Hellfest, Clisson, France 15-18/6/2023


Located in the heart of France’s wine region, the town of Clisson has been home to Hellfest since 2006. Every summer, a multitude of enthusiastic metalheads gather in this tranquil countryside, ready to immerse themselves in a weekend of intense music, mosh pits and headbanging. Hellfest commenced on Thursday 15.06 with six stages and a line up of bands performing from 4 pm until 2 am.

This year’s aftermovie


Our initial stop was Main Stage 01, where we eagerly awaited Coheed And Cambria’s performance. As the set progressed, Claudio mesmerized the audience with his impressive finger dexterity, skilfully showcasing his abilities. Towards the end, the band treated us to a captivating mash-up, displaying their remarkable creativity. The mere fact of their innovative approach is truly impressive, even before considering the technical prowess they exhibit. As anticipated, Coheed And Cambria concluded their set nostalgically, striking a chord with the crowd by performing the fan-favourite ‘Welcome Home’, perfectly capturing the prevailing mood.


Nightfall, the Greek black metal band led by the talented Efthimis Karadimas, left a lasting impression on Hellfest, proving without a doubt why they rightfully earned their spot in the line up. Kicking off their set with the captivating ‘Killing Moon’, Nightfall immediately took command of the stage, showcasing their presence. The carefully curated setlist included tracks from their latest album, ‘Αt Night We Prey’, such as ‘Giants of Anger’, ‘Darkness Forever’, and ‘Witches’, which resonated with the crowd. They also delighted fans by performing “Ambassador of Mass” and “Lesbian Show.” However, the true showstopper of the night was Fotis Benardo and his mind-blowing drumming skills. His performance pushed the boundaries of blast beats and double kick techniques, leaving the audience in awe of his legendary prowess. Within the limited 50-minute set time, Nightfall managed to deliver an extraordinary performance, capturing the essence of their music and leaving an indelible mark on Hellfest.

photo: Tasos Lazaris


Hastily making our way from Altar to Main Stage 2, we eagerly anticipated watching In Flames, another legendary Swedish death metal band. With a powerful entrance featuring ‘The Great Deceiver’ followed by ‘Everything’s Gone’, the set immediately ignited with an intense energy while the circle pits began to burst. Each band member performed with passion, effortlessly navigating through their diverse setlist. Frontman Anders connected intimately with the audience through his warm and relaxed banter, accompanied by a confident strut. In Flames once again delivered an explosive and captivating performance, leaving us all in sheer appreciation of their exceptional showmanship.


There’s truly nothing quite like witnessing the iconic Alice Cooper and Joe Perry joining forces to perform classic tunes. And why stop there? Let’s add a touch of Hollywood glamour by having Johnny Depp on guitar. The combination is truly remarkable. The band kicked off their concert by showcasing two of their original compositions, ‘I Want My Now’ and ‘Raise The Dead’. However, they also seamlessly incorporated a captivating cover of The Jim Carroll Band’s ‘People Who Died’, during which Johnny Depp took center stage both vocally and instrumentally. While it may be accurate to label them as the ultimate cover band, it would be an understatement to do so. Their performance was simply outstanding, exceeding all expectations.

photo: Nicko Guichal


As Architects dived into their Hellfest performance with ‘Nihilist’ followed by ‘Black Lungs’, it became undeniably impressive. The level of connection and interaction the band shared with their fans is unlike anything I have ever seen. They flawlessly delivered a line-up that included ‘Royal Beggars’, ‘Little Wonder’, ‘Doomsday’, ‘When We Were Young’, ‘Tear Gas’ and ‘A New Moral Low Ground’. Concluding their set with ‘Animals’, Architects once again proved that they are a band to keep a close eye on. Their performance is nothing short of remarkable, leaving a lasting impression on all who witnessed it. A truly impressive set indeed!


Kiss, the undeniable rock and roll royalty, made their grand appearance in Clisson for Hellfest, as part of their iconic ‘End of the Road’ tour. Despite being in their 70s, Gene and Paul continue to embody the iconic figures that both new and long-time fans idolize. The stage came alive during ‘I Love It Loud’ as Gene spat fire, and the intensity continued with ‘God Of Thunder’ where he spat blood. With their years of experience and a setlist packed with uplifting singalong moments, Kiss effortlessly captivated the audience. Once they hit their stride, it was evident that only a few bands could deliver such an awe-inspiring spectacle to their fans!

the trademark “tree” inside the festival’s premices


With Nergal’s commanding scream of ‘Flames!’, Behemoth burst onto the stage, unleashing a powerful presence. As an eerie and booming intro tape played, the band remained hidden behind the curtain with their shadows adding a mysterious aura. Adorned in their signature face paint and dressed in all black, they were prepared to deliver a sermon to their fans. They kicked off their performance with ‘Post-God Nirvana’ and followed it up with ‘Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer’. The crowd went wild, and the atmosphere reflected a band that was finally reaping the well-deserved rewards of their craftsmanship. Behemoth’s exceptional performance showcases their mastery and solidified their status in the metal scene.


