Warhorns Festival is now on its eighth edition, and has been growing steadily throughout those years. Despite several changes of venue, this festival has gone from strength to strength and showcases some of the best the UK, Europe (and sometimes further afield) can offer in the black, death, doom, folk, pagan, and Viking metal scenes. There are always new bands to discover, and some local favourites who always bring a passionate and enthusiastic crowd. With good beer, good friends, amazing talent, and some of the most dedicated festival organisers I know, this year is sure to be even better. (Especially when I’ll be celebrating my birthday on the Saturday!)
Warhorns Festival takes place at The Trades in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, on 30th and 31st August 2019.
I have known about Vanaheim since the early days of Ostara Metal, when their bassist Mike through The Folk Metal Grove on Facebook asked if I wanted to review their EP The House Spirit. Of course, I said I would, and so started a wonderful friends both with Mike and the wider band. I am so excited to be able to see them live for the first time, and at their very first UK show. They plan on filming their Warhorns set, and in a video on their Facebook page, have asked everyone to learn The Dwarven Chant to sing along to on the Saturday (my birthday!). They also have a special merch deal for you all!
Buy Vanaheim music and merch: https://vanaheim.bandcamp.com/
Listen to Vanaheim on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0EwL1mEhMTG9sylwYdOTU7
Follow Vanaheim on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VanaheimBand/
As much as I hate to say it, when I first heard a couple of their tracks, I wasn’t entirely sold. However, Waylander have been a slow burner on me and as I’ve listened more and more, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard more and more, and appreciated the traditional roots of the music and lyrics. I was honoured to be able to give Ériú’s Wheel a preview. I am especially looking forward to their Warhorns performance on the Saturday, and I’m hoping for blue war paint!
Buy Waylander music and merch: https://waylanderband.com/shop/
Listen to Waylander on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0qUJsXZZylr2nesCy4XWll
Follow Waylander on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clanwaylander/
Waylander website: https://waylanderband.com/
With only a few shows under their belt and no recordings, Wyrdstæf are still making a big name for themselves, already announced for HRH Vikings Chapter II in November/December, and playing their second consecutive year at Warhorns Festival after what I heard was an absolutely stellar debut live performance at Warhorns Festival last year. Mixing traditional pagan music with heavy, crushing metal, and a killer aesthetic, Wyrdstæf are definitely not a band to be missed on the Friday if you want something unique and fantastic.
Follow Wyrdstæf on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wyrdstaef/
YYLVA is the solo project of vocalist Clare of Edenfall, and brings stunning operatic vocals with black and pagan metal influences. Although her debut album The Wood Beyond The World is a full band setup, her live performances have thusfar been acoustic, with just her voice and her harp. Her performances are atmospheric and haunting, and definitely will be a nice Saturday afternoon calm before the inevitable heavy storm that will come.
Buy YYLVA music and merch: https://yylvaofficial.bandcamp.com/
Listen to YYLVA on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3KOTM1bpb2lli8B8kBaNMA
Follow YYLVA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yylvaofficial/
Originally started by Owen Evans as an acoustic Moonsorrow tribute, but managed to evolve into a three-piece and now five-piece acoustic act who play covers of pagan and black metal. A regular feature at Warhorns Festival because of their support for it, Stonebearer will play as a five-piece for the first time on the Saturday. I personally can’t wait for more acoustic music from my friends in Stonebearer!
Follow Stonebearer on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stonebeareruk/
Dark Forest’s set sadly had to be cut by a lot last year, but it does mean that this year they were invited back and will hopefully be able to play a full set. Dark Forest have a power metal sound with some folkesque melodies in there, as well as some more traditional heavy metal elements. There’s some happy, jolly melodies to have a good dance and bounce around to, which I will certainly be doing on the Friday of Warhorns!
Buy Dark Forest music and merch: http://www.darkforest.co.uk/?page_id=336
Listen to Dark Forest on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/56clQYQ7HBFX4JOsAlO9jo
Follow Dark Forest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Darkforestuk/
Dark Forest website: http://www.darkforest.co.uk/
Not only will I be seeing Countless Skies at Bloodstock Festival this year, but they will also be playing the Saturday of Warhorns Festival as well! They are very much for anyone who is a fan of Insomnium or melodic death metal in general, with crushing riffs and soaring melodies. I always enjoy watching Countless Skies, they have a great stage presence which is why you should watch them too.
Buy Countless Skies music and merch: https://countlessskies.bandcamp.com/
Listen to Countless Skies on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4C2Ql0yYOdgv6yYiWfJ7jd
Follow Countless Skies on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CountlessSkies/
Countless Skies website: http://countlessskies.com/
Formed from the ashes of A Clockwork Opera, Pallas Athena are a relatively new band on the scene, who have already released an EP, and played overseas at the FemME finals in The Netherlands. Vickie’s voice is absolutely incredible, and the music has a very Nightwish-esque feel to it with their progressive symphonic sound. I look forward to seeing Pallas Athena live for the first time on the Saturday of Warhorns.
Buy Pallas Athena music and merch: https://pallasathena.bandcamp.com/merch
Listen to Pallas Athena on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3WLbXXyeeZOZBwEeXTzcy9
Follow Pallas Athena on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pallasathenametal/
Pallas Athena website: http://pallasathena.band/