Crushing news for the summer festival season in Europe, as France’s legendary Hellfest, has been canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The festival announced today it was unable to host the festival, which takes place in Clisson, France, outside of Paris. Hellfest 2021 is already announced for next summer. The 2020 edition was to have had Faith No More, and Down will be joined by Deftones, System Of A Down, Incubus, Korn, Mastodon, Opeth, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, The Offspring, Infectious Grooves, The Darkness, Obituary, Death DTA (the Death tribute featuring members of Death), At The Gates, Entombed AD, Sacred Reich, Devin Townsend, Meshuggah, The Black Dahlia Murder, Dying Fetus, Misery Index, Mayhem, Abbath, Rotting Christ, Primordial, The Great Old Ones, Wardruna, The Hu, Taake, Watain, Alcest, Borknagar, Gaahl’s Wyrd, Electric Wizard, Baroness, Om, Witchcraft, Black Mountain, Elder, ASG, Envy, Mono, John Garcia & the Band of Gold, High On Fire, Pelican, Killing Joke, Perturbator, Life of Agony, 3TEETH, Inter Arma, Body Count, Suicidal Tendencies, Youth of Today, Slapshot, Jesus Piece, Higher Power, Social Distortion, Anti-Flag, Agnostic Front, Reverend Horton Heat, Grade 2, Code Orange, and more. Dumb and Dumbest Podcast had an episode dedicated to the fest last summer. Continue reading
Hellfest has announced its 15th-anniversary lineup for summer 2020, and it looks like a dream! Already announced Faith No More, and Down will be joined by Deftones, System Of A Down, Incubus, Korn, Mastodon, Opeth, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, The Offspring, Infectious Grooves, The Darkness, Obituary, Death DTA (the Death tribute featuring members of Death), At The Gates, Entombed AD, Sacred Reich, Devin Townsend, Meshuggah, The Black Dahlia Murder, Dying Fetus, Misery Index, Mayhem, Abbath, Rotting Christ, Primordial, The Great Old Ones, Wardruna, The Hu, Taake, Watain, Alcest, Borknagar, Gaahl’s Wyrd, Electric Wizard, Baroness, Om, Witchcraft, Black Mountain, Elder, ASG, Envy, Mono, John Garcia & the Band of Gold, High On Fire, Pelican, Killing Joke, Perturbator, Life of Agony, 3TEETH, Inter Arma, Body Count, Suicidal Tendencies, Youth of Today, Slapshot, Jesus Piece, Higher Power, Social Distortion, Anti-Flag, Agnostic Front, Reverend Horton Heat, Grade 2, Code Orange, and many more. Hellfest takes place June 19-21 in Clisson, France near Paris and ticket info is coming soon! Continue reading
Brutal Assault 2019 has added another bunch of bands for the next edition of the festival! New bands added include Parkway Drive, Azusa, Nordjevel, Combichrist, Caspian, Violent Magic Orchestra, Caspian, Déluge, Frog Leap, and Hexis. the bill with more to come. One-hundred and thirty bands will play in the ancient and legendary Josefov Fortress castle on four stages all weekend from 7 -10 August 2019. The full list of bands so far can be seen below and tickets are on sale now from the event page.
Brutal Assault 2019 has added another bunch of bands for the next edition of the festival Soilwork, Monster Magnet, Triumph of Death, Coven, Demolition Hammer, Wall Of Jericho, The Arson Project, The Contortionist, Vampilla, and Skeletal Remains to join the bill with more to come. One-hundred and thirty bands will play in the ancient and legendary Josefov Fortress castle on four stages all weekend from 7 -10 August 2019. The full list of bands so far can be seen below and tickets are on sale now from the event page.