The stage was engulfed in darkness as the lights gradually illuminated one by one, setting the scene for what was about to unfold. Hooded figures made their entrance, carrying fiery torches. Their presence cast striking outlines and shadows, creating an eerie ambiance. With only the torchbearers’ light guiding the way, the stage lights focused on the metal stars as they burst into their opening song, ‘Glitch’. The setlist offered a perfect blend of their discography, with standout moments like ‘Prey’ and ‘The Void’. My personal highlight was ‘Idols and Anchors’ where the singer Winston McCall jumped off stage and entered a huge circle pit. As the performance reached its climax, ‘Wild Eyes’ brought the set to a triumphant close, leaving everyone in the audience yearning for more. The desire for Parkway Drive to continue playing for another hour or even longer was palpable. What a great way to end the first day of Hellfest 2023!

Festival’s official video for day 1



Elegant Weapons, a thrilling new endeavour featuring the immensely talented Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner and frontman Ronnie Romero, showcases a group of highly skilled musicians. Faulkner showcased his remarkable skills with his distinctive Gibson Flying V guitar, resulting in a truly exceptional performance. Faulkner and Romero commanded the stage with their presence, while drummer Christopher Williams from Accept and bassist Dave Rimmer from Uriah Heep provided unwavering support. The band delivered traditional heavy metal songs infused with memorable melodies, superb vocals, and an abundance of captivating riffs. Congratulations on a job well done!


Right from the start, Erik Grönwall had an unwavering hold on the crowd, while the band demonstrated remarkable cohesion. When ‘Slave to the Grind’ began, Erik flawlessly hit every note, delivering a flawless performance. The setlist featured beloved fan favorites such as ‘18 and Life’ and ‘I Remember You’, as well as tracks from their latest album, ‘The Gang’s All Here’. During one of the songs, Erik ventured down the stage and even made his way into the crowd, adding an extra level of excitement. Closing the show with an anthemic banger from their debut album, ‘Youth Gone Wild’, they urged the crowd to go wild, and the response was incredible. It was an amazing show that ended too quickly, leaving a strong desire to see them perform all over again. What an unforgettable performance!

photo: David Galliard


Alter Bridge seizes control of the Hellfest stage with an enthralling performance that mesmerizes the audience from beginning to end. Despite facing initial sound challenges, the band swiftly overcomes them, captivating the crowd with a thoughtfully curated setlist. Myles Kennedy’s commanding vocals take the spotlight, while Mark Tremonti and Brian Marshall’s animated presence ignites the atmosphere. The audience responds with unwavering enthusiasm, fully immersed and craving for more. The concert culminates in a thunderous applause, a true testament to Alter Bridge’s extraordinary musical talent and undeniable charisma on stage.


Papa Roach delivered an electrifying and exhilarating performance at a packed Hellfest, reaffirming their unmatched presence on stage. From the explosive opener ‘Kill the Noise’ to the nostalgic hits like ‘Getting Away with Murder’, ‘Help’, and ‘Blood Brothers’, the band transported fans back to unforgettable moments like playing Tony Hawk on the PS1. The energy was palpable, with circle pits and a wall of death igniting the crowd’s enthusiasm, while frontman Jacoby had everyone chanting the band’s name. The encore was a pinnacle moment, as the first few notes of ‘Last Resort’ unleashed a tidal wave of deafening singing and heartfelt emotion. Papa Roach screamed, and the fans responded with even greater intensity. It was a sensational conclusion to the night, showcasing the band’s unwavering positivity and their genuine connection with their fans on both musical and emotional levels. Papa Roach’s commitment to giving their all and creating an unforgettable experience is truly admirable.

from Arte YouTube Channel


Def Leppard returned to Hellfest 2023 with a remarkable and thrilling festival set, leaving an enduring impact. The band released timeless energy and musical prowess, highlighted by guitarist Phil Collen’s impressive skills and toned physique. Campbell also showcased his guitar dexterity, seamlessly complementing Collen’s performance. Bassist Rick Savage provided a solid foundation, while frontman Joe Elliott engaged the crowd, often letting them take over. As the concert reached its peak, the band delivered their iconic hits like ‘Hysteria,’ ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me,’ ‘Rock of Ages,’ and ‘Photograph,’ prompting the crowd’s resounding singing to overpower the speakers. Def Leppard’s performance affirmed their enduring power and indicated their continued musical journey for years to come.


