at Mennecy, Parc de Villeroy, France, September 17-18, 2022

Mennecy Metal Fest Poster

A Town Of Indomitable Metalheads

When everybody’s given up on the summer and got back to work, leaving behind the memories of summer festivals in the scorching heat, one small town of indomitable metalheads still holds out against autumn.

In Mennecy, for the past ten years, for three days in September gather the young and old Metal Lovers of the region to celebrate the end of summer with many local bands and prestigious international headliners on the Menn Stage and the Eye Stage. Our reviewer Séverine Peraldino was there during most of the last two days of this year’s Mennecy Metal fest.

Day 2: September 17, 2022


Photo: Séverine Peraldino

Rankken is a Thrash Progressive Metal band with already two albums under their belt. They played in the middle of the afternoon on the Eye Stage and benefited from a very gound sound. Sharp and meandering riffs allied with a powerful growl. All fans of Machine Head, give these guys a chance!


6:33 on the mainstage
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

Heading then to the Menn Stage, and in a completely different stage was playing 6:33 (to be pronounced in French “Six Heures Trente Trois). 6:33 is a mad Avant-Garde Combo that gives you the impression of tumbling down the rabbit’s hole while under the influence of dubious substances. From the shenanigans of their singer to the jazzy influences, they truly deserved their spot on the main stage. “Black Widow” might be a good song to discover this band that is definitely out of the ordinary.


Dagara at the Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

While this second day in Mennecy was dedicated to Extreme Metal subgenres, it also displayed a great variety of styles. Dagara is a hardcore band familiar with the audience and the stage of Mennecy, since it’s not their first time at this festival. Tribal influences, poetic and melancholic lyrics, and extreme singing, they’re a blend of unusual influences. “Show us your cavities!” was an unexpected way to ask the audience to move closer to the stage and scream with them, but it worked!


Dream Catcher at Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

Perhaps one of the very few disappointing moments of this weekend, the set of Dream Catcher lacked some energy to be really entertaining. The Classic Heavy Thrash Metal band played their last album The Road So Far in its entirety, before ending their show with a blundering cover of Iron Maiden’s “Wrathchild”. This was a bold move, but perhaps, a set articulated around several of their records would have been more appropriate to the main stage of Mennecy.


Grazed at the Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

You know there are such songs you’ll never admit you enjoy, or only when you’re drunk. Grazed is a bit like that. They’re one of these Parodic Death Metal Bands, and when you listen to them you cannot help but wonder how has humanity come to produce something as utterly puzzling as this. With a sense of humor that is low on the list, Grazed is never here to be taken seriously. With one of their hit named “Metal Limace” (Metal Slug), it would be difficult. Still, it’s a shame that this was their last show, they’re sort of cult if you think about it.


Atlantis Chronicles at the Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

Far from the shenanigans of their predecessors, Atlantis Chronicles is nothing but deadly serious. Their Technical Melodic Death Metal has already convinced Mennecy before. They were here to defend their most recent record Nera. “We all saw it coming” was a blast. Once again, the sound is perfect! It seems they are following closely in the steps of Gojira, and they deserve the same success!


Red Mourning at the Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

The members of Red Mourning probably spent their youth watching western movies and have developed a fascination for Uncle Sam’s country…When they came to Mennecy they brought their harmonicas but also a good dose of Thrash Metal. They alternated between fast riff songs and slower melodies with the same communicative energy. With that, they conquered the audience.


Lofofora at the Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

Mennecy was waiting for Lofofora like the proverbial messiah! With their mix of Punk, Hardcore, and Metal, allied with clever and cynical lyrics, they have gained over the last thirty years of relentless touring unparalleled popularity. If you missed your sport session of the week, no worries then, Lofofora is the kind of band to make jump around so hard you’ll break your knees. Their hit “Le Fond Et La Forme” got everyone bouncing as well as their unusual cover of “Borderline”. They never disappoint.


Loco Muerte at the Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

Catching the tide from Lofofora at the right time. Loco Muerte is the Spanish version of Suicidal Tendencies. The small stage seemed too small for them and their boundless energy. Singing in Spanish they taught the audience a good number of curses and swear words and everyone loved them!


Finntroll at the Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

Pretending it was still summertime started to get a bit harder as the temperature dropped in the middle of the night, right in time for the set of Finntroll. It was slightly disappointing to have the acoustic parts of their folk metal songs played by samples and not performed on stage. Despite this, Finntroll delivered a solid set with numerous occasions to sing along and warmed everyone’s spirit (and feet).


Embryonic Cells at the Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

It was not quite yet the witching hour when Embryonic Cells came to close the Eye Stage for the night, but the mood was similar. With red lights and skulls as ornaments, it was as far as it could be from the lighthearted trolls of Grazed. Embryonic Cells is a band of Atmospheric Death Metal. The songs played that evening explored the themes of fatherhood and fear. They ended their set with a prayer to summon Azathoth. Lovecraftian references at this hour: it was sending shivers down the spine.


Napalm Death at the Menncy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

A Napalm Death show is a rather puzzling experience. While the other bands playing in Mennecy that day were rather on the heavies side of the Metal spectrum. You’d still need to nudge the bar up a bit to reach the level of Napalm Death.

