Entries tagged with: Maryland Deathfest
by Wyatt Marshall
Early black metal greats turned avant-garde experimentalists Ulver have had to drop off the Maryland Death Fest bill due to unspecified health concerns. Ulver was scheduled to play the Edison Lot stage on Friday, May 23, along with heavy hitters like At the Gates (who are recording an album) and Taake. No word on who will fill their rather big shoes, but stay tuned for an announcement.
In a statement on their website, Ulver wrote that doctors advised the band to take a break after a short tour in Europe. Uncertainty as to a recovery time led to Ulver canceling the performance at Maryland Death Fest, as well as a show in Moscow that the band was scheduled to play with an orchestra.
Ulver just released a collaborative album, Terrestrials, with Sunn O))). Stream it in full, with the updated MDF lineup, below...
by Wyatt Marshall
New Zealand's blackened death bruisers Diocletian will be touring around their appearance at Maryland Death Fest, hitting NYC on on May 28 at the Paper Box with Goat Torment, Kommandant, Manticore, a yet-to-be-revealed special guest and more. The event will be a two-stage show, with Diocletian heading up the main inside stage and Goat Torment taking over the outside stage. Goat Torment, from Belgium, plays black/death metal, too, and they also will be at MDF.
The NYC show will be the first NYC show for both Diocletian and Goat Torment, and is their only appearance outside MDF for the Belgians. Tickets aren't available yet, but visit the event's Facebook page for more info.
Diocletian has an album coming out this year titled Gesundrian. Listen to a track below. Diocletian tour dates, Paper Box lineup, and current MDF lineup (if you need a refresher) are listed, along with the new Diocletian stream, below...
by Wyatt Marshall
Immolation at Gramercy Theatre, 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)
We've been talking a lot about the absolutely loaded 2014 Maryland Deathfest lineup this year. It's going to be a doozy, but if 50+ bands isn't enough, MDF has announced an official pre-fest party at Ottobar on Wednesday, May 21 with performances by Immolation, Misery Index, Black Breath and Noisem. Tickets just went on sale.
There will also be a screening of Welcome to Deathfest, the 45-minute long documentary covering the rise of the monolithic Maryland festival that's become the gold standard in American heavy metal events.
Here's some info about the pre-fest show straight from MDF--note, MDF passes don't work for the show, and take a taxi!:
Where is the Ottobar?Full MDF lineup below and flyer below...
2549 N Howard St, Baltimore, MD 21218. If you are staying at a hotel in the downtown area near any of the other MDF venues, please note that the Ottobar is not walking distance from those venues. A taxi would be your best bet to reach the Ottobar.
How much are tickets for this show?
What time does the MDF documentary begin?
What time do bands begin?
Will this show sell out?
Can I use my Ottobar season pass?
No. These passes won't be accepted at the pre-fest party.
by Wyatt Marshall
One-man black metal favorite The Ruins of Beverast and Russian black/death experts Pseudogod have been added to the 2014 Maryland Deathfest, which goes down May 22 - 25. This is, according to a post on MDF's Facebook, the finalized line-up. The Ruins of Beverast is taking Witchrist's spot, who, due to a line-up issue that left them without a drummer, had to cancel.
It's a bummer to see Witchrist go, but Pseudogod and The Ruins of Beverast are great additions to MDF's already incredible lineup. This will be both Psuedogod's and The Ruins of Beverast's first shows in the US. TRoB, who only began playing live with a backing band this year, put out the excellent Blood Vaults: The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer back in September, which has been seeing some action on year-end best-of lists. Check out a recent interview with press-shy frontman (only man) Alexander von Meilenwald over at Invisible Oranges, and stream the new TRoB album below. Both The Ruins of Beverast and Pseudogod will be playing on the Edison Lot stage, TRoB on Friday (5/23) and Pseudogod on Sunday (5/23).
