For thirteen years Damnation Festival has served as the closer of the festival season, the last big bang before the end of the year. The traditional November slot continues for the fourteenth edition of the festival on November 3rd and the line-up is a corker!
Gav and his team work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure the one-day extreme festival in Leeds is the very best of its kind in the UK, with 2018 promising the strongest line up yet.
We are again offered four stages of aural delights from which to choose. Twenty-seven bands across a single afternoon and well into the evening. A few changes for this year’s edition see new stage sponsors come in and a later curfew means headliners Napalm Death don’t come on until 23:00.
To start off, the Jägermeister main stage remains unchanged, except for the curfew which allows for longer sets from some of the strongest bands on the bill. Opening this stage are British death metal stalwarts Cancer with an exclusive UK show just days after the launch of their first new album in thirteen years. They are the UK’s finest purveyors of traditional death metal and the trio of Ian, Carl and John will put on one hell of a show. This is quite possibly the best opening for the main stage the festival has ever seen.
Birmingham noise merchants Anaal Nathrakh, also fresh off the back of a new album, strengthen the main stage line up. Dave Hunt and Mick Kenny returning as festival favourites for their first appearance since 2014.
Ihsahn returns to the UK following his critically acclaimed appearance at Bloodstock with Emperor to make a fleeting appearance with his solo project. Whilst headliners Napalm Death close out the stage and day with what will no doubt be a brutal display of grind perfection.
Taking a trip downstairs to the newly christened Tone Mgmt Stage, we have a veritable smorgasbord of bands filling the day. Birmingham brutal crust punk legends Fukpig have reformed, playing their first show in many years at the festival. The last time they played the event they destroyed it, quite literally. Expect the most volatile of mosh pits and the most violent of performances.
Batushka bring their atmospheric black metal later in the day in an eagerly anticipated performance, whilst the stage is closed out by Vader, Poland’s biggest music export. Piotr’s throaty vocal girth accompanied by his and Marek’s duelling guitars will deliver excellence in the extreme and no doubt a performance on par with that of Cancer earlier in the day.
The Eyesore Merch Stage returns for another year’s action with Vola opening the stage first thing. OHHMS are an early highlight with their eccentric mix of doom laden madness. A mass of writhing bodies on stage, a must see if you can get into the room in time.
Later in the day Monuments will deliver their groove laden djent progressive metal mix to a crowd frothing in anticipation at their appearance. Whilst The Ocean return for their 4th appearance at the festival. Ever the favourite of festival director Gav, the progressive musical collective now step up to a headline slot and will no doubt fill out the third stage on Saturday evening.
The Mine, down in the basement of the University building, will again play host to the forth and smallest stage of the festival, this year endorsed by Cult Never Dies. Doom/drone/sludge ensemble Hundred Year Old Man start things off, following a stellar Bloodstock appearance we recommend you do not miss them! Progressive black metallers A Forest of Stars return for their third Damnation opportunity whilst the stage is closed off by another black metal outfit Ghost Bath. If you’ve never seen them, we recommend you catch them as you will not be disappointed.
These along with all the other bands we’ve not mentioned make up the strongest Damnation Festival line up yet. We take our hats off to Gavin, Paul and Becky for pulling this all together and can’t wait for it all to kick off in a few weeks’ time.
Limited tickets for the festival are still available. Make sure you buy now before it’s too late! For those of you with tickets already, be sure to check out the Damnation Festival clash finder below to plan your day accordingly!