The organisers at Damnation Festival seem to pull off some seriously good headliners every year. Over the last few years artists as varied as Carcass and Devin Townsend have closed the day on the Jägermeister Stage to almost unanimous approval (some people just like to moan). This year was no different with the mighty Bolt Thrower making a very rare appearance in the UK to bring their tenth anniversary show to an end, and what a way to finish.

The setlist says it all,. From the moment the walked onstage to their intro, to the second they left after their second encore, they put on a show so tight and powerful that it belied their now barely even part time status of recent years. For seventy glorious minutes, the rectory, was transformed into an altar to early nineties death metal, as Karl Willets and his band of warriors raced from classic to classic covering the bands illustrious career. From ‘Mercenary’ to ‘Warmaster’ to ‘The IVth Crusade’ right through to closing track ‘Silent Demise’, at times they threatened to level the Student Union, such was the intensity of their performance. In keeping with their war themed aesthetic, all that was left by the end of their set was a large amount of debris and walking wounded.

The last time that Bolt Thrower played in the UK, was at their excellent BoltFest show back in 2012, and with this show being billed as their only UK appearance for the “foreseeable future”, it may well be a while before we have the chance to see them grace the stage again. Such a good performance left the fans hoping it wouldn’t be too long before they are back, and the organisers with a pretty big problem for next year. How the hell do you follow that?

Setlist:
Intro
War / Remembrance
Mercenary
World Eater / Cenotaph
Anti-Tank (Dead Armour)
Warmaster
This Time Its War
The IVth Crusade
No Guts, No Glory
…For Victory
The Killchain / Powder Burns
At First Light
When Cannons Fade
Silent Demise

Bolt Thrower – Official Website

Photo Credit: Gobinder Jhitta Photography