Full MDF line-up is listed, along with its most recent poster and streams of both The Ruins of Beverast's and Pseudogod's latest, below...
by Doug Moore
Maryland Deathfest is pretty much done announcing bands (the lineup is crazy, as we've mentioned). The logistical details are now falling into places as well. We already knew the Thursday schedule, and this morning the fest unveiled the band schedule by day and stage. Unsurprisingly, pretty much every day is stacked.
You'll want to keep this info in mind if you're planning on buying any single day/single venue tickets, which go on sale at 1pm on Sunday, December 15. Judging by how quickly the four-day passes sold out, you would do well to make your plans and buy your tix earlier rather than later.
Full schedule below...
by Doug Moore
Maryland Deathfest announced its (almost) final lineup of bands this afternoon. At this point, the festival really didn't need to add much to sell out its allotment of tickets, but there are some heavy hitters in this round of announcements nonetheless. Some highlights include Tryptikon (the post-Celtic Frost band, making their only US appearance), Dark Angel (the classic hyper-fast thrash band featuring Gene Hoglan of Strapping Young Lad/Fear Factory/Death), Inquisition (who released one of this year's best albums), the long-running powerviolence act Capitalist Casualties, and reunited Floridian grinders Maruta. The complete list of new announcements is below.
Tickets for the festival go on sale tomorrow (11/23) at 3pm. You'll be able to buy whole-fest passes for $255, and 3-day Friday->Sunday passes for each stage for considerably list. Individual tickets will go on sale in December.
MDF's organizers also announced more venue information, including a breakdown of which bands will play at which of the fest's three stages (though the only day-specific lineup that they've announced so far is for Thursday). You can find the complete lineup, divvied up by stage, along with the full list of new artist announcements, below...
by Doug Moore
Immolation @ Gramercy, 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)
The Maryland Deathfest lineup for 2014 grows ever spookier. The fest's organizers have taken advantage of Samhain to announce a whole string of new bands -- no huge names in this round, but there are a bunch of notables, including Castevet (who just played an IO-sponsored record release show), Sweden's Entrails and the hilarious Birdflesh, Germany's Necros Christos, Japan's Coffins, Canada's Mitochondrion, Austrialia's Whitehorse, plus local favorites Immolation, Incantation, and Mutilation Rites. That's a lot of -ations.
This announcement is extra noteworthy because it included venue details, which have been the subject of much speculation since the fest announced that it would not return to the former Sonar compound. The short version is that MDF 2014 will take place in three places: a parking lot a few blocks from Sonar, the Baltimore Soundstage (again), and the Rams Head Live. Here's the full announcement:
3 stages, including the 2 main stages, will be located at 545 N. High Street (Edison Parking lot), which is 1-2 blocks from the old location of Sonar. The setup at the Edison space will eliminate a variety of logistical problems and will ultimately lead to a better experience for you at MDF next year. This space has an approved capacity that is significantly higher than what we're used to, we can open the entrance 2 hours before the first band each day, we won't be getting in the way of the Farmers Market on Sunday, we don't have to close off streets, and once again, we will have MORE space. In addition to adding more shaded areas, there is already existing shade here, so if it gets hot, you won't be roasting on concrete all day. As far as parking goes, there is an enormous parking lot next to the space we're using that you'll be able to park at, and as always, metered parking is possible under the highway that everyone is familiar with from previous years.The parking lot in question was in use as an actual, y'know, parking lot at this year's festivities. Some of you undoubtedly drank beers out of a cooler there. The prospect of an mostly outdoor version of MDF makes me a little nervous, given the mid-Atlantic's rainy late spring, but we all survived last year, right?
On Thursday, bands will only be playing at Rams Head Live, located in the Power Plant Live! section of downtown Baltimore at 20 Market Pl. On Friday-Sunday, bands (death and black metal) will be playing at Rams Head Live between the hours of 10 pm - 2 am, (bands will conclude at the Edison parking space at 11 pm).
