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Tags: Hellfest, Nick_Malone, Drew_EMK, Emperor, Urfaust, Mgla, Satan, Solstafir, Powerwolf, Satan's_Satyrs, Death_To_All, Low_Down, Clisson

Denim and Leather - Hellfest 2014 Preview

It's now only three weeks until we'll be heading to sunny Clisson for this year's Hellfest Open Air, and frankly we can't contain ourselves with excitement. As usual there's a host of acts to sink your teeth into from right accross the genres of rock and metal with plenty to please even the whiniest of keyboard warriors out there. Obviously the likes of Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath heading things up on the main stage don't need any introduction and we aren't planning on giving them one. Instead we've put together a preview of the bands we're most looking forward to seeing from the rest of the bill. Naturally, talking about everyone we're going to watch this year would likely break the internet, so we've tried to keep it brief. Enjoy.

Gracing the second main stage on Sunday is recently reunited Norwegian Black Metal Legends Emperor, celebrating 20 Years of their classic debut album In The Nightside Eclipse. The familiar duo of Ihsahn and Samoath have both played Hellfest in previous years with their post Emperor projects Ihsahn & Zyklon respectivelyand will be joined by Notorious drummer Bard Faust for the first time since his incarceration in 1994. Expect the band to draw heavily from their debut album aswell as some choice cuts from their later 3 releases. Since Emperor are only playing a few exclusive festival appearances this year they're certainly not to be missed, even at the expense of the amazing Vreid “Sognametal” Windir tribute which is unfortunately scheduled to be on at the same time on the Temple Stage. 

“For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.”- Friedrich Nietzsche. Advice that was certainly taken onboard by Holland’s most intoxicated Black Metallers Urfaust with their style that relys heavily on utilizing clean vocals and dark ambient elements to create a ritualistic atmosphere. With 3 full length albums to their name aswell as a number of Ep’s and split releases with a variety of bands including other hellfest performers The Ruins of Beverast (Also playing the same day), they have a wealth of material to draw upon for their afternoon spot on the most unholy of Sundays on the Temple Stage. Praise intoxication!


Living up to your own hype after over twenty years absent of releases is something that rarely, if ever, is pulled off in heavy metal. Enter Satan with Life Sentence. Even listening with high expectations, this album blows you away from the word go with a fistful of raw, breakneck NWOBHM that is as addictive as it is sincere. Choosing not to overcomplicate things and go back to basics, Life Sentence is no clash of egos or musical indifference, but simply a bunch of mates hashing out some brilliant 80s metal. The fact that it blends so well with their classic release Court in the Act should make for a performance as throwback as it is refreshing, and they'll be tearing up the main stage on Friday afternoon.

Next up are Polish Underground Metal stalwarts Mgla performing on Friday night. Gracing Hellfest's Temple stage with their masked ritual and combining a haunting sense of melody with a hypnotic riff structure, Krakow’s finest are surely not to be missed by anyone into the darker end of the metal spectrum. Formed in 2005 and after releasing a string of Eps and Splits as well as 2 studio albums the band decided they will enter the realms of live performance and have made quite the impression with a string of recent performances across Europe. Playing Hellfest for the first time these masked poles are sure to produce one of the finest Black Metal rituals the Temple stage has ever seen.

Death to All

Like the Roman God Janus, metal is a genre that despite always looking forward always keeps an eye on the past. Many fans not getting to see legends of the past due to internal conflicts or in the unfortunate case of Death- the passing of frontman, songwriter and all around mastermind Chuck Schuldiner in 2001 certainly had a massive impact on the extreme metal scene and with legions of fans either not having the chance or not being able to witness the band former members have joined together to for the ‘Death to All’ to celebrate the life and music of Chuck. Having received rave reviews across Europe and North America the ‘Death To All’ tour is set to hit European festivals and certainly isn’t to be missed with a set covering the early raw death Metal to the technical masterpieces at the end of Death’s legendary releases.


Being that Powerwolf are by no means Germany’s biggest power metal band, let alone one of the biggest heavy metal bands in general, gaining the number 1 album slot  last year was a huge triumph. Thanks in no small part to the rise of bands like Ghost and the triumphant return of King Diamond, the anti catholic/christian subject matter is very much ‘in’ right now, and Powerwolf's intoxicating spin on this helped towards this feat I'm sure. Regardless of this though, Preachers of the Night is an absolute triumph in it's own right and sees the band five albums in and making their first ever appearence at Hellfest this year. With their extremely unique take on the power metal genre, whether you're into Romanian werewolf anthems, corpse paint clad vampire legends, or just love a good chant,

get over to main stage 2 on Sunday for a poWOLFul time. See what I did there?..

Satan's Satyrs

With the heaviness of metal, the buzzing energy of punk, and the fuzzed out howl of sixties biker rock, Satan's Satyrs burst onto the scene with their highly individual and critically acclaimed 2012 album Wild Beyond Belief. Channelling the greater powers of America's hardest bands of the 60s and with a string of successful shows across Europe & the US under their belt, including a highly praised performance at the stoned mecca that is Roadburn Festival in Holland, Satan's Satyrs are sure to lay waste and leave the Valley stage in their Tyre Smoke on Sunday.

Formed by three friends in 1995 in the capital city of Reykjavik, Iceland’s Sólstafir are as difficult to define as they are not to fall in love with, and 2011's release of Svartir Sandar saw them really start to gain the recognition and success that they deserve with glowing reviews all round, including a few Album of the Year awards in top publications, high chart positions in Iceland and Finland and even a number one single in the former, their native Iceland, for the mesmerisingly beautiful ‘Fjara’. Tracks like ‘Fjara’ are what take Sólstafir out of the heavy metal sub-genre category and into their own etheric plane that can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life, but the rest of their work, although still easily accessible to outsiders, maintains a Primordial-like sound that still gives them a place to call home in the heavy metal community. Head to The Temple on Sunday to caught by their allure. 

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