Re-Discovering The Metal Scene In Frederick, Maryland at Krug's Place
Band Photo: 2 Sides 2 Die (?)
Saturday, May 19 marked my first venture out to the new local metal spot in Frederick, Maryland - Krug's Place. They've been booking local metal bands there for nearly a year, but my last local show was at the Braddock Inn in December 2005, which had since stopped booking bands after several changes of ownership. Krug's is a decent sized place located on East Street - and much better suited for live performances than the Braddock Inn - with a total capacity nearing 300. The bar and billiards areas are separate from the room with the stage, however, so it would probably accomodate 150 people at most for the show. That would be pretty packed since there are tables in that room and the floor area directly in front of the stage ("the pit") is fairly small.
The first band to take the stage was Chambersburg, Pennsylvania's 2Sides2Die, who were standing in for Bloodmasque who couldn't make it for whatever reason. A self-described grunge band (according to their MySpace), this four-piece band has obvious Nirvana influences. That said, most of their material was slightly heavier - probably due to the two-guitar attack - and they had a couple of songs that we more heavy than in the grunge vein at all. The slow parts generally had a good heavy feel as well. The vocals, while not an exact clone of Cobain, were well-delivered and full of anger/angst. Most of the songs sounded fairly simple, but captured that Nirvana feel well and were well executed. Desite having little support for a local band that was fairly far from home, 2Sides2Die put on a pretty good performance and it was a good start for the night.
Next up were local Frederick heroes, Dahlgren Prophecy. Being from Frederick proper, a swarm of their friends and fans filled the floor in front of the stage. Dahlgren Prophecy opened up with a very heavy sound immediately, their sound some mixture of newer heavy metal, thrash and death metal. The vocal delivery spanned the entire spectrum, from your standard fare metal vocals, some with shouted or screamed vocals thrown in at various parts, death metal vocals at times and even some some death metal growls interspersed behind the main vocals by their backing vocalist. Half a dozen guys or so quickly formed a small pit in front of the stage. The music was nearly as diverse, having aggressive fast parts, as well as slow heavy parts, and everything in between.
Dahlgren Prophecy apparently are pretty big in the area, not just Frederick, and rightfully so as they have some great strengths in their diversity and overall delivery.
Brunswick's own Live To Die were up next, with Greg of Scars of your Demise filling in on vocals. Live To Die is apparently looking for a new singer after parting with their previous one. The band came out heavy as well, playing a modern heavy metal sound. "Modern" meaning there were traces of 'core in the otherwise metal music, and at times there were flashes of Killswitch Engage - both due to some guitar parts and their stand-in singer's vocal delivery. Despite much of the Dahlgren Prophecy's fan base clearing out, a new crowd filed onto the floor in front of the stage once again and a few moshers pushed each other about. Live To Die played a heavy and energetic set, but it remains to be seen what direction they will head once they nail down a new singer. Their material on their MySpace page sounds drastically different from the live vocal delivery that night. Their live performance was definitely more invigorated and one would hope that the band continues in that direction with a new vocalist.
The final band to take the stage that night was Frederick's aptly named Final Redemption. Final Redemption opened up with what could only be described as a brutal assualt of death metal. Their sound was almost text-book death metal from the guitars to the guttural vocals alternated with an occasional distressed scream, to the double-bass heavy drums. Perhaps there was a little thrash thrown in on a couple songs for good measure. The crowd was thinning as the time slipped past midnight, but there were still a number of people in front of the stage watching and headbanging - noticably more drunk as the night wore on as well. A death metal purist may have found more in their performance to enjoy, but the style of death metal played didn't particularly stand out to me. With no disrespect toward the band, Final Redemption really did not fit my tastes. Or perhaps I was simply too tired to really enjoy their performance. The only way I'll know is to see them again.
Without a road crew to quickly set up and tear down, the show ran pretty late for only having four local bands on the bill, ending after 1:00 am, but such is to be expected of local shows. It's been a while since I've seen local bands play and I forget how raw the shows can sound too. The bands generally lack the tightness and stage presence of more experienced performers. That doesn't make the performance any less enjoyable for me - it's just a different vibe. On the other hand, the sound at Krug's Place was crisp and just the right volume, which made a big difference in the quality of the show.
Krug's Place is that it's a nice place to hang out and catch some of the local bands and prospective up-and-comers in the tri-state area's heavy metal (and sometimes punk) scene. It's definitely worth checking out every first and third Saturday if you live anywhere near the Frederick area.
You can check out my photos from the show in the photo gallery. (Note, they aren't that great because the lighting was very low and compensating for low-light makes for grainy photos).
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