Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
Photography by Tess Donohoe
It may be some people’s epitome of hell, Michael Buble fans I’m looking at you, but for the metal/rock community Hellfest’s towering gateway looks positively pearly. This year’s line-up is so jam-packed that I was looking for the little glass jars and labels. You’d make a fortune if you could bottle any number of the diverse scope of bands on the bill, with the riffs left in natch, but I’d like them to play their sets first.
Once inside that gateway the layout is much the same as last year, and that isn’t meant in a well-they-clearly-couldn’t-be-arsed sense, because Hellfest could teach most others a thing or 20 on how to put together a fan-friendly festival. Except when it comes to the number of toilets on site that is.
Whilst the Hellfest tree still dominates in its stark simplicity, the hidden beer gardens have gained a snazzy gateway of their own, which invites you into the woodlands. Instead of a fairytale monster at the end of the path though, you’ll find a winebar, which is win-win really. And at night the scrap-metal merch stands and bars still glow with their own rooftop fires.
Stage-wise we’ve got Main Stage 1 and 2, which continue their staggered times so that as one plays, the other sets up, and vice versa. The result is no waiting around for soundchecks or bands to start, just back-to-back bam-bam-bam metal. A similar set-up is in place at the Altar and the Temple, where you can find black metal, death metal and the like, then there’s the Valley which is home to the stoner and doom types, and the Warzone where the punk and hardcore drops.
Download Festival is known as one of the most exciting rock/metal festivals all over the world. It’s usually one of the first events to kick off the festival season and it never disappoints. For eleven years in a row, Download has booked some of the biggest names in rock and metal music scene and 2013 was no different. Three acts to headline the Download weekend of June 13th-15th included Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein. However, many other bands appeared on five different stages across the weekend and we were there to catch as many of them as possible. So we offer you to read about our Download 2013 adventures and see what you missed out on, if you weren’t there.
The excitement that kicks in once you arrive to the arena is inconceivable. You see first bands hitting the stage and thousands of heavy metal fans arriving and gathering together. The sun is shining and beer is flowing signalizing the beginning of one of the most exciting weekends of the year.
We’re at Download 2013. This is happening…
The first band we get to catch when arriving to the arena is Asking Alexandria. While the legendary Uriah Heep are performing on the Second (The Zippo Encore) stage. It’s an easy decision, so we quickly pass the Main stage to kick off our Download 2013 with some good old “Easy Livin’”.
Uriah Heep put on a great show and it’s a pleasure to be watching such a classic band still going strong. They’re still sounding tight and perform some of their greatest tunes they’ve ever written, like “Sunrise,” “Gypsy,” “Look at yourself” and, obviously, “Easy Livin’”.
After a great set by Uriah Heep, we head back to the Main Stage to see Papa Roach.
We wonder if there are still people out there that genuinely love this band, taking that their streak of luck happened quite a while ago. About a minute later our question is answered when we’re nearly swept off our feet by thousands of Papa Roach fans, running head over heels, just to fight their way through the crowd and get to the front of the stage. True story, ladies and gent. It was crazy.
Papa Roach set is everything you’d expect from it. It’s energetic, fun and a bit ridiculous when singer Jacoby Shaddix jumps off the stage to dive in the mud. …but that’s what you do when you’re at Download Festival, right?
Not everyone’s a fan of this band, but trust us on this one. When it comes to hits like “Between Angels and Insects,” “Scars” and “Last Resort,” not a single person in the audience is able to stand still.
After a good shot of energy delivered by Papa Roach, we head over to The Pepsi Max Stage to witness The Sword blast out some epic riffs in the best retro-metal manner. Coming all the way from Austin, Texas to perform material off their new album ‘Apocryphon’ and throw in some good old classics, like “Freya,” The Sword guys prove themselves as a great bunch of professionals that manage to sound live as great as they sound on the record.
Back to the Main Stage and it’s time to see Down.
Phil Anselmo and the boys have chosen to perform a great selection of tunes turning their set into an absolutely ripping performance. Songs like “Witchtripper,” “Lifer,” “Ghosts Along the Mississippi,” “Stone The Crow” and “Bury Me In Smoke” go down exceptionally well.
Best comments in-between songs and the funniest facial expressions delivered by the one and only Mr. Phil Anselmo; there is no stage too big for that man.
Next up on the main stage are Korn with a thrilling and rather challenging set, as they mix all the well-known classics with some fresh material off their latest album The Path Of Totality. Dub step inspired tracks, like “Narcissistic Cannibal” and “Get Up!” go down surprisingly well and the audience seems to be having a blast.
