Preview by Emily Castles
It’s been two whole years since Camden Town was last graced with the unholy presence of London’s blackest music festival. Taking over all the key North London venues; the Roundhouse, Electric Ballroom, the Underworld, the Black Heart and The Dev; Incineration Festival has been serving all our corpse-painted, animal-sacrificing, Satan-worshipping needs since 2014. It’s become an absolute must, an absolute pilgrimage, to anyone with black metal shards running through their veins.
The 2020 line-up, twice cancelled, has somehow largely survived with many bands rescheduled for this much-anticipated return. Inevitably, a few have fallen through – most notably, Sweden’s Dark Funeral. But London’s children of Lucifer will not be left disappointed, with some incredible replacements making this year’s line-up all the more stronger, including the recently announced French post black metal troupe Regarde Les Hommes Tomber (headlining the Underworld stage). Get there in good time and you’ll also catch Scottish speed metal maestros Hellripper.
The almighty Emperor take the reigns as headliners at the Roundhouse in what is set to be their first appearance in London in 16 years. In this UK exclusive, the Norwegian giants will be joined by In the Nightside Eclipse drummer, Faust, for what will surely be a very special set indeed.
You can also catch Winterfylleth at the Roundhouse, hopefully playing some tracks from their 2020 release, The Reckoning Dawn, and the almighty black metal legends Tsjuder – returning to the UK from their Norwegian homeland after many years away.
Over in the sweaty upstairs closet of the Black Heart, expect to be haunted by Peterborough’s men of mystery, The Infernal Sea, following the success of their latest album Negotium Crucis, released back in September 2020.
The much-anticipated October Tide, formed in 1994 by Katatonia vocalist Jonas Renkse and then-Katatonia guitarist Fred Norrman, take to the Electric Ballroom with their heart-wrenching blend of death/doom. They will be followed by the always-captivating Akercocke.
Considering that this is just a single-day festival, the sheer scale and quality of the line-up is astonishing. So many bands are returning to the UK and London after years away, whilst others are finally getting to play new music that’s only been heard digitally for two years.
Mastiff, Foetal Juice and Bury bombers Pist will all give your sinuses a serious clean out as they drop their familiar assorted hardcore and grind grenades at the Black Heart.
Whilst the likes of Bloodstock and Download (pilot) were able to go ahead last year, Incineration, along with Desertfest, were forced to cancel a second time. It’s been a bumpy road for so many promoters and venues, with the repercussions of Covid-19 stretching many organisations to breaking point.
The return of Incineration is something to be celebrated with every bone in your body. It’s a return to normality. It’s a return to black metal. It’s a return home.