London Desertfest 2014 Gets Very, Very Sludgy

We already knew Desertfest wasn’t fucking around, but goodness gracious. To add Sourvein, Graves at Sea, Kongh, Grime, Pombagira, Lifer and War Wolf all at once is ridiculous. It’s like you took two already-quite-heavy fests and smashed them into each other. The Human Disease Promo/When Planets Collide stage is aptly named, if nothing else, because with acts this heavy tossed in, it adds an entirely different dimension to London Desertfest 2014 and makes its roster of bands all the more enviable.

I won’t waste time with a long intro since there’s a lot to wade through here. The following comes courtesy of the Desertfest website, with words by Staggerin’ Matt and Gareth Kelly. Dig it:

Welcome To The HDP / WPC Stage @ Desertfest 2014

Back for the third year running, human_disease_promo / when planet’s collide are teaming up once again to curate a stage of smoked-out heavy rumblings at DesertFest 2014.

Anyone who caught the crushing slab of decibel meter smashing doom that radiated from their stage earlier this year will know to expect the heaviest, loudest, most tripped out, underground sludge / doom from around the globe when The Underworld gets taken over on the final day of the festival again in April. This year will see them bringing as many variations of the theme as are out there to forge a dynamic stage including elements of pysch, prog, dark metal and crust, as well as the traditional dirty sludge and weedy doom riffs. Bring your earplugs and lose your mind as hdp / wpc draw out the festival in swampy, distorted style.


Purveyors of the finest crust-doom nihilism Arizona’s Graves At Sea will be landing in the middle of the eye of the storm at The Underworld to bring forth a cargo laden with wretched snarls of bile and horror.

With relatively little in the way of released material G.A.S. built up a slew of interest due to the sheer grief / woe ridden intensity of the sound that they spewed forth. 2 tracks on a split with Asunder in 2005 showed the band to also possess a quality of strong dynamic ability, although it is the sheer overall nastiness of the bands squalid down-tuned sound that make their status as one of the most sought after underground dark sludge offerings fully justified. Few bands could hope to possess such varying and well laid down exorcisms (at times reminiscent of the vocal stylings of the likes of Corrupted, Burning Witch, Noothgrush, and occasionally even through to Autopsy / Abscess), draped over smoke enriched fuzzed licks and long low bass rumbles.

Many of us were disappointed when, following a long hiatus, the bands recent euro stint alongside New Zealand’s Methdrinker didn’t reach the UK mainland, so we’re totally stoked to play host to them on the human_disease_promo / when planet’s collide stage at the next installment of the festival. Get ready for a slow twisting vortex of ravenous filth throughout!


Sweden’s driving wall of darkened heaviness Kongh have been taking sludge and doomed post-metal to the next level for the best part of a decade now, destroying stages and minds worldwide with their own unforgiving barrage of dynamic noise and they are set to blast into The Underworld’s hdp / wpc curated stage for a UK exclusive show in April.

The band’s 2006 demo and the recently re-released 2007?s debut LP “Counting Heartbeats” were maelstroms of storming riffs, combining chugging sludge with other worldly ambiences to create a mesmorisingly crushing sound. Since then the trio have never looked back. Pushing forward with 2 more albums and a handfull of splits of intense grandiose tripped-out sludge noise, 2013?s Sole Creation is an accomplishment of gigantic proportions, projecting the band onto a trajectory of altering perceptions of what is possible within the realms of heavy music. Epic and monstrous guitar work layered up with pounding drums and vocals varying from trad-doom warbling to soaring harmonised melodys to crushing death-sludge roars and blackened rasps, all of this gelling together into a head-banging, brain-devouring force, it’s easy to forget sometimes that this huge sound is coming from only 3 members.

Kongh have been busy since they last hit these shores with YOB / Dark Castle in Oct 2011. As well as the album, a slew of European dates and a recent outing supporting heavyweights Meshuggah across Scandinavia have landed the band in a place ready to destroy the senses of all who can squeeze into the Underworld to catch them. Get ready to work those necks, throw claws, pound fists, and yet still be taken to a place far outside of this reality in the same process… Kongh are hitting DesertFest to liquidise your friggin’ minds!


North Carolina’s legendary dirt-sludge outfit, led by T-Roy the revered reverend of the dirty south, are set to land back on these shores to spread the gospel of hard times, turbulent troubles and violent struggles of life that they have been laying down since way back in 1993.

There are those bands that create a swamp of dirge so thick that you feel the possibility there may actually be no escape or mental resolve before the final end-time. Sourvein are not just one of those bands, they are the goddam masters! Oozing a southern drawl and nomadic mysticism that invokes images in the mind of horror and fright, and that uncertain feeling of teetering on the very edge of sanity. It’s akin to full engulfment in a THC cloud from the opening bars right through a distorted mire of torment, and whisky fueled loathing, to the bitter lasting feedback of the destructive climax. Basically Sourvein don’t fuck around, they do away with the pleasantries and get straight to the fucking point.