Songs like “Falling Away From Me,” “Coming Undone”, “Did My Time” and “Freak On A Leash” are sounding as powerful as ever and takes us on a sentimental trip back to the 1990’s when nu-metal and dreadlocks ruled the charts and were a part of every teenager’s life.
Next up on the Main Stage are Bullet For My Valentine.
Apologies to all their fans, but no, thank you.
We leave the Main stage to catch the upcoming and in-every-aspect-awesome-and-mind-blowing French trio The Algorithm. They’re on at The Red Bull Studios Stage and deliver a killer of a set. Songs like “Trojans” and “Access Granted” are the right party anthems to officially kick off this Friday night. As amusing it might seem to see hundreds of metal heads bounce around to electronic music mixed with proper metal breakdowns, it’s also incredibly satisfying to see so many people that seek variety in heavy metal genre and are here to support upcoming artists, like The Algorithm.
Just before it’s time to head to the Main stage for tonight’s headliners, we wander off to the Second Stage and catch a bit of Gogol Bordello’s on-stage shenanigans.
Bringing a full band of eight people with him, he puts on a show that’s as entertaining as hectic and chaotic. There’s a mad party happening on-stage and within the audience, as the band performs hits like “Wonderlust King,” “Break The Spell” and “Start Wearing Purple”.
Gogol Bordello is a gypsy punk band you must see if you’re familiar with or a fan of Eastern European and Russian culture, as hearing their music will make you want to down vodka, dance a little stupid and swear in Russian. What a band..!
After a nice day of watching lots of great bands and drinking beer with your mates, it seems that it doesn’t get any better than this, but just because we’re at Download, it does, in fact, get a lot better.
It’s Friday night at Download 2013 and 90’000 people are here in Donington Park to witness Slipknot headline the Main stage for the first time since 2009. The crowd is buzzing with excitement, as we prepare to be blown away by their performance.
Slipknot take the stage with an incredible amount of energy and they manage to own the crowd within seconds.
Opening their set with “Disasterpiece,” Slipknot manage to shake the grounds of Donington like a thunderstorm. Blasting out a hit after hit, they seem to have managed to put together a set list to please any kind of Slipknot fan. Classics like “Wait and Bleed,” “Dead Memories,” “Sulfur,” “Psychosocial” and “Duality”, which is dedicated to Paul Gray, really make the crowd go nuts.
There’s mosh-pits, circle-pits, crowd surfing and random human bodies flying around the place. The performance is stopped twice during songs “Before I Forget” and “Left Behind”, as the safety barrier in front of the stage collapses twice. It’s an absolute madness, but it’s also the best fun we’ve had in a long time.
The band appear to be in a great shape and are sounding superb. Corey Taylor’s vocal parts are sounding immense and Joey Jordison’s drumming is, as always, spectacular and a real entertainment to watch. Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan is a great entertainer, as she smacks the hell out of his percussions while spinning up in the air.
After finishing their set with “Spit it Out,” Slipknot return to stage for an encore of “(sic),” “People = Shit” and “Surfacing”.
The band really put their heart and soul into this performance and you would struggle to find a single member of the audience that was left unsatisfied.
SAXON and FOZZY announce North American “Sacrifice & Sin” tour
From Saxon: As we are winding down the European Festival season, it is time to begin preparations for our upcoming tour of US & Canada together with Fozzy this September. We would like You, The Fans to choose a set list for the North American tour – which means 12 songs plus 4 taken from the Sacrifice album, fans around the world are invited to take part but, we want to hear specifically from the North American fans who will attend the shows.
There will be prizes for the best three set list suggestions, who will each win a copy of the new Sacrifice album T-shirt. And for the Grand Prize winner; a VIP package, Sacrifice album CD and a T-shirt. Prizes will be available to pick up at one of the shows of your choice.
Post your list on the Saxon747 site or on Facebook.
The latest recordings from former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted’s new band, ‘Newsted’, which are debuting on the newest episode of Break Media’s hit web-series, ‘Man at Arms’ (on youtube.com/aweme). Newsted’s heavy metal pairs as background for the gritty series, which follows famous Hollywood blacksmith, Tony Swatton, as he builds real-life versions of iconic pop-culture (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Matrix, Spider-Man, etc…) weapons by hand. See the clip below for the latest episode featuring music from Newsted as Swatton recreates Wolverine’s claws.
German thrashers EXUMER have parted ways with guitarist H.K., who played his last show at the Bang Your Festival in Germany on July 13. The guitarist’s departure has been an amicable one and has left for solely personal reasons.
