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Road To Hellfest 2024: The Altar

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 bands from each stage that we think you should not miss. This time around, we shall talk about the Altar.



From their inception back in 1988 until they split up in 2011, Dismember were one of the most revered bands in the death metal scene, earning the notorious reputation of being the “Motörhead (version) of death metal”. A savage offering of head-splitting riffs, bone-crushing blast beats and brutal vocals, which can be heard in fan favourite records such as Like an Everflowing Stream, Indecent & Obscene, and Massive Killing Capacity, have delighted the minds and ears of many a death metal obsessor. And after an eight-year long hiatus, the band’s original lineup is back to business, ready to unleash their viciousness once again upon the masses.

Their live performances since the announcement of their much-lauded reformation have been nothing short of pure displays of intensity and extremity, and one can expect the same when Dismember step foot at the Altar stage of Hellfest for the very first time. An absolutely unmissable spectacle for any mother-loving death metal connoisseur.



It has been three whole decades since Nile first started their exploration of Egyptian mythology and rituals via an unrelenting and brutal form of technical death metal. And from their debut record, Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka, the band has been constantly raising the bar for what is expected of any extreme metal band, thanks to their thorough attention to detail when it comes to their sound, concepts and lyrics. In an overall sense, and with all those elements combined, Nile’s music is as ferocious as an Egyptian plague, with crushing, swarm-like guitars, unmerciful and body-rupturing blast beats, and wickedly bestial growls, as can be heard in their many offerings since their debut, such as Annihilation of the Wicked, Ithyphallic and Vile Nilotic Rites.

With a new record on the desert horizon, it seems appropriate that Nile would return for a fifth round on the unholy grounds of Hellfest. Take heed, ye mighty that dare cross the threshold that leads to the Altar stage – a barren wasteland of sand, curses and mythical entities await, with the reward being as delicious as the path towards it is treacherous.



By now, a band such as Suffocation needs no introduction. As one of the very first death metal bands, the New Yorkers have been at the forefront when it comes to the genre’s innovation, opting for a more technical, slamming and highly destructive approach to their music, a deviation from the crushing sound of bands like Morbid Angel and Obituary. After a little over 35 years of odes to brutality, as can be heard in records such as Pierced from Within, Pinnacle of Bedlam and …of the Dark Light, the latter being their last record with emblematic vocalist and founder Frank Mullen, Suffocation have reached a level unlike any other band, and they absolutely deserve it.

Just last year, Suffocation released their first record with Ricky Myers on vocals, the absolutely annihilating and tumultuous Hymns from the Apocrypha, and the response to it as been extremely positive from their fans. Their return to Hellfest after six years is the perfect opportunity for any death metal fan to get reacquainted with one of the most devastating bands out there. See them at the Altar stage, if you dare feel and surpass the deadly shockwave that is Suffocation.



Emerging from the deepest parts of the Mexican underbelly, Brujeria are revered as true legends of the grindcore scene. With a revolving lineup that has included famed musicians from bands such as Faith No More, Napalm Death, Carcass, At The Gates and Fear Factory, but still containing its four core members, these crazed bandits are known for delivering high-octane and visceral performances. Armed with bandanas and balaclavas, brandishing machetes and dead set on unveiling and obliterating the horrors of war, racism, bigotry and sexism, Brujeria are a force to be reckoned with, an unstoppable hurricane that will ravage every single politician that stands in the way. Their sound is as implacable as their will, with fastness and aggressiveness being the name of the game – rapid-fire blast beats, ripping riffs and combative vocals all make their presence known throughout Brujeria’s now infamous discography.

It has been twelve years since the band last visited Hellfest, so there is a lot of catching up to do. Fortunately, Brujeria are not ones to slack around, so they will certainly deliver highly-precise punches in the gut to anyone that visits the Altar while they are on stage.


More than being one of grindcore’s best acts in the current times, Wormrot represent the growth, expansion and experimentation that has become increasingly more present within the grindcore genre. Far from ever forgetting their roots, Wormrot have consistently pushed the boundaries of the grindcore sound, picking up pieces of other heavy genres to blend it with. The end result is an intricate, yet massively brutal sound that is chock-full of socio-political commentary, and that leaves no stone unturned and no body unmangled. Their latest record, Hiss, which also became their last with longtime vocalist and co-founder Arif, is as brilliant as it is chaotic, and serves as living proof of the direction that the band seems to be going towards.

Being a band from Singapore, playing live shows is a tremendous challenge, but one that Wormrot is always ready to face head-on. Their debut at Hellfest – in the company of Gabriel Dubko (ex-Implore), who will be filling-in as vocalist -, will be a much-appreciated one, as a lot of fans of the more violent genres of music have asked for years. The gift of grindcore is ready to be given at the Altar stage, will you accept it?



If there is one genre that is currently overflowing with exciting new bands, that genre is, of course, death metal. From 200 Stab Wounds and Frozen Soul to Tomb Mold and Blood Incantation, death metal is undergoing a process of revitalization that is more than welcome. Amidst this panoply of great names is Sanguisugabogg, a band that is becoming more prevalent the more days pass. Spewing forth a more brutal form of death metal that recalls the likes of Mortician, Sanguisugabogg present a sound that is filled with mammoth-sized walls of sound, enormously groovy and lacerating riffs, and grotesque growls and pig squeals that come from the filthiest pit imaginable. One need only listen to their two records to date, Tortured Whole and Homicidal Ecstasy, to attest this sentiment.

As far as their live performances, Sanguisugabogg are as ravenous and bone-shattering as they are on their records, so their debut at the Altar stage of Hellfes will be a deliciously fun one. It’s all fun and games until you have your “Face Ripped Off”!


Brand of Sacrifice

Do you like manga and death metal? Would you like to see both expertly combined? Because we sure fucking would! Enter the deathcore beasts known as Brand of Sacrifice, a band that is heavily inspired by the work of mangaka Kentaro Miura, specifically Berserk, to which the band owes their name and much of their music. If you’ve read Berserk before, you know how visceral, macabre, grotesque and highly-depictive of its goriness the manga is. Brand of Sacrifice’s sound is much like that, taking cues from the aforementioned manga and delivering a monstrous sound that is equal parts sadistic, merciless and violent. After releasing two full-length records released to date, God Hand and Lifeblood, which include quite a few guest appearances from renowned vocalist such as Emmure’s Frankie Palmieri, Underøath’s Spencer Chamberlain and Lorna Shore’s Will Ramos, the band have recently signed with legendary record label Nuclear Blast, so a new record might already be in the forge.

Of course, this means that a passage through the unholy grounds of Hellfest, and more specifically, its Altar stage, is mandatory. This will be Brand of Sacrifice’s first ever performance at the festival, but we are sure that they will wreak absolute havoc as soon as they step on stage. We will be there to witness it first-hand.

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