Following from the past appearances and incantations of the band at The Underworld on the “No Sleep Til Halloween” tour of 2006 (alongside fellow DesertFest favourites Church Of Misery), and again in 2008 with Orange Goblin, we are proud to once again welcome back T-Roy and his current outfit of NoCal’s finest filthmonger’s to this fair city of ours. Catch the sludge veterans on the human_disease_promo / when planet’s stage, preferably near the peak of your intoxication limits… and get ready to Bangleaf mother fuckers!


The Adriatic coast of Italy isn’t one of first places that springs to mind when thinking of the nastiest kind of down-tuned, spite-filled, blackened sludge… but that’s exactly what Trieste’s Grime bring to the table in droves.

Whether it’s the bloody history of Northern Italy’s past, or possibly the isolation of their hometown region? It’s left to be guessed, but Grime produce a sound that is most certainly dragged from the depths of despair, suffering and antipathy, crawling with venomous snarls and screeching, this is dark and heavy music at it’s best! That is not to say however that 2013’s crushing (Billy Anderson mixed) LP “Deteriorate” is lacking in soul. Far from it. In fact the band’s second offering is rich in warm tone and offers finely crafted riffmanship within interspersed chunks of head nodding weedy vibes. The overall feel of this band is a slow, brooding type of heavy that has initiated the band into doom / sludge circles with an instantly high regard. A European tour last year with Cough and shows with Steven O’Malley, Ufomammut and a Russian stint with Suma have cemented the trio as being a strongly anticipated soundtrack to a slice of post-smoke negativity when they make their UK debut on the human_disease_promo / when planet’s collide stage at DesertFest in April next year.

We can’t wait… let the bad times roll on!!


Few bands are capable of delivering the palpable blow to the senses than the UK’s loudest duo Pete and Carolyn Hamilton-Giles drive with sheer ease.

Huge waves of riff repetition of early releases earned the originally London based two-piece a reputation for a one-of-kind uncompromising volume experience with their live shows across the UK and Europe over the course of the last 7 years, plus a short stint on the US north west coast. A more recent move to a rural base has given rise to the massive 60 / 70’s influenced opus of 2013’s Maleficia Lamiah, the opening title track of which is currently being streamed for free on their own Black Axis Records website. With artwork by Vic Singh (also responsible for Pink Floyd’s Piper At The Gates Of Dawn cover art) Pombagira have conjured up a unique journey of modern doom-psych fusion, and this latest offering has yet to be experienced in a live setting in the capital… Until now! Expect their full backline of vintage hardware to drive home the heavy tide of a new found acid-doom drenched sound over the audience in a thick veil of hypnotic low end magnificence.

War Wolf To Howl In Camden

Hailing from England’s South coast WAR WOLF are a beastily heavy 3-piece whose credentials speak firmly for themselves, (being two-thirds ex-Dopefight, one third Sea Bastard / ex-Jovian).

This year’s debut 8 track EP “Riding With Demons” destroyed minds across the board and gave birth to a much needed balls-out band on the UK scene. Vehemently anti-Thatcher and outspoken against hypocritical catholic dogma / neo-fascism and economic plight, War Wolf blast a concentrated stream of criticism and spite into their music. But… this band also has riffs! Big gnarly riffs mixed with a giant distorted tone. Yet perfectly disjointed and stabbingly sharp to the point, owing as much to their raw talent as a general distain for all conformist ideals.

Overall, War Wolf are a blistering D.I.Y. punk-sludge force, reminiscent at times of the likes of early Cavity. Naturally in-your-face but addictively watchable, duo-vocaled , ripping riff heavy, and a welcome breath of fresh air from the mundane. A killer 3 tracks on their side of a recent split with Sob Story (self-released through drummer Ant Cole’s own Headless Guru Records label) hint towards the immanent new full length as being an important and highly anticipated record. One that will most likely carry both the unexpected as well as another leap forward into a solid standing as a modern UK export with a giant middle finger to the hypocrisy around them, echoing the crust heavyweights of yesteryear, yet with a hardcore / doom fusion that ensures their ability to remain up there with some of the heaviest bands around today.

Definitely a kick to the head not to be missed on the Human_Disease_Promo / When Planet’s Collide stage at DesertFest 2014.


Coming in somewhere between Sick Of It All and the mighty Down these Welsh masters of the raging riff (ft ex-axeman of UK stoner heroes Acrimony) are due to set off the Human_Disease_Promo / When Planets Collide stage at this year’s festival.

Having played triumphant sets at the likes of Hammerfest and Bloodstock (appearing not once but twice, playing to a strong crowd on their second stage in 2013), the band have also played storming shows supporting many fellow “Lifer’s” like Viking Skull and Orange Goblin. Their debut Album ‘Curse them Out’ was released to rave reviews and with 2014 seeing them disappear back in to the studio once again we hope that this year’s appearance at DesertFest may be a good chance for them to air some brand new material too. These boys are coming from the valleys to crush your tiny minds. Do not miss out!

Sourvein, “Dirty South” Live

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