This Saturday, a dark power will engulf Camden, paving the streets black and crucifying the buskers. An evil more hellish than Sauron’s ringpiece after Curry Club at Mordor’s Wetherspoons, Incineration Festival summons enough decadence and terror to reduce anything to tears – even inanimate objects, like pebbles and jam jars. As fans of nasty things in general, Metal Hammer will obviously be in attendance – here’s what we’ll be watching before God smites us down.
**13:05-13:30, The Black Heart **Having started in a more At The Gates, melodeath style, Codex Alimentarius have slowly assimilated the values of traditional death metal, thus becoming rather heavy in the process. There’s still plenty of melody, soloing and atmospheric bursts of keyboard, mind – it’s just presented in such a way that feels like having your intestines pulled out with tweezers.
13:50-14:25, Electric Ballroom Are you ready for the black thrash attack? Probably not. Aura Noir’s caustic interpretation of metal’s most uncompromising sub-genres is a surprisingly catchy affair; fans of Venom, Slayer and Sodom will lap this stuff up, while a Carach Angren nut could probably appreciate it – providing that they did indeed come to the right forest. We advise packing a safety helmet for when they drop Black Thrash Attack, though. You’re going to need it.
14:35-15:05, Camden Underworld A much bleaker affair than the previous two bands, Otargos play black metal with military precision. Lyrically, subject matter veers towards the beautifully blasphemous rhetoric that us lot know and love so well; Fuck God-Disease Process and No God No Satan are just two of the band’s family-friendly albums. We can’t wait to hear the Christmas special.
14:45-15:20, Electric Ballroom Winning the ‘Most Likely Name For Discworld And/Or The Lion King Character’ award, Oranssi Pazuzu excel at more than mere lexical supremacy. These noisy Finnish ruffians have been abusing black metal since their formation in 2007; since then, they’ve proceeded to warp the darkest shades of music with trance-like, psychedelic strands of rock, culminating in their latest opus, Valonielu. This will be the band’s last UK performance for a while, so we advise getting in on this.
16:25-16:55, Camden Underworld And so we go from spooky psychedelic nonsense to Endstille’s trigger-happy, venomous brand of black metal. Latest album, Kapitulation 2013, is a dirty, loose affair, firing off with tremendous vigour and not really letting up at all. Plus, frontman Zingultus swears like a trooper, so even if you’re mad enough to dislike Endstille, you can still find comfort in a man dressed as a spiky badger shouting ‘fuck’.
16:45-17:25, Electric Ballroom Oriental-tinged black metal may sound like something of a niche market, but there are tons of bands having a pop at it. Melechesh are one of the most successful and there’s a reason for that – their ravenous, thrashing black metal is executed with deadly precision; they’ve also collaborated with Max Cavalera, and obviously the song is about tribes.
18:15-18:45, Camden Underworld Having shed a lot of excess weight since 2013’s The Formulas Of Death, Sweden’s Tribulation have returned with The Children Of The Night. Forgetting the album’s horribly cliché title, the band have gone to unearthly lengths to innovate; channelling as much Ghost and Deep Purple as they do death metal, the Swedes have blackened their product and, in the process, outed themselves as a unique creative force. Missing them would be rather silly of you.
**19:15-20:15, Electric Ballroom **It’s been three years since God Seed unleashed their immaculate debut, I Begin, and this will be the band’s third foray onto English shores in support of the record. Not only do you get to bang your head to keyboard-laden black metal tunes like Awake and have frontman Gaahl stare at you with the intensity of Ed Miliband watching porn, but you’ll also be treated to some Gorgoroth numbers. We doubt there’ll be any severed sheep heads or crucified nubiles, though.
20:10-20:50, Camden Underworld To bridge the black metal of God Seed with Unleashed’s death metal, a pilgrimage to the Underworld is in order. Necrophobic’s blackened death will sort you out good and proper; completely over the top and incomprehensibly evil, these satanic Swedes will make sure to save you a seat on the way down to Hell.
21:20-22:15, Camden Underworld Our banquet of brutality culminates with Unleashed; blastbeats will tear through your throat and jagged riffs will rip your tummy open. We shall ride to Asgard, Midgard, or somewhere else like that as Unleashed’s viking-themed death metal provides the proverbial chariot. The new album finishes with a song called Welcome The Son Of Thor!, for Christ’s sake. Your evening couldn’t end in a more epic fashion if you accompanied Peter Jackson into battle with Hans Zimmer behind you.
Incineration takes place in Camden, London, on 9th May. Get your tickets here.