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ALL THEM WITCHES BRING THE HARVEST FEAST TO DESERTFEST 2019!

Over the last half-decade, Nashville’s All Them Witches have made themselves indispensable with a sound that, across five full-length albums and countless digital one-offs, live recordings and EPs, has never stopped evolving.

Their roots in heavy blues and psychedelia have flourished with time into an approach that is undeniably their own, and an influence that set itself out with 2012’s Our Mother Electricity and found its voice on 2013’s Lightning at the Door has only grown more prevalent over a still relatively short span of years.

Ridiculously productive in the studio and on the road, All Them Witches this Fall release ATW, their fifth LP and third through New West Records. Where 2017’s Sleeping Through the War featured expansive arrangements and elaborate production, ATW strips down the approach true to its acronym title -- nothing extra, no time misspent in saying what it needs to say. A more stage-born sound still holds expanse in tracks like “HTJC” and “Harvest Feast,” while cuts like “Workhorse” and the shuffling “Fishbelly 86 Onions” dig into a stylistic nuance both classic and refreshing that is unmistakable as All Them Witches, even as they continue to redefine what that designation means.

The four-piece of Charles Michael Parks, Jr. (bass/vocals), Ben McLeod (guitar/engineer), drummer Robby Staebler (drums/graphic art) and Jonathan Draper (keys) arrive at the Desertfest with a reputation that precedes them for jammy explorations and a kind of heavy that, while regularly imitated, has yet to be reproduced by anyone else. If you’re still reading this, you probably don’t need to be told not to miss them, but just in case: you’d be a fool if you did. These are the quintessential torchbearers of a new generation of heavy, and their set is one you’re going to hear everyone else talk about for years anyway, so you might as well show up, save yourself the trouble, and consider yourself lucky to be there.

Words: JJ Koczan

KADAVAR TO BRING THEIR BERLIN BANGERS BACK TO CAMDEN TOWN!

Who remembers Kadavar's fur-coated, barreling riot of a set at the Jazz Cafe in 2013?  Well it certainly wasn't a show we'd ever want to forget here at Desertfest Towers and so we figured it was high time we welcomed the blistering Berliners back to our humble little Camden Town hoedown.

Let's be honest, there's a rough estimate of one billion bands now playing homage to the retro-rockin', '70s proto-metal revival these days. But equally, let's be very clear; there are very few who perform this denim-n-plaid brand of sepia-tinged riffery with the power, prestige and passion of our favourite German trio. With Lupus' taut, chugging riffs and righteous vocal wail coupling together with Tiger's battering battery and Dragon's hulking bass grooves, Kadavar have always stood out head, shoulders, torsos and let's face it pretty much everything higher than belt-line above the Orange-amped pack since their inception in 2010.

Whether you prefer the doomier vibes of the latest album Rough Times, the back-to-back bangers on Berlin, the freshness of the hooks on their self-titled debut or the weighty crunch of Abra Kadavar, you can guarantee the lofty threesome will once again be blending it all up together and firing it out of one of the tightest hoses in rock today. Be sure to be down early to get showered in sweat, energy and outrageous licks this coming April; the boogie train that is Kadavar won't be making any emergency stops for you to catch a breath.

Words: Pete Green

WITCH TO SWEEP IN AND PARALYZE US WITH CRAFTY STONER-PUNK RIFFS!

That’s right! Vermont spell-casters Witch will be enrapturing Desertfest with their spooky stoner rock incantations in 2019.

Combining psychedelic rock, Sabbath-ian doom, and Black Flag sludge-punk, stoner aficionados will fondly remember Witch for releasing some bad-arse albums in the 2000’s, while others will know them because they count J Mascis, one of the most revered guitarists of all time, among their ranks. However, in Witch Mascis returns to the drums, his first instrument (if you haven’t already, check out Upsidedown Cross and Deep Wound if you want to hear the famously laconic frontman tear it up on the drums).

Formed in 2005 by Mascis, Dave Sweetapple, and King Tuff (aka Kyle Thomas), Witch released their eponymous debut album via the legendary Tee Pee Records back in 2006 to critical acclaim. Shockingly, it’s now been a decade since they released their second album Paralyzed and presumably put Witch into hibernation while touring and recording with their respective projects took precedence.

We couldn’t be more delighted to be inviting Witch to cast their unique spell over Desertfest in 2019. And fingers crossed for album number three!

Words: Tom McKibbin

EARTHLESS TO DELIVER A SLICE OF SONIC HEAVEN AT DESERTFEST 2019!

