Posts Tagged ‘Damnation Festival’

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Damnation Festival 2016

November 24th, 2016

Damnation Festival 2016

@ Leeds University Student’s Union, Leeds

November 5th 2016

Review by Demitri Levantis & Nathan Slack

Photography by Graham Hilling

The city of Leeds is one with a very long and fruitful history. It is also a haven for many a great artist or musician, and is home to one of the finest universities in the United Kingdom. A univeristy home to one of the best regarded day festivals: Damnation.

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Posted in 2016, Concert Reviews | Comments (0)

Damnation Festival 2016 – The Countdown Begins!

October 25th, 2016

The countdown to Damnation is now really in full swing! A stonking collection of bands from all over the globe will take to the stages on the 5th November in Leeds, UK

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Final Line Up Confirmed For Damnation Festival 2016

October 17th, 2016

Headliners include Stoner veterans Electric Wizard and Doomers Cult of Luna perorming a special collaboration with Julie Christmas.

df16b

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Undersmile – Interview with the band @ Damnation Festival

November 23rd, 2015

Undersmile

7 November 2015

Interview and Photography by M. Selim Yavuz

Damnation 2015 - Undersmile

Damnation 2015 – Undersmile

I had the great opportunity to talk to Undersmile mid-day, half-drunk at Damnation Festival 2015 at Leeds University Student’s Union building after their gig. They were kind enough to come to the interview as the band. I had a great time chatting with them, and they gave a great performance at Damnation Festival. More on the gig and more performance shots in the festival review! If you haven’t checked Undersmile out yet, go do it now! They released a new album this April, Anhedonia via Blackbow Records. Here’s the gist of what we talked!

https://www.facebook.com/Undersmile

Olly Corona-Brown, bass
Taz Corona-Crown, guitars and vocals
Tom McKibbin, drums
Hel Sterne, guitars and vocals

Thank you very much for the concert. You opened the Electric Amphetamine stage. How was it you think? How was the experience?
Hel: It was great, wasn’t it? We could hear really well, and that’s always a bonus because that means…
Tom: You can hear!
Hel: The room was full of energy.
Taz: It was really full. It was a quite nice surprise. We were expecting one or possibly two.
Tom: I managed to break my snare in the first song, and I had to do two songs with a broken snare.
Taz: When something happens, we don’t know how to do banter, so we just stand there.
Hel: ‘Two men walk into a bar’, that’s as far as I go.
Tom: Yeah, we’re going to have to stand here in silence.
Taz: Olly can actually do jokes, so next time… Apart from the broken snare, it was good.
Tom: I thought it sounded good with a broken snare.
Taz: Often we play and you just can’t hear anything, you can’t hear your amp.
Olly: It was great too, everyone [the technical crew] helped. It’s not like a bar gig.
Tom: It was quite stress-free. It was nice to play here.
Taz: We wanted to, for a while, so it’s fun.

Damnation 2015 - Undersmile

Damnation 2015 – Undersmile

Have you given concerts in the North before?
Tom: Leeds is probably the city we played the most up North. We have a lot of friends here like Wizard’s Beard and various others.
Taz: We always enjoy playing in the North. There’s a good scene.
Tom: Really dedicated.
Hel: We did have to wake up at 6.30 this morning, which we didn’t like with pouring rain all the way.

I know Anhedonia was released fairly recently, but is there anything new in the works?
Tom: We are putting together another album for our other band Coma Wall, so the songs are all written, we are just going to start demoing them, sort of hopefully next week.
Taz: Yep, that’s sort of taking precedent at the moment, because we released an album [with Undersmile] fairly recently, as for Coma Wall, we’ve been waiting to release an album since nearly Hel and I started writing songs together really, nearly 10 years ago.
Hel: Yeah, it was a long time ago. We were sidetracked with Undersmile, and then we just kept saying we have to get this music out, and it’s just going to wait and wait, and now it’s just gotten to a point where it just needs to… We need an album.
Taz: We have focused on Undersmile for quite a long time, haven’t we? So we are ready to do something different for a short amount of time, but we’ve already got plans [for Undersmile], but they’re secret!
Tom: There’s something cool going on next year.
Taz: And then also for future recordings, we’ve got a devious plan!
Hel: I don’t remember that one.
Taz: I’ll tell you later.
Tom: So Coma Wall is definitely next.
Hel: Oh, I remember now.
Taz: Yeah, it’s good. We’re writing a lot of acoustic, sort of murder ballads and things.

