The 2015 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival turns up the heat on its annual stop in Idaho.

This year’s festivities included two stages of metal. The Victory Records stage featured Code Orange, Shattered Sun, Sworn In, Sister Sin, Jungle Rot, Thy Art Is Murder, Whitechapel, Kissing Candice, and Feed Her To The Sharks. Of the varied bands to own that stage, there were some stand-out moments.

Shattered Sun pulled a full and consistent crowd. Sticking to a musical formula that has proven effective over the last several years, the six-piece ensemble, complete with keyboards, played a tight set that kept the metal crowd’s attention.

Sworn In followed suit, successfully keeping the momentum. These kids surprised the crowd with their well-rehearsed and focused delivery. Their songs blended a bit with one another, but the heaviness quickly inspired a very brutal mosh pit. Vocalist Tyler Dennen attempted to initiate a “wall of death” mid set. It didn’t exactly come together, but it should have. The highlight was an older metal head in a Slayer shirt mixing it up in the pit with the youngsters.

Next up, from Gothenburg, Sweden, was Sister Sin. Channeling classic hard rock and heavy metal akin to the likes of Alice Cooper, Judas Priest and “Shout At The Devil” era Motley Crue, the band rocked with swagger and authentic rock and roll grit. The primary focus was definitely on the female vocalist, Liv “sin” Jagrell. Reminiscent to Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, she belted out powerful melodies with a raspy timber.

On the main stage, Hellyeah provided the wake up call. Some fans may have been expecting “party rock” from the quintet featuring former Mudvayne vocalist, Chad Gray, and drummer Vinnie Paul of Pantera/Damageplan fame, but what they got was a crushing dose of adrenaline soaked heavy metal. Playing a set comprised almost entirely of songs from their recent release “Blood For Blood,” Hellyeah made a serious statement: heavy metal is in their blood; it’s what they do.

King Diamond followed with a haunting, theatrical set. The crowd seemed to be largely unfamiliar with the legend, but it appeared completely enamored by the epic performance.

After a short intermission, Slayer took the stage and did what Slayer does best: captured souls and set them on fire, both with their music as well as the hair-singing pyro. Their set was tastefully executed in tribute to the late guitarist and founding member, Jeff Hanneman. Another highlight of the day was a ten-year-old girl fervently enjoying Slayer atop her father’s shoulders, proving that heavy metal is alive and well.

Rockstar Mayhem Festival
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