Northern Darkness – Friday

Running Order

Friday night, mid August 2021, Fell Foot Wood in Cumbria, Wulfhere Productions. The peace was disturbed by Black Metal bands playing to an enthusiastic crowd, for many the first time since lockdown started. Five bands played, stalwarts Heathen Deity headlined, ably supported by Nefarious Dusk, Aklash, Wolfbastard and Black Pyre.

First up to open the Festival were Black Pyre from Wales who played a competent and enjoyable set to get things rolling.

Next up were Wolfbastard, festival regulars, who played a solid set as expected and then got on with the serious job of partying.

Like many bands over the course of the lockdown, Aklash had changed lineup, replacing a guitarist and the drummer. This has put new life into the band and given them a bit more scope live, maybe a bit too much for certain cvlt types and gatekeepers. As well as Nico’s fiddle playing there is now added flute from Yiannis and synth from Marco and Chris wheeled out an electric double bass at the end of the set. There was a certain looseness to the playing, without losing the plot. They were also joined onstage towards the end by Dominus from Nefarious Dusk. It all added up to an amazing set, probably one of the best I have seen in forty odd years of gig going.

Nefarious Dusk weren’t fazed by the previous performance putting on a short and powerful set. Maybe this was because they were all strong leaders of their own bands (Thy Dying Light, Andracca, Abduction) and their collective experience showed.

Final band of the evening were Heathen Deity. They have been around for a while and this showed in their solid set of originals and covers (they were also joined on stage by Dominus to help out on guitar with some Mayhem covers). Frontman Dagon has great presence on and off stage and he is strongly supported by the rest of the band. All in all a great set to round off the day.

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