Are you doing a tour right now for Anhedonia?
Taz: We’re just doing a few gigs at the moment. But next we’ll hopefully do something more.
Tom: Yeah, we’ve got a gig in two weeks [21st November, The Arena, Rainbow Venues w/ Conan, The Wounded Kings, Slabdragger, and Torpor] in Birmingham, which is a memorial gig for our friend Paul from Grimpen Mire who passed away. And we’re playing New Year’s eve in London [31 December, The Unicorn, w/ Monarch, Birushanah, Ghold, and Torpor].
Taz: We’re looking to both really.
Hel: Because generally New Year’s Eve sucks.
Taz: We just sit at home and cry.
Tom: But hopefully next year, we’ll try and go to Europe. It’s just we’ve never been before, so that’ll be good.
Hel: We enjoy the hospitality of Europe. When we did Roadburn, it was just great. We got the taste for it then.

You played two sets in Roadburn, right? How was that? That must be exhausting!
Taz: It was!
Tom: It was all in day as well.
Hel: We were knackered before we even left, god knows when, like four in the morning. We drove to Calais, and then over, and then Holland, and we got there, played Coma Wall, got lost and just wandered around for a while. We had six hours in between [sets]. I had a nap and I drooled on myself to the extend of ‘I can’t wear this dress’ and then I was just ‘I’m going to have wear it, oh nevermind!’. It was disgusting!
Tom: It was actually fantastic.
Hel: It was really good, but before we went on, who was it…
Taz: I can’t remember who it was.
Olly: Black Anvil!
Hel: Black Anvil played and the whole stage was just covered in blood. The microphones they stunk. We thought it might be fake, it was not. It was pig’s blood or chicken’s blood or something.
Taz: The sound man said: ‘don’t touch these microphones! It’s disgusting!’
All: Yeah, apart from that it was great.
Taz: Such an honour for us to play there! There’s no better honour really, they were lovely to work with.
Tom: It would be great to get a call to come back.
Taz: Yeah! Any time! We’ll make ourselves available!
Back to Anhedonia, I think the new album is much cleaner in terms of sound, was that a conscious choice? Are you going more towards a low rock or post-metal style?
Taz: It’s really hard to say whether something’s conscious or not, because we write, me and Hel mostly, in a subconscious way, so things evolve but not in a conscious way. We don’t sit down and have a band meeting about it and say we’re going to this style. It’s kind of beyond that.
Hel: Yeah, we don’t sit down and say ‘Right, now we’re going to write this or that’. We just write them and because we’ve known each other for so long, we’re on this kind of… We have psychic thing going on. We know what each other is thinking, and so we just do it.
Taz: We’ve never done that in this band, that’s why you can hear change with each album, because we don’t set ourselves a framework to work in.
Hel: And then Tom and Olly, they just intuitively know what we’re doing as well. We don’t tell them, they just do it.
Taz: All of us just fall into our own little role in our band.
Tom: We try not to repeat ourselves, so this was a nice change to have the more dynamic sound. The next thing we might do; I don’t know what it’ll be. We’ve got a couple of ideas. We’re just trying to change it up.
Olly: You want to do things differently you know. You don’t want to keep repeating, playing the same album couple of times.
Tom: And people have followed us through the change, which was cool.
Olly: But the tone of it [Anhedonia], I wouldn’t say is very different.
Taz: You can still tell it’s us I think, Narwhal was like an onslaught of noise, and maybe we just naturally arrived to a point where we wanted to step that back a bit.
Hel: And I think what happened was when we did Anhedonia, people said ‘you’re going the Coma Wall thing’ but Coma Wall came first anyway, so we were already creating that music, we just decided to use it more and that was quite liberating as well after Narwhal.
Taz: I enjoy playing things with a shift of dynamics, I enjoy the quiet and then… And I suppose as well, we are all kind of huge fans of 90s grunge bands, there’s always going to be that element. We got compared to some of our absolute heroes for this album, which was an honour.
Tom: You get compared to bands like Mogwai…
Taz: You can’t even imagine that in your dream really, so that wasn’t the intention.
Hel: I only started listening to Mogwai after we were likened to them, and I was like ‘Oh my god, they’re amazing! I really like this’. It was a huge honour.
Taz: Yeah, it was not a conscious thing, if anything we were channelling other bands like Harvey Milk, and things like that. Codeine as well.
Olly: Pet Shop Boys.
Taz: Olly always likes to tell Pet Shop Boys.
Tom: Frankie Goes to Hollywood or Huey Lewis and the News.
Hel: It’s the underpinning really. It’s very subtle.
Taz: If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t exist. If it wasn’t for them, no one would exist.

