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  • Words by Sarah Stubbs and Faye Coulman


Still dismayed to the sullied depths of your blackened heart by the domination of Dad rock, stoner sludge and feel-good folk and power anthems in this year’s Bloodstock line-up? Never fear! For the second part of our Shameless Elitist’s Guide, Dark Matter have once again put on our wellies and nose pegs to wade through the swampy quagmire and meticulously select the choicest morsels of brutal death, raging thrash and grim obsidian black metal to satisfy your most raven appetites. Not an exhaustive list by any means, but hopefully we’ve demonstrated that a fair amount of gems can be found amidst the chaff. You’re welcome!


STANDOUTS: 'Stormblåst', 'Dimmu Borgir', 'Gateways', 'Council of Wolves and Snakes', 'Puritania', 'Interdimensional Summit'

SOUNDS LIKE: Emperor, Cradle of Filth, Behemoth

SIGNED WITH: Nuclear Blast

Titans of symphonic black metal Dimmu Borgir have not just broken every boundary, but stamped them into submission. With roots in the original frostbitten Norwegian scene and influenced initially by such tyrants as Bathory, Celtic Frost and Mayhem, Dimmu’s first few releases were amidst the finest raw examples of the ‘pure’ black metal sound, the magnificent album Stormblåst reaching new heights of bleak blackened brilliance. However, the ever-evolving Dimmu soon moved into more progressive pastures, daringly forging ahead with their own untethered mix of doom, industrial and elements of classical opera which nevertheless has solid foundations in the bone-chilling soundscapes of their earlier material.

Although dramatically changing their style has led to accusations of ‘selling out’ for commercial gains, Dimmu Borgir remain undaunted by such criticisms and the sheer power and skill of the resulting awe-inspiring sublimities can’t be denied. An addictive, spirited fantasia of ominous, striking chords and descending, chasm-like riffs enveloped in billowing, jet black melodies echoing with the infamous Shagrath’s demonic cackling vocals, the music is so savagely beautiful it sends shivers down the spine.

Prepare yourself for quite the epic ride as these battle-scarred rebels take to the main stage on Sunday. Daubed in obscene amounts of grotesque corpse paint and heavily clad in their signature armour of toughened leather, this intimidating troupe will make your soul soar with their genre-defying, transcendent lyrical majesty.



SOUNDS LIKE: Suffocation, Cattle