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Damnation Festival 2011

Saturday 5th November 11

Review by Wolf Shankland

Photography by Andrew McHardy

Leeds has always been seen as one of the most alternative places in the UK, but once a year; on the first Saturday of November, it’s metalled up to the max! And this year was no different!!

If you live in Leeds or the surrounding areas and you listen to the most brutal metal around and didn’t go to this festival, THEN…SHAME ON YOU!!

With the doors opening at 1pm, the crowds of metalheads did not seem restless, as they waited for the first band to finish setting up, the drinking commenced!

Cerebral bore [1/5] were the first band to set up on the Terrorizer stage, and unfortunately took so long to do so. With a missing vocalist and a good twenty minute wait for the band to even start playing, fans started to leave. It wasn’t a good look for the metal giants sadly.


Moving on disappointed from Cerebral we moved to on to the Jagermeister stage where were greeted by the ear blistering, heart pounding fury that was Xerath [4/5]


This band really lifted the fans up from the ground with there kickass sounds and high energy.


Definitely an awesome opener for the mighty Jager stage.


After a well deserved break from the moshing (as well as a massive wait in a line to put my coat away) I decided to checkout Conan [2.5]

A newish band on the scene with one hell of an interesting sound behind them.

This three piece slow doom band had heads going in an interesting why, so if your into your slow, one word, one chord doom metal then these guys are ones to checkout.


But I heard the sound of the trumpets as we headed back to the Jagermeister stage to checkout the battle crazy Turisas [4.5]


An absolutely awesome show, the Finnish battle metallers didn’t fail to impress.


With amazing songs such as the infamous “Battle Metal” echoing through the halls of Leeds like a horn echoing through the walls of Vahalla, the fans raised their plastic swords and axes and battle commenced!!!! BATTLE METAL!!!


I stuck around the stage, got myself a beer and waited as UK thrash metallers Evile [4/5] arrived on the stage, and arrived they did!

With their slayer like hooks and beast like vocals, Evile became a massive favourite straight away.


Playing “Five Serpents Teeth” taken from the new album, I was a happy little wolfy!

Now I had an interesting choice to make (well, other than the last choice) do I stay or move on to the Terrorizer stage?…

But wait, Doom [4/5] are on the Terreroizer stage, and seeing them live, these old doom metallers have really still got their brutality in both their vocals, and fast paced music!

It was amazing to see such icons still going strong.

Now, back to on the Jagermeitster stage. Godflesh[5/5] wow!!!!

An amazing sound from both guitars, and laptop (yep) really one of these bands that if you stayed down the front for too long, your ribcage would shake to pieces!

With songs like “Spite” and “Pure” flowing out, your body don’t stand a chance.

My prognosis: Don’t stand in one place for too long with these guys around, MOSH!!!

Right, now came the hard part; with Decapitated unable to make the festival, Ulver were given an extra half hour, but I didn’t wanna see Ulver…I went for one man, and one man only (gay I know) but this is the amazing DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT [5/5] and what a set it was!!

Opening with the mighty and vulgar Ziltiod puppet on the big screen shouting everything from “shit stains” to “Cock nuggets” the crowd eagerly awaited our favourite bald Canadian.


With songs like “Hyperdrive” “Juular” “Heaven Send” and “Stand” blarring out of those massive speakers and fans brandishing their Ziltoid puppets whilst flying at each, this was one gig you really couldn’t miss, and a great start to his UK tour!



My overall review of the festival is this, fantastic! 5/5

Yes it had a slow start with a few major mess ups, but they really picked it back up and put on a great festival.

I look forward to see what they have in store next year!


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