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Does any band out there represent the UK’s underground metal scene better than Napalm Death? Obviously the answer is no, which is why we’re proud to announce that they’ll be headlining the Old Empire Stage at Desertfest 2018!

Call them what you will, be it extreme metal, crust punk, grindcore or any other number of labels, Napalm Death are quite simply breakneck rapid and guttural as all hell. Bursting onto the scene - via the 80s Midlands - with their inimitable debut Scum, it’s easy to understate the impact and influence even just that first album had on metal and its many sub-genres. The abhorrence towards the world expressed via Nik Bullen and Lee Dorrian’s harsh vocals, and the instrumentals’ super-condensed take on the Sabbathian (no, really!), provided the soundtrack for those who wanted to rock to something a little more brutal than Twisted Sister.

One of the most remarkable things about Napalm Death is that through their first few releases, there was no consistent lineup, with even the two sides of Scum featuring differing lineups for Napalm Death. For most bands, a mass of lineup changes in the early years would slam the brakes on any momentum they gained; not in Napalm Death's case. With a who's who of heavy passing through the revolving door (including Cathedral's Lee Dorian, Carcass' Bill Steer and Justin Broadrick of JK Flesh to name a few), the band consistently felt fresh and exciting through that first decade.

By 92’s Utopia Banished, Napalm Death had become the unit they mostly are today; Barney Greenway, Mitch Harris, Shane Embury, Danny Herrera and, until his untimely passing in 2006, the great Jesse Pintado. The cemented group, however, lost none of that early energy in the 25 years they’ve been together, as evidenced by their dozen full lengths, including their most recent, 2015's impeccable Apex Predator - Easy Meat, an album that makes this writer’s mouth water in anticipation for 2018's tentative 16th studio album.

Respected the world over for their uncompromising tidal waves of filthy noise, Napalm Death stand tall as one of the bands we've been most excited to announce for a Desertfest over our 7 years in the game. So to ensure that it isn’t you suffer-ing when May rolls around, catch Napalm Death when they bring their brand of fear, emptiness and despair to the Old Empire Stage at Desertfest 2018.

Words: Tom Geddes

Old Empire says
: Napalm Death’s influence on modern metal, doom, grind and stoner music is immeasurable.  From the utter head fuck of ‘Scum’ to the short sharp shock of ‘Apex Predator’, these legends have been firmly at the top of our wishlist since it all began. We are incredibly honoured to be hosting them and for a headline slot no less!