Hellfest Open Air Day 3 started with French band Corrosive Elements, who brought to the stage a nice mix of death and thrash metal with some rock-like accents. The quick, catchy but technical music made for a great start to the day as Artemis came up next. The Italian band played a melodic metal-infused thrash set, with incredible guitar solos, energetic singing and intensity. More artists like the hardcore group Alea Jacta Est and thrash band Aggressor played to the building crowd before crossover thrash biggies Municipal Waste showed up on stage.
From the start, circle pits and moshing ensued, with the people bouncing and jumping around despite being assaulted by heavy metal music for the previous two days at Hellfest. Municipal Waste also had a backdrop of Donald Trump with a gun to his head, titled ‘Dump Trump’. In relation to this, the band played a short track called “I Want to Kill the President”.
Meanwhile, US atmospheric death metal band Fallujah played to a half-empty crowd, but the technicality of drummer Andrew Baird combined with the powerful stop-and-go riffs of Scott Carstairs and Brian James kept the pulse going. Stille Volke, with their medieval sonorities, and Skalmold, with their AC/DC-meets-Motorhead sound, got the crowd engaged before some of the bigger acts took over. People were headbanging and really getting into it by now.
Before welcoming the excellent Gojira, the audience appreciated the performance of No One is Innocent, who performed some songs from their newest album ‘Propaganda’. Gojira began with “Toxic Garbage Island” which had an improvised intro, and the first set of flames came on at the end of the track. The band was playing for the 4th time at Hellfest and the energy was still there. They spoke about their new album release in June 2016 –‘Magma’. They played “Flying Whales”, “L’Enfant Sauvage”, “Wisdom Comes”, “Backbone” and more, and concluded with “Vacuity”.
US giants Slayer really got into the gig playing “Repentless”, with Gary Holt, Paul Bostaph and Tom Araya looking in good shape. As they played “Mandatory Suicide”, “South of Heaven”, “Disciple’, the excellent “Raining Blood” and “Angel of Death”, one could see their popularity as chants of ‘Slayer!’ barely ceased. One of the highlights of the day was Walls of Jericho, with their hardcore approach, fan interaction, accurate playing and great sound and atmosphere.
After Swedish band Amon Amarth’s performance, where they played a mix of old and new songs on a stage with dragons and other props, it was time for Megadeth. Kiko Loureiro, the new guitarist, delivered a great performance playing the legendary Marty Friedman’s parts. Megadeth played 5 tracks from the new album ‘Dystopia’, and the rest was composed of famous hits like “Hangar 18”, “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” and “Tornado of Souls”, which was dedicated to ex-drummer Nick Menza who passed away a few weeks prior.
It was then time for Black Sabbath to come in, and they did it with a video intro of a demon when the bell from the dark riff of “Black Sabbath” rang out. They played a succession of famous songs like “Fairies Wear Boots”, “After Forever”, “Into The Void”, “Snowblind”, “War Pigs”, and “Behind The Wall Of Sleep”. The drummer Tommy Clufetos really brought some quality and a high dose of energy to the show, playing a long and nice solo during the set before “Iron Man”, and an outstanding bass part thanks to the intro of “N.I.B.” was also present. The others 3 members, Ozzy, Tony and Geezer, seemed to be in a good mood and they closed with “Paranoid”.
Following up such a legendary act is no easy task, but King Diamond, Deicide and Refused put up shows worthy of playing after Sabbath to conclude the fest. Hellfest ended with the death metal giants Deicide and Swedish group Refused playing electrifying sets that left the audience with a memorable end.