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INTER ARMA SET TO SMASH THE MOULD, ON THE HDP/WPC STAGE AT DESERTFEST 2017!

It is always wondrously refreshing when heavy bands are willing and able to bring to the table something other than a linear barrage of riffs. Hailing from the doom hotspot lands of Richmond Virginia, Inter Arma are a band that offers so much on their 3 full length records and various other releases that they both captivate and engage the listener with a colourful canvas of enriching sound.  
 
Signing to the home of heavy - Relapse Records in 2012, the following year’s album Sky Burial offers up rich pallets of Floyd-esque proggy guitar work and twinkling cymbals stacked up against otherworldly heavy sections of cavernous pounding doom and brutally pained vocals. It is a sound that sees Inter Arma reaching both out to the stratosphere as well as deep into a tomb of icy blackened metal annihilation. Invisible oranges both high and low! The harsh vocals often offer a deathly serious  conviction, set against a backdrop of furiously relentless drumming, yet at times they move into areas of fully reverbed psych soaring.  The instruments themselves seem to cover every possible manifestation of riff: from crescendos of blackened shoe gaze, to dual attack prog widdling, to grandiose sludgey barbarism, sometimes touching on sun drenched stoner valley jams, and at times even Om-ish slow bass driven head-nodding precision. In short, no two Inter Arma songs sound the same, and that is a wonderfully refreshing thing! Although Inter Arma are impossible to pin down to a specific sound, if the reception of the most recent offering “Paradise Gallows” is anything to go by then there's is a sound that cuts through the chuff of mediocre bands that are all too prevalent today. Lusciously psychedelic and satisfyingly heavy in equal measures, it’s no wonder they’ve been gracing end-of-year top album lists here there and bloody everywhere!
 
Anyone who enjoyed catching Samothrace's magnificent set on the HDP/WPC stage last year should venture back to join us in the bowels of the festival once again to witness yet another underground band that also deserve a well-earned high standing, as they are easily able stand strong amongst the best heavy bands out there.  Recently off a US tour with Carcass, and heading back to the UK as part of a longer European tour, it is our immense pleasure to be bringing the magnificent Inter Arma to the Underworld stage in April to take the eager ears and minds of the Desertfest throngs on an intense spiralling journey.

Words: Staggerin' Matt

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GET YOUR ORDERS FILLED IN AS AVON COME KNOCKING AT DESERTFEST 2017!

Avon might be a relatively new band to the scene, having released their debut Mad Marco at the start of 2016, but the members have been a part of the California desert rock scene for years, so if you haven’t seen them yet they are definitely one to watch. Drummer Alfredo Hernandez, infamously known to adherents of desert for his contributions to Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Yawning Man and Che to name but a few, is joined by James Childs of Airbus and Charles Pasarell of Waxy and Lakota. Let Avon show you how it’s done when they bring their raw, psychedelic Cali wisdom to Desertfest London.

Words: Jess Shaw

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IT'S ON AS DEATH ALLEY PLAY DESERTFEST 2017!

You want to know the dirty secret of Amsterdam’s Death Alley? Well, no doubt they have a few, but here’s a good one: The balls-out, all-go rockers who made such a raging debut in 2015 with the Black Magick Boogieland album have new material in the works. 

They’ve been playing it at shows. It exists. If you’re lucky, they might even play some of it when they come to Desertfest.

Actually, that’s pretty much guaranteed, as is the excellent time the band (which features former members of Gewapend Beton, Mühr and The Devil’s Blood) bring to every stage on which they step. In the span of just a couple years, they’ve become one of Europe’s most essential live acts, and whatever cliché you want to insert here about reminding audiences that rock and roll should be both dangerous and fun, they’ll make sure it’s thoroughly applied in the shape of a bootprint on the Desertfest crowd’s collective ass.

Simple advice: DO NOT MISS DEATH ALLEY AT DESERTFEST 2017. Or anywhere, for that matter. Ever.

Words: JJ Koczan

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BOSS KELOID TO BRING THEIR SOARING SLUDGE TO DESERTFEST 2017!

Having released one of the best albums of 2016 – the excellent Herb Your Enthusiasm - Wigan’s finest Boss Keloid are bringing their gargantuan riffs to Desertfest 2017.
 
Combining the raw power of sludge with a decidedly technical edge (perhaps owing to guitarist Paul Swarbrick’s other gig as an architect), Boss Keloid are a band that have gone from strength to strength since they came onto the scene with their debut release, 2010’s Angular Beef Lesson. In 2013 the band released their debut proper, The Calming Influence of Teeth, but it was last year’s monumental Herb Your Enthusiasm (which was recorded at Skyhammer Studios by Chris Fielding and released on the associated Black Bow Records) which saw Boss Keloid take a huge step forward in terms of songwriting, craft, and prominence in the UK scene. Propelled by some furious riffing, Boss Keloid are also blessed with a fantastic vocalist in Alex Hurst whose impressive pipes are capable of both ear splitting screams and soaring melodies (and if you keep a keen ear out, you’ll hear Conan’s Jon Davis and Chris Fielding pop up with occasional harmonies on the latest album…)
 
So, come get your smoke on and bow down to the riff when Boss Keloid play the HDP/WPC stage.

