Five Bands you must see at Damnation Festival: Opinion

Damnation Festival makes its return to Manchester this year. It has spent many a year at Leeds University where it has grown immeasurably and seen some terrific acts on the bill over the years. The likes of Cannibal Corpse, Opeth, Winterfylleth, AHAB, Mayhem, Napalm Death, Carcass and many more have played the festival. When we interviewed Bill Steer of Carcass he had some very kind words for the festival (read here).

Here, we take a look at some of the bands that are on the bill this year, and the unique flavour they will bring to proceedings. The headline sets speak for themselves with a handful of legendary bands playing some of their finest records in full…I mean…hearing Slaughter Of The Soul front to back is going to be something special. But what about the undercard?


We were absolutely blown away by Pallbearer’s latest album; Forgotten Days (our review here). It feels like an album swallowed up by the pandemic so to see some of these songs performed live will be a pleasure. Pallbearer’s trajectory as a band has been a joy to witness. 2017’s Heartless was arguably the doom album of the year and 2014’s Foundations Of Burden built on their debut, Sorrow & Extinction, wondrously. It feels like an eternity ago that we spoke to Brett Campbell about Forgotten Days but if you’d like to read a little more about the album check our interview with him here.


Wolves In The Throne Room, like the best of bands,, have turned their hands to several different musical styles over the years. At their core is black metal though. For two decades they have levelled landscapes treading their distinct path. Primordial Arcana is their latest offering (our review here) and according to the band, opens a new chapter for the band. You can imagine that a lot of what the band offer up in their set will come from Primordial Arcana but such is the nature of the band, you never know!


Decapitated will be bringing all their might to Manchester in support of their 2022 release; Cancer Culture (a record tat featured Robb Flynn of Machine Head). The Polish death metallers are consummate veterans of the scene and will no doubt bring their bludgeoning style with aplomb. Whilst only Wacław Kiełtyka remains from the original line up, this band are devastating and will be one of the highlights of the day. Their technicality and use of melody is one of the finest examples of modern death metal around.


Signed to Nuclear Blast, American band Irist have the task of opening the main stage. It can be a gift and a curse, but by god, Irist will leave no stone unturned. Their latest EP is a monster and the chance to hear cuts like Heal live will undoubtedly have the masses onside as they kick off proceedings. The way their riffs chug and create rhythm is wondrous and they could be one of those bands that walk away with a whole new army of fans.


For all the bluster of the extreme side of metal, 40 Watt Sun will offer a little respite. Their atmospherically well crafted songs ooze a different kind of emotion. Three albums in, and now the sole project of Patrick Walker; expect their set to be one awash with haze and beauty as the songs gradually build and swamp the mind. Immersion is key where 40 Watt Sun are concerned.


The night before the main event of the festival, there is the warm up show entitled A Night Of Salvation. It features a handful of bands including the mighty Ithaca and Pupil Slicer who we caught earlier this year in Manchester (review here). You will also get Celeste performing Assassin(e) and We Lost The Sea performing Departure Songs. There is also sludge/doom masters Mastiff on the bill. It is set to be a great weekend of music.

For the beer drinkers, there will be Damnation IPA brewed specially by Holy Goat Brewing for the event as well as a whole host of food vendors and stalls for perusal. Everything is in place for a brilliant weekend.

You can buy tickets for Damnation Festival and A Night Of Salvation (the night before) here. It takes place at Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester.

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