‘Kin Hell Fest 2014: The ‘kin Gallery

As promised, please find below a selection of images captured at last weekend’s ‘Kin Hell Fest at Vox/Eiger Studios in Leeds. We weren’t there for every band as you know, but we did catch numerous bands over the Friday and Saturday. They’re not the highest quality but hopefully they capture the awesomeness of this weekend. Just like the fest itself, our approach was very DIY – no fancy lens or expensive kit, just a standard digital camera with a dying battery, and a mobile phone trying to do the job of a professional. Tsk. Anyhoo, enjoy!

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‘Kin Hell Fest appeal for help with ‘funeral costs’

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It is always a sad day when a part of the vibrant underground music scene disappears or ceases, whether that be a band, a venue, and indeed a music festival. When ‘Kin Hell Fest took place this past weekend, there were extremely high hopes – it had was the strongest line-up in its three-year history, featuring Napalm Death, Anaal Nathrakh and Onslaught as its headliners. Not to mention UK exclusive appearances from Pentagram Chile, Birdflesh and Lock Up, as well as appearances by the likes of US death metal legends Massacre, UK rockers Hawk Eyes, Welsh death metal veterans Desecration among the total of 43 bands covering grind, sludge, doom, slam, metal (blackened, death, traditional, etc.) and all manner of silliness, and all for £59, considerably a bargain price for such a calibre of bands on one line-up. It was proudly DIY, organised chiefly by Paul Priest, who managed to pull together this line-up after clawing back from debts incurred from the festival in 2013 when it moved from a single day event to a three-day weekend. Huge efforts were made to give the festival exposure. Numerous people handed on flyers at events. Blogs and websites such as ourselves went out on a limb to sell this as an incredible line-up and a must-attend – not that it should have needed to necessarily, and not that it wasn’t that way already.

But as you may have gathered from our cracked, hindered and indeed partial review of the festival, the bands, the price, the hype – none of its matters compared to actual revenue and numbers through the door. And despite things looking positive on the Friday, Saturday was considerably emptier, and while I can’t speak for Sunday’s attendance, it seemed the decision had already been made over on Facebook to declare that once Sunday was over, so was ‘Kin Hell Fest. Not just this year, but likely for good. A statement went out on the ‘Kin Hell Fest website, asking people to help with ‘Kin Hell Fest’s ‘funeral costs’. Paul Priest explained:

We didn’t want to do this, absolutely didn’t, not again, but it feels like we have no choice than to look for extra continued help from people. We’re not asking for much off anyone, but anything you can do to help us clear the pretty hefty debts we will have post-fest would be almost life-changing. Obviously we’re looking at things we can do personally to sort this out as well, but I guess trying to put something together of this kind of size, and keeping it as a DIY ethics based festival is almost impossible, implausible maybe. 

Unfortunately though, it does pretty much signal the end of ‘kin Hell Fest after today. We’ll try and clear up the debris and broken bones of it all as quickly as possible, knowing there’s been some insane, brilliant, amazing things happen at every installment. 

We are absolutely gutted at having to do this but, for all the incredible support and amazing words from all over the world we’ve had in the run up to the festival over the last 9 months, it’s still not equated to the amount of people coming down that we, and everyone else (involved or onlooking) thought it should. We were about as confident in the line up as it was possible to be, but, things didn’t work out. 

Understandably there’s been numerous reasons put out as to why ‘Kin Hell Fest didn’t attract the numbers that were either forecast or anticipated, mainly due to clashes with the Temples Festival in Bristol, Neurotic Deathfest, even Live in Leeds – a festival focusing on a vastly different musical audience altogether. Some people cited being unable to afford to come to the festival, and one or two have churlishly suggested the line-up wasn’t good (what rock have you been living under?). Let’s face facts – not enough people got through the door. And what does it take ultimately for events like this to not just survive, but thrive? That’s right. People turning up and getting through those doors. Ticket sales, payments on the door. They all count.

