We close this week’s coverage of Hell’s Heroes with an article and great photos from Marcus Hettlage, who travelled all the way from Germany to Texas to experience this terrific festival – a second time.
(Feature image: Greyhawk)
André: Where are you from? And how long did you travel to get to the festival location? Was it your first time there?
Marcus: My wife and I travelled about 18 hours, including an 11 hour flight from Cologne (Germany) to Houston. We’ve visited the festival already last year, when we saw it as a perfect start for visiting shows/festivals again after this long covid-related break. We liked the festival so much that we decided to return this year.
André: Which bands were your highlights at this year’s Hell’s Heroes festival?
Marcus: This year’s lineup, as well as last year’s lineup was a full of highlights. I especially enjoyed the younger bands such as Riot City, Century, Greyhawk, Sonja, Midnight Dice, Morgul Blade, Tower, Visigoth and Gatekeeper (to name just a few). Haunt delivered a very rad and intense show with a crowd-surfing Trevor Church still wearing his guitar. We were really surprised by the performance of Hällas. We saw them last year where they delivered a good show but had a rather shy stage presence. At the festival they sounded even better than last year, and Tommy Alexandersson (vocals and bass) was the complete opposite of someone you’d call shy. This contributed much to the joy of this great performance. Also much thanks to James Rivera who played, as part of the after party on the first day, a Helstar show and on the second day a metal covers show that were both cool and exactly what was needed to end the day.
André: What do you think of the location? Please also tell us something about the atmosphere on the grounds.
Marcus: The location is really great, consisting of an air-conditioned hall, a small room and an outdoor area with an additional stage. In 2022 only the two indoor stages were used for the festival. Therefore, I was a little bit concerned that it might lose the friendly vibe it had when I heard that it was extended to use the lawn stage as well. My concerns were not confirmed as the fest organizers and the staff at the White Oak Music Hall did everything to keep the cool and friendly atmosphere it had in the past. You never had the feeling that it was overcrowded. You could easily find your friends and meet some band members.
André: Which bands would you like to see next year?
Marcus: We would like to see Smoulder, Knight and Gallow, Ryghär, Intranced, Maule, Acid Blade, Crimson Steel, Eternal Champion and Soul Grinder.