The Bands of Darkness Day 2018

The massive 2018 Darkness Day lineup can’t even be contained in one day. For the first time in history, the traditional Darkness Day Eve bottle share/campout will have its own metal/hardcore soundtrack. (Get your tickets right here.)

Contained herein is a brief description of each band, a video, and a one-sentence review from Dr. Professor Cory Just, Surly’s house metal expert (he’s the one in bold). For newbies, it’s a chance to get a taste of the brutal fury each act brings to the celebration. For metal veterans, it’s a chance to tell us Carcass isn’t really death metal, it’s more grindgore than anything.

CARCASS: Our Saturday headliners hail from Liverpool and play music. That’s where the Beatles comparisons end. Championed by legendary BBC DJ John Peel, these death metal pioneers are profoundly influential. “This is a band that helped pioneer a whole genre of music, then went on to reinvent themselves a few times over the course of 30 years while still reigning at the top.”

KHEMMIS: One of two 2017 Darkness Day acts returning this year. The Denver-based doom metal act released Desolation this summer, the follow-up to 2016’s Hunted, Decibel Magazine’s #1 Metal Album of the Year. Drummer Zach Coleman is also the head brewer for Denver’s excellent TRVE Brewing. “If you don’t like Khemmis, there’s no hope for you at all.”

SICK OF IT ALL: The New York hardcore legends helped us celebrate the release of +1 in the Entry this spring, and return to headline Darkness Day Eve. Their new album, Wake the Sleeping Dragon, comes out on November 2nd. “Hardcore music, and in particular Sick Of It All, changed my life in 1992. It will do the same for you in 2018 if you let it.”

MURDER CITY DEVILS: “I got my favorite concussion at one of their shows.” —@hamm_boss. Garage rock royalty from Seattle. Formed in 1996. Reformed in 2006. Playing Darkness Day in 2018. “I have a mancrush on (drummer) Coady Willis. (Vocalist) Spencer Moody could officiate our wedding and if our announcement of this band was any indication, there would be one million people at the wedding.”

OFF WITH THEIR HEADS: This raging punk rock outfit is spearheaded by Minneapolis native Ryan Young. “‘Clear the Air’. Need I say more? OK: ‘Theme Song’. Any song really might as well be the soundtrack to my life. Hopefully it becomes yours too.”

ANGEROT: Old-school, Swedish-style death metal out of Sioux Falls. Hell yes. Their debut album is called The Splendid Iniquity. “Sweden. Throwback. Death. Metal. Who would’ve thought those four words could describe a band from South Dakota? In the best possible way too–not the shitty, retro rehash way.”

MODERN LIFE IS WAR: Melodic hardcore punk from Marshalltown, Iowa. The Upper Midwest is coming through at Darkness Day this year. “Listen to ‘Night Shift at the Potato Factory’ and then try to tell me you’re not feeling better about your life.”

HIVE: Upholding Minneapolis’ legendary hardcore tradition, their latest album is Parasitic Twin. “If Tragedy, His Hero is Gone, Misery, and State of Fear had a baby, it would be Hive. And it would be the coolest baby ever.”

GOD CAME FROM SPACE: The only band to play every damn Darkness Day, featuring Surly’s own Sarah “Slayrah” Lawson. “Have you ever met Slayrah? She fucking rules, and so does her band.”


  • Hive, 6 PM
  • Modern Life Is War, 7:15 PM
  • Sick Of It All, 8:30 PM


  • Angerot, 12 PM
  • God Came From Space, 1:15 PM
  • Off With Their Heads, 2:30 PM
  • Khemmis, 3:45 PM
  • Murder City Devils, 5:15 PM
  • Carcass, 6:45 PM

Tickets and all manner of other information (camping, guest breweries, food trucks, cocktails, the whole nine) can be found at surlydarknessday.com.


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