The second instalment in our three part preview of Damnation Festival 2011 sees Team TINAS’ newest member Ro pen her first festival preview. Covering such delights as Dragged Into Sunlight, A Forest Of Stars, Conan, Astrohenge, Talons, Altar of Plagues, Amplifier and God Is An Astronaut. A veritable smorgasbord of bands, genres and noise, i’m sure you’ll agree!
Dragged into Sunlight ( 17:00 – 17:30) is regrettably not the title of the next Twilight film, but rather a subterranean serpent which has risen from the sewers to spew blackened doom metal on the gathered spectators. Despite playing the teatime slot – ditties such as “Boiled Angel” and “Buried with Leeches” will turn that once tasty pasty to ash in your mouth. Cast your snacks aside and revel in aural chaos so sludgy you won’t be clean for weeks.
Zero Tolerance Stage:
It is to be hoped that all members of the audience will have a top hat and monocle handy in their back pockets to dress in a manner fitting for a set by Leeds natives A Forest Of Stars (14:30 – 15:00). The “exclusive brotherhood of English Victorians” transport listeners back to 1891 in a heady mix of black metal and psychedelia. This will be the band’s final show of the year, be sure to drop by and raise your glass of absinthe in the general direction of the stage.
Described on their Facebook page as playing ‘caveman battle doom’ Scouse trio Conan (15:30 – 16:00) claw their way to the stage to fill the atmosphere with more static and dry ice than a dingy rock club. With a wall of sound thick enough to damage the structural integrity of the building tempered with far away vocals, these boys are far from your regular harbingers of doom.
London’s “OmniMetal” scoundrels Astrohenge (16:30 – 17:00) showcase a cocktail of sludge, psychedelia, buzzing and crunching guitars and a host of electronic effects to make your head spin even more than that 11th whiskey and coke. Big on the London circuit, the boys come to try their fortunes in the no frills north. It remains to see whether their omnivorous offering will spawn new devotees dwelling further north than the Watford Gap.
Instrumentalist sextet Talons (17:30-18:00) have many strings to their bow, bringing not one but two violins to the hallowed gates of the Zero Tolerance stage. Fusing argumentative hardcore with chilled post-rock and math-rock twiddles so complex even Einstein had to head to the bar. Talons are as varied and unpredictable as a 10p pick and mix and more exciting than a bag of Tangfastics. The many faceted band has played with acts as diverse as Rolo Tomassi, 65daysofstatic and Manchester Orchestra. So for those who think that instrumental music is some laid back cop out – come have your ears retuned and mind boggled.
Despite both a legible logo and lack of corpse paint Altar Of Plagues (18:30 – 19:10) do indeed play a most black of metals. Taken up with themes such as the environment, conservation and the oppression of urbanism they appear to be this side of the pond’s answer to Wolves in the Throne Room.
For those still wringing out their organic cotton handkerchiefs over the latter’s disbandment, dab your eyes and scoot to witness the rising of your new favourite band.
Poles apart from the aural brutality that has gone before Amplifier (19:40 – 20:40) fill the evening with the balm of spacey alternative rock. Having humbly spawned in an empty Mancunian mill, 3 studio albums later the band are now embarking on their second decade together and gaining fans among all music lovers of all walks of life.
Their latest album “Octopus” has themes and styles more plentiful than the legs of the creature it’s named after.
God Is An Astronaut (21:10 – 22:10) finally ascend to bequeath a 60 minute set to those still able to stand/see/hear. The Irish quartet bring the day to a close with their unique concoction of ambient rocky goodness with a smattering of electronica for good measure.
Boasting the addition of a new drummer and with whispers of energetic performances and rave reviews of recent shows rattling the rumour mill it would seem this once studio bound project is leaping forth into the (5th age of the) sun of live music.
Surely you all have your tickets by now… Well, if you haven’t then get the Official Damnation Festival Website and get yours NOW!!!
Watch out for our third and final preview of this years Damnation Festival covering, amongst others, Humanfly, Cerebral Bore, Medulla Nocte, Godflesh and The Devin Townsend Project!