Sheffield has long been one of the jewels in the UK doom scene’s crown, having blessed the subgenre with a string of top tier talents over the years. Pre-Covid it was somewhat of a yearly ritual that the country would converge upon the Steel City to celebrate that fact at Doomlines. Now, after the sixth iteration was cancelled in 2020 (for what should be obvious reasons), it’s set to make a triumphant return later this month with a stacked line-up harnessing the talent currently on display throughout the country’s heavy metal landscape.
If you’re yet to pick up a ticket, you’ll want to do it soon as the event, due to be hosted on 24th July, is coming up fast. If you’re already set, then let us walk you through some of the highlights of the bill – these are the must-see bands of Doomlines 2022.
You saw this one coming, so let’s get it out of the way early. In the wake of their latest album and their first since signing to Nuclear Blast, the band have once again staked their claim as perhaps the most visceral and versatile extreme metal band the UK has to offer. Missing these would be a mistake, but you already knew that, didn’t you?
This unrivalled hardcore ensemble are set to release their latest record just five days after Doomlines, so the event should be an incredible opportunity to hear the three tracks already released – all of which are blistering offerings sure to thrive in a live environment – perhaps even with one or two as-yet-unreleased tracks to be served up.
Nottingham’s Underdark bring a punk ethos to black metal, interpreting the genre as one that is (or at least should be) inherently anarchist and fearlessly independent. Since vocalist Abi joined the group, they’ve gone from strength to strength, edging towards post-black metal before releasing the stunning Our Bodies Burned Bright On Re-Entry in 2021 and, most pertinently, honing their live show to one that’s as cathartically heavy as it is transcendent.
It’s tradition for Sheffield’s best metal band (their words, not ours – though it may well be true) to make an appearance at Doomlines. This, though, will be their first since their long-awaited debut LP Born Of Obsidian blew us all away back in February. Whatever you do, don’t pass up the chance to see some mythology-inspired psych-ridden sludge.
Hometown blackened post-metal act Hidden Mothers are one of our faves here at Astral Noize. The band were making a name for themselves on the live circuit before the pandemic hit and that reputation is being rebuilt now that shows and festivals are happening on the regular once again. Be sure to make time for the melancholy intensity this lot offer up.
This Durham act delight in offering up the best of both worlds – music that’s intense, heavy and packs emotive weight, but simultaneously has a shit ton of fun with it. The band’s ultra-fuzzy blackened stoner sludge tells the fantastical, Lovecraftian saga of the goblinsmoking Toad King and his bloody quest for tyranny. Come join ‘em in the goblin forest. You know you want to.
This lot recorded their debut album in a derelict building – a story we were thrilled to host here – and it gives their music a haunting eeriness despite the impenetrable heft of their sludgy sound. Their music tried its best to bring down the crumbling remains of the Georgian hall they recorded in – let’s hope the ceiling stays intact at Doomlines.
Rotherham sludge trio Swamp Coffin offer up a snarling, NOLA-infused strain of sludge, with a debut album that vocalist/guitarist Jon Rhodes first had the idea for whilst walking around Disney World. Funnily enough, their music is the antithesis of Disney’s colourful, lighthearted fun, with a nihilistic atmosphere and tracks that address serious issues like mental health.
Last we remember, Dead Harts were an exciting Steel City hardcore band some six or seven years ago, when their record Cult For The Haggard Youth dropped and they subsequently seemed to call it quits. Lo and behold, they’re back! The track they’ve released since reforming would suggest the energy we remember is still there – we’re eager to see if that’s still the case live.
Torpor / Still / Dead Cosmonauts / Void Maw
If you’re about on the 22nd, Doomlines is preceded by a FREE warm-up show featuring one heck of a line-up. Torpor remain one of the country’s most underappreciated heavy bands going, whilst Still offer a thrilling concoction of post-sludge, black metal and hardcore. Dead Cosmonauts’ ambitious space-inspired doom and Void Maw’s cosmic sludge make this a night not be missed if you can at all help it.
Doomlines is 24th July in Sheffield. Tickets here.
Words: George Parr