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The big summer festivals, as good as they may have been, are now a long and distant memory. As we all wave goodbye to daylight and look forward to a long cold winter filled with people endlessly talking about X-Factor or Strictly Come whatever…there is that one glimmer of hope for the Metalhead. As sure as night follows day; the Damnation Festival team will always follow your summer festivities by completely blowing them out the water!

This year is no exception to that rule…

The UK’s leading one-day metal festival has once again come up with a superb bill of heavy metal wonder. Staying strict to the festivals own mantra of “giving a voice to the underground”; Damnation is one of those rare festivals that the trolls of the internet wouldn’t dare start a fight with. I mean…can you imagine it? Who on Earth would argue with a festival of this pedigree? Just look at some of the bands who have played this festival in the past: Carcass, Devin Townsend, Godflesh, Destruction…the list is as large as it is mouth-watering.

This year we have none other than Electric Wizard as headliners. This band is worth the entrance fee alone. Especially when you consider that on the rare occasion that this band graces the live stage in the UK, it’s usually either in Bristol or London! This November they’ll be coming to Leeds and any Doom, Stoner or Sabbath worshipper will be a fool to miss it. After a long time spent as a recording band, Electric wizard are really starting to embrace the live scene, and they’re getting pretty damn good at it too.

Anyone who knows Damnation will be only too aware that this festival doesn’t just rely on a big name headliner to bring in the punters. Take a look at that final line-up poster. It’s going to be a day filled with the best, rarest and freshest metal to be found…

Here are a few gems that we are looking forward to catching:

Who would be a perfect warm-up for Electric Wizard? Witchsorrow would of course. They deal in similar currencies to our headliners. Definitely a day for the Sabbath lovers to unite in appreciation of the mighty riff, and we’re only just getting started.

It’s not unusual to see a few local bands on a festival bill. My Dying Bride are not your typical band from just down the road though. Having been at the forefront of the UK doom scene for more than twenty years, this is another band that you don’t see playing every week. Another one for the legends list then!

Variety is the spice of life apparently, and in sharp contrast to the doomsters mentioned so far; Hawk Eyes play some up tempo alt-metal. They’ve been working hard all across Europe this year making a name for themselves. They possess a huge arsenal of riffs for a young band but it’s their ability to deliver the riffs in such a devastating and fresh manner that’ll win over the masses at the festival.

A trio of local bands is rounded off with the awesome BLKLSTRS. Their visceral and bile-ridden rock may not be the heaviest on offer on the day, but they will most certainly make an impact on those caught off guard!

Pig Destroyer should need no introduction. Grindcore masters from across the pond and a band in possession of a name so offensive that they’d be arrested twice a day if it wasn’t just subtle enough to go over the majority’s head. I don’t need to tell you that these guys are gonna tear your face off.

No Heavy Metal festival would be complete without a sizeable portion of Thrash. This base is well and truly covered in 2012 by Northern Ireland’s stout drinking thrashers: Gama Bomb. Having been at the forefront of Earache’s Thrash revival since the start, these guys will increase the headbanging speed ten-fold.

Finally, we just have to see Bossk. Post-rock, Ambient, Sludgey Stoner…wherever you want to pigeonhole them, we’re sure glad they’ve got back together again. New track ‘Pick Up Artist’ sets down the gauntlet, they’re back and they mean business!

They are just a few that we are looking forward to, but there’s plenty more. Any self-respecting Metalhead should be more than entertained throughout the day. Damnation is the real deal when it comes to ‘proper’ metal.


Damnation Festival takes place on November 3rd at Leeds University.

Tickets are priced at £32 and can be purchased right here:


Rob W

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