PREVIEW: Blackwood Gathering 2016

With less than a week to go before proceedings kick off, the excitement of this year’s Blackwood Gathering has become too much to bear. As such, we’ve put together a little preview of what’s on offer this time around to help whet the Black Metal whistle a little bit more. We’re sponsoring this year’s event so come and say hi and don’t forget to smile/grimace for the cameras!

Great Britain excels in misery so much so that it’s probably our greatest asset and unfortunately this melancholy isn’t always represented in the country’s metal output. Not since the glory days of the peaceville three has Britain’s misery been pushed to the forefront.
Taking their cues from the aforementioned Peaceville 3 and mixing it with a healthy dose of slower and haunting Black Metal in the vein of previous project Ghast, South Wales is Deheubarth (named after the former Welsh kingdom of their inception). Having spun their demo tape to near exhaustion I fully expect Deheubarth to be one of the highlights of the weekend. With live outings being a rarity for this project, having never ventured further north than Bristol The Fell Foot Wood provides the perfect setting as the darkness of autumn sets us on the course for winter for the band to unleash their darkwinter possessions to the gathered hoard.

Heathen Deity
2016 marks the triumphant return of Heathen Deity - now understood to be working on recording their long anticipated debut full length - and where better to kick things back off than at The Blackwood. We’re expecting to hear plenty from the upcoming release alongside some classics from For the Glory of Satan, and with everything to prove on stage once more you can expect a blistering thirty minute set that leaves you wanting more from the British Black Metal vets. We’re really excited for this one, and for what’s to come for Heathen Deity, 18:30 on Saturday evening is the place to be!

Leading the charge of homegrown talent on Friday/Saturday night are none other than the masters of progressive British Black Metal themselves, Fen. Playing in what will surely be the most idyllic setting to experience what they do, the performance is set to encapsulate all that is true about The Blackwood Gathering and the picturesque woodland surroundings will serve to bring Fen’s beautiful, atmospheric woe to life. We’re hoping to hear something from their split earlier this year with Sleepwalker alongside some classic material, and simply cannot wait.

Pale Mist
Since the Hate Wound demo back in 2007, Glomor has been working tirelessly to write, record and perform material in order to bring Pale Mist’s addictively depressive sound to the masses. Performing we can only guess with help from members of Wacht alongside others, we’re expecting plenty from the second full-length release earlier this year Spreading My Wings into the Abyss That Calls alongside spatterings from the band’s short but rich history in the British Black Metal scene. A performance at The Blackwood will add another notable notch on that history and set them on an interesting course for the future. Their set begins at 19:30 Saturday.

Peaking our interests and taking place before the Friday night headline slot with their dark, medieval rituals are Thornland . Consisting of Dagon and Azrael, both of Heathen Deity fame, little is known about the project which only adds to their mysterious allure. Expect to be gathered around the fire and be ready to engulf yourself in the flames of The Blackwood, for we are all merely guests at Fell Foot and our sacrifices to the gods will be taken that night during Thornland’s enthralling rapture, of that there is no doubt.

For the third Instalment of the Blackwood gathering, topping Urfaust as a headliner was going to be an almost impossible task indeed but full credit to the organisers who have managed to pull out a real treat in the way of Finnish underground stalwarts Horna. With the band touring globally UK appearances are rare but having been fortunate enough to see them grace these shores in London last year I know they won’t disappoint. Since their 1995 Demo the band have remained a fixture of the global underground flying the flag for Finnish Black metal with its members spreading across numerous legendary projects over the years. Shautrag is the sole original member whilst being a part of other Finnish Black Metal royalty in Sargeist, formerly of Behexen and International project Nightbringer.
Having lain waste to many a shore over their illustrious career it’s a real pleasure to have Horna bring their brand of Black Metal to this humble isle and is there a better place here to showcase their raw and spellbinding brand of the darkest arts than at Fell foot wood? I truly believe not. Expect a true Black Metal show, clothes soaked in blood, corpse paint, fire and if last time was anything to go by full frontal male nudity for those that are such inclined with a setlist which will no doubt contain a variety of material from across the band’s astonishing 21 years.

Well that’s all for now, lookout for our full coverage of this year’s event, some interviews from the festival, and if we manage to not get too drunk then maybe a podcast as well. You lucky sods.



Artist - Jesters of Destiny
Title - The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown
Label - Ektro

Thirty years after Jesters of Destiny arrived, dropped Fun at the Funeral and disappeared back into the night, they’re finally back with a second full length release courtesy of Ektro Records, and whilst it could never live up to first album, the eccentricity of the band shines through once more and it’s a crazy ride from start to finish. Pick it up on April 4th!



Artist - Hammerfest IX
Date - 23rd- 26th March
Venue - Pwllheli, Wales  

One of our main highlights of the year, this month we’re off to Wales for Hammerfest, HRH’s Heavy Metal flagship. With the return of two Power Metal titans alongside a host of others, this year looks to be one of their best ever. We’ll be covering the whole festival and conducting interviews as well so lookout for the cameras!