Maryland Death Fest Day Two
Band Photo: Marduk (?)
On Day Two, the scene had changed. The street in front of the club had been shut down and made into the fest grounds. One stage was at each end of the street, just over the length of the building. I won’t say that the festival had a lot of space; we were kind of worried about bands overlapping and drowning out each other’s sound. But the rigs for each stage were so loud that that would prove impossible. Vendors also lined up between the two stages selling boxes of vinyl, CDs, and even some cassettes. There were t-shirts galore with hideous pictures and illegible logos. I was really amused by the black metal face-painting stand where you could choose from KISS, Immortal, King Diamond, and your other favorite corpse-painted rockers. Inside Sonar was a new merch room that was so constantly crowded and oddly arranged, it kind of looked like a beggar’s village with really cool wares for sale. With so much drink, food, merchandise from every band in existence, and amazing live shows all day long, you couldn’t ask for more.
Nails was very raw and brutal. Every drumbeat was like a bash on the head with ripping guitar and awful vocals. Nails brings back the primitive drones and shattering riffage in a pool of broken glass, a band making their name heard in the underground these days, and presenting the dischord to MDF.
One of the most anticipated bands for me to witness, Aura Noir reminds us why black n’ roll continues to kick our asses and destroys the competition, almost like watching Venom's “Welcome to Hell” or Darkthrone's “Transylvanian Hunger” and a evil Motorhead version of Judas Priests “Painkiller.” This band is not imitating these bands by any means, but instead holding the tradition of fist spiked hellbound leather metal to true potential.
The classic line up of Corrosion of Conformity got so into playing their old hardcore punk infused rock. A few new songs I believe were in the set as well. Some newer fans of metal might only be aware of the Pepper Keenan line-up, but this band influenced everyone from punks to metal head and beyond. If you get a chance to see this line-up please do it.
A swinging bloody fist of 80’s hardcore breakdowns, crusty guitar turned to 11 & grind blasts were to be the torch songs of Cripple Bastards, songs ranging from 45 different arrangements within three minutes, and also bludgeoning three-riff circle pit nostalgia.
This band is a huge influence on a lot of bands coming out these days, the mixture of sounds that is Neurosis is as powerfull as it is haunting and timeless. With the threat of rain, their devoted fans stood facing the lightning, yelling every time a bolt lit the sky. When the clouds had passed, Neurosis pulled up the screen for their visuals and the show began. Droned out melodies, artistic noise and melancholy stylings of the swans blending into instant insanity, every album pulls from another source and surprises the senses. Scott Kelly growled and hisses as the video projection hypnotized. Sonic drum beats and long evolving songs made this a unique experience.
Kylesa provides a wide range of progressive, southern-drenched, post punk & hundreds of other influences which makes it hard to categorize the sounds of this band, everything from cynic to symphonic, to psychedelic darkness. Another crowd favorite and anticipated band, and certainly a different sound then any other band that day regardless if you liked it or not.
“In the Name of Gore” is one of Exhumed bests songs, and the title definitely paints the landscape for the sound they deliver. Early death metal influences done tastefully as well as hints of early grind heard in napalm death, low guttural vocals and high pitch shrieks are the catalyst behind the corpse cutting music.
Headliner Marduk was the final moment of the long filled heat-induced frenzy. Blast beats christened in blackened arrangements of funeral hyms. Visually Marduk delivered the grim stage show we had all been waiting for. Those who were corpse-painted earlier definitely found salvation in this band who packed out the main room, which was a perfect location for this band; big, dark, and boominly loud.
As Day Two ended and Day Three approached, we could only shake our heads free of the booze and buzzing while climbing the never ending hill to our soft beds.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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