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Road To Hellfest 2024: The Temple

The time to return to Hellfest is drawing near, and we are as excited as everyone else to be able to once again step into the unholy grounds of the biggest rock and metal festival in the world. Year after year, the festival grows in size and spectacle, bringing the hottest names of every genre imaginable and gathering them all in one place for the greatest party in the planet. Whether you are a fan of hard rock, heavy metal, death metal, black metal, folk music, hardcore punk and grindcore, among many other heavy genres, there is always something for everyone at Hellfest.

This year is absolutely no exception, as a delicious, musical tasting platter is being served once again in six different stages, over the course of four days. Each stage of Hellfest is synonymous with a particular group of genres, but the fun is actually in going from one stage to the next, intertwining flavours of different varieties. The theme this year is the blazing inferno, mixed with equal parts of shocking lightning bolts and ominous art deco statues. Part of the reason why we love Hellfest so much is the decour and how it changes every year to match the audiovisual aspect of the festival. But, in the end, the most important reason why we travel hundreds of kilometers to the greatest festival of them all is because of the lineup, and this year, it is as impressive as ever. So, as always, we shall introduce seven names from each stage that we think you should not miss, starting with the Temple.



Born and raised amidst the snowy and wonderous outlooks of Syðrugøta, a small village in the Faroe Islands, Eivør has come a long way to where she is right now. Having had her first televised performance at the age of 13, Eivør crafted a career over the decades, her musical output spanning a wide variety of genres, ranging from folk and art pop to jazz and electronica. Armed with an incredibly versatile voice and accompanied by a profound soundscape, Eivør has slowly conquered the hearts of many a listener, either through her own records or her vast collaborations in soundtracks such as the The Last Kingdom television series or the God of War and Banner Saga 3 video games.

A recent signing to the French independent record label Season of Mist leads us to believe that new music might be on the horizon, which would be a follow-up to 2020’s well-received Segl. This, of course, means that a debut at Hellfest makes more sense than ever before, and so, the Temple will be the perfect stage to witness one of the most powerful voices in today’s music scene.



By now, jazz is practically an essential component of metal music. Whether you are listening to the complex and mathematically precise sound of Meshuggah, the vast and fascinating soundscapes of Ihsahn’s solo records or the avant-garde musings of Kayo Dot, jazz and metal go hand-to-hand when it comes to artist’s looking to experiment and disrupt the boundaries of sound. And the Norwegian Shining are the perfect example of what happens when you rid yourself of any possible restraints and just let yourself loose in that experimentation. Founded by Jørgen Munkeby, the leading force and only constant member of the band, Shining were initially an instrumental avant-garde jazz quartet, but soon found their truly calling laid in taking the best parts of jazz and metal to create something new. The result was an absolutely volatile and chaotic sound that keeps pushing and breaking the boundaries of what metal music can be and sound like, with records such as Blackjazz, One One One and Animal serving as living proof of that.

It has been quite some time since Hellfest was graced with the presence of Shining, and this time around, Munkeby and co. are bringing to the Temple stage a very special set dedicated entirely to their aforementioned seminal record, Blackjazz. An absolutely unmissable opportunity to immerse yourself in the untamed, clamorous and ravishing world of Shining.


Anaal Nathrakh

Vicious. Terrifying. Brutal. These are but three adjectives that describe the absolute onslaught of a sound that Anaal Nathrakh provide with each opus they unleash upon the world. Created back in 1999 by multi-instrumentalist Mick Kenney and vocalist Dave Hunt under the guises of Irrumator and V.I.T.R.I.O.L., respectively, Anaal Nathrakh have since constantly pushed black metal to its absolute limits, thanks to a mixture of furiously seething guitars, dissonant and lunatic screaming, otherworldly fast blast beats, and a cacophony of industrial noise. And while their lyrics have always been concealed so as to be opened to individual interpretation, one need only hear fragments of words or analyze the names of their corresponding songs and record artworks to uncovered the nihilistic, philosophical and anti-autoritarian messages within. Records such as In the Constellation of the Black Widow, Passion, Vanitas or their latest, Endarkenment, truly demonstrate how bestial the band is.

On a live setting, that same savageness is present, perhaps in an even greater level, as Anaal Nathrakh deliver an unrelenting assault that throws your body around like a masticated ragdoll. Being their first appearance at Hellfest after twelve long years, the expectations are at an all time high. So, take heed and walk into the Temple to take part in the Anaal Nathrakh live crucible. You will not regret it.


