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Heavy Days in Doom Town
Day One

Text and photos by Astrid Tonella

It’s been a few weeks since the last Roadburn, and the after-festival is always a bit nostalgic. However, this year the nostalgia didn’t last long, with the brand new fest “Heavy Days in Doomtown” coming to darken the streets of Copenhagen, Denmark. Yet another “doom/sludge” festival you would say, but actually, this event is so much more than that. First of all, HDDT is organized and managed under the DIY principles, which means that the festival is run by volunteers only and as “payment” for their performance, bands get food, accommodation and transportation fixed for them. Besides, everyone is treated equally – it actually felt during the fest that the barrier between artists/volunteers/organizing crew/festival goers was almost nonexistent. For instance, the roster doesn’t have any headliners, despite the presence of big names such as Noothgrush (performing for the first time in Europe), Jex Thoth or Coffins, but it gives the chance for local bands to perform in front of an international audience. Other unique aspect of the fest is its strong artistic dimension. Not only does HDDT focus on the music, but also on the culture and aesthetic surrounding it. Therefore, all along the fest we were able to admire the extraordinary work of David D’Andrea, Glyn “Scrawled” Smyth, Samantha Mancino, 13th Sign Collective and Benjamin Sillanpaa, creating a whole new level of experience.

Full review after the jump…


Starting at 9PM at Stengade, Suma was the first act to open the hostilities. A good choice to inaugurate the fest, since the trio, hailing from Malmö, Sweden, exemplify the DIY values that HDDT is trying to highlight, as the band records their albums through their own label and tour via their own booking agency. I have to admit, I had never had the chance to see them play before, but with a split with Unearthly Trance and a recent apparition at Desert Fest, I was really looking forward to see what the band was made of.

What is really appealing about Suma, and probably their strongest asset, is their long instrumental parts fed by powerful dronish guitars, dirty riffs, alternating very slow and heavy passage with more up-tempo parts. During their set, titles like “Justice” or “Headwound” were very effective, reminding me a bit of the early Zoroaster, but with a Swedish touch. Paradoxically, despite the musical chaos going on on stage, the audience didn’t seem too enthusiastic, which limited the experience, and I thought Suma deserved a bit more attention than they actually got, even though the performance itself slightly lacked energy. As a result, the set went on short and it left me wanting more from them. But I was agreeably surprised by those Swedes, and I really hope to get to see them again.

After Suma, I decided to head towards the first floor of the venue where the artworks of David D’Andrea and Glyn Scrawled and the 13th Sign Collective were exhibited. I was really excited to get to see D’Andrea’s work once again and the amazing series of posters he made for the previous Roadburn edition. Today, his artwork is probably one of the most symbolic and distinctive of the sludge/doom/stoner scene. On the other hand, Glyn Scrawled has made his own path and we can today appreciate his artwork through the album covers of Cough, Unearthly Trance or Subrosa. I really like the symbolism element and the recurrent feminin theme in his work which we don’t usually see in the metal art in general. The 13th Sign Collective who are behind the visual of HDDT, was disaplying a very inspiring poster series with a zodiac signs thematic. I never heard of those two artists before but they made a tremendous job and really contributed in revealing the personality of HDDT.

Stay tuned for HDDT Day Two…

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