The second day was officially underway! A surprising amount of early birds pave the breakfast lines and the festival ambience with a familiar feeling. It feels like family vacation where you live everything just like at home. Everyone wakes up, some earlier than others, everyone heads to the showers and later drink the morning coffee alongside some nutritious foods.
With this amount of sleepy faces, you’re bound to see more people crashing and burning in dreamland at the Valley tent but then again, there’s no need for careless rush. That’s exactly where we were headed, just in time of catching Sweden’s own Monolord. No lullabies anymore, just sheer heavy duty doom riffs to embrace a well adjusted morning crowd that welcomed the three piece on stage. The burning heat hasn’t yet settled in but the burning skins all around adjusted immediately to the PA’s wind propulsion crafted by all the low’s in the band’s sound. Monolord is quite a special promise. They sound heavy, with a hint of modern, and dreamy to a point where closing your eyes and shifting your head back and forth might be the best reaction to their sound.
Black Rainbows, Monolord, Incendiary and Demilich
Later on we gave in, out of sheer hunger and curiosity, to the cashless system. Watching Oranssi Pazuzu with an empty stomach can be damaging to the body, so we rushed over to the cabines, charged the card and got on with the spending. The potato-beef burgers are divinely heavy and highly recommended if you like hefty but quick meals. The idea is solid and avoids hanging with physical money but then again, who doesn’t prefer keeping things simple? Onward to Oranssi Pazuzu. One could tell the anticipation over one of the most exciting black metal projects to birth out of the finnish lands. Oranssi craft things differently though, their territory complies to the extreme boundaries of black metal and it feels comfortable enough to drip itself in pedalboards, slow and muddy passages to reach total eargasm. Their last album Värähtelijä, was one of our favorites from 2016, and we were happy to have a chance to relive that album, once again. The sound seemed a bit off in the beginning and so did the band’s entire vibe. Maybe it was the daylight or the size of the stage with zero proximity with the crowd, but it was a difficult one to enjoy when only towards the end, we did see a band shaking and dancing along with the crowd. A shaky start but a tremendous ending.
The diversification of the Valley stage can divide some crowds. On one side, the doom purists defending the heavy presence of historic and promising projects, against the newer generations that vouch for weird, cathartic and orthodox new sounds that have been reaching fame in these last few years. Ho99o9, even though weighing more on the second team of that battle, is without a doubt, an interesting addition to the Hellfest roster. They mix in hip-hop, afro-beats, trap music with punk, industrial, metal and noise, in a really really wonderful, wholesome and quite satisfyingly chaotic way. It might sound like a totally off the fringe cocktail, but it works so well and they’ve had approval of so many relevant artists, that really no one can go wrong. Their set brought in total, sheer magnitude of presence and sound. In between technical drum parts, heavy bass lines and screeching bursts of energy, it would take a lot to keep the entire crowd in static motion. Give them a shot, you might just like them. I know I would definitely watch them again if I had the chance.
Oranssi Pazuzu, L7, Misþyrming and 1000mods
Deftones is a band everyone holds in quite a special place. They’ve been through hell in back in their younger days, and had to sustain a heavy blow with their old bassist Chi Cheng’s death, four years after a car accident. To see a band go through something like that, while finding some strength and courage to play music as a form of catharsis, makes us realize how similar Deftones’ purpose is to us all. Their entire show is emotional, from beginning to end. Carpenter’s tone is thick as all hell and Chino’s high pitch screams contrast so beautifully with his beautiful singing. Classics from their early albums like “My Own Summer (Shove It)”, “Digital Bath”, “Knife Party”, “7 Words” and “Engine No. 9” kept the Main Stage crowd in constant surrender to the band’s memorable set. Not one to easily forget, for sure. Speaking of catharsis, it’s almost midnight and there’s another special band waiting for us back at the Valley Stage. The sun is out, the cool summer night breeze bathes the lot of seamless drunks along in a sea of happy and joyful faces everywhere we look.
Deftones, Orange Goblin and Modern Life is War
Dead Cross, Cro-Mags and Watain
Neurosis seems like the appropriate way to dig in to a tiresome body and to welcome the soul in sheer spirituality. We’re not sure if the tent was overpopulated but the anticipation was noticeable among the numerous faces saving spots over 30 minutes before they started playing. They’ve been doing this for over 30 years, so the term “Veterans” is more than fair, they know what they’re doing. Opening with “Given To The Rising” just shows how good their show was. Those present know what the band is feeling, their complex and overlapping and extensive songwriting isn’t just about riffs and slow transitions. It’s pure chaos to the senses. Songs like “Burn” and “End Of Harvest” are just as emotional as they are heavy, but the really highlight goes to “Through Silver In Blood”, one of the bands most influential and genre defining tracks from their 90’s album with the same name. The percussion section towards the end shoveled each and every unconscious mind in the crowd to oblivion. The gasping faces on everyone’s face, should suffice to speak for itself.
The body is nearing its limitations, but somehow, someway, Hatebreed seemed unmissable. Unforgivable if dismissed. Rightfully so, the Warzone seemed like the most appropriate place to sharpshoot a packed place into a psychosis of adrenaline. The band’s famous take on metallic hardcore punctioned by motivational and life-saving lyrics is one that can lift any poor soul into champions status. Be it the breakdowns, the grooves, Jasta’s howls and the crowd gone into berserk mode, everything seemed perfectly aligned. The fence’s blistering flames accompanied timeless classics like “To The Threshold”, “Proven”, “Everyone Bleeds Now” and many others kept everyone on their toes and always ready to roundhouse kick the fucking air. After some thought, the decision to really focus the scenes and genres for each day at the Warzone stage was really the best one.
Having mentioned Hatebreed just now, it’s important to highlight the roster of incredible oldies like NYHC legends Cro-Mags, Madball and Terror. A stoked crowd was always present, even during up and coming newer projects who have been carrying the torch for newer and more modern takes from hardcore, like Turnstile, Modern Life Is War, Incendiary and Knocked Loose. A day to be remembered for the coming years, at the Warzone stage.
Neurosis and Hatebreed
What a way to end the second day of Hellfest. After one of these… it’ll be hard to seal the eyes for a good night’s sleep. One more day left to go but the shade is here, what a day to be alive!
Advance to Day 3 ->