In the deep dark corner of the South West that is Plymouth (which actually is bright, sunny and baking hot), doom has come to engulf the city courtesy of Cybernetic Witch Cult in the form of Revenge Of The End Of The World 2019! Guaranteed riffs, doom, stoner rock, psychedelia, riffs, sweat, beers and riffs.

 

 

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Openers Lacertilia are unable to make it, but Heavy On The Ride from Swansea are the second on the bill and the first band to play The Junction. With a pleasing summery Kyuss vibe perfect for this sweat-fest, the band also touch on the darker elements of Mastodon amidst the chilled out lazy and fuzzy riffs, which are combined with smooth vocals and a nice gentle but heavy rock ‘n’ roll start. The sound is loud and proud and they are a good introduction to the deluge of riffs to come!

 

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Londoners Oak, fronted by the very energetic and sassy Andy Valiant, are also summoning the desert spirit but have a much more fucked-up, balls-out rock ‘n’ roll edge which come from the raw wailing vocals, intricate, pounding drum solos and discordant guitar and bass.

 

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Beggar bring the pain (to the ears at least) to the sweat box that is Plymouth Underground with a disgusting offering of filthy sludge made more hideous by some gruesome grind thrown in for good measure. Think of these guys as the demonic offspring of Eyehategod and Napalm Death.

 

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Back at The Junction, Gandalf The Green bring seriously gargantuan riffs, following in the elephantine footsteps of Conan but mixing in easy-breezy loose and free jam-style melodies. The band break down the heaviness with groovy blues instrumentals with plenty of wah before building back to heavy chugging and powerful vocals guaranteed to get the head bobbing.

 

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The gravelly-voiced Samuel Barron-Bolt of southerners Victus throws himself all over the stage (and floor) in a tantrum-like state which makes for a powerful set as he howls into the mic to a background of southern-tinged bluesy sludge and occasionally some straight-up chugging guitar and bass licks, as well as rhythmic drum beats that play with both slower and faster tempos.

Cybernetic Witch Cult (who have also just performed a jam session which included covers of Sleep to fill out the gap for Lacertilia) are a firm favourite in Plymouth and are on top form as they invite the busy crowd on a journey through a trippy astral plane with their fantastical space-themed psychedelia. Using acid-inspired projections, loose and filthy basslines, galloping drum riffs, sensual vocals with fantastical and often ridiculous but comical lyrics, CWC create an aural and visual treat for the senses.

Perhaps the lightest band of the day, Ritual King‘s set is nevertheless riddled with psychedelic, meandering riffs and technical complex drumming despite some relatively run-of-the-mill vocals that aren’t quite up to par with the instrumental excellence.

 

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Milton Keynes’ Tuskar devastate The Underground as a humble two-piece but there is no humility in Tyler Hodges’ merciless drumming as he batters his kit to within an inch of its life, all-the-while belting out vicious and powerful howling vocals. There is an unholy fuck ton of feedback as the tempo switches from slow and moody to blisteringly fast and the guitars from from meandering noodling to pummelling riffs.

 

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Elephant Tree grace the doom fest for a second time here and have grown in popularity since having just smashed the Electric Ballroom in London but it’s awesome to see them in such an intimate setting. Fan favourites ‘Echoes’ and ‘Surma’ get decent singalongs and the crowd sway to the meandering riffs throughout. With their soaring harmonised vocals backed up with groovy and pounding bass-lines and a juxtaposition of jazzy but controlled light hitting as well as crashing cymbals and thunderous toms they mesmerise and pummel the large crowd at The Junction.

 

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Having made the impressive trek down from London after guitarist Oliver Hill had the incredible opportunity of supporting Ministry in his other band Grave Lines, Dead Witches nevertheless hit the stage bang on time and commanding vocalist Soozi Chameleone begins her sultry and bewitching incantations with enchanting dance-like moves to go along with the terrifying iterations. Unfortunately, there are a few missed beats form Mark Greening (ex-Electric Wizard) but they power through nonetheless. All the credit to Hill for banging out two shows in one night and for the band for bringing the festival to a suitably dark and doomy close.

 Words and images: Abi Coulson (Darktones Photography)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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