On Friday-Sunday, once again, we are doing a grind/hardcore/punk/crust stage at Baltimore Soundstage, located across the street from Rams Head Live at 124 Market pl. Unlike last year, bands will play here all day/night and there won't be any large gaps between bands.
Generally speaking, this setup was the most sensible solution for us, as it allows us to book a lot of bands, give bands respectable set lengths, eliminate many issues/concerns from last year, and keep the fest close to hotels and other downtown conveniences that everyone is used to.
As early as next week, we will break everything down so you know who is playing where. We will also announce more bands at that time. We still have a few up our sleeve for the main stages, but mostly, we're down to rounding out the Soundstage billing before being completely finished with booking.
Check out the full list of newly announced bands and the complete lineup to date below...
by Wyatt Marshall
Carcass at MDF 2013 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Maryland Deathfest, North America's preeminent metal festival, just announced another batch of confirmed bands for next summer's installment, the fest's twelfth. My Dying Bride, The Church of Pungent Stench, Hooded Menace, Ulcerate, Bölzer and Windhand will be playing the already stacked festival alongside previously announced heavyweights like At the Gates and Gorguts (who just announced a tour with Origin and Nero Di Marte). The fest runs from May 22 - 25, but if you can't wait until then for some MDF action, you can check out some teasers for a forthcoming documentary about the event titled Welcome to Deathfest.
Deathfest will be UK doom vets My Dying Bride's first appearance in the US since 1997 and their only stop on their trip across the pond, so if you want to see them it's Baltimore or bust.
Windhand released their excellent album Soma last month and are on tour in Europe. They'll be back touring stateside soon, though, for a leg of the High on Fire and Kveleretak tour. That tour hits Webster Hall on November 15, but it will be Doomriders (who just released a new song) filling the third slot. Tickets are still available.
MDF 2014's lineup so far and tour dates are listed below...
by Doug Moore
If you follow our metal coverage, you know that we're big fans of Maryland Deathfest, which has become the preeminent North American metal festival over its eleven-year run. MDF is a rarity; organizers Ryan Taylor and Evan Harting run the entire thing virtually on their own. Given that MDF now draws thousands of people every year, theirs is an extremely impressive logistical feat. Both men have devoted their lives to it, and they work on it full-time and year-round.
An upcoming documentary called Welcome to Deathfest promises a glimpse inside the machinery that makes the festival run. This isn't the first time someone's made an MDF documentary; Canadian filmmaker David Hall has made two concert movies at MDF, and has more footage in the works. But judging by its presentation, Welcome to Deathfest will take a more behind-the-scenes look at what goes into pulling the party off. Even if you're not a metal person, this flick should provide an interesting look into the mechanics of festival organization. No release date has been announced for the movie yet, but you can follow it on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
MDF 2014 happens May 22 - 25 and the initial line-up includes Nocturnus A.D., Cancer, Ulver, Candlemass, Sarke and more.
Stream some early footage from Welcome to Deathfest below.
by Doug Moore
Okay, this shit is just getting ridiculous. Maryland Deathfest just announced their fourth round of bands, and there are some doozies. Here are the new additions:
CANCER (UK) - Exclusive US show and first time in the US since 1993.For those unfamiliar with "Nocturnus A.D.", Nocturnus was one of the first death metal bands to use keyboards; their debut LP, The Key, was a minor death metal classic and quite a controversial album when it came out in 1990. Drummer/vocalist Mike Browning (also a former early-days member of Morbid Angel) has been trolling the MDF Facebook page for the past few weeks and repeatedly offering to play the festival, and the organizers apparently caved. So basically, this is a godsend for death metal nerds.
SACRIFICE (Canada) - Exclusive US show and first time in the US since 1992.
NOCTURNUS A.D. - Playing "The Key" album in its entirety.
DEATH TOLL 80K (Finland)
Stream some Nocturnus and Cancer below; check out the MDF lineup to date while you listen.
