Damnation 2017: Who To Watch

Published: November 03, 2017

Damnation Festival is great, isn’t it? It’s kind of like the UK metal contingent’s equivalent of Christmas: it’s the end of the year, you get to let your hair down with a load of good friends and family you haven’t seen in ages, a heroic quantity of booze is consumed… The only difference is, instead of sitting round a tree and unwrapping pairs of novelty socks, you get to watch Sodom unleashing chaos in Leeds University Union. And to continue this slightly ill-advised analogy, Damnation’s present satchel is in danger of bursting at the seams this year, with one of the best lineups in the festival’s illustrious history.

It’s so good, in fact, that it’s perhaps a little daunting: with so much brilliant music on offer, it’s difficult to decide which stage is most deserving of your tinnitus addled eardrums. Of course, the upside to having such an ace lineup is that you can’t really go wrong, either – you’re pretty much guaranteed to get your fill of riffs wherever you end up, especially if you make it along to the pre-show tonight with Barrabus, Immortal Bird, Dawn Ray’d and more too.

Nevertheless, here are a few bands that we’ve deemed “unmissable”, so make sure you’re not queuing for a burger or passed out in the smoking area when these heavy-hitters take the stage…

PALLBEARER
Jägermeister Stage, 14:35PM


Presenting cavernous arrangements steeped in sorrowful melody, Arkansas quartet Pallbearer bring a fresh accessability to doom metal. This year’s majestic ‘Heartless’ opus has marked the band out as one of the genre’s most important acts of the last decade. Combining tectonic plate shifting riffs with accessible progressive melodies, sublime melancholy awaits you. [Ross Baker]

MYRKUR
Jägermeister Stage, 15:55PM

Myrkur has seen Amalie Bruun has gone from underground phenomenon to cult black metal heroine. Exceptional sophomore release ‘Mareridt’ (‘Nightmare’ in English) has seen an increase in the use of soaring classical arrangements and icy Nordic folk coupled with scathing black metal. This transcendent and emotive ritual will leave you breathless. [Ross Baker]

DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT
Terrorizer Stage, 16:45


This mysterious UK black/death squad have always provided an intense stage show, but their relentless touring schedule as of late has seen them up their game even further, becoming a truly formidable live unit in their own right. Come for the strobe lights, dry ice and candelabras; stay for some of the most intense, visceral extreme metal you’ve ever heard. [Kez Whelan]

WARNING
Jägermeister Stage, 17:30PM


Patrick Walker is the expert when it comes to mixing crushingly heavy riffs with lyrics so painfully beautiful they make your soul ache. Prepare to be misty eyed as Warning play the Jägermeister Stage, knowing you’re in the presence of one of the most influential UK doom bands of our generation. [Angela Davey]

NAILS
Terrorizer Stage, 18:20PM


The collective disappointment when Nails cancelled their appearance at last year’s festival ran like a shockwave through all in attendance. However, they’re back this year to blast the faces off of everyone on the Terrorizer Stage – how’s that for making it up to everyone?! Prepare your body and eardrums for a full sonic assault. [Angela Davey]

PARADISE LOST
Jägermeister Stage, 19:15PM


The godfathers of gothic doom and Damnation veterans, Paradise Lost, return once again this year to bring their gloom to the Jägermeister stage. With almost 30 years of material to choose from it’s difficult to decide what we want to hear in their set list. Guaranteed after a few beers we’ll be at the front screaming for ‘Forever Failure’! [Angela Davey]

DYING FETUS
Terrorizer Stage, 20:15

Whether you prefer getting stuck into that pit, banging your head or just standing there in slack-jawed amazement at vocalist/guitarist John Gallagher’s lightspeed fretting hand, there’s no denying that Dying Fetus are one of the most fun live acts in death metal, and we can’t wait to hear cuts from ‘Wrong One To Fuck With’ blasting out of the Terrorizer Stage’s PA. [Kez Whelan]

AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED
Terrorizer Stage, 22:00

One of the biggest draws this year has to be the promise of one of grind legends Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s first ever UK shows. After devastating events like Netherlands Deathfest and Hellfest with varied, career-spanning setlists and more energy than a nuclear powered dynamo, you can expect this to be very fast, very loud and very, very fucking good indeed. [Kez Whelan]

BLOODBATH
Jägermeister Stage, 23:00PM


Extreme supergroup Bloodbath sees Paradise Lost frontman Nick Holmes pulling double duty in what promises to be a rare and memorable outing. Also featuring members of Opeth and Katatonia, this brutal Swedish/British outfit promises tales of cannibalism and necromancy wrapped up in raw, blasphemous death metal, crushing all in its path. [Ross Baker]

Damnation kicks off tomorrow at 13:00 at Leeds University Union

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