Damnation 2015 - Undersmile

Damnation 2015 – Undersmile

This is a hard question, but I like asking it anyway. How would you rate Anhedonia amongst your own work?
Olly: I think it’s the best.
Tom: I think it’s the best.
Taz: I think it’s the best. It sounds such an asshole thing to say but it’s the one where I am actually like: ‘I think we did quite well’.
Hel: I think there’s a reason for that. This was the one time we decided we were going to not do all these others, because you know we love doing collaborations and stuff, and we were asked to do something for Cvlt Nation with Black Flag. We decided that we have to just focus for once.
Taz: We always do so many projects.
Hel: It’s hard to focus, and we are always very busy. So this time we were able to focus and we took our time on it.
Taz: We normally have to go in the studio we are like still writing that last song, whereas this time we knew them inside out before.
Tom: We booked the studio time six months in advance, so we knew we had six months to be completely ready, and we were.
Hel: And this is the first ever, isn’t it?
Taz: The only time!
Hel: That’s why we are so pleased with this album.
Taz: We haven’t recorded like [4 days in a row] before too. We went to Skyhammer four days.
Olly: Chris Fielding recorded it. He’s amazing. He notices stuff you don’t even realise like intonation. He has a great ear.
Taz: He overrode our tuners.
Olly: We mixed in 16 hours, one 16-hour session.
Hel: I got auditory hallucinations, I kept hearing seagulls.
Taz: No one should have to listen to us for 16 hours! That’s fair on anyone! I think one day at Skyhammer you [Hel] and I played guitar for like 12 hours, and that was definitely pushing boundaries of what’s acceptable. After a while, you don’t know what you’re doing anymore.
Hel: Taz got pissed off and kicked a door!
Tom: We’ve all kicked a door in our time.
Taz: There were all these chickens and rabbits there as well, which made things all a bit easier.
Olly: And you’re spending your own money as well, it’s not like the label’s going to pay for you.
Tom: You’ve got to work hard!
Taz: Chris was working until 3 in the morning without complaining.
Tom: To answer your question, Anhedonia is our best album!

The line that ends Anhedonia is ‘I don’t feel anything really’, which sounds quite appropriate. Who writes the lyrics, is it collaborative?
Taz: Hel and I write them. Yes. Yea… I can’t really. If you ever want to make us shut up, just ask us about our lyrics.
Olly: They’re quite personal, aren’t they?
Taz: I kind of feel like almost sometimes, we don’t know where they come from, and perhaps afterwards you might read them and just go ‘Oh that was about that’ but you didn’t even know [when you were writing], just comes out in a stream of consciousness. Sometimes, it’s just a feeling, sometimes it’s about something.
Hel: Sometimes they are, but sometimes they are just coming out. And also we’ve had things in the past, they come through dreams as well. Like you go into different brain wavelengths, so a lot of stuff comes from there. We’re like pen and paper besides the bed, because that’s when you just got to get it done immediately. There were where I had like whole orchestral sounds, but I didn’t even have a clue how to transcribe that. And then being like ‘you’ve lost that piece of music’.
Taz: It’s like you’re humming a tune to your phone at 3am. It’s still better than nothing. You have that melody in your head. It doesn’t leave you alone until you’ve recorded it basically.
Hel: So we quite often feel busy by having to do these daily, mother-y chores, and work and this and that, and you’ve got a riff in your head, and you go like ‘right, now I’ve got to go to work!’, and you’re like ‘no! Fuck off! I’ve got to get this down!’.
Taz: Sometimes it could be a subtle melody change that you never remember again. It’s heartbreaking! One note out of place, and it’s gone you know.
Hel: It is a personal thing to us. Sometimes it means something, sometimes it doesn’t mean something. But we often don’t go into it knowing what it is or isn’t. It is whatever you want it to be basically.
Taz: It’s so personal, it’s hard to talk about. Some of those on that album are particularly personal, and I think there might be another reason why it’s stuck in people’s minds. We’ve been through various different things, families and friends. It comes out I guess. It’s hard to talk about.
Hel: It’s a natural thing, it’s not demons and satan, and this and that. It’s more human.
Taz: It’s more just personal experience. But thank you for asking about them, they are very important to us. It’s just quite hard to articulate.

