Northern Darkness – Autumn Edition, Saturday

It looked like the grey weather from the south had caught up with me by Saturday morning, clouds covering the sky and drizzle as I walked to the toilet block. After doing the necessary I returned and had breakfast. After that the rain stopped and I took the opportunity, as did quite a few of the other festival goers, to walk to Lake Windermere. We had quite a few hours to kill before the bands started in the evening. After I returned I chatted with people around the site and enjoyed a vegan burger for lunch. Cedric the sound engineer was fixing a problem with one of the speakers before the performance started. He worked hard over the weekend to ensure that the sound was good for all of the bands and the audience.

The first band on were a replacement for another band who couldn’t make it. They were Gospelheim from Manchester, a three-piece (plus laptop) who were a bit different to the rest of the bill. Their style is more Goth, Black Metal enough though to fit in. They played a captivating set to the growing audience. Second on were Andracca, sporting a new bass player plus an extra guitarist but still no drummer (unable to practice). This didn’t faze them and they played an excellent set. There seems to be a spate of people leaving bands and then coming to watch them – previous bassist Matt was there. Guitarist Kieran had doubled on bass for Nefarious Dusk at this festival and the previous Northern Darkness so his face probably appears more than most in my pics this year (when his hair isn’t covering it).

Also making a second festival return was Marco on drums: last time for Aklash‘s awesome set, this time back with Ben for a Nomos set. It was easy to see why he has added to Aklash with the performance this time. Despite (or maybe because) being a two-piece, they are powerful and exciting. Festival promoter Hrafn is back on stage again, this time with Thy Dying Light, which includes The Bearer (Old Corpse Road, WynterMyst) on bass. Their Black Metal is straightforward and powerful, keeping the interest of the crowd. Following them were Sacred Son, who I just don’t get. It’s the second time I have seen them at a festival here and they failed to excite both times.

To finish off the night we had the festival headliners, stalwarts of the English Black Metal scene, Hecate Enthroned. They showed their experience and played a storming set to finish off the festival. It was a masterful performance, played with enthusiasm. They had also been connecting with the festival patrons all day so a good rapport had built up by the time they filled the stage.

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