As the night falls, all eyes are fixated on the main stage, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Kings of Los Angeles. Mötley Crüe’s live performance is a time capsule, transporting fans to the heart of their iconic era. Opening with the explosive “Wild Side,” the setlist is a treasure trove of fan favourites, including ‘Shout at the Devil’, ‘Live Wire’, ‘Looks That Kill’, ‘Girls Girls Girls’, and the exhilarating finale, ‘Kickstart My Heart’. Vince Neil, defying expectations, delivers a strong performance both vocally and visually, showcasing a renewed presence on stage.

photo: David Gallard

The true revelation of the night is the addition of guitar virtuoso John 5. While Mick Mars remains irreplaceable, John 5 brings his unique style and boundless energy to the band, captivating the audience with his remarkable tone and meticulous attention to detail on the album tracks. A special moment occurs when Machine Gun Kelly joins the stage to perform ‘The Dirt (Est. 1981)’, one of the four songs Mötley Crüe recorded for the film adaptation of their biography, “The Dirt.” Adding to the spectacle, two women, Hannah Sutton and Ariana Rosado, grace the stage as a captivating combination of exotic dancers and endearing backup singers. The overall experience is nothing short of magical, a testament to the enduring power of Mötley Crüe. Even after all these years, their irresistible charm and magnetism remain irresistible, leaving no doubt that they are still the kings of rock and roll.

Festival’s official video for day 2



Evergrey’s performance at Hellfest showcased their dark, melodious, and atmospheric sound, captivating a wide and diverse audience. The band delivered several standout moments, with tracks like “Midwinter Calls” and “Save Us” eliciting magnificent sing-along responses from the crowd. The band members displayed their incredible musical diversity, and Henrik Danhage proved himself to be a guitar hero. Overall, Evergrey’s slot at Hellfest opened my eyes to their talent and left a lasting impression.


Riverside took the stage to a lively and enthusiastic crowd, with many experiencing the band’s live performance for the first time. They kicked off their set with the captivating opening track ‘Addicted’, immediately setting the tone for the evening. The bass-driven riff served as a strong foundation while the band members seamlessly blended their talents in perfect harmony. Riverside’s live performance showcased their mastery of progressive rock music, proving that their brilliance extends beyond the studio and is not just the result of production tricks.


With intro music blaring, an eager crowd filled Main Stage 2, ready for an evening of pure enjoyment. Beast in Black took the stage, kicking off with ‘Blade Runner’ from Dark Connection. Anton Kabanen and Kasperi Heikkinen sported silly faces, clearly enjoying themselves, while frontman Yannis Papadopoulos commanded the stage with the confidence of a seasoned festival performer. They delighted fans with hits like ‘Sweet True Lies’ and ‘From Hell With Love’, concluding their set with ‘End of the World’. Beast in Black not only proved their musical genius but also their ability to entertain and connect with the crowd.


Arch Enemy, led by the powerful Alissa White-Gluz, delivered an intense and energetic performance that left the crowd in awe. From the moment she took the stage, Alissa commanded the Metal mercenaries with her commanding presence. Songs like ‘Deceiver, Deceiver’, ‘War Eternal’, and ‘House of Mirrors’ showcased the band’s ability to navigate complex rhythmic changes, with each instrument taking turns to shine. The scything guitar riffs of Jeff Loomis and the lyrical guitar solo by Michael Amott added depth to the performance. The massive circle pits that formed during the show demonstrated the band’s undeniable impact. Arch Enemy’s presence is vital in the Metal scene, and they continue to captivate audiences with their powerful music.

photo: Nicko Guihal


Lorna Shore made their explosive debut at Hellfest, captivating the packed Altar stage and leaving the crowd with their minds blown. Frontman Will Ramos conquered the audience’s attention with his electrifying presence, delivering an intense performance of ‘To The Hellfire’ with unwavering precision, showcasing a range of vocal styles from piercing screams to guttural growls. Love them or hate them, Lorna Shore’s unique blend of deathcore pushes the genre forward, leaving a lasting impact on the future of the genre.


