Hell is empty and the Devils are here.............................................................
****DISCLAIMER - INTERVIEWS MAY CONTAIN OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE****
It’s that time of year; the road to Hell (and Leeds University) is paved with wrong turns and heavy rainfall. That aside, we’re here for an event that’s quickly becoming a must in every metalheads calendar.
Across the three stages, three very different bands begin our day of carnage. From the Rock Sound Stage come the progressive sounds of THE CONSTRUCT, whereas the Terrorizer Stage unleashes DIASCORIUM, a tech-death band to keep both eyes on at all times. And over on the Jagermeister Stage MUTANT thrash up a storm. They’re soon followed by PANIC CELL, who are genuinely happy to be back at Damnation and start the party early by passing a bottle of the black stuff around and rocking through tunes like Splitting Skulls, Away From Me, Save Me and crowd-pleasing cover Crazy.
COLONEL BLAST emit an angry rage over on the Terrorizer Stage, and I managed to catch up with them just before they went on to talk about winning the opportunity of being here and who they’d be checking out the rest of the day:
COLONEL BLAST INTERVIEW
Passing through the Jager Stage, I catch the first few songs of ROLO TOMASSI, a band whose style is somewhere between a schizophrenic hardcore and sci-fi lobby feel. Regardless, it’s bloody brilliant. They may not be the most ‘metal’ looking band on the bill, but my god can they get you going.
Shooting off to the press area, it’s a triple header for me with interviews with producer RUSS RUSSEL, Brummie black metallers ANAAL NATHRAKH and their mutated evil brother, the fabulously named FUKPIG:
RUSS RUSSEL INTERVIEW
ANAAL NATHRAKH INTERVIEW
Now back over at a packed out Rock Sound Stage – a room I did not see enough of – MAYBESHEWILL post-rock us into a hypnotised state. With each song blending together every so nicely, this really is a band you have to see live to get the full effect of. Much the same can be said for the couldn’t-be-much-different LAWNMOWER DETH, who pull out a shenanigan filled party thrash attack. Their energetic show gets the crowd really moving, silly hats and all.
A momentary break for a fabulous panini from the always wonderful Deli Kate, washed down with a cold one and its time for a chat with Gregor from PARADISE LOST. And what a well-lovely bloke he was:
PARADISE LOST INTERVIEW
When your singer, who goes by the name of Drunk, comes out to sound check by yelling the C Word down a microphone, you know it could only be time for one thing; FUKPIG. The insanity that follows once the masked maniacs emerge is just bloody awesome, tearing through new songs like Die Bastard, Britain’s Got F*cking Aids and Mind Attack, when we are reminded by a now de-masked Drunk that, if we work in marketing, we really should kill ourselves. I wonder if Bill Hicks listens to Fukpig. Closing with the crushing Necro Punk and Mother Nature’s Tears, we are left holding on to anything nailed down.
Over in Jager country, EARTHTONE9 continue their reunion and return to a stage near you, and judging by the crowd’s reaction they have been sorely missed. Back on the Terrorizer Stage, ANAAL NATHRAKH burst forth with In The Constellation Of The Black Widow. The room is hot as hell, the moshpit is wild and Dave Hunt conducts us through a storming set of tunes like The Final Absolution, More Of Fire Than Blood and Do Not Speak. The barrier doesn’t stand a chance when crowdsurfing becomes a national pastime. They close with the always crushing Pandemonic Hyperblast, and a quick run to the Jager Stage to catch the end of PARADISE LOST proves difficult but worth it for The Last Time and Say Just Words. Cracking.
The only way to truly finish this day off with a blast would be with a few drinks and a good jump around to some old school punkish noise. What’s that? DISCHARGE are playing? To the Terrorizer Stage at once! A band like this, you really do get what you’d expect, and with a smile on my face its time for the long drive back to Stirling. See you in the pit next year!
Phil Robinson hosts Transilvanian Hunger every Monday from 11pm to 1am.
Massive thanks go out to Lisa Coverdale for the hospitality, sandwiches and sweets.