On the one hand, the Grindcore veterans played with a frenzy difficult to match. On the other hand, between songs, they exposed their political views with a very British composure, calling everyone to respect each other, stop the war, to defend women’s choices, and workers’ wages. A strange recipe to fight off the cold indeed. It was time to call it a night, as after this day not a drop of energy remained in the audience.

Day 3: September 18, 2022


Nervd, Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

Red Mourning’s singer is cumulating jobs, as he is also the frontman for Nervd. They play a form of Classic Thrash Metal, with a duo of very efficient guitarists. With a very clear and aggressive sound, it remained less original than Red Mourning. Still a good way to kick off the afternoon and to wake everyone up after the day before.


E-Force, Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

E-Force was created in 2004 by the ex-bassist/singer of Voivoid. Since then the band has released several quality albums of Thrash Metal. Their set in Mennecy remained classic. It benefited from an excellent sound and convinced the audience.


Nydvind, Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

An excellent surprise from this 2nd Day, Nydvind is a Pagan Metal Band, which by all rights should be coming from Scandinavia, but no, they’re from Paris. They blend growl singing with clear, almost ritualistic chanting. Despite the heavy riffs and blasting rhythmics, their set was like a cool breeze from the North. It’s a shame their show was interrupted a few times by the balances from the main stage. They deserved better conditions.


KOB, Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

This third day of the festival offered even more variety in terms of styles. While until then, the program revolved a lot around Thrash and Death Metal, KOB delivered a set of very Classic Heavy Metal, inspired by Accept, Judas Priest, and such. Veterans of the French scene, the band received a warm welcome and paid tribute to the big names with “Locked and Loaded” a Rob Halford Cover. “Strafe The Underdogs” was also a memorable song.


Photo: Séverine Peraldino

Leaning towards a Stoner/Doom Metal, Fatima is a promising young trio. With already three albums, they delivered a convincing set with quiet composure. Their music also has a progressive and atmospheric side. For fans of Nirvana and Mastodon.


Onslaught, Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

With a somewhat shaken-up lineup (with a missing guitarist, the singer had to handle his job as well) Onslaught arrived on the main stage in the middle of the afternoon with big smiles on their face, like kids who had just robbed an ice cream truck. Technical and energetic, with a set designed to make you headbang uncontrollably, a circle pit soon appeared on the grass of the Parc de Villeroy. Faithful to their reputation as one of the figureheads of Thrash Metal in the UK, Onslaught settled the scores, as the best Thrash Metal band from the weekend.


Manigance, Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

Perhaps it was a bit of a surprise to find Manigance amidst bands with heavier styles. The veterans and uncontested masters of French Melodic Power Metal were in Mennecy to defend their most recent record “Le Bal Des Ombres”, the first one with their new singer Carine Pinto. With only a short time on stage, the band of François Merle was energetic as they always are and offered a great set. New songs “Sang Froid” and “Le Bal Des Ombres” proved to be very efficient on stage. Older songs like “Larme de L’univers” got the whole first rows to sing along. Manigance has more than one trick up its sleeves.


Tagada Jones, Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

Just like their pals from Lofofora. Tagada Jones is heavily influenced by Punk and was one of the most popular bands playing over the weekend. The show already promised epicness when kegs with their initials on fire were brought on stage. Rock N’ Roll incarnation of the French motto, their songs are about liberty, equality, and fraternity. Their message of peace resonated in Mennecy for all of the audience. It was easy for everyone to sing along on “Je suis démocratie”, “De l’amour et du sang”. “Zéro de conduite” gave everyone a need to skip school or work the next day. And their show ended beautifully with their hymn “Mort Aux Cons” (Death to assholes”), an ode to French revolutionary traditions.


While this reviewer had to deal with technical issues… King Crown was playing on the Eye Stage. Melodic and Heavy, their show was a great moment of the weekend. Next on the list of unexpected covers was their rendition of “I’m Still Standing”.


The Darkness, Mennecy Metal Fest
Photo: Séverine Peraldino

The stars of the weekend, The Darkness arrived on stage after an operatic introduction to play their unmistakable Hard Rock. Justin Hawkins seemed very pleased by the almost immediate formation of a conga line in the pit. In this good nature atmosphere, the mischievous frontman played jokes and shenanigans one after the others, stealing a t-shirt from a fan and displaying the extent of his knowledge in French (it’s better than expected). “Solid Gold” and “I believe in a thing called love” were not to be missed. A fitting end to a great festival! For as soon as it was over, everyone was already yearning for the next edition. Only one last thing to say: Happy birthday to you Mennecy Metal Fest!


  • Séverine Peraldino

    Reviewer, interviewer and apprentice photographer for Metal Express Radio, Séverine comes from a small place in the Southern French Alps, near Grenoble. Her taste for classic Heavy Metal is a family heritage and after growing up listening to Iron Maiden, Dio, Metallica and Angra she expanded her horizons with almost every subgenre of Metal, from Power, to Prog, a little bit of Death and Black Metal. She mostly enjoys albums telling stories with originality. When she is not travelling around for concerts and festivals, you can find her reading a good book, or playing board games with friends.

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