The highly anticipated moment has arrived: Iron Maiden takes the stage at Hellfest 2023, and the atmosphere is electric. The opening chords of ‘Doctor Doctor’ ignite a massive party, setting the stage for an unforgettable performance. The crowd goes wild as ‘Caught Somewhere in Time’ begins, with Bruce Dickinson, sporting his new Future Past outfit, captivating the audience with his commanding stage presence. Despite being in his 60s, Bruce proves himself to be one of the greatest metal vocalists, delivering a performance that rivals his younger days. The iconic ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ follows, featuring an outstanding solo by Adrian Smith, considered one of Iron Maiden’s best. If you asked me two years ago that Maiden will be playing ‘Caught Somewhere in Time’ and ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ back-to-back as an opening to a set I would tell you that you are crazy, but here we are! The band continues their set with three tracks from their latest album Senjutsu, including the standout ‘The Time Machine’. Bruce embraces his storytelling skills, adding a captivating element to the performance. The crowd erupts when the opening lines of ‘The Prisoner’ fill the air, and the excitement keeps building. ‘Can I Play with Madness’ brings a wave of energy, with the band clearly enjoying themselves on stage. ‘Heaven Can Wait’ features a thrilling battle between Bruce and Eddie, showcasing Iron Maiden’s ability to entertain.

The biggest surprise of the night arrives with the introduction of the iconic ‘Alexander the Great’. While the performance may not have been flawless, Iron Maiden managed to overcome any setbacks, and the solo section becomes a masterclass in lead guitar by Smith and Murray. Bruce impresses once again, holding a note for an astonishing 30 seconds, proving that age is no obstacle for him. The setlist continues with unmissable classics like ‘Fear of the Dark’, ‘Iron Maiden’, and ‘The Trooper’, captivating the crowd from start to finish. ‘Hell on Earth’ unleashes a surge of energy reminiscent of the band’s 80s heyday, and the audience passionately sings along to every word. The emotional moment at the end of the song, with Steve Harris visibly moved, was a moment I will never forget. Iron Maiden concludes their set with ‘Wasted Years’, leaving the audience craving more. It’s a testament to their status as the best heavy metal band in the world. The show was a true masterpiece, showcasing the band’s unparalleled talent and their ability to create an unforgettable live experience.

Festival’s official video for day 3



Final day of Hellfest 2023 and we rushing to Main stage 2 for Halestorm’s explosive performance. Lizzy Hale’s powerhouse vocals and Arejay Hale’s impressive drum solo were unforgettable moments. The setlist included fan favorites like ‘I Miss the Misery’ and ‘I Get off’. Closing with ‘The Steeple’, the band left a really good impression. We can’t wait for Halestorm’s next appearance at Hellfest!

Halestorm full show from Arte


Originating from Bridgeport, Connecticut, Hatebreed took the stage during the late afternoon, instantly igniting a wild response from the crowd. With their extensive tenure in the music scene, Hatebreed continues to refine their craft, delivering a performance that is both powerful and relentless. Guitarists Wayne Lozinak and Frank Novinec unleashed a barrage of crushing riffs, captivating the audience with their raw intensity. Bassist Chris Beattie held the low end providing a solid foundation alongside the relentless drumming of Matt Byrne. Frontman Jamey Jasta led the charge with his dynamic lyrics and fierce vocals, clearly relishing every moment on stage. The setlist featured crowd favorites such as ‘Live for This’ and ‘Looking Down the Barrel of Today’. Hatebreed’s unwavering energy and renewed vigor indicate that they have no intentions of slowing down anytime soon.


Amon Amarth’s epic Viking-themed set dazzled the crowd with blazing pyrotechnics and powerful performances. Memorable moments included the crowd rowing during ‘Put Your Back Into the Oar’ and the thunderous encore featuring a giant sea serpent. Their visual spectacle was a testament to their mastery of Viking metal.