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It’s perfectly understandable that some people can’t afford a weekend ticket or even a day ticket, or the escalating travel fares pumped out by public transport networks. Clashes are clashes but just because Temples emerged, doesn’t mean that ‘Kin Hell Fest didn’t have a strong enough line-up – they only had the world’s biggest grind band and a number of other artists with considerable weight to add to this package. Even if people migrate to those other events, that doesn’t mean the North doesn’t have a strong enough following within hardcore and metal circles. Indeed, the Yorkshire area has been pumping out a good number of bands for a while now and created fervent scenes as a result, and has always maintained a good following, even if hit recently by the closures of venues such as Rio’s and The Well in Leeds. But that means nothing if people aren’t getting through the door in numbers.

I cannot claim to know Paul inside and out as I’ve only met him a few times, mostly at the festival and during my time as a drummer for Poison Dwarf. What I do know is that he has done more than anyone to keep heavy music alive and well in Leeds and in the local area, and for well over a decade now, both as a promoter and as a musician himself with local bands such as Reth, Diascorium, Sloth Hammer and most recently, No Fucks Given. He put his heart, soul and hard graft into making this festival work, and had hordes of people handing out flyers at regional shows across the North and beyond to try and drum up interest in this festival. The debts incurred by the festival could have sunk KHF in 2013, but fans clubbed together and helped erase some of that debt to the point where KHF 2014 was considered financially viable. Paul and KHF tried to up their game, which was the only feasible way to go. And in doing so, for my money and I’m sure everyone else who attended – and for some of those who didn’t – this was pound for pound the best line up going as far as the less mainstream festivals go.

Alas, it wasn’t to be enough and whatever reasons you wish to summise, Paul hits it square on the head and he talks more sense than most. But let’s not get bogged down any more in the whys and the hows. The clean-up is underway and you can do your bit to help out a true figure in the Yorkshire, indeed Northern heavy music scene. Merch is still available post-festival from the official KHF store, including t-shirts, posters, patches, and last year’s six-hour compilation that was put together to stave off the debts accrued last year. But be quick, as it will soon be gone. Additionally, you can donate to the KHF team and even a small amount will be appreciated while they try and sort out initially clearing the debt from the fest itself. And gigs are already popping up pledging to give their receipts to Paul and the KHF team in a display of solidarity from bands and promoters alike that the broad metal community often show like no other.

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You can read Paul’s statement in full here. And no matter what happens, even if ‘Kin Hell Fest never returns, he, and indeed the rest of the team, will return even stronger from this.

Peter Clegg

‘Kin Hell Fest 2014 Preview: Sunday

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Like all good things, ‘Kin Hell Fest 2014 will come to an end as the clocks chime midnight on Monday 5th May. Until then though, there’s still one full day of action to come, and it seems they saves the goriest bits for last! But for those who like their heavy music a different way, there’s a mix of classic heavy metal, thrash, old school death metal and technical business. Let’s go out with a band as we introduce Sunday’s day of devilry in the last part of our preview.

Shoot The Bastard – 12:45-13:10

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Hardcore/powerviolence lads seen with Weekend Nachos, Agathocles, Pighead and more. Nice fast shouty stuff.

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Employed to Serve – 13:25-13:50

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Crushing heavy blend of technical hardcore/metal/grind featuring Sammy Unwin (Oblivionized/Regurgitate Life). They’ve been busy since forming and their latest release ‘Change Nothing, Regret Everything’ is devastating in its aggressive delivery. One of the best new bands to emerge of late, do not miss them!

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Regurgitate Life – 14:05-14:30

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Sammy Unwin’s one-man tech-metal mission returns for the second consecutive year as the riff master puts in a second shift at the festival (following his earlier appearance with Employed to Serve)

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Palm Reader – 14:45-15:10

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Surrey metallic hardcore lads who’ve performed on bigger stages such as Download, Hevy, etc., and currently tearing up venues with their affirmative passionate sound.

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Basement Torture Killings – 15:25-15:50

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Nasty as London extreme metallers, inspired by all manner of serial killers and snuff videos.

