Maryland Deathfest held their annual festival in the venerable city of Baltimore a few weeks back. The four-day is one of the best-run independent underground metal festivals in the world. As usual Ghost Cult was on hand for the festivities, with Hillarie Jason bringing you her spectacular eye on bands through photos. Continue reading
Maryland Deathfest has announced their daily lineups for the 2019 festival. Last week they made their “round two” announcement, but “a handful of bands will be announced this week to wrap up the billing”. All ticket options are now on sale at the link below. Continue reading
Maryland Deathfest has added a plethora of new bands to the 2019 festival. Borknagar, Unleashed, and Benediction will all play Exclusive USA shows at the fest and joining them are Voivod, Anaal Nathrakh, Churchburn, Revenge, Primitive Man, Spectral Voice, Neckbeard Deathcamp and many more. Usually, round two is the “final announcement for MDF, but “a handful of bands will be announced next week to wrap up the billing”. All ticket options are now on sale at the link below. Continue reading
In what is shaping up to be a banger of a festival, Maryland Deathfest 2019 has added their second wave of bands, Among the chosen are Cryptic Slaughter, Messiah, Naglfar, Malignancy, Devourment, Disharmonic Orchestra, Rippikoulu, Drogheda, Sorrower and many more listed below. Maryland Deathfest XVII is set to take place at Rams Head Live and Baltimore Soundstage on May 23-26, 2019. Early bird tickets on sale now at the link below. Continue reading
The Year of the Snake: Four Days of Noise, Doom, and Booze in the Old Pueblo Part II
Half over or half begun, the festival entered a truly marathon third day of music, with bands beginning as early as one pm and continuing all the way through to about midnight. This was the day many had been waiting for and as events would show, the most epic of the four. The very first performance of the day was a good indicator and extremely surprising. Destroy Her, hailing from Tucson, competently delivered alternative stoner sludge, but possessed a front man above and beyond the normal. Sounding like a mix of Geoff Tate and Bruce Dickinson, the vocals were stunning and elevated the decent music to a higher level. With twenty bands scheduled for one day, the festival kept chugging along efficiently and the crowd steadily grew larger as each hour passed. Highlights from the afternoon included Skulldron from New Mexico, a mix of stoner and doom that any fan of Down should take a listen to, as well as the hard to classify sounds of Sorxe who came down from Phoenix to boggle minds with complex dynamics. By eight pm the venue was packed and one of the most memorable performances of the entire four days happened when Subrosa got up to play the main stage. Creating sheer walls of sound with guitar, bass, drums, and two violinists, Subrosa mesmerized all who witnessed their set and held that audience captive within their hands. There was the power of music made manifest on stage, incredible to witness and unforgettable afterwards. One might almost feel sorry for any band who had to follow such an incredible performance, but truth be told, the final acts on the main stage lived up to the challenge and instead of mesmerizing the crowd, they rocked them instead. Helms Alee gave people a taste of the main headliner with their rockin’ songs, but by the end of their set, it was clear that everyone was ready for the mighty Red Fang to blow the roof off. This was certainly done with flying colors. Playing a mix of fan favorites and tracks from their newly released album, Red Fang utterly rocked a packed house with their tight jams, blazing solos, and cool rhythms. The energy level between the band and the crowd was incredible and the mosh pit was raging with cyclonic fury. When the final note was played, a very long day came full circle with the masses of drunk, stoned, and deafened festival goers looking visibly exhausted.
Dawn on the fourth and final day of Southwest Terror Fest was probably not something that many wanted to witness. Most likely quite a few people stayed up very late after the slam bang finish of the third day and saw the march of the sun upwards from beyond the horizon, dismissing the necessity of rest and determining to endure just one more day of excess. Weariness was the name of the game, being quite visible on the faces of all involved in the saga of a multiple day metal show. This final stretch of the festival was heavily slanted towards the punk, grindcore, and powerviolence genres, with another early afternoon start time. Notable moments of the day included the chimeric Swampwolf, a band that seamlessly blended thrash, black metal, and punk into a face shattering fist. ACxDC, Sorrower, Theories, and Sex Prisoner delivered chaotic, crusty noise that showed there was still some energy left on the final day of the event. Changing the pace up quite a bit, an acoustic artist by the name of Amigo The Devil performed serial killer and humor themed songs with voice and guitar, leaving the stage and playing among the crowd. As the final hours of the four day odyssey approached and the daylight faded, things began to wind down quite a bit until the final headliner, Early Graves, riled up a dedicated group of onlookers with their hardcore tinged death and roll. This was the last chance to dance and the moshers bled off their remaining energy throughout this final performance out of over sixty bands and four days. Collapse was no longer an option, but mandatory.
Thus four days of music came to an end. Many casualties were sustained, but victory was achieved. Whether it be punk, grindcore, thrash, death, post-metal, doom, stoner or plain old hard rock, Southwest Terror Fest showcased an amazing range of heavy music from the underground and the not so underground. The event illustrated that there are many good bands from west of the Mississippi that don’t come from California or the Northwest. Another of the most noticeable facts about this year’s show was the much larger representation of women within the bands, showing the growing acceptance and respect for women in this scene as musicians. This fest was efficiently run and the diverse crowd were united in enjoying and celebrating the music that they love, not because it is popular, but because it speaks to them and provides a universal catharsis or release from the daily grind of reality. Next year will arrive soon enough, hopefully the ringing ears and wounded livers will have healed in time for another weekend of terror in the desert.
Words: Ryan Clark
Photos: No Ceiling Photography/Violent Resistance