Text and photos: Adele van Heerden
We arrived at Hellfest around four in the afternoon on the Thursday before bands started, exhausted, having travelled from London at four in the morning. After finding a spot in the masses of tents, our friendly French neighbours gave us beer and bade us welcome, even helping us to set up our tent. I had never heard of the festival before my boyfriend suggested we go, but upon arrival we were given a quick course on Hellfest history.
Apparently Hellfest had a long history of being attacked by right-wing conservatives for their supposedly demonic or satanic theme. Luckily it enjoyed continued support, despite large sponsors, such as Coca-Cola, dropping out because of the pressure.
This year seemed to be avidly supported by members of the whole family: I saw father and son enjoy acts such as Ihsahn and Immortal together, and absolutely no scorn between groups of people. Everyone was just there to dress up and have a good time, whether it be with their family or the people from another country they had just met an hour ago. I believe Hellfest also makes an important economic contribution to the town of Clisson, which embraces it in full: the town pharmacy played Metallica and everyone working in the shops that weekend wore Hellfest support shirts. I believe the local supermarket probably made more money than they would at Christmas!
Just like crusties and their dogs, there’s something about metalheads and cats. It’s funny to think about a population that is so often stereotyped as antisocial and negative as being so willing to publicly cuddle with kittens, like on the huge facebook group, Metalheads Who Love Cats. With almost 23,000 members, they are obviously on to something. Maybe there is such a connection between metalheads and felines because they share a common disdain for societal norms – cats could honestly care less about what anyone thinks of them, they just want to hang out with their human friends, eat and sleep. Cats also seem to dislike the cat population at large, and while they may end up with a small group of close cat-friends, for the most part they think cat society as a whole sucks. Sound familiar? Cats also enjoy taking care of their hair, and maybe that’s another common interest they share with metalheads. Either way, from the photos below you can see that there is a deep connection between these small but proud animals and their human metal-loving counterparts. Also, stay tuned for Alexandra Crockett’s Metaldudes Cats Book, which we’ve been told will be published in 2014. Attention all Metalheads Who Love Cats members – this will be the perfect coffee table book for you and your cat to enjoy together!
Not only was this my first time shooting in a press pit, but it capped off a glorious year where I also got to see Sleep and Om. Standing 10 feet away from Matt Pike’s guitar stack is kind of like staring directly at the sun.
The recent Seven Sisters of Sleep and Full of Hell tour was a huge success, and today we have some really fucking awesome photos of their Pittsburgh show from our homie Tanner Douglass. Tanner has his own style of capturing live shows that really makes you feel like you are about to be punched in the head by one of the flying fists or swinging elbows his photos are full of. This show looked like it kicked off pretty good, and we are stoked to bring you this raucous photo essay today! Plus check out Full of Hell’s upcoming European tour dates so that all our European readers know what they’re in for…
If you don’t know, now you know: we at CVLT Nation are huge fans of music and we have a good feeling our readers are as well. One constant in my life has been the sound that I listen to, and how music has helped shape my life and the way I see the world. One band that has been a been there for me is NEUROSIS and they have never disappointed me. I know I’m not alone in saying that this band has created a tribe that has transcended the music they create. This is why today CVLT Nation’s favorite tumblr is FUCK YEAH NEUROSIS. What I really dig about this page, besides the killer photos & videos, is how you can stream some epic tunes while you are wandering around the page. So check our gallery of NEUROSIS images, but make sure to head over to FUCK YEAH NEUROSIS ASAP!…They are on tour in Europe starting on June 22nd peep the dates below!
Wayne Martin Belger is an artist whose projects are time consuming and ultimately hugely rewarding, not only for him, but for his audience. He creates some of the most unique and stunning sculptural and photographic work I have ever seen. When Belger chooses a subject to photograph, he starts from the very earth the subject grew in. He makes a pinhole camera using items of significance for his subject – relics and materials that represent or are directly connected with the person or things he will photograph. He constructs complex and beautiful cameras of organic and inorganic materials so that when he takes the photo, the image is interacting with parts of the subject both outside and inside the camera. Belger uses pinhole photography rather than lens photography – this way, there is nothing interfering with the light reflecting off the subject onto the film, no mediators or manipulators. In an age of digital photography, this dedication to the bare science of capturing light on film is both astounding and impressive. His cameras are works of art, and the photos he captures with them are haunting. Check out the works of Wayne Martin Belger below…
Designed to study the beauty of decay.
4″x5″ camera made from Aluminium, Titanium, Brass, Silver, Gem Stones and a 150 year old skull of a 13 year old girl. Light and time enters at the third eye, exposing the film in the middle of the skull.
Photographer: Jorge Silva
Based in: Porto, Portugal
On the first edition of Amplifest – a still relatively new festival in my hometown, who will have the third edition this year – Justin Broadrick did a double stint headlining the first day of the festival with Jesu and then, the second day, as Godflesh.
