TEMPLES FESTIVAL returns to Bristol in June and alongside Desertfest, Live Evil and Damnation proves that grassroots, DIY fests keep the wellspring of British underground heavy metal alive and kicking. Settling somewhere between doom pilgrimage Roadburn Festival and extreme grind holiday destination, Maryland Deathfest, Temples is the go to fest in the West (of England!!). Headlined by gore veterans Carcass and black metal cult Mayhem, alongside Melvins, the festival also boasts Iron Fist regulars The Gentlemans Pistols, Iron Reagan, Revenge, Mare and your dad’s favourites, Groundhogs.
Over the next few days we will be running through our tips for the festival. The whole line-up is unmissable and to start with we probed black metal upstarts Funeral Throne bassist and vocalist M (also known as Iron Fist scribe, Jack Welch) to give us his top five tips of bands you need to see…
Uppsala, Sweden: famously home to Watain and a whole host of demons residing in its blood-blackened soil. Uppsala is also home to snot-nosed upstarts Degial who have drawn from this wellspring of Chaos and spewed its black bile into their true Metal of Death. Their first efforts were very akin to Morbid Angel (no bad thing) but last year heralded their second album ‘Savage Mutiny’ showing the band coming into their own. Nerve-wrecking atmospheres and unhallowed chants come together to create real hymns of Devil worship.
What a unique two-piece this band is. Alcoholic rituals and soul-shredding atmospheres. I’ve been waiting a long time to see this band so am more than happy to be sharing the stage with them, and on such a strong festival bill. I think they will wow a whole heap of people and most likely command the Main Stage, even with so few members.
Our Warbrothers, with whom we share members. Last year Funeral Throne and Sheol travelled to Hungary together to play at a festival there and from the first night it was sheer devilry and madness. A lot of chemicals and booze and zero sleep resulted in hostage situations with the Russian Mafia and also the near blinding of our drummer. Temples Festival marks the first of three dates we will be playing together this June, the other two being in Canada so we look forward to seeing what hell is tapped into!
Vorum’s latest offering ‘Current Mouth’ was my personal favourite death metal release of 2015. Everything about it was perfect; not a single note or lyric out of place. The package was completed by great collage artwork by the visionary Pelle Ahman from In Solitude/Invidious and his brother Gottfrid (also of In Solitude/Invidious) gave the record a living/breathing production that is all the more savage for its natural clarity. Off-kilter chaos that will leave you head spinning, especially in the live arena.
Hands down one of the most crushing death metal forces currently active. Greece has a rich history when it comes to black and death metal and there’s always a unique flavour to material from the place. In the case of Dead Congregation it is zero bullshit, blunt force music that drips with all the ancient slime and monumental riffs necessary for true Metal of Death.
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