Maryland Deathfest's 2014 lineup so far is nothing short of astounding. The annual Baltimore festival will host a ton of exclusives this year including names like Ulver, Candlemass, Sarke, Asphyx, God Macabre, Mgla, and many more as part of the annual festival. No word on advance tickets yet but the full fest lineup as of now (more to come) is below.
by Fred Pessaro
Down / Sleep / Melvins @ MDF 2013
Maryland Deathfest has closed another chapter after this past weekend, hosting sets from bands like Carcass, Sleep, Bolt Thrower, Midnight, Infest, Melvins and more across four days and as many stages. The outside stage came to an abrupt halt with a late cancellation of Carpathian Forest due to visa issues, followed by the power going off in the middle of Venom's performance of "Warhead":
In case you were wondering what happened during Venom's set last night, an unexpected strict curfew change from 12 am to 11 PM occurred over the weekend. At the time the schedule was made, we were told it would not be a problem to finish at midnight on Sunday, so this added to our list of headaches dealt with over the weekend. We realize it is fucked up and disrespectful to have to cut a set short, but we would've been facing a whole raft of shit and a very hefty fine had we not stopped when we did.Despite those issues, the festival featured some jawdropping performances, and you can see photo sets from the festival's day one, day two, day three and day four. You can also see additional photos from Maryland Deathfest at the InvisibleOranges Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
In addition, we caught some sets from bands touring to MDF in the recent days too. Check out photos of Terveet Kadet / Iron Lung / Massgrav at Saint Vitus, Hellshock / Kromosom at Acheron, and Converge at Saint Vitus.
There are still quite a few bands on the road as part of MDF. You can catch Deiphago at Saint Vitus tonight (5/28, tickets), Weedeater at Saint Vitus on Wednesday (5/29, tickets) and Cobalt at Saint Vitus on 5/31 (tickets).
by Fred Pessaro
Bolt Thrower at MDF 2013
Maryland Deathfest 2013 kicked off yesterday (5/23) with a rare appearance from the legendary death metal band Bolt Thrower (on tour), along with Cobalt (also on tour, recently interviewed on IO on EVR), Japan's Abigail (part of a string of dates), Pallbearer, and local thrash favorites Noisem. The single stage event expands to four today, keep up with it all on the InvisibleOranges Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Pictures from the first day of Maryland Deathfest are also at InvisibleOranges.
Converge at Decibel, 2013 (more by Shaun Regan)
Converge will team with Meek Is Murder, Trenchfoot and Dead Serious at Saint Vitus on May 25 and tickets are on sale. The show is part of a weekend that will see the Massachusetts hardcore quartet also head toward an appearance at Maryland Deathfest, joining names like Bolt Thrower, Infest, and more. All dates are listed below.
Speaking of Maryland Deathfest, the festival recently announced the cancellation of Gehenna "due to pressing legal matters" and the addition of Ringworm. Tickets are still available for Maryland Deathfest.
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Jeff and Bill of Carcass at Nokia Theater Sept 2008 (more by Ryan Muir)
Please tell us the full recording lineup.So far Carcass has one US date in their sights... at Maryland Deathfest 2013. Will that change soon?
Jeff Walker: "Bill Steer (guitars), Jeff Walker (bass/vocals), Daniel Wilding (drums). For live we'll obviously add another guitarist--we have someone in mind but we are not interested in a 'name' player."
Why do this now over four years after the initial Carcass reunion?
"Good timing, eh? Twenty-five years we first recorded Reek of Putrefaction. The incentive was off Bill. I'd verbally expressed an interest in doing something but I needed Bill to have the desire and hunger again and that's exactly what has happened. He recalled watching Dan Wilding play on tour with us in 2008 and something about him struck a chord and he wanted to work with him. There was something about him that kind of reminded him of Ken, on a personal level as much as his playing. We've done this recording firstly for ourselves--there's no label backing even as you read this--in fact me and Bill have spent a small fortune out of our pocket to see this through--it's more of an artistic/personal statement than anything." - [Decibel]
Brujeria at Maryland Deathfest 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
Though many incarnations of their passes were sold-out before details were announced, Maryland Deathfest (May 23 - 26, 2013) have the daily line-ups ready to go now. Head below for a list of who you'll see on what day. Tickets are on sale.
