Damnation Festival review

Despite their British brothers only just finishing over on the Eyesore stage and the layout of the Union being such a maze, the room is already buzzing by the time Winterfylleth take to the stage. With this year’s release ‘The Threnody of Triumph’ reaching the top of many metal fans’ charts, the band has plenty of positive energy to unleash in such a negative manner. Their black metal continues to flourish with atmosphere and guitar layers epic enough to become an ethereal alternative to the national anthem. LR

Extreme Noise Terror are next on the Terrorizer stage and despite sharing Winterfylleth’s nationality, this is all the bands share when it comes to sound. The crust titans showcase their earlier punk style along with their more modern grindcore twist and despite the loss of late frontman Phil Vane, the band do him proud, as Dean Jones fills his shoes and stomps them all over the stage, inducing the first major pit and crowdsurfing session of the day. LR

Vreid bring back the darkness to the Terrorizer stage with their melody tinged black metal and fly the flag for Norway in style. Despite three band members being previously associated with Windir, Vried have a much grittier attack, which is displayed even more so live with tracks like ‘Raped By Light’ and ‘Pitch Black’ getting heads banging. Their slightly more black’n’roll approach makes for a catchy set and we’re sure many new fans have been created tonight. LR

Norway continues dominate the Tez stage as Aura Noir unleash the black thrash attack we were expecting. 2012’s ‘Out To Die’ sounds as killer as it did when the album was launched and accompanied with a show a few months back in London and the leather clad lads cause the largest pit of the day. Classics like ‘Hades Rise’ receive a respectable shout-a-long as the speedy riffs tire us out further. LR

Belphegor bring their usual sadomasochistic themes to a frosty Leeds with a raw performance. Speeding through the likes of ‘Necrodaemon Terrorsathan’ and ‘Bondage Goat Zombie’ the blackened death metallers stripped down set seems to go down like a lead balloon for many punters with a lack of participation from the crowd. Then again, they have probably been drinking for hours. LR

Despite sharing a set time with the might Electric Wizard, the Terrorizer stage is still heaving as Pig Destroyer set out to have a sonic battle with the doom legends. This year’s instalment from the grind titans has been highly received and seems to have created quite a stir. Luckily, the recent video for ‘The Diplomat’ has not been an influence on any of the performance, but that is mainly down to the fact the music is already aggressive enough and gore aplenty. Admittedly the sound isn’t great, as the guitars get lost in the mix and overall the volume isn’t loud enough to melt faces like the record achieves. After a few technical errors, the band are back on track but there is still a little bit of regret after hearing about what went on upstairs with the ‘Wizard. LR



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