Brutal Assault 2019 has added another badass batch of bands for the next edition of the festival. Joining an incredible bill that already features greats such as Dimmu Borgir, Godflesh, Anthrax, Meshuggah, Carcass, Sacred Reich, and Carpenter Brut, new additions to the fest include Sodom, Sick Of It All, Therion, EyeHateGod, Gost, Wormed, and Vulvodynia. One-hundred and thirty bands will play in the ancient and legendary Josefov Fortress castle on four stages all weekend from 7 -10 August 2019. The full list of bands so far can be seen below and tickets are on sale now from the event page. Continue reading
Brutal Assault Festival 2019 continues to gain steam, as they recently added Voivod, Violator, Dr. Living Dead, Slapshot, Ensiferum, Decapitated, Animals as Leaders, Car Bomb, Letters From The Colony and Zuriaake to the bill. One-hundred and thirty bands will play in the ancient and legendary Josefov Fortress castle on four stages all weekend from 7 -10 August 2019. Already booked are legends and future legends like Dimmu Borgir, Godflesh, Anthrax, Meshuggah, Carcass, Sacred Reich, Carpenter Brut, Iron Reagan, Venom Prison, Thy Art Is Murder, Prong, Alien Weaponry, Deicide, Cult Of Luna, Get The Shot, Daughters and many more. The full list so far can be seen below and tickets are on sale now from the event page.
This Is Hardcore Festival has just announced the lineup for this year’s festival, and it’s unbelievably awesome. Continue reading
Celtic influenced punk rock pioneers Dropkick Murphys have booked dates for their 20th Anniversary Tour for 2016. The run of dates culminating their annual week of shows in their hometown Boston area. For those shows the openers will be punk legends Slapshot, Fenian Sons, and a surprise guest to be named later. Tickets are on sale now from The Dropkicks website, www DropkickMurphys com
Dropkick Murphys 20th Anniversary Tour Dates for 2016
Feb 18: House Of Blues – Cleveland, OH
Feb 19: Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL
Feb 20: Myth Live – St Paul, MN
Feb 21: Orpheum Theater – Madison, WI
Feb 23: The Pageant- St Louis, MO
Feb 24: New Daisy Theatre – Memphis, TN
Feb 26: House Of Blues- Dallas, TX
Feb 27: Stubb’s – Austin, TX
Feb 28: Civic Theatre – New Orleans, LA
Feb 29: House Of Blues – Houston, TX
Mar 02: Marathon Music Works – Nashville, TN
Mar 03: The Fillmore – Charlotte, NC
Mar 04: The Ritz – Raleigh, NC
Mar 05: The Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
Mar 06: Bogart’s – Cincinnati, OH
Mar 08: Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA
Mar 09: Webster Hall – New York, NY
Mar 10: Webster Hall – New York, NY
Mar 11: Mohegan Sun Arena – Uncasville, CT
Mar 12: RFK Stadium (Shamrock Fest) – Washington, DC
Mar 13: Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA
Mar 17: Venue TBA * – Boston, MA
Mar 18: Venue TBA * – Boston, MA
Mar 19: Agganis Arena with House Of Blues Afterparty ** – Boston, MA
Mar 20: Venue TBA * – Boston, MA
* Openers to be announced
** Slapshot, surprise guest and Fenian Sons open
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Nursing a wicked bangover from the first night, I was already in scramble mode when I got to the venue for day two. We got there in time to hear the last strains of Carnivora, a top local death metal prospect. These guys definitely deserve your attention. Next up on the main stage was Black Crown Initiate, who are on their stint on the Metal Alliance Tour, opening for Behemoth. It’s too bad the festival environment had them playing this early because they are amazing. Their blend of Meshuggah tech riffs and Opeth-ian prog is going to take them very, very far. Taking a short break to run around and do some other Ghost Cult business, the next band I saw was Reflections. They were slightly better stage presence-wise than the flat showing I saw earlier this year, but their music still puts me to sleep.
The shame of alternating stages is the overlap of certain bands. While I really wanted to see Warhound, Lifeless, and especially Born Low upstairs, they were playing opposite better bands on the main stage. Inquisition was highly anticipated by the crowd that had filled up considerably by now. It was almost a nighttime atmosphere for the show as Dagon and Incubus took the stage in a cloud of red lights and smoke. People were literally losing their shit, and it was a great thing to see a lot of people I chatted with seeing this band for the first time. A lot of people donned the corpse paint in tribute to this band and others we saw on this day, which was pretty funny in an un-ironic way. Their best song and my personal favorite song they played was ‘Command of the Black Crown’. A true mix of true kvlt black metal influences, modern sensibility and sonics. For a change of pace, the maulers in Fit For An Autopsy took the main stage next and slayed. Immediately noticeable is the change over from former front man Nate Johnson to the new guy Greg Wilburn (The Devastated). Greg is a beast of vocalist and has far better stage presence than Johnson, giving this already good band a real shot in the arm. They are a fan favorite at the Palladium so the pit was very active for them. I Declare War had to follow them and it was an embarrassment by comparison to FFAO.