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Unfathomable Ruination – 16:05-16:35

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Heavy as rocking horse shit death metal. Seriously though, this London lot are monstrous, huge sound terrific technical riffs and blasting sections. You will headbang.

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Conquest of Steel – 16:50-17:20

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Bradford’s true heavy metal warriors make their debut at the festival, ten years after they originally formed. Sadly, this is also going to be one of their final shows, having announced recently they were going their separate ways. So come on, wear your denim and leather proudly and raise a beer in the air to true heavy metal!

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Untimely Demise – 17:35-18:05

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Canadian thrashers hailing from Saskatoon, plying their trade for several years now and recently signed a worldwide deal, heralded by the release of their cracking second album ‘Systematic Eradication‘. Great quality modern thrash.

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Holocausto Canibal – 18:20-18:50

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Portuguese gore-maniacs who are one of the European continent’s most revered bands for sheer brutality.

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Crepitation – 19:05-19:35
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After nine years playing the brutal slam game, Crepitation finally got themselves a record deal. With their debut full length now in the offing, prepare for all manner of pig squeals and flying bodies.

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Malignancy – 19:50-20:20

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Death metal straight outta Yonkers, New York. Been around since 1992 and a cracking signing for KHF. They play technical riffs of the highest order and their will be a dizzying, devastating assault.

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Desecration – 20:35-21:05

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Arguably the most savage band to have come out of Wales, death metallers Desecration have been putting out nasty after nasty for donkeys, and their debut appearance at KHF. Still going after 21 years, they’re not quite as controversial now but they’re just as consistent and are going to destroy the stage here.
 
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Wodensthrone – 21:20-21:55

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Critically acclaimed UK black metallers who’ve been creating epic primordial sounds since 2005. Always purveyors of such a fine stage presence, expect this to be a stunning tour-de-force.

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Massacre – 22:10-22:50

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A brilliant coup for the festival, US death metal legends Massacre make their debut appearance at the festival having just released their latest album ‘Back from Beyond‘ following their recent reformation. Featuring Rick Rozz and Terry Butler (ex-Death) once again, this is unmissable.

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Onslaught – 23:10-00:00

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Closing out this year’s festival will be legendary UK thrash metallers Onslaught. Seven albums over 27 years and still bringing it to the stage every time they play. A fitting way to close out this year’s fest with one of the defining bands of the UK scene.

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Peter Clegg

‘Kin Hell Fest 2014 Preview – Saturday

Welcome back to our comprehensive preview of ‘Kin Hell Fest 2014. If Friday’s line-up wasn’t enough for you, Saturday’s bill features no less than 15 bands, ranging from the fastest to the slowest, and indeed spanning the modern era of extremity to its very origins. There should be something for you all here. Doors at 12pm Saturday, first band at 1pm. Go!

Esoteric Youth – 13:00-13:25

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Describing themselves as ‘the most evil band out of Manchester since Oasis’, this blackened hardcore crew who have been making inroads into the fulcrum of the UK scene since emerging with their demo in 2012 – their bleak crusty diatribes should prove a wake-up slap in the chops for anyone still recovering from Friday’s madness.

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Gets Worse – 13:40-14:05

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Another local act, these guys were named in our top 10 short releases for 2013 with ‘Negative’. They have no time for false grinders, pit violence, and indeed as Manowar, and a cracking Scottish blog might say, ‘wimps and posers, leave the hall’!

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Wizard’s Beard – 14:20-14:50

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Smashing stoner/sludge metallers in the vein of Iron Monkey, Weedeater, etc. who continue to raise the bar in what is deemed ‘heavy’. Blogs and zines have raved about their records ‘Pure Filth’ and ‘Four Tired Undertakers’, so buckle up and get your grooves on. This is about to get heeeeeavy.

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Noise Complaint – 15:05-15:30

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Cosmopolitan crossover thrashers Noise Complaint are rooted firmly in the UK, bringing together members from the USA, Italy and Brazil. Speed is the name of the game here and you’d be well urged to keep up. These guys are nuts.