How do you see your videos?
Hel: We like aesthetically pleasing things in general…
Taz: Or haunting in some way.
Hel: And we like to create stuff between us, which sometimes is difficult because when we work with particular people, they also have their ideas. Yes, but we want to do it, we know what we want. So it can be difficult sometimes.
Taz: Anything to do with art and music is going to be like that. You’ve got an artist with a vision and a musician with a vision.
Hel: We still got a clear vision of what we want, so it sometimes makes it a bit difficult.
Taz: We all love film and they [Undersmile music videos] are quite inspired by film and visual arts.
Tom: And we all grew up watching MTV and all the 90s music videos, so the idea of doing one is great.
Taz: We’re secretly living our rock star dreams!
Hel & Tom: We are!
Tom: Our friend Mark Wickson has basically all the Undersmile videos. He has got a good vision and he’s good at editing. We leave it at his hands, we give him ideas and what we’d like to do. There’s usually a vague storyline, maybe not so much in the last one as such.
Taz: Yeah, the last one was a shift really.
Tom: It’s just a fun way to put songs out there and draw attention to the album.

Damnation 2015 - Undersmile

Damnation 2015 – Undersmile

Are you planning for another video for this album?
Taz: We are planning one.
Hel: As we speak!
Taz: We’re not in it, we can tell you that. It is a nice change!
Tom: If there had been a screen behind us today, we would have shown some footage of it. We didn’t get it finished in time, but hopefully it won’t be too much time.
Taz: It’s nearly done I think. It’s being edited at the moment.
Tom: It’s for one of the Anhedonia songs.
Taz: After that, we might do more.
Hel: We do enjoy doing it, but it just takes so long. And the whole thing is quite torturous. But there are lots of things we want to do. We [Hel and Tom] have got a daughter, she just keeps a stock still face, and she wants to be in one of the videos.

There’s also quite a big shift in the artwork you used for Anhedonia.
Tom: When we were looking at our artwork from before, they’ve always been animated or drawn.
Hel: We got tired of that.
Tom: Yeah, and that takes quite a long time as well. You have to wait for the artist to draw stuff. Then we just saw this photo Taz’s dad had taken, he’s a really good photographer Pierre Corona, and we just thought that…
Taz: We just fell in love with it. It presented sort of confusion.
Tom: Yeah, it’s confusion, it’s quite cold, it’s quite abstract, and then we all agreed on that image. There was another image we wanted to get but we couldn’t get the rights to use it. So hopefully, we’ll be able use that for something in the future.
Taz: It was funny how we fell in love with too, we all just had the same idea at a similar time. I said: ‘quick! Take it off from Facebook Dad! We want that!’
Tom: Then we contacted our friend Jack Burley who’s in the band Earthmass. He’s a really good designer and he does really good layouts for loads of bands. So we kind of just left in his hands, and he came up with this quite cool look. It was quite minimal that we quite liked, and it was quite mysterious as well. And the way he did the broken up fonts with lots of space between letters, it really worked well.
Taz: It suited the album well. Because the album is different than we’ve done before. Then I guess we wanted it to be visually different. I think it captures it quite well. We thought it captures the title and the subject matter quite well.
Hel: Yeah, definitely, and the colour as well. It went well with the heaviness, when I say heaviness, I mean the emotional heaviness rather than metal heaviness. It’s like this thing in your lungs, it just sticks there. I don’t how to explain it really.
Taz: There’s a lot of sadness on that album.
Hel: It’s kind of a grieving feeling that lingers. That’s that colour I think. Purple.
Taz: Purple and gray.

