Nov 082016



(Our man in the UK, Andy Synn, attended Damnation Festival 2016 in Leeds on November 5, and provides this report along with videos he made.)

Oh Damnation Festival how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

Whereas too many other events seem content to book the same big-name crowd-pleasers, year in and year out, buttressed by an interchangeable selection of generic sound-alikes and contrived gimmicks – all carefully selected purely for their mundane mass-appeal – the Damnation team seem to operate on an unwavering ethos of only booking the bands they truly like, bands (big and small) that they truly believe in, who have something unique or special to offer.

This is how every edition of the festival features an array of bands from multiple different styles, from Death to Prog to Doom to Hardcore to Sludge (and beyond), from across the length and breadth of the underground Metal scene coexisting under one roof and why, over the years, Damnation has seen everyone from Ahab to Asphyx, Carcass to Katatonia, Mono to My Dying Bride, playing to the sort of packed crowds that are a regular occurrence in Europe, but which only rarely seem to be achievable here in the UK.

This helps make Damnation Festival’s line-up a much more interesting affair than many of their peers, as the organisers seem to operate on the principal of “if you build it, they will come”, putting their faith in the belief that the UK scene doesn’t just want to be fed the same old bands and the same old performances, time and time again. And this year was no different, with a wide variety of different acts, of different styles, on display, coupled with a bunch of exclusive performances which practically justified the ticket price on their own! Continue reading »

Apr 102013

Here’s a round-up of a few of the things I saw and heard in the last 24 hours.


I heard a new song by a London-based band named Hang the Bastard. NCS writer Andy Synn sent me a link to this song. I love this song with a deep and abiding love, not a platonic kind of love but a rough, messy, sweat-and-fluid-drenched, up-against-the-wall kind of love, with clothes ripped off and strewn around the floor and some blood smear left on the paint from all the scratches.

The name of the song is “Sweet Mother”, and Hang the Bastard released it a couple of weeks ago. It has huge, beefy, fuzzed-as-hell riffs coming out of every orifice. It squalls and crushes and lacerates. It maketh my head to bang so vigorously that I’ve been left in a permanent bobble-head condition.

The vocalist sounds like he gargled with gasoline and then ate a lit match before tracking his part; I hope the other guys had the decency to stick a fire extinguisher down his throat when he was done. Continue reading »