Lineups by day are below. Get your tickets now, they'll most likely be gone soon.
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Not only has Maryland Deathfest (May 23-26, 2013) expanded with additions of Down (who recently played NYC), Melvins (them too), The Obsessed (!), Ufomammut, Deiphago (who is coming to NYC), Cobalt (as discussed), Evoken and more, they have also added a mostly-punk/grind/powerviolence stage too! The festival promises that set times will not overlap with the Baltimore Soundstage, which will host an Infest reunion (!), along with appearances from Citizens Arrest, Converge (who is on tour this fall), Iron Lung, Full of Hell (who is on tour with Gaza), Sete Star Sept, Vitamin X, Magrudergrind, Kromosom, Ilsa, and many more. Updated MDF lineup, with the new punk/hardcore/metal stage, is below.
Infest split in 1996 after ten years of pioneering a style that would later be known as "powerviolence":
The band, while not coining the term powerviolence, were definitely pioneers of it. The Los Angeles quartet blended the ethos, speed and song structure of hardcore, along with the aggression and anger of bands like Negative Approach and Negative FX creating a style emulated by many and an energy captured by few. Joe Denunzio's vocals exhibited pure angst, with lyrical content about conformity, war, scene politics and socio-political issues, mostly delivered in an accusation assault. -[Last.FM]Full lineup is below, along with vintage Infest clip and other MDF-related video.
Morbid Angel at MDF 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
In a nutshell, we will be returning to the property formerly known as Sonar, and will be at least doubling the amount of outside space that we've been used to utilizing...The additional space outside will allow us to comfortably accommodate the crowd, and will allow more room for the MDF vendor village, food vendors/food trucks, places to sit, and other new additions like misting tents to escape the possibility of it being hotter than it should be that weekend. There will be two outside stages plus the stage inside. Due to the new configuration outside, the placement of the outside stages will likely be different.Look for more band announcements to emerge in the coming weeks, including details on that hardcore/punk stage.
As for the building itself, there are some renovations currently taking place, but the rooms will be used exactly how they have been in the past, and it will be air conditioned throughout.
We would also like to announce the addition of a second inside stage at Baltimore Soundstage, which is a 1/2 mile walk away from the former Sonar (at 124 Market Place), and will be used from Friday-Sunday. This will be a smaller show without a barricade that will feature mostly hardcore and punk bands, and it will be scheduled in a way that should not conflict with anything going on at the former Sonar compound.
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Repulsion at Brooklyn Masonic Temple in 2009 (more bu Justina Villanueva)
Maryland Deathfest 2013 expands with another round of additions, this time bringing exclusive performances from Pagan Altar & Vinterland, as well as performances from Pig Destroyer, Broken Hope, Weedeater (who hits the road with Saint Vitus, who played this year, this fall), Loss (who played NYC in May) and repeat offender Gride (who played Bushwick Bikes in addition to MDF in 2010). The additions come shortly after the news broke of the first round of bands, which included names like Venom, Antaeus, Righteous Pigs, Carcass and Midnight. Full 2013 lineup, as it stands, is below.
In related news, Repulsion will play NYC over Labor Day weekend as part of Power of The Riff East, joining names like sunn o))), Poison Idea, Pentagram, Agnostic Front, Double Negative, Coffinworm and more. Tickets are still available for each day separately (day 1 HERE, day 2 HERE) but two day passes are sold out.
Current MDF lineup and a few videos are below.
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Carcass in NYC in 2008 (more by Ryan Muir)
Maryland Deathfest have announced their first batch of bands for their 2013 edition, including a veritable buttload of exclusive appearances. Among those scheduled to appear exclusively at the eleventh edition of the fest are Venom, Carcass, a Righteous Pigs reunion, Antaeus (who played Rites of Darkness), Convulse, Aosoth, !Tooh!, Ahumado Granujo, and Ingrowing.
