Hell – Hammerfest review

Opening the main stage on Saturday were British metal band Hell.  They’ve exploded onto the scene this year and were generally regarded as the best band at Bloodstock 2011 by many people, and their album Human Remains has been impressing a lot of people.  Tonight they had a full hour for their set so plenty of time for a decent set.

Hell had to skip one of their usual props – a large pulpit from which singer David Bower harangues the audience, due to time/space constraints but this didnt have much impact on their show.  David Bower is an arresting sight as he prowls around the stage with glowing red eyes and a headpiece of coiled barbed wire – he truly is an intimidating sight and as a professional actor he knows how to make every gesture count.  During the set he produces a whip and whips himself across the back – and he’s not just pretending – this is painful looking stuff.  At the end of the show one fan is delighted to be given the whip.

With the rest of the band in corpse makeup and with their backdrop resembling stained glass windows, coupled with David Bower’s various costume changes and theatrics Hell are a really impressive band visually, and even a few people I know who werent keen on the music were so enthralled by the theatrics that they remained for the entire set.

Hell have a very old-school sound as much of the music was written in the early 1980s before the band split.  Since reforming the songs have been re-recorded and changed but as they’ve been largely unaffected by the trends of the last 30 years then they sound different to almost any other band around today which is actually very refreshing.

Hell drew a large crowd for their show – about five times as many people as the band on after them managed to get, and most of the crowd left at the end of Hells set thoroughly impressed.

A great performance and one of the highlights of the weekend for me.



Let battle commence
On earth as it is in hell
Plague & fyre
The quest
The oppressors
Save us

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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