their black metal but worth checking for I thought. Compared to the amazing list of other bands this one didn’t do so much for me, one reason being their place in the schedule between two bands that are hard to top. Visually the band looked black metal like the norwegian did in the past. Drunk or not but they surely have their moments, some parts were rolling very nicely. One more "new" band to check out from album.
Destroyer 666 is definitely one of the best bands there is today, and has always been. Death, black, thrash, epic, METAL – all parts work in an excellent way and the band have their own sound that is so good and original no one can reach that in their territory. And overall these days it’s rare to find original bands, let alone someone like D666 with their highly original metal, yet roots in the best offerings from the glorious past. Too bad the weather was destroying the overall feelings. Bass player Matt looked like a terrorist with the huge beard while raging the classy songs with the axe players. After this I left to rest to wake up ok the next day as there was more for me to offer then.
Trench Hell was the first act for me in this day II of the festival. Familiar name and interested in seeing them. Couldn’t imagine then how many times our paths crossed in the following days. They were just perfect opener for my head of hangöver, violent and aggressive thrash. Celtic Frost there, Razor here, uuuhhhh everywhere! Don’t know all the possible reasons why australian bands are always sounding so savage, mad, primitive and so on and this wasn’t any exception. Job well done and I began to feel alive.
Mourning Beloveth I missed some years ago at another festival so it was time to fix this mistake. Not really my kind of stuff and I’m sure it’s much better when being in some other mood than my state of mind at the time. Slow doomish metal with guttural vocals and not bad at all, just hard to follow this early. The songs were very long and I promised to myself to purchase their stuff as this was a very pleasant surprise.
Pentacle for me was one of the reasons I came here. Never seen them live and been into them for years. One of the greatest death metal acts for a long time now. Their death metal is recognizable and catchy and there’s old school thrown here and there and yet they have their own character. As this was the first time I saw them I don’t really know what to think or say. Good sure but maybe this hour opens for me even more when the time passes on. Next band October Tide I had to miss as even I gotta eat sometime. Hope to get a possibility to check them in another time.
It’s been some years since I last saw Repugnant and they’re for sure one of the best "new" bands in the death metal map. Similar situation to Excoriate as they’ve also disbanded some years ago and their first/last/only LP came out after that. Now it’s time for revenge with Mary Goore and his new troops of death. One thing that caught my eyes was the new haircut of the aforementioned man of horror. You get the point when I mention a band called Misfits. Music itself was as great as it has always been since the demo days. Death metal with all the good sides of the genre there. Loyal to the roots and still sounding pure Repugnant. Wellcome back, now just don’t quit again!
Count Raven served their doom next and it fit for me as now I don’t have to headbang that fast for a while. The audience was at first checking the band from more far away and that was quite weird looking but people found their way closer to stage during the gig. As the music of CR is pure doom with a certain traditional atmosphere it felt also majestic. The feeling was just so different when these guys played between two death metal bands. At least in the past there were hardly any bad doom metal band in existence and these swedes belong to the older generation which means quality, dedication and originality. Well, is it really possible to say originality in it’s full meaning when speaking of doom as it’s based to mostly old Black Sabbath. The day was turning into night which suited perfectly for the prophecies we heard from the stage.
Sadistic Intent is one of the best death metal bands, ever! They’ve been here longer time than almost anyone and they seem to never lose their quality. Darkness was present again which suited perfectly and the pyros were working on well and creating more sinister feeling. The words I could use to describe this hour would be death, doom, darkness and the likes. The atmosphere was just magical and I’m sure this was the most waited band for many in the audience. They filled all the expectations and hopefully next time I hear of them is their Second Coming LP which have been put on ice for quite a long time. Guys in the band looked like from Possessed circa ’86 which isn’t far at all from the truth.
Secrets of the Moon was again one of those bands I wasn’t that familiar before. This time it just clicked on me. Their black metal with a stage show from the time of the witch hunt was something that fitted to this moment perfectly. The contrast wasn’t so clear than with Count Raven stepping in after raw metal of death but this was different in other way. Their music had hypnotic elements and the night was in it’s darkest. there were people with cloaks, torches etc. to make the visual aspect very cool and together with the music they worked out great. Did I even see naked women there at some point???
Abysmal Grief was closing the day and the festival. And it’s a clever way to end a festival day like this as their music is doomy horror. After mostly fed with extreme metal attacking it’s time for metalheads to relax and feel the music more, just like the ending credits in latest Rambo movie after Stallone had killed an army or something like that. Wasn’t familiar with these guys either but kinda had a feeling they are good and as being italian they must possess this certain magic. I was right when assuming that as the first thing I realized was the stage with obscure lights and candles, making it look like there’s a ritual taking place at graveyard. Their show had horror that can be only created in Italy with gloomy keyboards haunting the air and chanting making the festival area a black mass. The feeling there when the last two bands played was giving the festival folks a needed break after hard time with hangovers and the weather. Sometimes after the final chord the DJ started to play his records and some went to pass out, some continued partying. At that point with all different feelings experienced in short time I don’t remember which group did I belong. Thanks for everything Hells Pleasure! I think we’ll meet next year!