Also on board will be Manilla Road, Pentagram (who play Power of The Riff next month), Integrity (who played A389), Pelican, Midnight (who played Acheron this year and Rites of Darkness), Morgion, and Kommandant (who played Martyrdoom). Now that the details on the "who" are starting to emerge, we just need some details on the "where" now that Sonar is officially kaput. More details forthwith.
In related news, MDF 2011 alums and over-the-top death metal purists Gravehill give fuck-zero about current trends, they just want to rip, drink frothy cold ones and scare the ever-living shit out of you. The California-based band will head to the East Coast this fall to play Saint Vitus on October 26th with Hour of 13, Master's Eve and Mutant Supremacy. Tickets are on sale. So far, no details on an actual tour yet, but we'll keep our eyes peeled (pardon the pun).
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
The Sonar compound during Maryland Deathfest 2012 (more by BBG)
Greetings, everyone. In case the rumor hasn't made it to your ears, we can let you know that Sonar (the home of MDF since 2006) is closing. Why? That's not important.I guess its not really that much of a shock that Sonar in Baltimore is closing their doors, considering the troubles they had recently (they closed and reopened in 2011). That said, I'm sad to see it go, especially after years of Maryland Deathfest (pictures from 2012 are HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE) at the venue and recently, the A389 Anniversary shows (2012 in pictures are HERE and HERE). Goodbye Sonar, but thanks for all of the amazing memories.
What is important is that we've known about this situation for months, and we were already searching for a new location only a few days after MDF X ended. Currently, we have THREE locations to choose from, all of which would be in Baltimore. Once some more logistical and financial planning takes place, we can make a decision on next year's location. With a little luck, we'll reveal that info before the end of July. Worst case scenario, we'll let you know sometime in August.
In the meantime, we will be announcing the first round of confirmed bands for MDF XI very soon, maybe even as early as next week.
Arguably the centerpiece of the entire Maryland Deathfest lineup was the return of the UK doom juggernaut Electric Wizard (pictures HERE), so suffice it to say that a large portion of the Sunday (on 5/28) roster leaned in that direction. Doom legends Saint Vitus headlined the second stage that night, while the bluesy Church of Misery, glacially-paced Cough, zen-like Yob and eclectic Rwake all represented for the genre.
The rest of the day fell all over the map, from speedy straight-edge to grind, black metal to crust, and death metal of the technical and primitive sorts. The odd-experimentalism of Bethlehem caught my ear the most, but sets from the always entertaining Suffocation, Disma, Pentagram (black/thrash from Chile), Ulcerate, Mortuary Drape and Agents of Abhorrence were similarly fun. I unfortunately arrived too late to catch Backslider or Coke Bust. Demonical's old school Swedish death metal sounded excellent but didn't put on much of a live show and my flirtation with Morgoth was interrupted in favor of Rwake's full set.
Electric Wizard at Maryland Death Fest 5/27/12
Between Godflesh (who headlined Friday) and Electric Wizard who wrapped things up on Sunday (5/27), Maryland Deathfest was a must see event for fans of metal in the US. Though rain slowed the opening of Electric Wizard's approach to the outdoor stage on Sunday, they nonetheless made it on stage for their first US appearance in eleven years. The UK quartet, sporting an entirely new rhythm section, were definitely worthy of said top slot, playing material from across their catalog to legions of fist-raised fans.
Trey Azagthoth of Morbid Angel
May 26th was a day of firsts for me at the tenth annual Maryland Deathfest. It was the first time I saw Confessor, Deviated Instinct and Haemorrhage. The first time I heard "new" material from death-doom godsWinter. The first time I saw Noothgrush with new live vocalist Dino Sommese (Ghoul, Dystopia, etc). And maybe most memorably, the first time I witnessed a man whip out his junk out on stage, piss in his cupped hand and wipe his face with it.
