Thu 24 May – Maryland Deathfest X
I go to shows at Sonar often so I'm pretty familiar with the area. Haven't been to MDF in a few years and I'm pleasantly surprised at how big it's gotten and how far people are coming in for this thing.
Look man, I'm not a music reviewer or anything. I'm just a fan so I didn't write down set lists or whatever. I was rocking out. Tried to, anyway, was successful for the most part.
I ran around and saw a ton of bands but these are the ones that stood out for one reason or another. Believe it or not I'm not much of a death metal fan, I'm more of a doomy sludgy kind of girl so I skipped most of the crypt crawler bands.Day 1 Thursday
We showed up at the tail end of Eyehategod just to get our four-day bracelets. I've seen EHG (my favorite huge band) numerous times now so I was okay with missing it. Still whipped ass though because that's what they do.Day 2 FridayToday Is The Day: Brutal.
Steve Austin's new nickname is Steve Angston. That man is intense. Set was great, performance was amazing, stage presence was great. I'm a fan so I was already familiar with the material.Unsane: Good, very good.
I didn't know much about them, I might have heard them a few times but now I'm a fan. Great performance. "Against the Grain" was probably my favorite. Good stuff.Godflesh: Soul-crushing.
I'm a huge Godflesh fan and they did not disappoint. Probably one of my favorite performances that I caught.Napalm Death: The Best of the Fest.
This is probably the best, tightest and liveliest performance I saw the entire weekend. Barney the Frontman left everything up on stage, he didn't hold back anything. It's clear the man has an atypical level of fitness to be able to do that for as long as he did.Day 3 SaturdayDragged Into Sunlight: Okay.
One of my favorites and one of the reasons why I went to the Fest. I dug it. I'm not going to snark out on them for not completely blowing me away because I'm just happy I got to see them at all. They don't come to the US. Bassist appeared pretty intense. They face away from the crowd when they play their set but the bassist turned around halfway through the last song. The look on his face told me that he was clearly into it.Anvil: Uplifting and Refreshing.
I love Lips. He's just so goddamn happy to be playing and in a world where a smile or jolly feelings can be derided ("that's not metal!") it's really refreshing to see a dude ecstatic to be playing and digging the experience and letting everyone know he's digging it. Also he's a super nice guy, not surprisingly. He knows some of my friends and he is well-loved, not just because he's Lips from Anvil but also because he's a great human being.Noothgrush: Kick in the Teeth.
I never thought I'd get to see them live. I skipped Brujeria, another one of my top bands, just to see Noothgrush. The set was incredible and I was blown away. I didn't know what to expect, some of these slow and low bands don't move around much but this band killed it. Day 4 SundayCoke Bust: Bad Ass.
I didn't know anything about this band but I do love me some hardcore. Great performance, very tight and active and fun.Agents of Abhorrence: Very Good.
I didn't know anything about these guys either but because of their set I want to learn more about them.Cough: Incredible.
Cough is my favorite local band and I was so excited to see them on the lineup. They crushed. I swear Brandon Marcey is the hottest man in metal. He's also a nice guy, he's actually bought me a beer before because I traveled to see them for a show once. Such a great set. I am so glad the place was packed for them. I hope they made a ton of new fans.YOB: Amazing.
I love YOB and this is my second time seeing them. I don't know what else to say but "it was amazing." Like Cough, these men are not afraid to whip their hair around.Church of Misery: Made a New Fan.
I didn't know anything about these guys really, might have heard one or two. Their stage performance proved that you can play the dark musics but still move around and entertain the audience. Being a great musician is one thing but being a great musician who can entertain people is a wholly different thing. These guys nailed it.Electric Wizard: Underwhelming.
I'll attempt to be diplomatic about this. They're one of my favorite bands and another reason I went to MDF. But I definitely did not dig it. I should have kept watching St. Vitus who was putting on a hell of a show and now I'm sorry I missed most of St. Vitus' set just so I could get a spot for Electric Wizard. I'm sure it's akin to blasphemy to speak ill of the Wizard but I've been at this whole "blasphemy" thing for a while. I'm not even going to sit here and lie about it: I think their set sucked all kinds of fungi-ridden ball.Non-Music Review: It was a blast!
The social part of the fest was just as enjoyable as the music. I enjoyed the company of an awesome traveling companion. Got lucky and ran into all the folks I wanted to (even got surprised by other cool surprise run-ins). There were so many classic moments: a Grand Theft Auto cab driver, a 2:30a knock on the door by some crusters looking for consumables (wrong room), wrangling a reluctant hotel restaurant to provide room service with a personal visit to the front desk and mingling with the locals to catch UFC 146. I wouldn't change anything about the weekend and I can't wait to go again next year.