While Jesu were playing I noticed a light, placed behind and above Justin, that, from time to time, was casting strong lightbeams on his head. As I was shooting right in front of him, the light came and I was able to get the shot I was envisioning. It always amuses me the fact the I shot Justin as Jesu with a halo!
Altars of Madness is a 3-part exhibition that explores extreme metal, divided into sections focusing on grindcore, death metal and black metal. The exhibition, curated by Damien Deroubaix and Jérôme Lefèvre, opened on May 18th, 2013 in Luxembourg at Casino Luxembourg, and will run until Sept 15th, 2013 followed by an exhibition at Confort Moderne in Poitiers (FR) from Sept 28th to Dec 15th, 2013. Featuring noted artists like Matthew Barney, Nicholas Bullen, Larry Carroll, Grégory Cuquel, Damien Deroubaix, Seldon Hunt, Gregory Jacobsen,Theodor Kittelsen, Harmony Korine, Élodie Lesourd, Juan Pablo Macias, Maël Nozahic, Torbjorn Rodland, Steven Shearer, Mark Titchner, Gee Vaucher and Banks Violette, this exhibition is a skillful examination of the influence of metal on the art world. As a part of the exhibition, Napalm Death and Blockheads performed a show on July 3rd, tying in the visuals and the music in a tangible way, and to close the exhibition Final (Justin K Broadrick) and soleil[s]noir will perform at Espace Découverte. Below you can check out some of the haunting pieces that are a part of this exhibition – one that metal fans around Europe should definitely try to make their way out to!
All photos: WILI – Media Makers, Casino Luxembourg, 2013
There’s a certain fascination in visiting cemeteries that you don’t encounter elsewhere. Morbidity, an unnatural peace, a sense of time stood still, of memories quietly turning to dust beneath your feet… the mood of a graveyard can be hard to describe. Perhaps it’s the closeness of architectural beauty to a very human sense of decay; maybe it’s that intangible quality in the air we call ‘atmosphere’. For whatever reason, cemeteries remain oddly-compelling places for exploration. Here are 8 of the best for doing just that:
Karaite Cemetery (Crimea)
Hidden in wooded Iosofatova Valley near the old Tartar capital of Bakhchysaray, the Karaite Cemetery is as spooky as they come. Beneath slender Oak trees, thousands of broken tombstones lie at mournful angles, covered in a near-indecipherable Hebrew script. The ground is uneven, the graves shrouded in moss and lichen and – on a quiet day – a disquieting silence seems to settle over everything, giving the place an other-worldly atmosphere. For the best part of a millennium, the Karaites brought their dead here; to a sacred grove known as ‘Balta Tuymez’, a place that still seems to tingle with magic. Standing there in the shadow of the plateau as the sun goes down, it’d take a brave visitor not to feel just the faintest shiver.
(Images: Serhii Piddubchak)
All Photos & Text by Matthew Grant Anson
Five o’ clock on a Saturday afternoon is a middle ground. For some, depending on the previous night, it’s right in the middle of breakfast – the breakfast of aspirin. For others, it’s the critical time of day where socially acceptable excuses are invented to not leave your home, because dammit I’m in a committed relationship with Netflix. But for punks in the know, 5 o’ clock on June 8th was the time the Echo’s door’s opened for Nails and a slew of hardcore acts from all walks of the genre.
Nails was clearly the draw, but there were all types of hardcore to be had Saturday. If Nails’ Entombed-core wasn’t your thing, there was Power Trip’s thrashy crossover hardcore to tide you over. If you don’t remember or don’t want to remember the mid-to-late ‘80s, Xibalba’s tough guy hardcore will have you frantically flailing and punching the air in seconds. Rounding off the lineup was Palm, who play a style of music that sounds like a hardcore version of Pantera, a combination that could only come out of Japan, the band’s homeland. And finally, there was the crowd-confusing acoustic set of Harm Wülf, pushing the limits of hardcore – and this paragraph – beyond its breaking point.
Harm Wülf, the bedroom project of Blacklisted’s George Hirsch, served as the opening credits to a night of aggression and unresolved family issues. The crowd mostly hugged the walls while the room slowly filled up with more bodies, while the few devotees to the strumming guitar and soft vocals cautiously stood two feet back from the stage. The songs of loss and solitude were good, but far removed from the rest of the lineup. Had Harm Wülf been on a more appropriate bill, Hirsch’s work would have found the audience it does legitimately deserve.
Following Hirsch was Palm, a Japanese band whose music deserved far, far more positive reception than it received. The audience just refused to budge no matter how many times vocalist Toshihiko screamed circle pit. They should have. Palm’s recorded work smashes metal into hardcore in a way that’s tastefully tasty. And while it is said too often but is too true not to convey here, their live performance exceeded their recorded work to the point that they put in a strong bid for best live band of the evening, which is saying something considering what was to come.