Words: Tom McKibbin

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HARK TO HERALD THE RIFFS AT DESERTFEST 2017!

“Fortune favours the insane” according to HARK’s frontman Jimbob Isaac. Well that must be true because we’re insanely happy to announce that HARK will be rocking the fuck out at Desertfest 2017!
 
HARK were formed by Isaac after sixteen years of fronting the dearly beloved (and much-missed) Welsh rockers Taint (1994-2010). With a musical pedigree like that it’s little surprise that their debut 7” Mythopoeia quickly sold out, thanks in part to tours with buddies Red Fang and Clutch. After signing with Season of Mist their debut album Crystalline followed in 2014. Combining sludge, face-melting technical guitar-work, angular rhythms, and Isaac’s powerful vocals, Crystalline introduced HARK as a fully-formed riff-machine, with the album finding its way onto many end-of-year lists and into the hearts of the underground. Now the band is preparing to release their second album Machinations which, luckily for us, means they will be stopping by DesertFest to lay waste to the HDP/WPC stage. Diolch yn fawr!

Words: Tom McKibbin

MONOLITHIAN BRING A RIPPING DESTRUCTION TO OPEN THE HDP/WPC STAGE AT DESERTFEST 2017!

We've been blessed to have had a plethora of awesome two-piece bands smash through sets at Desert fest in the past. Black Cobra, Godflesh, Dyse, Pombagira, The Poisoned Glass, Mantar and Eagle Twin to name but a few. For 2017 we welcome yet another destructive duo to the fold - the unforgiving Cornish hell-beast, Monolithian.

Formed in 2010, Simon Walker and Shannon Green have spent the last few years tirelessly pounding the miles, travelling to all corners of the UK to smash their way through gargantuan sets of ravenous death-sludge attack. Filth spews from this hound like an unstoppable demonic force, but that's not to say that it's not dynamically astute… on the contrary, the ebbs and flows of the mid-paced minimalist doomy sections tie together with arching build ups and fiendishly heavy metallic destruction.

With a fistful of splits and EPs under their belt, Monolithian gave us their debut full length in 2015, the self-destructively titled “The Finest Day I Ever Lived, Was When Tomorrow Never Came”, and it manifested itself as a rounded progression to cement the band as one to pay attention to even further on the UK underground circuit.  A more fully realised version of its predecessors, the album is still raw and bitter, but with a maturity of experimentation within the sound and song structure to match the subjective nihilism.

Live, Monolithian are a band that simply take your head clean off and leave you wondering how the sound from just 2 souls can be so destructively heavy. They have grafted damn hard to make their sound a reality, and it feels only too fitting that we'd want such a band opening the proceedings for the HDP/WPC Stage at Desertfest in 2017.
 
Words – Staggerin’ Matt

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ENTER THE DARKNESS AS CELESTE PLAY THE HDP/WPC STAGE AT DESERTFEST 2017!

Celeste truly embrace the feel of this year’s HDP/WPC stage by offering a vastly eclectic change to the general style of what’s on the bill. The French, blackened hardcore heroes will bring a much deserved filthy taste to the mouth of the HDP/WPC stage this year.

Having played some of Europe’s major festivals over the years - including the almighty Hellfest - it is a real treat to have the Neurosis inspired metallers join our ranks. Rumour has it, Celeste are a very particular band live; playing in almost complete darkness with only red headlights and a strobes to briefly cut through the thick London smog, you'll have only your ears to rely on as Celeste take the stage at Desertfest 2017!

Words: Gareth Kelly

  

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BRUME SET TO SWEEP AWAY THE COMPETITION AT DESERTFEST 2017!

The San Francisco Doom trio Brume have been with us for a while now and have yet to visit these green and pleasant lands; until now! Releasing their first EP, ‘Donkey’, on WPC’s very own label just last year, it hit the world with rave reviews, deservedly landing them with countless shows on the North East coast of the US. Their follow up, the band's debut full length, is also on it’s way, with the band having recently finished recording with the legendary Billy 

Featuring ex-GURT axeman Jamie McCathie, who brings the colossal riffs, expect massive YOB inspired soundscapes and haunting vocals from front woman Susie M. This is a real one off and a unique opportunity to see your NEW favourite band, the mighty Brume. Do not miss out!

Words: Gareth Kelly

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FORGET GANDALF VS SARUMAN. GET READY FOR A REAL WIZARD FIGHT AT DESERTFEST 2017!