How do you see Coma Wall? I’ve mainly seen it referred to as your side project, but how do you categorise it?
Taz: That’s a really hard question!
Tom: It’s kind of been forced to being a side project, hasn’t it? Because we had a lot of Undersmile things to do, but you guys [Hel and Taz] have been doing this from…
Taz: It predates Undersmile.
Hel: They’re both our babies, aren’t they? We started working on both from the beginning.
Taz: And we quite enjoy working on it.
Hel: It’s only a kind of side project like you [Tom] said, because we have other things to do, but we like it just as much. And we will put more effort into it now, because Undersmile has had a lot attention, and now it’s time for Coma Wall.
Taz: I think that any time you have a heavy band, and then you have an acoustic band, people will always see it as the side project, because it’s not that heavy.
Hel: And it’s less known as well.
Taz: But to us, we’re working just as hard on those songs as we would on Undersmile songs, and honing them at the moment. I guess it’s a side project, because Undersmile has taken the forefront, but not emotionally to us, we enjoy it just as much, put as much into it. We put a lot into it! Blood, sweat, and tears!

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The Wounded Kings – Interview with Steve Mills @ Damnation Festival

November 23rd, 2015

The Wounded Kings – Steve Mills

07 November 2015

Interview and Photography by M. Selim Yavuz

rsz_wounded_king

Steve Mills (Guitars, Piano, Organ) from The Wounded Kings had kindly offered his time to me in Damnation Festival 2015 at Leeds University Student’s Union building. before their gig. We talked a bit about the new album and a bit about their sound. The Wounded Kings is releasing their new album early next year via Candlelight Records, and embarking on a Europe tour March 2016 as well. Be sure to check their concerts and their work! Here’s some of what we talked about!

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Damnation Festival 2015 @ Leeds University Student’s Union

November 23rd, 2015

Damnation Festival 2015

@ Leeds University Student’s Union

7th November 2015

Review and Photography by M. Selim Yavuz

Damnation Festival 2015

It’s Damnation Festival. The 11th one! This was only the second time I attended, but the greatness of Damnation Festival and the wonderful maze of Leeds Uni Student’s Union building was definitely one of motivations for me to move up North, and as expected it did not disappoint in any aspect. Damnation continues to be one of the greatest metal events that happen in the North. My thanks go to everyone who was involved in the organisation and made it a great memory for many people!

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Anaal Nathrakh – Interview with Dave Hunt

June 23rd, 2015

Anaal Nathrakh

Interview with Dave Hunt

The Black Heart, Camden
Interview by Caitlin Smith

Anaal Nathrakh

Anaal Nathrakh

Following on from the release of their latest album, Desideratum, it seems that Anaal Nathrakh can do very little wrong. Having played sets at both Temples Festival and Damnation recently, this band have long been proving they can pull some serious crowds. Hitting the Black Heart that evening, the night had long been sold-out due it’s minuscule capacity. The event promised to be one the most intimately explosive gigs seen in a long time. Sitting down with Vocalist Dave, we discuss the ins and outs of what makes up Anaal Nathrakh.

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Ahab Interview with Christian Hector

November 27th, 2014

Ahab Interview with Christian Hector

1st November 2014

Interview by Caitlin Smith

Nautical themed doom giants Ahab may be making a name for themselves on the doom scene, and have been enjoying unparalleled success since their latest full-length masterpiece ‘The Giant’ hit the shelves in 2012. Returning this year for Damnation Festival, it is only the 2nd time these doom titans have set foot on UK soil. Sitting down the bassist Christian Hector at Damnation, we chat about their recent venture into charity work, the new album and their love of good literature.

Ahab

Ahab

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A Forest of Stars Interview with Curse, TS Kettleburner and the Gentleman

November 27th, 2014

A Forest of Stars Interview with Curse, TS

Kettleburner and the Gentleman

1st November 2014

Interview by Caitlin Smith

A Forests of Stars may have been simmering below the surface of the British black metal scene now with their unusual mix of black metal and progressive, all brought together by the downright strangest of minds, but it wasn’t till the release of their latest record A Shadowplay for Yesterdays back in 2012 that this band really made some serious headway out of the underground. Arriving suited and booted in their finery and bringing with them a healthy dose of dark humour, we sit down with Curse, The Gentleman and Mr TS Kettleburner to get to grips on what really makes this group of time travelling musicians tick.

