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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!



That’s right - Warning are playing Desertfest 2018's Old Empire Stage! The fans thought it would never happen, but we are beyond delighted to confirm that the band will be gracing us as they continue to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their seminal album Watching From a Distance.

Formed in 1994 by singer/guitarist Patrick Walker and drummer Stuart Springthorpe, Warning began life as a traditional metal band inspired by the likes of Baltimore’s doom forbearers Revelation. A couple of well-received demos preceded their 1999 debut album The Strength to Dream – an incredible record in its own right – but it was following the release of their second album, Watching From a Distance in 2006, that Warning became truly revered by the ever-growing doom community. With progressive riffs and lyrics that focused on real-life emotional issues, the band even sparked discussion about what defined or confined a “doom” band. In a genre dominated by fantasy, machismo, and morbidity, Warning proved that a metal band can be as much about heart as banging your head, contemplating relationships, longing, and loss.

After disbanding in 2009, Walker went on to form the equally influential 40 Watt Sun, releasing two albums with them and garnering more fans and more desire among those fans for a Warning reunion. Fortunately for us, Warning also wanted that reunion and to give fans a chance to hear the songs. So, do NOT miss this opportunity to see the band in action on the Old Empire Stage at Desertfest 2018 – who knows if you’ll get another chance?

Words: Tom McKibbin

Old Empire says: On the eighth day God (Patrick Walker) created ‘Watching from a Distance’ – he saw, and it was good…

You better have my funeral in a big church because at 50 minutes long it’s going to be a slow walk to the Church doors.


How do you introduce a band who surely by now require no introduction? Simple: the same way they would introduce themselves... They're Eyehategod from New Orleans, Louisiana and they're playing the Old Empire Stage at Desertfest 2018.

Formed in 1988 in the voodoo-ridden NOLA marshlands, Eyehategod remain one of the most honest, true, legitimate and genuine bands still standing today in heavy music. Whether it's Jimmy Bower and Brian Patton's punk-strewn, duel guitar grooves; Gary Madar and Aaron Hill's tempo-raised, pummeling percussion or, of course, frontman Mike IX Williams' unmistakable poetry barking away from behind the mic stand, there is little to no doubt that Eyehategod always were, still are and always will be: The Real Deal.

Having survived everything from the devastating destruction of Katrina, rampant drug abuse, Mike's liver failure and the untimely death of former drummer Joey Lacaze, you have to ask: where has it left them? On stage, standing strong and blasting those tight, raw, sludgy, proud-ass punk anthems as hard as ever before, that's where.

Having been privileged to host this ferocious five-piece as headliners back at Desertfest 2016, we're truly honoured that they've elected to join us again for yet another round of chaos in 2018, this time with the help of our friends at Old Empire.

Always to be taken as needed for pain, in the name of suffering, to ease all of our dopesick, ruined lives, this machine needs your energy just as much as you need theirs. Don't be a jackass, submit to the will of Eyehategod when they play the Old Empire Stage at Desertfest 2018.

Words: Pete Green

Old Empire Says:
We think Eyehategod absolutely embody the spirit of what Old Empire and Desertfest are about; A little bit of heavy metal, a whole bunch of venom and tons of groove – we’re all well aware of the party that ensues when these NOLA heavyweights take the stage, so get fucking ready!



OK, let’s abandon any further attempts to squeeze more Game of Thrones references into this article, but rather say that we’re thrilled to announce black metal kings in the North Winterfylleth are coming to Desertfest in 2018.

Hailing from Manchester, Winterfylleth formed in 2007 and since releasing their 2008 debut album The Ghost of Heritage (through Profound Lore Records, no less) have received exponential levels of critical and popular acclaim for their brand of black metal which focuses on epic, fantastical themes and English history. Winterfylleth have released five records, the most recent of which was 2016’s The Dark Hereafter and in 2015 they won the award for “Best Underground Band” at the Metal Hammer Golden God Awards.

Seeing as they’ve released an album every two years for the past decade, there’s a good chance we’ll be treated to material from a forthcoming record, but regardless, Winterfylleth are guaranteed to slay on the Old Empire Stage at Desertfest 2018!

Words: Tom McKibbin

Old Empire Says: We first saw Winterfylleth in the backroom of a Kingston pub in 2011. The output from this Mancunian quartet since then has been simply staggering, they have consistently been one of our favourite bands.

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We've had many bands play Desertfest under the shroud of mystery over the years, but in the case of London collective Five the Hierophant, we too will be watching this particular musical mystery unravel live for the very first time on this year's Old Empire Stage.

Impossible to pin down into any one genre (or family of genres for that matter), FTH traverse the wide chasm from jazz to drone without breaking a sweat. Using instruments like the djembe, rag-dung, violin, bowed guitars and saxophone, alongside your standard guitars, bass and drums set-up, Five the Hierophant create unnatural and unnerving labyrinths of sonic madness that will disturb as much as they will delight.

So head on down to the Old Empire stage to witness the sludgy, saxophonic sensation that is Five the Hierophant emerge from their swamp for the first very first time. Your guess is as good as ours, but we're willing to guess it will be an experience quite like no other.

Words: Pete Green

Old Empire Says: We were immediately grabbed by the intriguing artwork and the dark jazz soundscapes on FTH's new release ‘Over Phelgethon’ – Part doom, part drone, part jazz and all oppression.  This mysterious band will be making their live debut at Desertfest 2018.



We’re always happy to extract some young blood and splatter it across the Desertfest lineup, which is why we’re delighted to announce that Essex upstarts ADCX will be hitting the Old Empire Stage at Desertfest 2018.

A self-classified "space doom collective" from Southend-On-Sea (because, why the fuck not?), ADCX (named after the 1957 Harry Rasky film 'A Day Called X') are way more than just your average rock band. Fusing a musical sound that takes everything from black metal and doom to avant-garde jazz, krautrock, shoegaze, doomgaze, blackgaze, post-rock, post-post-rock and even hardcore, ADCX also blend in blogs, films, light projections and short stories into one big sausage stew of of artistic intelligence. And yep, it sounds brilliant. Bonkers, but brilliant.

Sure to be smashing out smash hits from their startlingly debut The Day I Heard the Moon Roar, alongside a heap of other contrasting and colliding jams, ADCX need to be seen to be believed.

Words: Pete Green

Old Empire says: New Kids on the Block, we were immediately impressed when their new EP ‘The Day I Heard the Moon Roar’ turned up in our inbox.  Equal parts Isis, Hawkwind and Opeth. The dictionary definition would simply say of this Essex group, ‘indefinable’