Named after the classic Weedeater song, this Hastings-based trio make no bones about where their NOLA-influenced filth comes from. Simple but effective, no-frills gutter crawling sludge is the name of the dastardly game. With some heritage from black metal (Luke Bolton of ROTS) and stoner rock/psych (Dan Kinsey ex-Steak and George 'Bungle' Cobbold ex-Enos) you also can expect a few other ingredients in there to taint the decrepit broth.

This is the second invite that Wizard Fight have had to Desertfest, cementing an impending return with a packed Black Heart performance in 2014. Now in their fifth year, some heaving shows sharing the stage with the likes of Tombstones & Dopethrone under the belt, and a brand new EP "Grave Lurker" in the pipeline, they’ll continue to provide the soundtrack to audience’s neck-testing melancholy at this year’s fest. You eyeless hordes will not be disappointed with the creeping cacophony that results!

Words: Rich Sheppard

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BRULE TO RULE AT DESERTFEST 2017!

Heavy metal in the great traditions of the term, London’s recently-formed Brule come with a great pedigree and a space truck full of riffs to deliver. Including members of London favourites Dusteroid (bassist Tjay Tarantino), Age Of Taurus (guitarist Alastair Riddell) and Pig Iron (singer Johnny Ogle), they haven’t had long to prove their metal but are well on the way to doing so, having already played some killer sets at the likes of the Bang reunion’s London round and Sheffield’s recent HRH Doom Vs. Stoner event.

With a sound that is self-described as “Heavy Metal Rock ‘n’ Roll, rocking the classics like Pentagram, Skynyrd, The Who and Deep Purple, played by guys with a background in hardcore, doom and death metal”, you can expect a heady combination those things and more. The band is primed to make a debut release soon, but in the mean-time, Bandcamp has a few fine demos if you’d like to prepare yourselves for the onslaught that is heavy metal, true as the spears thrown by their namesake, Brule the Spear-slayer.

Words: Rich Sheppard

Image courtessy of Rishi Rai Photography

Image courtessy of Rishi Rai Photography

TYE YOUR DYE AND CORPSE YOUR PAINT! CHUBBY THUNDEROUS BAD KUSH MASTERS TO PLAY DESERTFEST 2017!

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters have been turning heads in the UK scene, and not only for their euphonious name and memorable stage attire. The trio of Chub have been absolutely ripping up venues around the UK and since their 2015 debut EP Earth Hog, which was recorded in someone’s living room, have toured with the likes of Dopethrone and Honky, and have been earning their place as an absolute ‘must watch’ of any festival line-up. Describing themselves as “tie dye fuzz”, the London trio is formed by former Dopefight frontman Owen Carty, Will Hart and Mark Buckwell, and they are set to release their debut album some time this year. With groovy riff-smothered belters such as Mother Chub and Riff Richard already under their belt, it’s safe to say that we expect something massive from this release.

If you’re a fan of tie-dye t-shirts and corpse paint, and consider yourself well-versed in exceptionally heavy riffage, Chubby Thunderous are an obligatory watch. If that’s not enough to sway you, check out their video for Mother Chub below, a tribute to 90s hip hop videos of yore, and get dying your shirt.

Words: Jess Shaw

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SAMAVAYO TO BE DEFIANT AS EVER AT DESERTFEST 2017!

Here at Desertfest HQ, we love the bands who don’t quite fit. Who don’t feel compelled to bend their will to suit a style. Heavy riffs are awesome, but something really special happens when a group like Berlin’s Samavayo step up and put their own stamp on the heavy rock we all know and love.

The progressive-tinged trio released their fifth album, Dakota, on Setalight Records in 2016 and brought forth a fluid blend of driving riffage, Middle Eastern influences, and sharp-impact prog metal that remained distinct among everything else we heard last year. Was there really any other choice but getting them to play Desertfest 2017?

Well, they’re playing, aren’t they?

Expect the unexpected when these veteran individualists take the Desertfest stage. They’ve honed their craft across Europe for years now and we’re stoked to finally welcome them to Camden Town on the heels of their farthest-ranging album yet.

Words: JJ Koczan

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WELCOME BACK DELTA TO BE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH AT DESERTFEST 2017!


Gloucestershire's Welcome Back Delta are nothing if not a good time, party atmosphere band. In that proud tradition of British stoner bands, they don't take their public image all too seriously.

But that's not to say they can't riff. Welcome Back Delta's stoner rock edged hard rock is rife for getting your head a-bangin’ and your feet a-stompin’. The collective of Joe Kelly (vocals & rhythm), Rob Duncan (lead guitar), Phil Davies (Bass) and Steve Roberts (drums) recently released their sophomore album, Sucker; a barnstorming collection of heavy, bluesy, no-punches-pulled rock n roll which oozes with swagger.

Held together by Kelly’s vocals - somewhere between gravel and tarmac - Welcome Back Delta pack a fair punch without straying too far from the bluesy groove that brings out everybody’s dancing shoes. Make sure you’re there to welcome Welcome Back Delta to Desertfest 2017!

Words: Tom Geddes