Today we continue with the second part of our live report from Hell’s Heroes V. Our reader Timothy Harris, who also provided us with the featured image, shares his thoughts with you.
André: Where are you from? And how long did you travel to get to the festival location? Was it your first time there?
Timothy: I‘m from Alabama, and a friend and I drove 12 hours straight down to Houston to get to Hell’s Heroes. It was the first time at that festival for both of us.
André: Which bands were your highlights at this year’s Hell’s Heroes?
Timothy: The fest was somewhat front-loaded for me, with most of the bands I wanted to catch being on the Friday billing. The standouts for me were easily Visigoth, Gatekeeper, and Hällas. Being able to see Visigoth for the first time was honestly probably 75% of the reason I decided to go to Hell’s Heroes this year, and they were in top form, my favorite set of the festival for sure. Gatekeeper really surprised me with their stage presence, especially since they’re running with a new vocalist, but Tyler absolutely commanded the audience, like putty in his hands. It was a really fun time being in the crowd for that one. The Hällas set was really something special, seeing as it will probably be a while before they hit American soil again. They played an extended set, I think about half an hour longer than what they were listed for. The energy of the crowd really surprised me given their style of music, but folks were going wild the entire time, belting along to the songs, with lots of crowd surfing and people jumping along with the singer, which usually would result in mosh pits. Really glad I was able to catch them, I hope they’re back sooner than later.
André: What do you think of the location? Please also tell us something about the atmosphere on the grounds.
Timothy: White Oak Music Hall was honestly really great, both the lawn stage and indoor stage leaving little to be desired. Free, cold water was offered and regularly kept stocked up which was really nice, and honestly crucial given the temperatures, and the mound out on the lawn was really nice, to be able to have somewhere to sit down but still be able to see and enjoy the acts after a long day of being on your feet. Being situated next to the Raven Tower bar was nice for once the days came to a close, everyone would pile in and get drunk and hang out til last call. I really loved the atmosphere of the grounds, wandering around between shows more times than not I would run into someone I knew exclusively from online interactions, or members of bands I like, and strike up conversation. Riot City’s drummer bought me a beer, and I ran into Phil Ross (Manilla Road/Savage Oath), who gave me a cassette of the new Savage Oath EP, which will be a memory I cherish for quite some time. Meeting those people in person for the first time was really great, it’s always awesome when online friendships translate successfully in-person.
André: Which bands would you like to see next year?
Timothy: I’d love to see a return of Eternal Champion, Sumerlands, and Smoulder to the fest since they weren’t here this year. I’d also like to see some smaller overseas bands in the scene such as Megaton Sword, Seven Sisters, and The Night Eternal, among many others. Plenty of domestic bands I’d like to see make their Hell’s Heroes debut as well, such as Knight and Gallow. Excited to see what next year’s lineup holds!