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Live Review & Gallery: Knotfest meets Hellfest in Clisson, France 20/6/2019


Ever since its first line up in 2012 I have been hearing about this cool festival, that takes you deep into its carnival madness. But Japan, California or Mexico were pretty much unreachable for me and I only could pray that the Nine will bring it all closer to home. It was rooted deeply in my bucket list to become part of the Maggots’ own festival. And thank god, that it has happened for me when Knotfest met Hellfest on the shores of Clisson in France.

It all started on Thursday on the fields of Knotfest with first band of the day, Sick of it all, that pumped up the gathering crowd before the two main stages. They were followed by Amaranthe, which are always so worth watching and listening as they can do wonders with the three voices that are so specific for them. Even though with bit of a sound difficulties and even though their music sometimes might seem to be not so much innovative. Enjoyable, on the other hand, for sure.

Ministry, known for their Chicago bound industrial metal, got on the stage later, but honestly, I was expecting a bit more. Seeing them week before Knotfest on Nova Rock I was hoping that they will make up for lack of energy, but it seemed like they just wanted to leave the stage as soon as possible and did not gave that much shit. Maybe it’s the attitude, maybe it was something else, but I was much rather seeing Behemoth taking the stage next. The devil still has its characteristic voice and riffs without doubt. It all came together in one perfect show enjoyed widely by thousands of people under the Main stages.

After the dark and devilish Behemoth, Papa Roach were up next, and they started it off completely different than they always used to. I have never seen them do Last Resort as the first song of the set, but boy, that was bold and perfect choice. It pumped up the crowd into totally different dimension as it was followed by another hit from their second album Insect, Blood Brothers. As it has now turned to a rule, they again played a tribute to the late Keith Flint from ProdigyFirestarter. This definitely was a sight for sore eyes, especially since the newest material of the Californian band might not be the cup of tea for everyone. Yet it has to be said that they always bring one unforgettable show.

As the day was getting forward and even more people were crowding all over the “circus tent”, we got to enjoy the always unusual Rob Zombie and the always heavy, theatrical power metalists Powerwolf. Soon were about to come up on the stage the main nine men, but slightly before another heavy act was being promised. The Vikings, Amon Amarth, who always bring great show filled with strong vocals and one could say they can never do wrong. Especially their always so dedicated fans who can immerse freely in the world that the northerners are creating. Their set was however nearing the end and the Main Stage 1 was preparing for vortex called Slipknot.

The fury of the maggots has exploded all over the Hellfest fields and it met with heavy headbanging, death walls and moshpits throughout the whole set. It felt so familiar and yet it was not something that was taken for granted. After the not so satisfying set a week ago on Nova Rock this was obviously done on a different level. What is even more worth tipping the imaginary hat is that after a circle of personal problems, within the band and in lives of the band members, they stood there on the stage, ready. High on adrenalin, just as their fans after few songs, they were definitely not faking it. No wonder that music can do miracles and not just for the fans, or even save lives, but for the band itself.

And no wonder, that Knotfest met Hellfest was indeed something epic. No other festival could have such a strong beginning and end of the first day. But the gates of Hell were just about to be completely open.

About Ivana Niwy Kovacova

Dreamer. Wanderer. Photographer. Explorer. Music addict. Adventurer. Hopelessly in love with life.

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