Metal Festivals summer 2013 round-up

Posted by EW on 25/04/13

The sun has woken from it's winter slumber and al fresco drinking is now a realistic possibility without the threat the threat of frostbite; it must surely mean that the festival season is fast approaching! In the spirit of giving you the best possible knowledge of what is happening around the continent this summer for those of a metal disposition here is a round-up of some of the biggest and best with the first of them beginning in just 4 weeks. Please feel free to recommend any more in the comments section.

Extremefest (Germany) (23rd - 25th May)

Brought forward in the summer to bring spring-time death and carnage to all, Extremefest packs a great number of reputable acts at its head (Behemoth, Kataklysm, Legion of the Damned, Thyrfing and Enslaved) supported by a seemingly endless list of bands with indecipherable gore-splattered logos. Fun fun fun. Full line-up here.

Beastival (Germany) (30th May - 1st June)

Like the Metalfests below, stewarded by the Rock the Nations agency Beastival provides a line-up lacking in surprises when the wider context of this summer's headlining bands are considered but it is a welter of strong names nonetheless: Kreator, Katatonia, U.D.O. and Sodom just four examples. Full line-up here.

Metalfest Czech Republic (31st May - 2nd June)

Metalfest Germany (20th - 22nd June)

Metalfest Poland (20th - 22nd June)

Scaled down from last year when the festival ran across seven countries to just three this year, they boast line-ups of varying genres packed with big names headed by King Diamond, Airbourne and Satyricon (Czech), Slayer, Accept and Children of Bodom (Germany) and Helloween, Accept and Volbeat (Poland) to a multide of smaller ones across two/three stages. Many of these bands are frequent tourers across Europe and so might offer relatively few surprises to frequent gig-goers in the big cities but the strong headline acts from multiple genres make these an enticing prospect.

Copenhell (Denmark) (14-15th June)

A frequent haunt of writers with last year's edition getting the thumbs up, the line-up may be small this year but with Alice in Chains, Down, Amon Amarth and Sabaton it is certainly mighty. Full line-up here.

Hellfest (France) (15-17th June)

The undoubted biggest and best line-up around, Hellfest boasts a huge range of acts from every rock and metal (sub-)genre you could care to mention - the scale of it is enormous. To be covered officially by for the first time this summer, why not join AP to see some classic/stoner/thrash/death/black/doom/folk/rock/metal! Full line-up here.

Tuska (Finland) (28th - 30th June)

Another festival blessed with the presence of the King (Diamond), Tuska mixes it up with the likes of Nightwish and Asking Alexandria rubbing shoulders with Bolt Thrower and Von. Experience the Finnish summer nights with this lot.

MetalTown (Sweden) (4th-6th July)

Boasting a top line of high-profile mainstream metal acts in Slipknot, Korn and Sabaton, MetalTown is sure to appeal to the younger Swedish metal fan but with underground acts like Marduk and Pentagram further down there is at least something for the underground hordes to be tempted by. Full line-up here.

Hell's Pleasure (Germany) (19th - 20th July)

From the point of view of this writer quite possibly the most enticing line-up of this whole very metal list is at Hell's Pleasure where a worthy and inspiring collection of big name underground warriors are assembled together. Included in this are Dead Lord, In Solitude, Portal, Acid King and Necros Christos supporting the big guns in Repulsion and Electric Wizard.

Full line-up here.

Metal Days (Slovenia) (21st - 27th July)

Previously known as Metal Camp, the beautiful location of Tolmin will this year play host to the first edition of Metal Days with a melodic-looking top line (Hypocrisy, Iced Earth, Wintersun, Sonata Arctica and In Flames) but further down the line-up is both big and strong: if Candlemass, Primordial, Ensiferum and Meshuggah among countless others don't do it for you you're probably reading the wrong article. Full line-up here.

Wacken (Germany) (1st - 3rd August)

As usual Wacken was sold out long before Santa was doing the rounds, as is now tradition, much like the traditional power/heavy metal dominated line-up which this year include Alice Cooper, Anthrax, Motörhead and Deep Purple bringing in the German hordes. Full line-up here.

Brutal Assault (Czech Republic) (7th - 10th August)

Based mainly around the extreme metal end of the spectrum (the clues in the name) the widely respected Brutal Assault line-up this year ranges from the surprisingly mainstream in Trivium to the core-tastic, We Butter the Bread with Butter to the black (Carpathian Forest), death (Benedicton) and much else in between - how about Opeth, Fields of the Nephilim and Amorphis for starters? Full line-up here.

Party San (Germany) (8th - 10th August)

Traditionally one of the best for black & death metal, this year features established names such as Carcass, Suffocation, Korpiklaani and Primordial rubbing shoulders with worthy up-and-coming acts such as Procession, Attic and Hooded Menace. I'm salivating just looking at it.

Bloodstock (England) (10th -12th August)

Britain's biggest contributor to the summer festival circuit, Bloodstock has a mixed bag of genres represented at it's top with King Diamond (him again), Lamb of God and Slayer the daily headliners and support coming from the likes of Voivod, Avantasia and Devildriver. The Sophie Lancaster Stage as usual hosts a number of worthy bands further down the radar like Mael Mordha and Scar Symmetry worth watching. Full line-up here.

Dark Bombastic Evening (Romania) (15th -17th August)

Set amongst the walls of the historic Alba Iulia Fortress in legendary Transylvania is a small festival which plays host to a pleasant mix of black metal, doom, folk, post rock, neofolk and avant-garde acts that differ greatly from all the above, whom are far more homogenous in their line-ups. Some of the more recognisable names here include Altar of Plagues, Mourning Beloveth, Esoteric and Electric Orange. Full line-up here.

And one for later this autumn…

Damnation (England) (3rd November)

Consideration of wet, cold November is not a pleasant thought having come off the back of seemingly years of it, but for those dark nights is Damnation Festival, a indoor one-day festival held at Leeds University that always manages the distinction of plucking great underground acts to support top drawer headlines. Only a few bands announced this far but with Carcass, Vallenfyre, Negura Bunget and Moss among those it is looking a good start. Full line-up (many acts still to be announced) here.

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