If You’re Going To… Damnation Festival 2012

Being an extreme metal fan in the UK, one of the most notable disappointments about it is the lack of British festivals that provide line-ups of bands that push their genres to the extreme. Yeah, we have Bloodstock, but is it really extreme? There’s Supersonic too, but line-ups often require a certain taste (especially in noise, electronic or rock/metal). However, Damnation is a sort of balance between the two, never shying away from putting on extreme bands, bands that won’t sell out a stadium but will definitely have people talking about their performances for years. In a sense, Damnation Festival is the UK’s version of the USA’s Maryland Death Fest and France’s Hellfest, on a smaller scale.

But don’t let size deter you, because the line-up is stellar! Headlining acts include the stoner doom gods Electric Wizard, grindcore warriors Pig Destroyer and tormented sludge fiends Amenra. The Jagermeister Stage, being the ‘mainstage’, will hold platform to  My Dying Bride, Gama Bomb, Primordial, Textures, Devil Sold His Soul and Hawk Eyes while the Terrorizer Stage provides Extreme Noise Terror, Belphegor, Aura Noir, Vreid, Winterfylleth, Hang The Bastard and The Atrocity Exhibit. Then Maybeshewill, Witchsorrow, Bossk, 40 Watt Sun, Wodensthrone, Blacklisters and Ravens Creed will appear on the Eyesore Merch Stage. As you can see, there’s a wide variety of metal and rock acts in the genres of grindcore, thrash, black metal, doom, post-rock, hardcore and more – covering a wide array of styles and tastes with just 23 bands – less bands, less horrible clashes!

The festival is a one-day event held at the Leeds University Union, compromising of three stages/rooms and is to take place on the 3rd November, opening its doors at 1pm and keeping the onslaught until 11pm (that is when the headliners finish, although the venue will still be open ’til 12.30pm). If this sounds like something you’re up for, tickets are still available here, and will cost you £32 (+ £1.80 service charge) per ticket – a bargain for the headliners alone.

All that’s left is some personal recommendations, here they are:

Pig Destroyer
When: 10pm
Where: Terrorizer Stage

This will be a part of a very brief three-date visit by the band, the first time to bless British soil in eight long years (when Terrifyer came out). The guys also just brought out a new album, Book Burner, which is receiving a warm welcome among fans, so there’s new material to experience in person. It’s going to be brutal.

Piss Angel:

Electric Wizard
When: 9.30pm
Where: Jagermeister Stage

If you’re going to this festival and can’t recall a single Electric Wizard track, then you’re probably at the wrong place. The doom titans will bring their stoner tales to the mainstage and will undoubtedly cast a hypnotising haze over crowd of pure euphoria. I shouldn’t even have to convince you (unless the clash with Pig Destroyer troubles you as much as it does me).

We Hate You:

Extreme Noise Terror
When: 5.00pm
Where: Terrorizer Stage

ENT are playing a 35-minute set, which to some people might be very short for a band whose been at it for 27 years, but in this time the band could easily play an album and an EP in their entirety within this time. Despite the crust legends losing one of its original members and vocalists Phil Vane (RIP) last year, the band are still going strong, still pushing eardrums to the limit.

Murder:

Bossk
When: 5.30pm
Where: Eyesore Merch Stage

If you need a rest from breakneck fast metal but don’t want to miss any weighty music, then Bossk is surely the band to see. Although the band has just two EPs and a split (with Rinoa) to boast of, the band recently reformed and release a single track (Pick Up Artist) and have revived a waiting fanbase. Although their songs focus mainly focus on post-rock atmosphere, they do have their sludgy moments.

Truth:

Aura Noir
When: 7.15pm
Where: Terrorizer Stage

If you fancy getting a dose of blackened thrash metal into your daily diet, then Aura Noir will worthwhile of your time. Hailing from Norway, considerable home of black metal, and unleashing fast yet uncompromising heaviness since 1993, Aura Noir seem just as filthy live as they are in recording and will definitely get some bodies flying.

Conqueror:

Maybeshewill
When: 7.55pm
Where: Eyesore Merch Stage

Maybeshewill will be an interesting band to check out, especially after releasing three albums, the third receiving mixed reviews after the change of style from the other two. Their first and second, “Not For The Want Of Trying” and “Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony”, had a strong 65daysofstatic influence yet injecting refreshing moments of crushing riffs while the third, “I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone”, saw a much more mellow turn for the band. Whichever material they play, it’s bound to be an atmospheric watch.

Not For The Want Of Trying:

Blacklisters
When: 4.30pm
Where: Eyesore Merch Stage

Only recently making an impact on the UK underground rock/metal, Blacklisters made one hell of an entrance of it with their official music video for NSFW Trickfuck. The band themselves sound like a heavier, 2000’s version of The Jesus Lizard with slurring vocals and drunken guitar riffs. Their also supporting Pig Destroyer on their other two UK dates, so if that doesn’t raise some curiosity…

Trickfuck:

Amenra
When: 9.10pm
Where: Eyesore Merch Stage

A band that has no limit into making music that ventures into the darkest corners and despair of the human mind: heavy, slow, atmospheric and punishing. Their sludgy doom is the soundtrack to human misery: imagine Meth Drinker and Toadliquor mixed, and then slowed down even more. Necks will be broken by riffs and slow drumbeats on that night – these guys will guarantee it.

The Pain Is Shapeless:

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2 thoughts on “If You’re Going To… Damnation Festival 2012

  1. benfyffemusic says:

    Maybeshewill have released three albums.

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