FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Incineration Fest 2024

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Incineration Fest 2024
Words: Richard Oliver

As the winter finally loosens its damp, windy and chilly grasp of the UK and the sun starts (hopefully) shining and warmer temperatures finally make our wet little island a more enjoyable place to live, it is safe to say that festival season begins. In little over a month's time, it will be the yearly pilgrimage to Camden Town in London for a celebration of extremity in metal in the form of Incineration Festival with 2024 being the 10th anniversary edition of the festival. Incineration Festival has come leaps and bounds since its origins in The Garage in Islington now spread across four venues in Camden - The Electric Ballroom, The Underworld, The Black Heart and The Dev and is a celebration of extreme metal music with both long running and established international acts sitting comfortably alongside some of the best bands in the UK underground scene. It covers genres such as black metal, death metal, doom metal and thrash metal amongst others with the 2024 edition providing a wide range of styles and sounds.

The Electric Ballroom stage is very stacked this year and is being headlined by the legendary Amorphis who are easily one of the best and most influential metal bands from Finland from their death metal origins to having a big hand in creating the melodic death metal sound with their now classic “Tales From The Thousand Lakes” album to the more progressive, melodic and emotive sound they have today. WIth a career spanning 34 years and 14 albums worth of material to draw from, they promise to deliver a stunning set and bring Incineration to an epic conclusion. Returning to the festival is the furious carnage of Anaal Nathrakh delivering their devastating concoction of black metal, grind, industrial and apocalyptic soundscapes to an unsuspecting Camden. Anaal Nathrakh were at the very first Incineration Festival and promise to bring about the end of the world in musical form ten years after their last appearance at the festival.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

Making their Incineration debut are Austrian blackened death metallers Belphegor. Extreme metal veterans and one of the most vicious sounding bands out there, Belphegor will no doubt deliver a set of blasphemy, perversion, savagery and all out carnage delving into their twelve albums to deliver a punishing performance.

Returning after their last appearance in 2019 are Norwegian black metal legends Carpathian Forest. A band that deserve no introduction having been going since 1992, Carpathian Forest are Norwegian black metal royalty fronted by the infamous Nattefrost, they promise to deliver some nihilistic and perverted second wave black metal with a suitable injection of punk rock attitude and dark twisted humour. Representing the UK and with a more atmospheric black metal sound will be Manchester’s excellent Winterfylleth who will no doubt mesmerise with their epic tales of English folklore and history whilst London’s own Fen will bring a more progressive and post-black metal sound mixing ferocity and sorrow together in equal and devastating measure.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

The Underworld stage is a nicely varied mix of bands this year with the entire stage featuring bands who have never played the festival before. Headlining are Greek death metal maniacs Dead Congregation who have been unleashing some of the most relentlessly disgusting death metal since 2004 and this headlining set promises to be one of the highlights of the day plus is likely to be the most bludgeoning set of the festival. UK trio Conan who promise to test the structural integrity of The Underworld to its limits with their caveman doom metal attack. This promises to be one of if not the heaviest set of the weekend and will have bones and teeth rattling through sheer sonic devastation.

Yoth Iria promise to be another highlight with their Hellenic black metal attack with the band featuring Jim Mutilator (formerly of Rotting Christ) in their ranks. Hexis will be a guaranteed kick in the teeth with their caustic mix of black metal and hardcore guaranteed to get the pits going in The Underworld whilst Canadian avant-garde black metallers Thantifaxath will provide a discordant and mind altering set guaranteed to either enthral or bewilder those in attendance. Representing the UK underground are Ante-Inferno who will kick off the proceedings on The Underworld stage with their relentless black metal attack.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

The Black Heart stage is even more varied this year with mainly UK bands occupying the stage. The one exception being the headlining band who are blackened speed metal maniacs Bütcher. Easily one of my most anticipated sets of the festival this will be an all out blast of over the top speed and aggression and is guaranteed to leave a crowd dazed, confused and with wrecked necks by the time they leave the stage.

Providing the calm before the storm will be UK black metallers The Sun’s Journey Through The Night with their atmospheric and ambient brand of black metal guaranteed to hypnotise and enthral those gathered in The Black Heart. Providing some of the most complex music of the day will be Leeds own Cryptic Shift whose ultra technical style of death and thrash metal will either have people attempting to bang their heads to the ever changing rhythm or music nerds studying each and every note.

Another band guaranteed to enthral or confuse will be Brighton band Wallowing who bedecked in their space age bee-keeper costumes will unleash their unique brand of blackened sludge, doom and noise and definitely promises to be a visual treat as well as sonically devastating experience. Derby’s own Abduction will bring a more straightforward but no less effective black metal experience and showcase why they are one of the finest black metal bands in the country right now whilst Devastator will wreck necks with their blackened thrash attack hopefully playing plenty of tunes from their stunning new record “Conjurers Of Cruelty”. Opening up the stage in relentless form will be London death metal and hardcore hybrid Burner who will provide a much needed wake up call and get the festival off to a suitably brutal opening.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

The Dev stage is the smallest of the four but is the beating heart of the festival showcasing the best bands in the UK underground scene right now. Headlining the stage are Leeds death doom merchants Slimelord who have a lot of hype around them right now and feature three quarters of Cryptic Shift in their ranks. Also guaranteed to cause carnage in the venue are Yorkshire deathgrind bastards Malediction, the all out death metal assault of Sunderland’s own Vacivus, a double dose of technical death metal courtesy of Anakim and Lost Brethren whilst the death metal bludgeoning of Corpsing will kick things off.

If you feel like one day of extremity is enough then there is a special pre-party at The Black Heart the night before with a three band line-up headlined by FInnish grindcore legends Rotten Sound with support from New England hardcore crew Escuela Grind and Botswana heavy metallers Skinflint. At the time of writing tickets for this pre-party are running very low so get on this quick if you want to have a suitably violent warm up for the main event.

If you have never been to Incineration Festival before it is right in the heart of Camden town in central London. All four venues are in very close proximity to each other and can be walked in a matter of minutes whilst the area is very well served by both London Underground and bus services. There is of course plenty of places to eat and drink when a break from the extreme metal is needed. Incineration Festival is always a major calender event for any self respecting extreme metal fan in the UK and this year looks to be another excellent edition of the festival celebrating the tenth anniversary of the event.

Photo credits: Tim Finch Photography

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