In a small town called Selby between 21st and 23rd September 2017, metalheads gathered from across the land to join in a celebration of Viking, Black, Folk, Death and Doom metal at The Venue.
Originally started in 2011 in a venue called The Duchess in York (sadly now gone), Warhorns is now a sellout annual indoor festival.
Sadly I wasn’t able to make it at all on the Thursday as I was too busy preparing for the arrival of the two Dan’s from Heavy Metal Entertainment, who stayed with us for the weekend to film and generally cause (and enable) chaos as they do.
On the Friday, we missed the first few bands so the first band under the folk/power/pagan metal banner we saw was Iron Seawolf, a pirate metal band from Cumbria.
As with all pirate metal, it was happy and jolly and much jigging and dancing was to be had. I had listened to Iron Seawolf a little bit while I was researching bands to watch. It was as fun as I expected, and was the start of lots of jigging and dancing across the entire weekend.
Old Corpse Road as ever brought their atmospheric pagan vibe as the final Friday band.
They are always a firm crowd favourite, and powered through despite an overenthusiastic crowd member wanting to stage drive and continually getting up on stage. I’ve seen Old Corpse Road a few times now, and they always put on a fantastic show.
On to Saturday, where once again we unfortunately missed a few bands. But we managed to catch Darkest Era, who I’ve seen once before.
It was an amazing set, though I left part way through as there was the same overenthusiastic person as the night before who slightly ruined my enjoyment. But I did enjoy what I could see and Darkest Era are definitely a band I would like to see again.
Probably my favourite band of the weekend was Black Messiah.
Along with the HME guys and my friend Lisa, we jigged and danced so much we overheated and had to go outside for a song or two to cool down. I had so much fun watching these guys and I would love to see them again. (Thanks to Big Dan for taking the photo for me)
The final band of the festival was Skyforger. I loved them, but sadly I’m too much of a shortarse and wasn’t stood right at the front I couldn’t see very well. It was a big change of pace to Dark Messiah, but my little folk metal brain loved it just the same.
As always with Warhorns, there are a lot of bands on the lineup that I have never heard of, so I always come away with a new selection of bands to listen to again. The lineup for next year is already shaping up, with Kalmar and Atorc among the first bands announced.
If you get the chance to make it to this little festival, I would highly recommend it. The guys at Heavy Metal Entertainment did a lot of filming over the entire weekend including some non-Warhorns related antics, so I would suggest checking those out when they are posted in the next week or so (from when this blog post first goes live).
I’ll definitely be there next year!