Vocalist Mem V. Stein comments: “We were sad to let H.K. go after touring with him for the past three years and recording our comeback album in 2011. However, the thrashing must go on and we already have found a session guitarists who will accompany us to South and North America for our upcoming tour dates there. We will try our best to fulfill all our touring obligations and find a permanent 2nd guitarist as soon as possible to ensure a band chemistry that will take EXUMER to the next level.” Read the rest of this entry »
SINNER, fronted by PRIMAL FEAR bassist Mat Sinner, recently entered the studio soon work on an album of re-recorded versions of the best songs from the band’s early years. The resulting collection, en titled “Touch Of Sin 2″ (in a nod to SINNER’s 1985 album, “Touch Of Sin”), will be released on August 30 in Europe and Septemebr 10 in North America via AFM Records.
According to RTL, Varg Vikernes (a.k.a. Count Grishnackh) — the BURZUM mastermind who served a Norwegian prison term for the August 1993 murder of MAYHEM guitarist Oystein Aarseth (a.k.a. Euronymous) — was arrested this morning (Tuesday, July) 16 near the town of Salon-la-Tour, a commune in the Corrèze department in central France, on suspicion of planning a “massacre.”
Vikernes, 40, who has been living on a French farm with his wife and three children, was picked up by the Direction Centrale du Renseignement Intérieur (Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence, DCRI), a French intelligence agency which reports directly to the Ministry of the Interior.
A search of Vikernes’ farm for weapons and explosives is currently underway. His wife, a French national and a member of a shooting club, recently legally purchased four rifles.
Openly racist, Varg on April 3, 2011 posted a statement in French on his web site calling for the French to vote for the National Front and describing Norway as “the last Soviet state in Europe.”
According to RTL, Vikernes was one 530 supporters to have received the manifesto of Anders Breivik, the man responsible for the July 2011 bomb attack in central Oslo, Norway and shooting rampage in Utøya island that resulted in the deaths of 77 people, many of them children. Breivik e-mailed the 1,518-page manifesto to his contacts hours before he set out on a murderous rampage.
An official at the anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office, which has been put in charge of the investigation, told Euronews: “[Vikernes receiving Breivik's manifesto] was at the origin of the investigation … There were several suspicions that made the services fear he could possibly carry out a violent act.”
New Episode Premieres on Tuesday, July 16th at 9/8 C, Featuring ROB ZOMBIE’s Newly Customized 1967 Ford F-100
Episode Filmed at San Bernardino, CA Kick-Off Date
As the kick-off date for San Bernardino, CA was ramping up and the fans were lining up, ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MAYHEM FESTIVAL main stage closing artist ROB ZOMBIE was doing a bit of heavy metal double tasking— filming behind-the-scenes for HISTORY®’s “Counting Cars” latest episode, in which the Count’s Kustoms crew delivers a custom macabre-style overhaul on Rob’s 1967 Ford F-100! The premiere episode, partially filmed on location at the ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MAYHEM FESTIVAL kick-off date, will air on Tuesday, July 16th at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central Time.
Although the crew at Las Vegas based Count’s Kustoms are not new to the game, the finished product was no small feat. HISTORY®’s “Counting Cars” star Danny “The Count” Koker and his crew had just seven days to work on the truck and deliver it to Rob at the San Bernardino, CA kick-off— a turnaround faster than they’ve ever experienced on any project. Starting on July 19th in Camden, NJ, ROB ZOMBIE’s 1967 Ford F-100 will be touring with the ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MAYHEM FESTIVAL.
Every “Counting Cars” episode features stories behind vintage vehicles, striking before-and-after transformations, and Danny “The Count” Koker’s relentless compulsion to find and flip the greatest rides of all time, at any cost.
In April, ROB ZOMBIE released his fifth solo album, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, the first release on his new label, Zodiac Swan, through T-Boy Records/UMe. The album debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200, and its second single, Zombie’s heavy-duty cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band,” has been No. 1 most added at Active Rock radio (BDS and Mediabase) for three consecutive weeks.