Even after seven editions of Desertfest, with hundreds of bands passing through Camden, we’re constantly inundated with proclamations that it’s an outrage that certain bands have never graced our stages; there’s perhaps no name more frequently uttered in these outbursts than San Diego’s finest, Earthless.

FINALLY, on our eighth mammoth bill, the hardest jamming band in the universe, Earthless, are touching down to shred our corner of London to the ground. Birthed in California in 2001, Earthless have been the epitome of psyched-out Hendrixian-krautrock from day one; every full length, from 2005’s Sonic Prayer to 2018’s Black Heaven (not to mention their countless impeccable splits), brimming with non-stop riffs for days in their inimitable and infectious style - one which, if you can’t groove to, you need to check your eardrums, your pulse and your entire world philosophy.

Earning plaudits from all corners within the heavy scene as well as outside (even finding themselves receiving a shoutout from the crown prince of cynicism, Bill Burr), it’s hard to see Earthless as anything other than sheer rock perfection; both for and from the ages. Make sure you strap in for the experience at Desertfest 2019.

Words: Tom Geddes

STAND IN THE PRESENCE OF MASTERS: COLOUR HAZE RETURN TO DESERTFEST!

It will have been six years when Colour Haze make their return to the London Desertfest stage in 2019, and by any measure, that’s far too long.

The German trio in whose image modern heavy psychedelia is in large part cast have issued two albums since playing the fest in 2013: 2014’s To the Highest Gods We Know and 2017’s In Her Garden. Both records affirmed their position as unflinching masters of the form, but also reinforced the key signal that their growth has never and likely will never abate for as long as they’re a band.

In Her Garden specifically did this with a progressive take on the trio’s signature tonal warmth, with guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek, bassist Philipp Rasthofer and drummer Manfred Merwald finding a new niche between heavy riffs and expansive arrangements, whether it’s strings, keys or horns integrated into their sound in a more fluid way than ever before. In the more than 20 years since they got their start, Colour Haze have become a signature influence for entire scenes, let alone individual bands, and that they’ve done so while remaining a creative force and never resting on past laurels only makes them all the more special.

And when you watch them on stage, there’s never a second of doubting their control. With a sonic reach that seems as infinite as their tones is spacious, a rhythmic fluidity that’s quite simply unmatched, and a presence that is nothing less than total ownership of every room that hosts them they are quite simply masters of the form, unmatched at what they do and no less crucial than any act of any generation you might want to compare them too. Yes, that’s hyperbole. It’s also absolutely true. One of the best bands on the planet, full stop.

Words: JJ Koczan

Credit: Keith Clark

WE HUNT BUFFALO TO STAMPEDE INTO CAMDEN!

Vancouver trio We Hunt Buffalo ‘s brand of prog-minded fuzz rock has been stampeding out of amps and trampling audiences since 2010.

Guitar-slinging vocalist Ryan Forsythe gladly professes his love of all things stoner and psych, citing influences from all genres of rock, and this is reflected perfectly in their wide vista of sounds from howling metallic aggression to expansive desert meanderings.

Bassist Brendan Simpson shares vocal duties, and underpins all the songs with his driving fuzz lines while drummer Brandon Carter makes an equally large contribution, leading the hunt with his varied tempos and atmospheric dance across the skins. Just like previous tour partners Truckfighters and Red Fang, WHB’s keep the rock meter in the red at all times, but encompass even more diversity and if you also dig the relentless barrage of mammoth riffs from classic bands like Sleep, a side-order of Yawning desert rock and even a few shot s of AIC’s vocal harmonies, these guys will be just the ticket to a sore neck, a few scared buffalo no doubt, and a deliriously good time at Desertfest 2019!

Words: Rich Sheppard

A DVNE INTERVENTION IS HEADING DESERTFEST’S WAY!

Edinburgh’s DVNE play their own unique brand of night sky-gazing melodic sludge.

They specialize in extended trips that investigate worm-infested deserts of gut wrenchingly emotive heaviness, juxtaposed with guitar breaks that sometimes honour classic extreme metal. Early-period Mastodon fans should take note, they also know the importance of using progressive changes and all-conquering vocals to mould their long-form records into a cohesive whole.

In the last five years DVNE have been building a steady reputation, with three releases so far. Their most recent was Asheran last year. They have supported luminaries such as Eyehategod, Elder and Red Fang, and played a mercurial set at Psycho Las Vegas this year.

On-stage they are something to behold. Heads-down with the volume at 11, scenes of destruction, desolation and absolution are conjured up in their epic soundscapes of post-metal ebb and flow. We can officially guarantee the spice will be flowing in this coming Desertfest!

Words: Rich Sheppard