About Temples Festival: A Short-Lived Blaze of Glory
Temples Festival was an annual heavy metal music festival hosted between 2014 and 2016 at Bristol’s emblematic venue Motion, before being cancelled in the summer of 2016 due to sudden sponsor pullout. The festival created a unique platform for underrepresented metal artists and underground bands from all extreme heavy metal genres and factions in the UK: sludge, grindcore, deathgrind, hardcore, drone metal, powerviolence, doom metal, you name it!
Temples: New, Independent & Assembling the Rarest of Heavy Metal
The Temples festival, named so after Bristol’s industrial Temple Quarter, was founded and organised by Francis Mace, a Bristolian by birth and veteran event promoter. It proudly stood for an alternative and independent music scene, eschewing corporate sponsorship with the self-coined maxim ‘No Sponsors. No Gods. No Masters.’
The festival became an international sensation straightaway in its first year, pulling punters from the other side of the Pond, Europe, Russia and beyond. Its British appeal, independent platform and diverse line-up featuring the likes of Electric Wizard, Clutch and Neurosis, quickly turned it into a pilgrimage event for heavy metal fans. Temples curated a one-of-a-kind line-up with domestic and international names, established and emerging artists alike.
2014 and 2015 Temples Editions
Temples would take place over a summer weekend – Friday, Saturday and Sunday, featuring a line-up of 70+ artists, local food vendors and additional interactive attractions. The unique venue, Motion, presented multiple sets and stages in the old Victorian warehouses that serve for its premises, including a converted skate-park and an old car garage.
Both 2014 and 2015 Temples editions were completely sold-out. Fans and performers were disappointed at the abrupt cancelling back in 2016, a few days before the actual fest was scheduled to take place. In its short and sweet lifetime, Temples managed to unite diverse factions on the heavy metal music scene and thrilled the metal fandom with a hardcore British summer festival like no other.
All Pigs Must Die
Corrupt Moral Altar
Vision of Disorder
Gnaw Their Tongues
"When I first heard of the Temples Festival, the fact that the one and only Neurosis was among the headliners immediately caught my attention. Least to say, this shaped up to be my best weekend of the year with doom and heavy riffs on Stage 1 and death metal on Stage 2. After witnessing Jucifer, Sonance, Wolfbrigade, Amenra and other great bands, it felt like the organisers had picked the selection especially for me. The staff was really helpful during the second day, clearing up the problems with lighting, sound and access to the main stage. All in all, Temples had plenty of positives and almost no negatives.”
"Temples Festival's debut last year was a resounding success. The shows the bands put on were thrilling, the audience was on fire, and the exceptional event organisation left metal fans happy and impatient for next year.
2015 has improved on the previous edition, adding a third stage and giving the crowds more of what they want. Along with 'One Louder' 'Pig Destroyer' and 'Earth', this year's line-up was utterly sublime. Although on Sunday there was a sudden lack of beer, this was but a small issue compared to the grand spectacle of Temples"
"If you ask a metal fan which event is the best, he or she would probably answer 'Download' or 'Sonisphere'. It's only natural since they are the biggest Rock Festival names in the UK. However after the end of this weekend, many will answer the same question with 'Temples'.
The line-up is mindblowing from beginning to end. When I try to describe the performances of the past three days, I can think of one word – brutal! If you ask me to name my favourite moments from the event, I'd be at a loss because there are just too many to count."
Temple Festival Bands
Neurosis is one of the pioneers that spearheaded the creation of post-metal sub-genre. They started off 1985 as a hardcore punk band. They have since developed their unique sound by experimenting with sludge, hardcore and doom metal which started to become apparent in their second album 'The Word as Law' (1990). Neurosis is also known for their media visuals during their live performances.
Converge is a US metalcore band that became popular in the early 2000s with their 'Jane Doe' and 'You Fail Me' albums. They are one of the most influential groups in their genre. What is typical about their music is its aggressive tones and rhythmical complexity. Their frontman Jacob Bannon is famous for his emotional performances, and erratic movements live on stage.
Goatwhore has a fusion blackened death metal style which is popular with many fans. The themes of their songs are many, but their main focuses are Satanism, anti-Christianity, witchcraft and the occult, with Armageddon and the Holocaust becoming one of their more recent ones. Black metal and sludge have a great influence on their sound. Some of their best works are considered to be 'Constricting Rage of the Merciless', 'Blood for the Master' and 'Carving out the Eyes of God'.
Hailing from Sweden, Tribulation is a death metal band drawing inspiration from old school heavy metal, psychedelic and Gothic rock. Their music tends to have a calmer and more melodic nature compared to other bands and is based heavily on occult and supernatural themes. The band members put on a lot of heavy makeup during live concerts and include incense burning into their act.
Napalm Death is an English group that has paved the way for the grindcore genre. Their songs are rather short and fast-paced often with sociopolitical lyrics. They are best known in the worldwide metal community for their 1st album 'Scum'. Napalm Death is popular among its fans for their blastbeat drums, fast tempo, grinding bass and distorted toned-down guitar riffs. The band's song 'You suffer' is considered by Guinness as the shortest song ever.
Jucifer is a two-person American sludge metal band. Unlike most performers, the duo is always on tour since the mid-90s. Along with their nomadic way of life, Jucifer is also considered to be loud by metal fans. Their volume is further attested by the vast wall of amplifiers behind its guitar lead Gazelle Amber Valentine during concerts. Another interesting fact is that their 'Twenty Years Slaying Ears' tour included 32 countries.
Black Hazzard’s UK 2017 Attendings: Festivals, Bars & a Casino
Black Hazzard Plays for Sterling Stars Casino Anniversary in Manchester
After London, the group, merch, equipment and all, headed up North to Manchester where they had an exclusive one-hour gig at a famed local casino celebrating its 30th anniversary. The night started with Genesis giving a mighty tug down to the casino’s oldest one-armed bandit which has been a part of the casino’s memorabilia for more than a decade. The band was greeted by a cheering crowd and played a selected mix of new and old songs, ending the night with a sobbing rendition of ‘Heavy Heart’. Later that night the band opened the Hammer Hell music fest at The Sphinx rooms downtown, warming up the crowd to MegaCore and Death Lords.
Back Down South to Bristol
After Manchester, the crew headed back down South to Bristol, one of UK’s most welcoming contemporary music stages. They received a warm welcome by the local community and metalheads from all ends of Europe. The gig was at Bristol’s signature venue The Fleece, a former sheep trading market and wool hall with distinctly Victorian feel that is now the city’s most vibrant indie and alternative music station. The long queues in front of The Fleece were a clear indication of the band’s established presence on the British Isles. The band opened with hits like ‘Depleted Sins’ and ‘Sunrise at the Graveyard’, and played their entire new album for the emphatic crowd. The band’s characteristic acid, thick sound pulverised the venue hall, giving the metalhead islanders and mainlanders alike some headbanging beats to remember.
Off to Denmark
Thus finished Black Hazzard’s third UK tour, with bang and beat and screeching, and off they were to another European capital of heavy and death, Copenhagen. ‘Evil Deeds’ is already available to the European crowd, and the highly anticipated DVD with recordings of live performances throughout North America, Europe and South America, will be available from March 2018. Fans will be able to pre-order the DVD before Christmas.
With Black Hazzard trailblazing the alternative death metal underground scene and more emerging names stepping on British soil for the first time this year, the headbangers on the Old Continent can look forward to a dead heavy future of historic festival, events and live performances in the UK and beyond!