Make sure to check out ROB ZOMBIE’s custom ride at your local stop of the ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MAYHEM FESTIVAL. See below for all remaining tour dates:
Date City Venue
7/16 Mansfield, MA Comcast Center
7/17 Bangor, ME Bangor Waterfront
7/19 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
7/20 Saratoga Springs, NY SPAC
7/21 Hartford, CT The Comcast Theatre
7/23 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
7/24 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
7/26 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center
7/27 Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
7/28 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
7/30 Atlanta, GA Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
7/31 Tampa, FL Live Nation Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds
8/2 Austin, TX Austin360 Amphitheater
8/3 The Woodlands, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
8/4 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion
Artists performing this year not only include main stage metal and horror legend, festival closer ROB ZOMBIE, but in addition, the triple gold certified FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and a monster lineup that includes additional main stage bands MASTODON and AMON AMARTH. The festival area is led by stage closers CHILDREN OF BODOM and MACHINE HEAD as well as JOB FOR A COWBOY, EMMURE, BORN OF OSIRIS, MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, BUTCHER BABIES, BATTLECROSS, HUNTRESS, THROWN INTO EXILE, CITY IN THE SEA, ATTIKA7 and SCORPION CHILD.
Sponsors for the 2013 ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL include title sponsor ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK and stage sponsors JAGERMEISTER, MUSICIANS INSTITUTE, and SUMERIAN RECORDS. Festival sponsors include IBANEZ GUITARS, ZIPPO, METAL BLADE RECORDS, NAPALM RECORDS, SQUATCH SNACK STICKS, FUCK CANCER and KEEP A BREAST. Media partners include REVOLVER MAGAZINE and ZUUS MEDIA.
Fans can go to www.rockstarmayhemfest.com to keep up with additional details as they are released.
Witching Metal Ritual, the debut full-length from Austin, TX-based metallers WITCHES MARK is now available on Heaven and Hell Records.
To celebrate the release of this eight-track firestorm of trad-rooted pure metal mayhem, the band has locked horns with PureGrainAudio.com for a full album stream of Witching Metal Ritual. Push the volume knob to 666 and check it out at this location.
Survivors of the album stream are encouraged to check out an in-depth video interview with the band and Metal-Rules.com’s Carlos M. Llanas. Included in the post are live performances and the recently released video for the album’s title track, featuring Ross “The Boss’ Friedman (Manowar). Watch the interview and videos HERE.
Swedish heavy metal act RAM have just recently shot a video for the song “I Am The End” from their latest release, “Death.” Metal Blade Records has partnered with Revolver Magazine to premiere the video in North America.
“I Am The End” was directed by Martin Högdal, edited by Leonard Palmestål and written by Oscar Carlquist – the same team that worked on the “Flame Of The Tyrants” video. The song was written by Harry Granroth and Oscar Carlquist.
Oscar Carlquist comments on the video: “The ‘I Am The End’ video shows a completely different side of the cinematic vision of RAM than what we created in the ‘Flame Of The Tyrants’ video. This video displays a lot of esoteric aspects, and has many layers of symbolism that will not be seen at once. We thank everybody involved for their outstanding dedication to making flesh out of our disturbed visions.”
Fans can order “Death” and watch the video for “Flames Of The Tyrants” at metalblade.com/ram.
MORBID ANGEL To Play COVENANT In Its Entirety On Upcoming Tour
Tampa-based black/death metallers MORBID ANGEL have announced the 20th Anniversary Of Covenant – United States Tour 1993-2013. The tour celebrates the band’s biggest selling release, Covenant. In 1992, Morbid Angel signed to a major label Giant Records / Warner Brothers and Covenant was to be their first release on that label in the USA on June 22, 1993 and went on to garner great critical and commercial success.
On the 20th Anniversary Of Covenant – United States Tour 1993-2013 tour, the band will play the Covenant album in it’s entirety and after a short intermission some additional surprise classic cuts. Further, there will be special commemorative items produced exclusively for this tour.
Thanks to Emil Westerdahl at Inner Wound Recordings
Thanks to Inner Wound Recordings for the promo pictures of the band
I had the opportunity to talk with bandleader/mastermind/drummer Heleno Vale from the Brazilian heavy metal project Soulspell. Soulspell released their third album last year called HOLLOW’S GATHERING that ought to appeal to fans of heavy & power metal music. Featured guests on the album are Tim Owens, Blaze Bayley, Michael Vescera and Amanda Sommerville. Read more about the essence of Soulspell below. Read the rest of this entry »
Listening to the feel good, slick sounds of clutch without a beer in hand and relaxing sunshine is defiantly not what the crowd wanted off the cards tonight. Luckily for the Maryland four piece the weather has been glorious and the barrels have been flowing. As you entered the forum tonight a real sense of united community was seen within the crowd, as groups of families gathered by the merchandise stall and bar alike.
The long silence is over! We know many of you have wondered what’s become of THUNDERSTONE—some even declaring the band dead. Well, we aren’t dead yet! In fact, in the next four weeks, we will announce major news regarding the band here and on Twitter. Stay tuned every Friday and you’ll know what’s happening in the near future. Believe me, it’s going to be exciting stuff!