It’s a heartening sign of the ascendancy of extreme metal that the renowned Damnation Festival has not only reached its tenth year but that it is also stronger than ever, boasting a stuinning line up and pushing The Leeds University Students’ Union to capacity. There are many potential factors involved in this, but arguably the two most important are that Damnation has steadfastly remained a festival by and for fans and that it rarely repeats line up elements except to meet exceptional demand. These factors mean that each Damnation festival is a unique event, with the only common thread being the hard core of Damnation regulars who see the festival as both an opportunity to witness some of the sickest, most extreme metal on the planet and a chance to meet up with increasingly familiar and like-minded souls.
The organizers of Damnation are justifiably proud of their achievements and it was obvious that they were never going to let the festival’s tenth anniversary (a truly monumental achievement in these uncertain times) simply pass them by, and so 2014 marks one of the festival’s most intense and exciting line ups. Boasting an appeareance from death metal legends Cannibal Corpse (whose stunning new album, ‘a skeletal domain’ is reviewed here), a headline performance from the remarkable Bolt Thrower and appealing to the doom community with Saint Vitus, this year’s Damnation has truly covered all the bases and the only issue for any discerning fan is likely to be whom to see at any given point.
Spread across four stages, it is arguable that the smaller stages also offer the best opportunities to see up and coming acts playing with the benefit of a world-class sound system and this year’s festival does not disappoint, offering up performances from the likes of Winterfylleth (whose remarkable new album ‘the divination of antiquity’ is out now), the highly recommended psychadelic metallers Black Moth (see video below) and avant-metal band <code> to name but three.
With the festival’s official press release noting the words of festival Director Gavin McInally: “This year’s line-up is fitting of a tenth anniversary party and with tickets on track to have 4,000 friends with us, it’s going to be a bash to remember.” it would appear that Gavin is a master of understatement. Previous Damnation’s have raged late into the night and boasted a friendly, exuberant atmosphere that is, quite simply, unparalelled. The sheer range of music and bands on offer coupled with the intimate and friendly surroundings, the exceptionally reasonable ticket, food and alcohol prices and the ease of getting to and from the venue all combine to mark Damnation out as the metal event of the year – a tough challenge when the year also contains the mighty Bloodstock.
Damnation’s complete line-up is Bolt Thrower, Cannibal Corpse, Saint Vitus, Ahab, Raging Speedhorn, Orange Goblin, Anaal Nathrakh, Monarch!, Stampin’ Ground, Revocation, Solstafir, Winterfylleth, Fen, Aeon, Black Moth, Wodensthrone, H A R K, Amputated, A Forest of Stars, October File, Xerath, <code>, Falloch, Bast, Atlantis, Obsidian Kingdom and Corrupt Moral Altar, and you can check out the stage times for the bands below.
For those fans who arrive in Leeds the night before, there is a warm-up for Damnation Festival: A Night of Salvation which takes place at The Belgrave Music Hall, featuring Dyscarnate, Hang the Bastard, Latitudes, The Atrocity Exhibit and Cattle. Tickets priced £6 are available on the door.
Tickets for Damnation Festival are priced £36 and on sale now here.
Don’t miss out on the metal party of the year – Damnation is now just a week away… and we can’t bloody wait!
Want to know more? Here’s our review from 2012.