Amon Amarth full show from Arte


The legendary Tenacious D, hailed as the greatest band on Earth, delivered an unforgettable performance at Hellfest. They kicked off with the energetic ‘Kickapoo’ from The Pick of Destiny, showcasing Jack Black’s impressive portrayal of young Jack and Kyle Gass as the villainous dad who despises heavy metal. The show was a spectacle, complete with props, dramatic acting, and the presence of Biffy Pyro, a notable figure. From start to finish, the audience was completely engrossed, singing and stomping along to every song. A standout moment was when Jack Black halted the show, demanding the Saxaboom instrument, which ignited the crowd’s excitement. As Black played the Saxaboom, the audience was enthralled, but the surprise continued when Gass interrupted and requested the even larger Maxaboom. This hilarious interaction delighted the audience, and they enthusiastically participated as the song progressed. It was a joyous occasion to witness their tour, and the fact that they chose Hellfest made it even more special. The evening was a delightful blend of the bizarre and entertaining. Until their next performance, the memories will linger with fans.


As the crowd eagerly awaits Pantera’s return, a nostalgia-inducing video plays on the screens, showcasing old footage of the band in the 90s during their original lineup. Concert clips and glimpses of their life on tour with the four musicians are displayed. The video concludes, and the large curtain covering the stage drops, revealing the quartet. The concert wastes no time and kicks off immediately with “A New Level”. The setlist pays homage to their iconic albums ‘Vulgar Display of Power’ and ‘Far Beyond Driven’. However, they also include tracks from their other albums, as well as a medley of ‘Domination’ and ‘Hollow’. The setlist features the songs that brought Pantera their past success, making them both enjoyable for longtime fans and a great introduction for newcomers. In the middle of the concert, a tribute video to the Abbott brothers plays, accompanied by the soundtrack of “Cemetery Gates”. The Hellfest crowd, going wild in the pit, appears to be ecstatic with these choices. The sound quality of the concert is exceptional. The instruments blend well together, and Phil Anselmo’s vocals are on point. To be honest I was expecting Phil to cope with these old and demanding songs, he surpassed my expectations by showcasing and amazing performance throughout the whole set. The rest of the band members are nearly flawless, with Zakk Wylde’s impressive technique and Charlie Benante’s powerful drumming complementing Pantera’s sound perfectly. Phil Anselmo takes the time to introduce almost every song performed by the band, occasionally addressing the audience. He expresses gratitude for the continued support and shares his special connection with Hellfest, having attended nearly every edition of the festival. Overall, this Pantera concert is a resounding success. The band delivers an outstanding performance that evokes nostalgia for their devoted fans, while also maintaining a high level of quality. The atmosphere is vibrant, exemplified by the roadies joining in for backing vocals during ‘Walk’. It is undoubtedly a memorable and exceptional gig.


It’s the final night of the festival, but Slipknot is here to prove that it’s not over yet. As the curtain rises, the massive band stage is revealed. It features three floors, with spaces on the ground for the string players and the singer, the drums with the synth and keyboard above, and the percussion section even higher up. The stage comes to life with vibrant lighting, while images of the band move in the background accompanied by the atmospheric sounds of “Prelude 3.0”. Slipknot takes the stage and immediately kicks off with “The Blister Exists”, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Corey Taylor, the charismatic singer, greets the audience in French, establishing a personal connection. Throughout the performance, he takes the time to thank the fans for their presence. During “The Heretic Anthem”, he emphasizes the chorus and encourages the crowd to join in singing. After “Eyeless”, he engages in a brief exchange, still in French, with the audience. The band pays tribute not only to the groups that have performed before them on the stage but also to Clown, who had to return to the United States to attend to family matters. They dedicate “Wait and Bleed” and “Duality” to him and his family.

photo: Nicko Guihal

The setlist remains classic and heavily focused on Slipknot’s first album. They also include some beloved tracks from their other albums, as well as a couple of songs from their latest album, such as “The Dying Song (Time to Sing)” and “Yen”. With the exception of one or two slower moments, the setlist is aggressive and designed to elicit a strong reaction from the audience. And it works. The Hellfest audience is on fire, engaging in circle pits and crowd surfing for the whole duration of the set. As is customary for Slipknot, the drums take the forefront in the sound mix, emphasizing the rhythmic intensity over the guitars. The transitions between songs are often guided by the powerful presence of the synth. To conclude the concert in the most explosive way, Slipknot unleashes “Spit It Out”, with the infamous moment of all the crowd siting on their knees until Corey gives the signal and the crowd turns in to a huge wave of bodies smashing with each other. Once again, Slipknot delivers a phenomenal performance, leaving the audience with unforgettable memories.

This year’s Hellfest is over and the only think we think about is when it’s time to return to France for the next one!

Tasos Lazaris, Mary Geli

Festival’s official video for day 4