I love this band. One of the brightest spots on the Maryland heavy music scene, and a bunch of really awesome dudes as well. It’s been super cool to watch their careers rise, and it’s totally deserved as their records rip (and each one is better and more nuanced than the last). Always fun to hang out and take photos for a couple of hours with this crew, and I think this set shows it.
Watain never disappoints. Always a great show, always a terrible smelling show. I had heard they wouldn’t be as vigorous with the blood and animal carcasses on this tour, but that proved to be wrong. The next day at Thanksgiving Dinner, someone asked me if I had spilled food on my jeans and I had to admit that it was congealed pig’s blood.
Finally got to see Mayhem!
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a show at American, this was a really odd place to have a show, seemed like a glorified cafeteria, but it was a fun night all the same. Always love seeing the Repulsion dudes, and of course Pig Destroyer and Noisem are always great.
Consistently great metal shows at Baltimore Soundstage. I had never seen either of these bands before. Yob was a band I’ve heard alot and enjoy, thought they might have been a “relaxed” band life before I saw them, but the life show was good. Made me want to crank the albums up when I got home. Enslaved is a band I’d always heard a lot about, but wasn’t super familiar with – they were great! Amazing stage presence, with little to no ‘kult’ stuff that can sometimes be a little much with European bands. They loved the crowd and played to the crowd (and the photographers) perfectly, really great performance.
Black metal legends Watain are always so good live. The times I’ve seen them before I was never able to get too close, either because of circumstances, fear of getting actual pig’s blood thrown on me/my equipment, or inebriation, but this time it worked out well. Blood was still there, but less than previous tours and you could still smell the scent of grave dirt as soon as they walked out on stage…
Last month, Doom icons Pentagram played Soundstage (which is really shaping up into a great venue for metal in Baltimore) along with The Pilgrim, Bang!, Kings Destroy and Radio Moscow. Pentagram shows are notoriously hit or miss, as anyone who was at their infamous Black Cat comeback show can attest, but this night they were on their A game. It’s also always great to see them with Victor Griffin, when he is back with the band everything seems to just run more smoothly and Liebling (the famously troubled frontman of the band) seems to hold it together more. They didn’t disappoint, one of the best times I have seen them (though not sure if that first time I saw them at Sonar can be topped).
It was great to see Bang! too, a band I had always heard about but never had the chance to see – they really seemed to have a great time on stage, the first half of their set especially killed. This was apparently one of the last shows for quite some time for The Pilgrim, one of my favorite Baltimore bands. Cool that they managed to get on such a sick bill.
This month’s Decibel magazine has a 3 page spread with five of my photos (Electric Wizard, Napalm Death, Godflesh, Brujeria, & GODFLESH) from this year’s fest. Check it out, it’s the one with Testament on the cover. (That reminds me, I should post my MDF recap… look for it this week, I promise!)
I hadn’t seen Darkest Hour in years… seeing them at the 9:30 Club on the Summer Slaughter tour was a far cry from seeing them play on a friend’s driveway in 99, which was the first time I saw them, but it was still alot of fun. Definitely one of the highlights of the Summer Slaughter 2011, the other of which was Dying Fetus, of which I will post photos in a few days…
- See all the Darkest Hour photos on flickr.
- Read the Washington Post review.
- BUY PRINTS from this show.
Over the halfway mark with my MDF photos! Day 3 was a little more relaxing for me, the highlight was getting to see Exhorder, a New Orleans thrash metal band that I grew up on and hearing about, but never was able to see live (a little before my time), as well as seeing Voivod again… they were excellent and the crowd seemed super stoked. Many people told me their set was their high point of the whole show. My favorite discovery of this day was Acid Witch, who I had never heard before but who I thought were excellent live. Cretin was also good live, playing with Matt Harvey from Exhumed (he seemed to be guesting in at least one band a day at this MDF).
For the last near-decade, Maryland Death Fest has been a Baltimore Institution, bringing the best current and historic extreme metal bands to Sonar in Baltimore to play for thousands of fans. It’s literally the best and most interesting metal related event in the US. Spanning over several days (4 this year), dozens of bands play to a crowd of thousands, who travel from all over the world to be there. Because of it’s prominence, many bands choose to reunite to play it, or have their last show there, or play for the first/last/only time in the US there. Basically, it’s an amazing event. And this year’s, the Ninth Annual, starts today and last til sunday. For a list of bands and set times, click here. Chris from DC HeavyMetal posted a great Death Fest Survival Guide here.
Below are some of the favorite photos I have taken at previous Death Fests:
Last week EYEHATEGOD played a blistering set at Sonar. I’ve seen this band a half dozen times but they are always awesome… one of my favorite bands that are still playing. Brutal, dissonant, nihilistic sludge metal. Highly recommended. Weirdly enough, TONS of people were stage diving, I guess because it’s fairly easy to in the club room. Not the kind of music I normally associate with stage diving, but it was a fun show anyway.
Last week I got a chance to see (and shoot) the Slayer/Megadeth/Anthrax Jagermeister tour. The headliners were playing their 1990-era albums IN FULL (Seasons In The Abyss, Rust In Peace, respectively), plus their other hits… It was a great show and especially fun for me since I was banned from going to see this same tour in 1990 by my parents! Twenty years later, I finally made it…
Before the show, a writer and I showed up to interview Charlie Benante (from Anthrax) and he was great. We also met Joey Belladona and he was nice as well – he asked me if I was shooting the show and I said yes… he said he’d see me out there. I didn’t think much of it at the time but when they played, true to his word, he saw me in the photo pit, waved, and posed for several photos while looking right at my lens. What a great moment! I’ll post the interview as soon as it goes up.
The show itself was great – Anthrax looked like they were having a great time, reunited, and the crowd responded really well. Megadeth were amazing! Dave Mustaine voice seemed a LITTLE strained, but several of the Rust In Peace songs are really vocally challenging and also were never performed live until recently. All in all Megadeth was AWESOME. Then Slayer – who I’ve seen before and generally are always the same live – were Slayer, they slew in their workmanlike way. Nothing ostentatious, but they are a dependably accomplished and always good live.