Staying in the big room for 1349, I don’t think fans were prepared for the mind-blowing performance we were about to see. It’s always the bands that don’t tour a lot that surprise you at these things. Positively evil and putting forth a great set, 1349 were one of the standouts of the weekend. Not to be out done in the showmanship, Goatwhore does what they usually do when they come to town, audio live carnage. Rev. Ben Falgoust might prefer the intimacy of the smaller stage, such as when they played the fest last year on the upstairs stage, with all the people raging in his face, but they belong on the more worthy platform. They flat out owned the main stage. Playing their hits like “Alchemy of the Black Sun Cult” and ‘Apocalyptic Havoc’ as well as a new song, that, also crushed; they ruled all. It’s gonna be a good summer when that new album drops from Metal Blade.
With more running around to do and needing to get a primo spot to see Slapshot close the main stage, I only caught a glimpse of Within The Ruins, Carnifex, and Thy Art is Murder each, with the latter getting the best response from the crowd. With the fest in full swing- it was cool to see some of the metal band people just hanging out at fest, even if they were not playing. Among those I ran into: Dave Davidson and the Revocation guys, Tony from Vital Remains, Adam from Mongrel, and Jayson Keyser of Origin. I also chatted with actor Brian O’Halloran of Clerks fame who was participating in the Rock And Shock Festival sponsored signings along with horror writer Joe “Zombie Bukkake” Knepper. Brian told me he loves to people watch at metal shows, much more than the bands.
As we were grinding toward the end of the second day I steadied myself for the last few hours with some communal drinking at the bar, which I rarely do at shows anymore. After catching the last half of an excellent set by Cruel Hand, it was time for Slapshot. Slapshot put on a show that put bands half their age to shame. It’s not just about the classic tracks that gets everyone excited, it’s the true spirit of hardcore they embody. There were some pit dancers having fun, and surely some violence going down, but none of the nonsense that pervades the scene at times. No gang BS, even though I suppose there were those types around. From my vantage point in the balcony, keeping my old ass safe and sound, I watched one of my buddies, Anderson Moura, right up at the front, just going nuts the entire time. The Slapshot set was a thing of beauty to behold.
Finally done with the second stage I cooled my heels a bit and chilled out as I watched The Acacia Strain and Whitechapel as the penultimate acts of the day. Their respective fans went bonkers. I have seen each band, together and co-headline this venue cause total chaos with the whole floor as a non-stop violent pit of death. Both bands have their respective fans who love each bands take on meat and potatoes death core. The Acacia Strain is literally from “down the block” as Vincent Bennett likes to say, just a few towns over. They often feel like a headliner, even when they are not last on the bill. Whitechapel on the strength of their brand new album, Our Endless War (Metal Blade) played their “hits” and a few new cuts. With a bigger set and staging than ever before, they are definitely trying to step up into a bigger realm. They are knocking on the door of something really big, so I hope more than just casual fans pick up on it.
Finally it was time for the most anticipated band of the weekend to play. Behemoth had already made a grand return to this venue a few years ago, but this was a lot different. On the strength of The Satanist (Metal Blade), the band has never been more popular. Although some fans gripe about the bands new-found “it band” status, the quality of The Satanist attests to the fact that they are are not going any softer. They seem to be a band everyone likes universally, sort of a modern Slayer, without the drama. This can be further proved by the impressive performance they put down.
And what a show it was! Behemoth always had a flair for the dramatic, be it their make-up, masks or cool lighting, but they have reached a new zenith of quality now. They have achieved the perfect blend of theatricality and their black metal influenced -death metal (however commercially acceptable). Their set list was an impeccable blend of old-school classics and new material. Each song was acted out, as much as it was performed, with calculated introductions and interludes. Nergal spoke little to the crowd, other than some pleasantries, and it added to the drama and mood. This was a ground breaking, avant-garde inspired moment for this band, and this genre as a whole. Nothing will ever be the same again. Every band will have to be compared against what Behemoth is doing now and it won’t be fair. They were already a great band, but now they are all-time greats.
Behemoth Set List:
Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel
Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
Slaves Shall Serve
Christians to the Lions
Ov Fire and the Void
Alas, Lord Is Upon Me
At the Left Hand ov God
Chant for Ezkaton 2000
O Father O Satan O Sun!
WORDS: KEITH CHACHKES