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  • Interview by Faye Coulman

INCINERATION FEST ORGANISER STEPHEN MOSS TALKS 2024 EDITION AND FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS PAST

With the marrow-chilling, seemingly interminable grip of winter having finally relented into altogether more mellow, sun-drenched conditions just lately, there’s no mistaking the long-overdue arrival of British springtime. But while the better part of the country may be rejoicing in this fresh and verdant burst of new life and rejuvenation, suffice to say a certain corner of Camden Town will be retaining a decidedly frostbitten and grimly crepuscular front over the course of the coming weekend as Incineration 2024 rolls into the capital for another annual round of hell-raising festival antics. And from the joyously caustic, nightmarish orchestrations of genre-obliterating Brummie aggressors Anaal Nathrakh and the pulverising, ritualistic majesty of Belphegor to the weightily blasting, diabolical groove of Danish subterranean gems Hexis, the 10-year anniversary edition of the UK’s most prestigious extreme metal gathering is set to guarantee us more than our share of brutal, delectably blackened listening pleasure. Ahead of this tremendously anticipated feast of sonic extremity, we checked in with Incineration founder and organiser Stephen Moss to find out what’s in store for 2024…

 

DM: It's hard to believe it's been a whole year since we last spoke ahead of the 2023 edition of Incineration and the array of fantastic extreme metal talent we witnessed there. Whether from the perspective of a festival organiser or more broadly speaking, what were some of the main highlights for you?

SM: Damn, so many highlights! Suffocation crumbling the Underworld under their death metal might, King Dude singing about sex and drugs, Rotting Christ performing in front of one of the busiest and most enthusiastic Electric Ballroom crowds the Electric Ballroom team had said they'd ever seen...so many great moments!


DM: With Incineration 2024 fast approaching, how are you feeling in the run-up to the fest? I imagine it's been pretty full-on just lately.

SM: Very excited! This year seems to have taken longer to come around than normal, but maybe that's because we had such a blast in 2023. But yes, we're excited to be back amongst the people attending the festival and amongst the atmosphere.


DM: The line-up this year looks to be another excellent one, featuring a mix of both established fixtures of the European tour circuit as well as a variety of lesser-known gems. Was this blend of both established and emerging talent something you consciously set out to achieve when you first set about booking artists for the festival?

SM: Yes, there's a "sweet spot" when booking a festival lineup and for us, that "sweet spot" is being able to offer fans artists that they're familiar with, but also to be able to introduce fans to some artists that they might not necessarily have heard of if it wasn't for the festival. We see that with bands like Thantifaxath making their UK debut at Incineration Festival, plus bands like Bütcher who I believe have only been to the UK once before.


Being able to offer attendees those rarer artists, plus the likes of Amorphis, Anaal Nathrakh, Belphegor, Carpathian Forest, Dead Congregation and many more on the bill is what we set out to achieve.


DM: Following on from that, I was interested to learn a bit more about how you personally go about discovering new music. I’m guessing via the usual channels like recommendations from friends, record labels or chance discoveries at live shows and festivals?

SM: The main method for me is to find a label that is consistently offering great releases and make a habit of checking out everything that the label is releasing. Relapse Records and Candlelight have always been classic labels for extreme music and now labels such as Profound Lore and 20 Buck Spin are killing it too, but there's many great labels these days - too many to name. We live in an incredible moment in time where if you want to discover something new, it can be done instantaneously.


DM: It's evident that a great deal of hard work goes into planning and executing an event like this one. What’ve been the main challenges you’ve encountered this time around?

SM: The main challenge is pretty much the same challenge that we have every year and that is balancing the billing so that we're able to offer fans a variety of extreme genres rather than drowning in one particular style. We are an extreme metal festival but extreme metal is a broader spectrum than most think. I think we have the balance about right this year, but it is always the challenge that we fight.


DM: Before we wrap up this interview, any final comments or messages you’d like to leave our readers with?

SM: A big horns up to anyone who has attended the festival in previous years and those attending this year. Our festival is now 10 years old and there's no way we would have been able to reach this milestone without your support, so thank you for that!


Now let's get ready to listen to some heavy fucking metal!


Visit the official Incineration website for final festival tickets and full line-up information


Listen to the official Incineration 2024 playlist now HERE

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