Krzysztof Drabikowski’s Батюшка

When the phenomenal Литоургиiа (Litourgiya) was released back in 2015, Батюшка took the world by storm. Blending the raging sound of black metal with evocative lyrics written in Church Slavonic, the band presented themselves in religious habits, pulling imagery and schemas from Eastern Orthodoxy, which served as their primary influence. For a couple of years, Батюшка remained supreme, being the prime example of what a true liturgy looks like on stage. That was until the band split apart into two factions – one lead by founder and multi-instrumentalist Krzysztof “Derph” Drabikowski, and the other by lead vocalist Bartłomiej “Bart” Krysiuk. This splintering was born from a dispute between the aformentioned Drabikowski and Krysiuk, which lead the latter to go on and form his own version of the band, increasingly distancing himself from the sound that made Батюшка a household name in the first place.

But the true version of Батюшка in the eyes of many, and ours as well, is the one belonging to Drabikowski. Not long after the split, he released Панихида (Panihida), a record that continues the tradition set by the original formation, expanding it even further both in an audio and visual sense. Having battled with COVID-19 during the pandemic, Drabikowski is now ready to return to the road and unleash his vision of true liturgical black metal upon the Earth, and Hellfest’s Temple stage will be the perfect fit for such a divine congregation.



Ever mysterious and gloom, (DOLCH) have developed an astounding ability to fuse black and doom metal elements with gothic rock and ambient music in a truly hypnotizing way. Translated as “dagger” from the German language, and armed with two parts of a record trilogy released, Feuer and Nacht, that perfectly showcase the melancholy, sorrow and ritualistic tension the band wishes to transmit, (DOLCH) are coming closer and closer to their proverbial moment in the sun, which they will gladly clad in darkness. Dreamy and ethereal, (DOLCH) are in a realm and genre entirely their own, something that is yet to be named but is already intensely felt.

With two parts of their three-record cycle released, and the final one, TOD, soon to be unveiled, their passage through Hellfest was an obligatory one. As far as debuts on the greatest music festival of them all go, this is by far one of the most intriguing ones, so we urge you to descend upon the Temple and embrace the cold and mystifying nightfall that (DOLCH) will soon set loose.



Speaking of debuts at Hellfest from bands that are skyrocketing to the top tier of underground music, this next band is a doozy. Formed in Denver, Colorado back in 2011 and currently comprised of four black-clad fellows that seem taken straight out of an American western movie, Wayfarer are the pre-eminent North American atmospheric black metal band. Drawing immense inspiration not only from black metal, but also from folk and americana, this quartet have crafted a thunderous and one-of-a-kind sound that is entirely their own, led by potent riffs, striking soundscapes and lyrics that call back the stories of the American frontier. Their most recent release, American Gothic, is perhaps their grandest work so far and shows how much more confident the musicianship of the band has become over the years, elevating their sound to even greater and all-new dimensions.

As stated above, Hellfest has yet to be graced with the presence of Wayfarer within its unholy grounds, but that is all about to change, as the band is scheduled to play at the Temple stage this year. Whether you are a fan of black metal that borders on the transcendent or a fan of Old West folklore, this is definitely a show you cannot miss.


Imperial Crystalline Entombment

The freezing cold is the lifeblood of the black metal in general, and many bands have tried to capture that very essence through their music, artworks, promo photos, and so on. The best example of practitioners of the iciest element are Immortal, but there are others that are following their footsteps in similar ways. One such band is Imperial Crystalline Entombment. Long thought to be dead and buried beneath layers of frost after the release of their 2004 debut Apocalyptic End in White, the band led by founding members IceSickKill and Bleak resurfaced last year, and unleashed upon the world another opus of gelid black metal, entitled Ancient Glacial Resurgence. As those that have dared listen to such a record can attest, time seems to have stood encased in ice during all these years, as Imperial Crystalline Entombment still display a wave of frigid annihilation through their blizzard-infused sound, that serves as the herald of Råvaskeith, the great orbital force from a far-away dimension that controls the band like puppets, so that all soon know and feel its frozen grip.

Having never played live before, there is a certain curiosity surrounding this white mantle-clad band. But that curiosity will soon be sated, as Imperial Crystalline Entombment are set to entomb the Temple in an icy sepulcher. Do you dare step into the hyperborean tempest that will soon be summoned?


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