Hot Shots Live Zone

Hellfest, Clisson, France, Day # 1 Of 4 – Thursday 27th June 2024

The Axeman Cometh - Ice Nine Kills



The 17th edition of Hellfest drew more than a quarter of a million fans over a four day extravaganza of heavy metal and heavy rock packed into a huge site in Clisson, France to watch some of the best up and coming bands from the metal genre and many of the most legendary ones too.

It is always rewarding if you are a veteran of the festival to watch newcomers enter this place and see a huge “WOW!” look on their faces. Granted Hellfest is about the music, but the sheer scale of the place and what is on offer is just incredible.

Hellfest feels like a mini city in itself and that’s before you chug down a beer or get to any of the many stages.


Mark Osegueda fronting Kerry King’s band

Heavy metal and horror movies have always had a special relationship with one another,just ask Alice Cooper! So it makes perfect sense to see Boston-based band Ice Nine Kills at Hellfest.

The band wear horror movies on their sleeves and their show has of course, been influenced by Alice Cooper’s previous tours. Lead singer Spencer Charnas screams out lyrics about killing, has a blood-splattered T-shirt and when he isn’t holding a knife, axe or machete then he is wielding a chainsaw.

Ice Nine Kills


Ice Nine Kills

The band can also really play and if you’re watching Ice Nine Kills for the first time then the odds are very good that you will be watching them on their next tour.

It feels like Vaudeville at times, but the music is heavy and fantastic.

They even have a song dedicated to the infamous scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film, “Psycho” which is called “The Shower Scene”. They go down as you would expect; a storm.

Ice Nine Kills





Day one crowd surfing fun


Kerry King is back at Hellfest and in Europe for the first time since Slayer called it a day in 2019. It is worth noting that Slayer have decided to partially come back and will perform at a couple of festivals a year, that is the plan for now.

But back to King who is instantly recognisable, bald, tattooed and with one of the most iconic goatee beards in the history of metal. To his credit, King has original material: eight of his 11 songs here come from his new solo record, “From Hell I Rise.”

Kerry King has pulled his joker card being able to recruit Death Angel singer Mark Osegueda, who pulls off these new songs so good live; he is full of movement and dare we say it, menace. He’s a real showman.

King is King – his guitar work is simply spectacular; there is no nonsense from him. Sometimes he looks at the crowd and encourages them, but mostly for him it is all about the music. The fans go wild of course, when he includes three Slayer tracks and inevitably, “Raining Blood” gets the biggest receptio

Kerry King

To open up this year’s Hellfest we are treated to a band who are aptly named for the festival: As In Hell.The four piece are led by Marc Grewe, who wastes no time using the run way jutting out of the stage and this gets the fans going, and we get that buzz of excitement and the sense that this is going to be another fantastic festival.

As In Hell’s Marc Crewe

As In Hell released their debut album “Implii Hora” last autumn and they come over very well on record and live. I expect to see big things from them in the near future.

As In Hell bassman




Megadeth have actually played at Hellfest three times in the last two years, as they made two special appearances in the extended 2022 edition which saw the festival run for eight days instead of four because of the pandemic.

A band like Megadeth are always welcome in any heavy metal event and they do their job well as openers for the main stage headliners on day one. Dave Mustaine has never been criticised for his guitar ability, but sometimes has for his singing. But at Hellfest 2024, his voice seems to be in good shape.


The more curious fans are checking out lead guitarist Teemu Mantysaari who joined the band last September, after the excellent Kiko Louriero surprised everyone by leaving for family reasons.

No need to panic; Teemu is superb. Megadeth have always been known for complicated licks and the 37-year- old Finnish national makes it all seem rather easy.




Megadeth have enough hits to get any crowd in the mood. They are also the only American band here who have French lyrics – in a huge hit called “A tout le monde”, and that moment hearing tens of thousands of fans sing the chorus in French is quite something.

The band finish off their set with a triple classic of “Symphony of Destruction”, “Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?”, and “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due.” Absolutely triumphant.

Hot hot hot at Hellfest

Day one main stage headliners “Avenged Sevenfold” decided they did not want to allow photographers, hence no pix of them here. The headliners on other stages included Dropkick Murphys and Enter Shikari on the first day.


  • Check out our coverage of Friday, Saturday and Sunday in our “Live Zone”…



Words & Photos: David Bronstein




Follow us for all the latest news!

This function has been disabled for Music Republic Magazine.