The latter first came care of Horna, who's lead singer Spellgoth performed the "urine baptism" at center stage (pictures below, NSFW?) and was one of several notable black metal-influenced performances (Archgoat, Tsjuder, Black Witchery) on that brutally hot Saturday. The moment wasn't noticed by many, but the foul stench of old blood and human fluids left a trail throughout the indoor stage.
My mid-afternoon arrival at Sonar meant that I sadly missed sets by Infernal Stronghold, Bloody Phoenix, and Looking for an Answer, and not-so-sadly missed October 31 (members Deceased) and Anvil (the former being eons better than the latter). The remainder of the sweltering hot day was largely a string of successes with stellar sets from crusty thrashers Hellbastard, UK's Dragged into Sunlight, deliciously obnoxious goregrind from Haemorrhage, death-doom pioneers Winter (who played unearthed songs at MDF), thrash from Morbid Saint and an impressive set from the reunited technical-doom crew Confessor.
Reunited crust-death metal crew Deviated Instinct wins for my favorite of the daytime performances (they played at close to the same time as The Devil's Blood), and though bassist David Vincent gave me a bit of a Nikki Sixx douche-chill during Morbid Angel's headlining set, the band's performance of the early classics absolutely murdered. Brujeria, the supercrew made up of members of Napalm Death, Carcass and more, were great headliners for the opposing outdoor stage but I opted for Noothgrush.
Godflesh at MDF
Hand in hand, the gasmask wielding pair strolled on to the stage to the sound of air raid sirens. Their arrival announced the coming of reunited grindcore greats Nasum, one of the headliners at Maryland Deathfest on May 25th playing their farewell round of shows. A rare appearance from Godflesh and related band Napalm Death (Godflesh's Justin Broadrick was an early member of ND) were the night's outdoor (read: true) headliners, playing the large stages and rounding out a lineup that included campy thrash, Swedish death metal, noisecore pioneers, Romanian black metal and many stops in between.
Brooklyn's Castevet opened the show at 3:30PM, sporting new bassist Nick McMaster (also of Krallice). I missed the next band Nashgul (and would later miss Setherial in the same room), but managed to catch the campy and fun Ghoul, who take cues from their ex-tourmates Gwar in the theatricality and dousing-the-audience-in-"blood" arenas. Finnish death metal crew Demigod, who were a highlight at Rites of Darkness, opened the outdoor stage and delivered a similarly inspired performance.
Today is The Day were next on the indoor stage, playing quite possibly my favorite performance from the band and definitely a highlight for the day. The band's new lineup featuring the rhythm section of Wetnurse is a perfect match for Steve Austin's madman antics, and I heard quite a few comments afterword to the tune of "I forgot how much I used to love Today is The Day". Their former labelmates on Amphetamine Reptile, Unsane, would also kill it later that evening.
Negura Bunget, or what left of them, followed on the indoor stage (the bulk of the original band was recently replaced), and seemed oddly placed and limp following Today is The Day. Meanwhile, thrashers Artillery riled up the thrashers on the outside stage but didnt do much for me.
Napalm Death headlined the first of the two outdoor stages, playing material from each of their prior albums to a circle-pitting, crowd-surfing audience. Besides being the originators of the genre, Napalm Death is also one of grind's tightest live crews; the term legend is more than well-deserved.
The crowd had lined up in front of the second stage a long time before Godflesh ripped into their first chord, so from the moment that the band kicked into "Like Rats" the pits and surfers had easily migrated to the other end of the parking lot. The duo (and requisite drum machine) played material from their legendary Streetcleaner and though they slightly overstayed their welcome, it was nonethless amazing to see them live.
The reactivated Nasum (who we recently interviewed) headlined the indoor stage at Sonar and similar to the Godflesh and Napalm Death, the crowd let loose by the time Rotten Sound's Keijo Niinimaa belted out the first vocal. The five piece will be missed, but they definitely went out with a bang.