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Desertfest London 2016

London 29 April – 1 May 2016

Oranssi Pazuzu live at Desertfest 2016 (Picture: Richie Ruchpaul)Desertfest is the place where the stoned immaculate of Britain (and several other countries) meet in one of London’s coolest areas, watch some of the heaviest (and out there) bands over a three day period in five different venues.

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Saturnalia Temple / Inconcessus Lux Lucis (live at The Black Heart)

London 29 February 2016

Saturnalia Temple live at The Black Heart February 2016Monday is never the best night for gigs in London. There certain left-over feeling in the air from Sunday and for most it’s the first day of the working week. So an evening of dark esoteric music may not be high on most people’s radar. But this being The Black Heart, there is always a regular group of heavy metal freaks to pack out the place and indulge in an evening of dark arts.

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Siena Root / Tornet (live at The Black Heart)

Tornet live October 2015London 16 October 2015

It’s a sold out show tonight, so there is a real buzz going around about Siena Root and this whole gig. Swedish bands do seem to be leading the way with the retro/occult rock vibe over recent years and have produced some outstanding bands, so this seemed to be the place to be as the winter nights begin to creep in. The Black Heart is a tiny venue and is prone to getting rather hot in there, but, for me at least, they do serve decent cider which will helped keep me cool while trying to get as near to the action as possible at a packed gig.

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Mount Salem (live at The Black Heart)

Mount Salem live November 2014London 2 November 2014

The Black Heart seems to have taken over from The Underworld as London’s main doom venue. It’s a small space, which means it’s quite an intimate venue and if you’re near the back of the room it can be a little difficult to see the bands. However, its smallness is also one of its redeeming features, especially when you are seeing some excellent doom bands from other countries and your ears get pummelled by the venue’s sound.

Tonight there is no support band, so Mount Salem are carrying the whole evening on their own. They are one of the newer bands in the doom/occult rock field, so comparisons are always going to be made with other bands on the scene like Blood Ceremony,

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Desertfest London 2014

The Black Heart, The Underworld, The Electric Ballroom London 26-27 April 2014

Desertfest is an event that takes place over three venues in three days. It is a sprawling monster that is there to bludgeon the ears of its attendees as much as possible with every conceivable manner of riff to be explored. This was my first experience of the festival, and I have to say it was a wonderfully well-organised event. The strangest thing about it is because it happens over a weekend the festival goers have to compete with the tourists and casual shoppers of Camden Town which adds to an odd combination. But once the stalls have closed down for the day the points between the venues become the tribal ground of desertfesters.

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Jex Thoth/The Death Letter (live at The Black Heart)

Jex Thoth, live at The Black Heart November 2013 -3London 9 November 2013

The Black Heart is filled to capacity to witness Jex Thoth’s first ever London date. I’ve been waiting and wanting to see this band live since the release of the first album, but for some reason every time they planned to tour here it fell through. So its only now, two albums and two EPs into their career, that they are hitting British shores for their first ever tour here and I, for one, was pleased I was in the audience.

The Death Note, live at The Black Heart November 2013First off was support band The Death

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