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Monolithian – 15:45-16:15

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This Falmouth duo are creating welcome noise in the UK scene for their bleak and heavy jams that outgun and rise above more populous doom bands. Released a cracking split with hardcore crew Let It Die last year.

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Arkham Witch – 16:30-17:00

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Keighley-based traditional heavy/doom metallers with anthems of Lovecraftian horror, upholding metal values, mythology and famous comic books characters among others. Cracking retro worship.

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Acrania – 17:15-17:45

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Brutally pounding death metal from London featuring members of Pathology and Bloodshot Dawn. Brace yourselves – circle pits are coming!

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Jesus Cröst – 18:00-18:30

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Word is this is going to be the last show ever from the Dutch two-piece, who’ve been ploughing out good-time speedy grind for over 15 years now. With that in mind, let’s give them the ravenous send off they deserve.

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Grave Miasma – 18:50-19:25

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Fantastic old-school death metal crew from London who released the future underground classic ‘Odori Sepulcrorum’ in 2013. Being hailed as one of the flagbearers of the old-school renaissance of the genre by many leading blogs and zines, it’s time to fall under their spell.

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Deviated Instinct – 19:40-20:15

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For me, personally, these guys are going to be completely unmissable. Legendary 80’s crust-punks who reactivated in 2007 and put out their first record in 21 years with 2012’s ‘Liberty Crawls to the Sanctuary of Slaves’. This year marks 30 years since their inception, one of the true pioneers of the scene, and fans new and old can expect a raucous and furious show. Expect the pit to go truly nuts at this point.

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Hawk Eyes – 20:30-21:10

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Mad scientists of rock who incorporate elements of punk, hardcore, electronic and all manner of experimentalism to their sound, bothering mainstream rags and trendies as well as accumulating a rabid following. Hometown show for this lot, guaranteed to be packed out.

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Khuda – 21:25-22:05

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They’re back! Following their decision to disband early in 2013, Leeds’ post-rockers Khuda have reformed to record a new album and to play KHF, in doing so returning to the festival where they stole the show according to our occasional scribe Mike who witnessed them back in 2011. A truly awesome experience to watch and a swerve in direction from the madness that precedes it.

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Anaal Nathrakh – 22:25-23:30

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The reigning overlords of British extreme metal arrive in Leeds as Saturday headliners and ready to lay waste to the Vox Warehouse.

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Birdflesh – 23:50-00:25

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One of the most crackers bands to ever raise hell in grind, Swedish trio Birdflesh bring hell to town in a UK exclusive performance. Expect wild costume, bonkers antics and some classic grindcore from the scene freaks.

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The Day Man Lost – 00:40-01:00

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Preston grinders The Day Man Lost reformed to play the festival last year and emerged as one of its highlights. These guys are brutal, easily one of the most essential UK grind bands on the scene, and will provide a perfectly crazy end to the Saturday with short sharp blasts of purified rage.

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Peter Clegg

‘Kin Hell Fest set to unleash the ‘Yorkshire Riffer’!

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This Saturday marks the beginning of the now yearly festivities that bring forth some of the finest in heavy (and often extreme) music in all its forth, ‘Kin Hell Fest. And this year, they’re marking it with one almighty all dayer that has become known as the ‘Yorkshire Riffer’.

The line-up is a corking one, bringing together some of the local and national highlights of underground UK music, but also for the coup of headlining doom titans Eagle Twin! The duo, who released the phenomenal ‘The Feather Tipped the Serpent’s Scale’ in 2012 will arrive to lay down their punishing treacle grooves and thunderously heavy riffs to close out proceedings prior to the main fest kicking off the week after.

Not to overlook every band involved (and let’s face it, you’re going to get bang for your buck all damn day), here are five other good reasons why you should head down to Eiger Studios this Saturday:

The Afternoon Gentlemen

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The self-proclaimed boozejooglers are already known for being one of the UK’s tightest grindy/powerviolence bands and the kings of ‘poggerviolence’ are intent on solidifying that reputation. Just last week, they brought forth a ripping new track, ‘Grind in the Mind’. Whether they’re going fast or slow, TAG will captivate with precision within anarchy, however boozed up they are by gig time.

