Hellfest 2015, Flying the flag for the old school

The countdown to CackBlabbath’s annual road trip to the south of France is well and truly underway, not long now until we return to the Warzone for one of the undisputed highlights of the summer.

No other festival has such a reputation for drawing together such an array of legendary names in one place, and the 2015 installment is no exception. It’s always gratifying to see “veteran” bands showing the young ‘uns how it’s done and once again the gods of Hellfest are giving some of them a chance to show just what they’ve still got. OK, so The Scorpions, Motorhead, Judas Priest, ZZ Top and Alice Cooper and Faith No More are household names, but there are a whole load of other bands from “back in the day” on the bill that were the soundtrack to a mis-spent youth and are guaranteed to roll back the years in the South of France sunshine.

Venom Live at Hammer Open Air 2Venom

The Black Metal gods may be only 1/3rd as divine as they were, and the last couple of albums may have been slightly less than legendary, but Cronos and his hired guns have the arsenal of tunes in their back catalogue to ensure they can blow the roof off The Temple stage. With Mantas and Abbadon reuniting with The Demolition Man to form Venom Inc, Cronos has something to prove and Clisson will provide him the ideal platform to prove that he is still THE Black Metal god.

Venom headline the Temple Stage on Saturday

Body Count

A band we never thought we’d get the chance to see live, Ice-T’s body count announced their return to the fray last year with the suitably cartoon-violent video for Talk Shit, Get Shot heralding the arrival of their 5th studio album. Expect a set full of testosterone, attitude and lots of singing along when they headline The Warzone on the Saturday…

Yep, the Saturday, please gods of Hellfest don’t let them clash with Venom or we’ll have to make one of the most difficult decisions of the year.

The Exploited

Exp4Scottish legends The Exploited have reinvented themselves as a Metal band of late without apparently changing at all, and their deal with Nuclear Blast certainly opens up their back catalogue to a whole new audience hungry for an alternative to manufactured punk and radio friendly angst. If last year’s health scare has dulled frontman Wattie Buchan’s edge then it didn’t show in their comeback gig in Edinburgh last year and Hellfest will give us the perfect opportunity to see where the 2015 Exploited are heading.

Wattie and the boys play The Warzone on Sunday.

L7

The first ladies of grunge have finally stopped pretending that they’re dead and finally got round to reforming and given us a chance to see them live.. Ok so we’re only about 14 years late. Overshadowed at the time by their male contemporaries L7’s music has stood the test of time better than most, while their hellraising antics have become legendary.

Gross, but legendary, check ’em out on Main Stage 2 on Saturday.

Nuclear AssaultHellfest 2014 10

Nuclear Assault were, until recently, a conspicuous absence from the list of big name survivors from Thrash Metal’s 80s American origins. Instrumental in the birth of the genre it’s great to see Danny and Co back on the big stage where they belong as it’s easy to forget how much they, along with The big 4, Testament and Exodus, shook the Metal world.

Game Over, Survive and Handle With Care were classics of the genre and Nuclear Assault fully deserve the recognition that this latest reunion has brought them.

It’s a proper time machine on Main Stage 2 on the Sunday with Nuclear Assault and Exodus back to back.

So there you have it, a very small selection of the delights on offer at Hellfest Open Air in 2015. Can’t bloody well wait !!!!