Documentary | Hellfest – Le Métal Expliqué A Ma Mѐre
Sep 19th 2011 Karl Sawaya Miscellaneous

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Entirely shot at Hellfest 2011, this documentary is dedicated to Patrick Roy, a member of the French parliament who fought for Metal music and the continuation of Hellfest. He passed away in March 2011. One should know that it’s not a documentary about Metal, but merely an introduction to Metal for adults, and what a Metal festival is all about. Its purpose is to prove to the authorities that this is no satanic meeting or anything ridiculous of the sort. Presented by Thomas VDB and aired on France 4, it’s full of interviews with band members, live performances, and funny moments captured during the festival.


He talks with a sociologist, Christophe Guilbert, intrigued about the Metalheads’ profiles : the appearance, long hair, clothing, etc. The latter found out, after some inquiries with fans and in contrast to what he thought, that the percentage of unemployed people is lower than in other concentrations of music groups, as well as a higher one for academic diplomas.

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An interview with Mayhem‘s Attila reveals his view on why doesn’t everyone like Black Metal. Attila believes they don’t get immersed enough in the music and they are afraid to face nature’s negative aspects, like death, violence, pain, sickness, which are all parts of life. Another thing he pointed out is that we don’t kill people, we just create music, a form of art which gives an ecstatic feeling.

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It’s interesting to note that a kind of “anti” Hellfest association was founded. Its goal is to forbid the “most extreme Metal groups” from playing at the festival. Quoting its founder, Jean Yves Rineau, groups like Slayer, Morbid Angel, and Mayhem.

Thomas also talks with Ben Barbaud, the founder of Hellfest on the difficulty of organizing such a large-scale event. Ben says it’s an easy job if you have a passion for it. Press contact, band contact, and event management become easy then if one has the spirit, which he does.

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Interviews done involve Mathias Nygard of Turisas, talking about Viking metal, Olivier Badin, a famous French Metal journalist who talked about the difference between Black Metal and Death Metal, Phil Anselmo, about how he proved his parents wrong by making a career in Metal music after dropping from high school, Eicca Toppinen of Apocalyptica on how his band was able to grab non-Metal and Metal fans alike through their blending of classical music with Metal, and others.

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All in all, with his humor and interviews, Thomas tried to answer questions which authorities have about the dark side of Metal.

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  • Jason

    Interesting article and documentary