France is famous for its wines, beautiful countryside, and maybe even one of Europes Best Heavy Metal Festivals – Hellfest. But over the years, France has also had some great metal bands rise up. Here are the 3 of the best French Heavy Metal bands for you to enjoy checking out:
A personal favourite of the metal queen Doro Pesch, Trust are an old school heavy metal band founded in 1977. They were pretty popular in Europe during the 80s.
As a fun fact: Nick McBrain from Iron Maiden played drums with Trust, before he quit to play with Iron Maiden.
Trust had a prolific career, releasing 12 albums and EPs, and 7 live albums across the last few decades. Their most recent release was a live album from their 2017 performance at Hellfest.
They also had a song featured in the 1981 animated movie Heavy Metal (a personal favourite of mine!). It’s a cool song that really demonstrates some of their punk influences, take a listen:
Trust influenced some of the big metal bands that came out of that period, with both Anthrax and Metallica covering “Antisocial”, originally written and released by Trust:
(as a side note, Antisocial was also featured on Guitar Hero World Tour)
Originally hailing from Paris, Sortilege had an unfortunately short life span. They were active from 1981 to 1986, releasing 4 records in total, one of which was a live album.
Nonetheless, they had an impact on the metal scene, attracting a cult following. Sortilege got their first break opening for Def Leppard on their French tour.
However, demand for the band was quite low, leading to them getting frustrated at not being able to grow and eventually disbanding in 1986.
Fortunately for us, their discography is now on Spotify, and the bands music has over 5,000 listeners a month – which is awesome.
Sortilige (sort of) still play live, under the moniker of “Tribute Sortilege”, featuring 3 our of 5 original members. Yves Campion (from Nightmare) has played bass for them before. It’s tricky to find any information or website specifically for the tribute group – so if you want to see them, you will have to keep an eye out!
Probably the biggest metal band to come from France, Nightmare have been playing since 1979. They took a 16 year hiatus between 1987 and 1999, and have been releasing and performing ever since.
Nightmare have released 10 studio albums, have had numerous line up changes, and evolved their sound across their career; an impressive feat for any band.
Starting out with very strong New Wave of British Heavy Metal influences in the late 1970s and 80s, the band evolved their sound into a more symphonic / power metal sound.
Recent additions of awesome guitar shredder Matt Asselbergs and vocalist Magali Luyten have helped keep the band going strong, and also gives an interesting change in sound, being one of the few bands to move from a male to female singer.
They regularly play live – check out their facebook and keep updated with their shows.
So there you have it, three awesome french heavy metal bands – which is your favourite?