Foetal Juice

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They’re so offensively puntastic, even Dee Snider seems to like them! Despite upping the punnage to the max, FJ, led by their wild frontman Sam Read, are one of the best death metal bands stomping this country at the moment. Every track of theirs doesn’t muck around – they go straight for the jugular and as evidenced at KHF 2013, nobody stands still for these guys. Expect a wild time in the pit as FJ deliver party vibes and slamming pits.

Scordatura

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The band that brought us the Amy Winehouse-baiting ‘Back to Crack’ (just before she died) are one of the UK’s best proponents in deliverance of proper good death metal. Their debut album ‘Torment of the Weak’ was released last year and the band have supported more established bands such as Cerebral Bore and Blood Red Throne. It should only be a matter of time before they gain wider exposure, so don’t miss what is set to be a furious set from the Scots.

Ninkharsag

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The Liverpudlian black metallers were one of the opening acts at the inaugural KHF fest in November 2011, and they’ve been going from strength to strength since, tightening their sound and ensconcing their claim to be the blackest sound on the banks of the Mersey. Their limited release ‘The Essential Salts of Human Dust’ has got metal zines raving about them, and with an album supposedly ready and waiting to go, this is set to be a primal experience like no other.

Cattle

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Local lot Cattle are for me, the most intriguing band in the line-up. Eschewing the need for guitarists and instead employing two bassists and two drummers, they play an interesting brand of noise-rock which puts the bass as its forefront instrument, making sure every groove and nuance can be heard, while the drummers keep it together to ensure the whole rhythm section drives with power. Their debut EP was reviewed by us earlier this year (still streaming) and we still champion it now – their appearance will provide something not just a little different, but something worth your full attention.

The line-up also features veteran subjugators Palehorse, sludge rockers BongCauldron, grind nuttiness from No Fucks Given and Rectal Implosion, plus heavy doomers Gods of Hellfire, local metallers Bludger and blackened death crew Sathamel. Yorkshire Riffer is also licensed until 5am the following morning, so the fun doesn’t stop at doom o’clock! And the best bit about it all is, even when it’s finished, we get to do it all again next weekend!

Peter Clegg

Wort – Not Your Cup of Tea

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Wort
Not Your Cup of Tea
When Planets Collide

When I started We Must Obey, I was part of a band called Poison Dwarf. I was bandmates with two of the guys from this band, Phil (guitar) and Mike (vocals/bass). Mike of course has contributed occasionally to this blog, while creating his own profile with the Manchester-based promotions team CLDH, and more recently, with sludge-rockers Pist. We played together for nearly two and a half years, until parenthood came calling for me and in the end, we played one final show together supporting The Prophecy, Iron Void and WMO favourites Iron Witch in August 2011 before going on hiatus. Poison Dwarf never officially died – more, it mutated into what was to become Wort, with the two remaining PD members joining up with drummer .

I could easily make this one of my old ‘Shameless Plug’ posts, but given how genuinely impressed I am with the results here, it is important to judge their official debut release, ‘Not Your Cup of Tea’ (complete with brilliant artwork from Dominic Sohor) on its merits. Yes, it hardly reinvents the wheel, but what it does do, as I can attest to (and you, if you listened to their demo, ‘WORT’s N’All!’) is show how this band have evolved into a beast to be reckoned with alongside the current proud crop of the UK scene. The tempo is slightly upped from that release, the production beefed up all around, and each track is stronger than the previous one. ‘The Swine Herd’ has a nice psychedelic vocal within it to add to its driving, pounding nature, and ‘Tea’ is just an all-round riffer that nicely rounds things off with the sound of Phil vomiting from a rank brew. Which is nothing new, let me tell you, haha.

Seriously though, ‘Not Your Cup of Tea’ is definitely my cup of tea, and it should be yours too. Sadly all the CD copies have sold out, but you can pick this up on name-your-price download. Give ‘em a wave will you?

Peter Clegg

Buy/download ‘Not Your Cup of Tea’ here
Stream it below:

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