Damnation Festival 2012 Preview

Another year, and another chance for the Leeds University student council to get a free appraisal of their buildings’ structural integrity. Yes, ladies and gents, the 8th edition of Damnation Festival is set to strike the Students’ Union next month, and this time round looks even better than the last. Naturally, we’re going to give you the rundown of the bands, some of which have us salivating with anticipation. With three stages of very different styles to choose from, you won’t be running out of options any time soon.

First up, the big three: Electric Wizard, My Dying Bride and Pig Destroyer. After an incredibly successful lights n’ sound show in London that should have been entered in the Psychedelic Olympics, Jus and co. are bringing Electric Wizard‘s show to Leeds. The giants of stoner doom from Dorset (of all places) are sure to be a main attraction, although gas masks may be needed for the weed haze during “Dopethrone”. Meanwhile, My Dying Bride will be making a triumphant homecoming return after their 2008 set to fill the stage with melancholic doom-death metal, premiering material from their as-yet-unreleased A Map Of All Our Failures. Finally, after 8 long years, chaotic US grindcore quartet Pig Destroyer are returning to England’s shores on the back of the lauded Book Burner, and are sure to give the walls new decoration after their mosh-inducing frenzy.

I have personally already earmarked Primordial as my highlight of the festival, having heard much about their live show despite missing their last two England appearances. Riding on their stunning seventh release Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand, Nemtheanga and his band of somber Irishmen will be bringing their anthemic brand of blackened Celtic metal, a show that is definitely not to be missed.

On a similar blackened metallic note, Norway is being well represented with black/thrash attack Aura Noir and and melodic black metallers Vreid, although black/death metal act Belphegor will be ensuring Austria isn’t forgotten as they kick up a suitable racket. In addition, Winterfylleth and Wodensthrone return triumphant from Bloodstock and Warhorns Festivals respectively to add a very English refinement to the black metal fury, the latter of whom will be one to cross of my list to see live.

Moving into grinding territory, aside from the aforementioned headliners, Ipswich crusty extreme metallers Extreme Noise Terror will be leaving ears ringing with classics, and make sure to arrive early for The Atrocity Exhibit‘s loud and proud grindcore assault which was designed for the live environment. Adding to the thrash attack of Aura Noir will be Irish upstarts Gama Bomb, whose 10th anniversary of zombie- and video-games-related shenanigans will be destructive yet light relief from the serious and sludgy death metal such as what Ravens Creed will be bringing.

And sludge itself will be here in abundance and variance. In the run-up to Electric Wizard’s show, we have a whole host of local talent: doomsters Witchsorrow, sludgy metallic hardcore from Hang The Bastard, atmospheric sludge from Bossk (who sound very promising), and Warning-spinoff 40 Watt Sun. Going continental, Belgian sludge/doomsters Amenra and Dutch prog-groovers Textures will also be present, the latter of whom are sure to be a hit after a successful yet short headliner set at UK Tech-Metal Fest earlier this year.

To round off, we have three oddball bands who have been added to the lineup. Ambient post-hardcore sextet Devil Sold His Soul will prove to be an interesting watch, as will post-rock quartet Maybeshewill (whom I caught before with Earthtone9).  Blacklisters seem to have have one of the most eyebrow-raising styles, somewhere between Melvins-style noise/stoner and Rolo Tomassi’s experimentation. Last, but not least, Alt-rockers Hawk Eyes, while being new to my ears, possess an interesting stoner-inspired sound which, while lighter than most on the bill, should not be overly out of place.

Now, who’s got tickets? Who’s kicking themselves that they haven’t? Let us know in the comments who would or will be your highlights of this Northern shindig?




Jägermeister Stage Terrorizer Stage Eyesore Stage
Hawk Eyes (2.45pm – 3.15pm)
Devil Sold His Soul (3.40pm – 4.10pm)
Textures (4.35pm – 5.15pm)
Gama Bomb (5.40pm – 6.20pm)
Primordial (6.50pm – 7.30pm)
My Dying Bride (8pm – 9pm)
Electric Wizard (9.30pm – 11pm)
The Atrocity Exhibit (2pm – 2.30pm)
Hang The Bastard (3pm – 3.30pm)
Winterfylleth (4pm – 4.30pm)
Extreme Noise Terror (5pm – 5.35pm)
Vreid (6.05pm – 6.45pm)
Aura Noir (7.15pm – 8pm)
Belphegor (8.30pm – 9.30pm)
Pig Destroyer (10pm – 11pm)
Ravens Creed (1.30pm – 2pm)
Witchsorrow (2.30pm – 3pm)
Wodensthrone (3.30pm – 4pm)
Blacklisters (4.30 – 5pm)
Bossk (5.30pm – 6.10pm)
40 Watt Sun (6.40pm – 7.25pm)
Maybeshewill (7.55pm – 8.40pm)
Amenra (9.10pm – 10.10pm)


About Angel (104 Articles)
Angel is a headless chicken masquerading as a music addict, or potentially the other way round. He is the founder and editor of music website Broken Amp, as well as a publicist for Dewar PR, and otherwise offers proofreading and translation services. His musical taste covers most of the musical spectrum (including pretty much every metal genre under the sun), and he can be found enthusiastically rambling about music and other topics on Twitter: @markangelbrandt. Check out Angel's work online: &

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