Logo

Logo

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Damnation Festival 2014

November 26th, 2014

Damnation Festival

@ Leeds University, Leeds

2nd November 2014

Review by Caitlin Smith & Ben Spencer

Photography by Graham Hilling

Damnation 2014

Damnation 2014

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Katatonia Interview with Daniel Liljekvist and Niklas Sandin

November 20th, 2013

Katatonia Interview

with Daniel Liljekvist and Niklas Sandin

@ Damnation Festival, Leeds UK

2nd November 2013

Interview by Caitlin Smith

Photography by Michelle Murphy

The King may be Dethroned and Uncrowned, but Swedish metal legends KATATONIA still seem to be standing tall among the masses. Fresh of the success of their latest acoustic album, we catch the boys taking a brief break before hitting the stage at Damnation Festival.

Sitting down with bassist Niklas Sandin and drummer Daniel Liljekvist so they can tell us about tales of Eagles, poorly fitting t-shirt and the joys of Emmerdale.

This is certainly no ordinary interview!

Katatonia

Katatonia

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Cult of Luna Interview with Johannes Persson

November 20th, 2013

Cult of Luna Interview

with Johannes Persson

http://www.cultofluna.com/

@ Damnation Festival, Leeds UK

2nd November 2013

Interview by Caitlin Smith

Interview Photos by Michelle Murphy

1

There are a few ways to tell that an interview is going to be interesting, and having to literally coax the interviewee away from reading up on an Ice Hockey match is definitely one of them.

Already running 5 minutes late for the interview, CULT OF LUNA member Johannes Persson; (Vocals and Guitars) breezes up with a grin the biggest grin on his face before launching into a long complaint about the back ground music.

Dragging him back on track and into his music, It’s not hard to see why these guys are one of the hottest post-metal bands around right now. Not only did Vertikal set the new standards in bleak music but EP Vertikal II released just months after is the same devastating standard.

Taking a quick break from the madness of Damnation Festival, we chat with Persson about the new EP and how they turned such abstract ideas into musical reality.

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God Seed Interview with King ov Hell

November 20th, 2013

God Seed Interview

with King ov Hell

http://www.godseedband.com

@ Damnation Festival, Leeds UK

2nd November 2013

Interview by Caitlin Smith

God Seed

The old giants of black metal still stand tall. They may not be as young or as angry as they were back in the beginning but one thing we can say for certain they held onto was their talent. With cries that black metal is dead, and that all remaining bands are simply copies of older work, but some still remain to prove to doubters and elitists alike that there are still doors that have been left closed, pathways that remain untrodden. We catch up with King Ov Hell to chat about the life as bassist in his new band, GOD SEED.

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Moss Interview with Ollie Pearson, Dom Finbow and Chris Chantler

November 20th, 2013

Moss Interview

with Ollie Pearson (vocals), Dom Finbow (Guitar) and Chris Chantler (Drums)

2nd November 2013

@ Damnation Festival, Leeds

Interview by Caitlin Smith

Interview Photos by Michelle Murphy

Moss

It’s been 13 years of nightmares and torment from doom metal trio MOSS and they’re not letting up just yet. With the release of Horrible Night only six months before and appearances at two upcoming UK festivals, these guys are back, bring spreading their message of doom, misery and madness to anyone willing to listen. Appearing at Damnation Festival, Metal Rules took the opportunity to decode their message of misery, horror and health and safety.

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Damnation Festival 2013

November 18th, 2013

Damnation Festival

@ Leeds University, Leeds

2nd November 2013

Review by Caitlin Smith

Photography by Michelle Murphy

Calling all the sinners and heretics, the gathering of the damned with once again take place in the unholy city of, well, Leeds. Perhaps the settings may not be dark, dank pits of hell, but the bands certainly make up for this. Damnation festival has returned bigger and better than ever this year, with an additional forth stage and hallways chock full of denim cutoffs and weathered leather jackets on men and women alike. As some things change though, others stay the same. CARCASS made their Damnation debut in 2008, and judging by the packed halls, this was a more than welcome booking.

Damnation Festival

Damnation Festival

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