This past weekend I went to Maryland Deathfest, which is an extreme metal-oriented music festival here in Maryland. I was super excited to go as a ton of bands I really enjoy were playing the festival.
Bands I saw Friday:
Malignancy - not really my thing but had funny stage banter
Birds of Prey - I had never heard them before but were surprisingly good
Nazxul - pretty good set. Weren't served well by playing outdoors during the daytime though.
Watain - Pretty awesome. Awesome stage presence (I won't go into the literally gory and uh...occult details)
Gorguts - stood really far away as I'm not really a big fan. They played well but again, not really my thing.
Coffins - got really close for these guys, who totally destroyed. Total headbanging fun and the crowd loved them.
D.R.I. - I would have had more fun during D.R.I. but I was totally wiped out from Coffins.
Photos from Friday:
Bands I saw Saturday:
Obliteration - A new band to me but were really, really good. Definitely the "surprise set" of the weekend.
Jucifer - Only saw a few songs. Pretty strange stuff and not really my thing.
The Chasm - Only saw a few songs (they played at the same time as Jucifer). Unfortunately the sound quality was terrible (way too much bass) so I didn't stick around. Oh well.
Sadistic Intent/Possessed - Possessed these days is just the members of Sadistic Intent plus the original vocalist from Possessed, so they had a "shared" set. SI were pretty good but Possessed were totally awesome.
Blood Duster - Totally insane Australian grindcore band! Very fun stuff.
Melechesh - I've already posted a bunch of Melechesh songs in the "what are you listening to now?" thread so you've probably guessed that I'm a big Melechesh fan. This was their first show in the U.S. and it was incredible! Got right up close for them and had a blast.
Asphyx - One of my favorite death metal bands and they did not disappoint. Also got right up in front of the stage and went nuts. The guitar tone was MASSIVE. Great stuff.
Autopsy - I like Autopsy a lot and the band had been broken up since 1995 so it was awesome to get to see them. I didn't get to get very close, though, because they started right as Asphyx ended on another stage.
Deceased - Only saw the end of their set but they covered Dio's "Stand Up and Shout" as a tribute and it was very cool.
Wolfbrigade - Incredibly intense Swedish crust punk band. Very loud and very fast!
Portal - Portal are one of the few bands that actually sort of terrify me. They played fantastically though; seeing them was like some sort of disturbing, otherworldly religious experience.
Portal (yes, that is an 8-string guitar):
Bands I saw Sunday:
Necrophobic - Another band's first U.S. performance. They played very well but unfortunately only played two songs off their debut album, which is my favorite of theirs. Still great though.
Eyehategod - Couldn't get very close for them and their setlist left out some of their better songs but they were still really good.
Pestilence - Back in the '80's Martin Van Drunen (the guy with the gray hair in the Asphyx photo above) did vocals for this band and they were much better. These days they're more focused on progressive and technical elements so it kind of bored me. Went inside to see...
Black Breath - Very high energy thrash/crust. Had a lot of fun during this set!
Nirvana 2002 - Long story here. Basically, this pioneering Swedish death metal band released a few demos in 1989 and 1990 then broke up. Since then, they've become something of underground legends. Anyway, they wanted to come to the festival to see the reunited Autopsy but when they asked for VIP passes, in return they were asked to play the show! Not only was it their first show in 20 years (other than one back in Sweden a few days previous) but their first time playing outside of Sweden. They had a few technical difficulties, which is a shame, but were still really good. A once-in-a-lifetime sort of opportunity.
Entombed - One of my favorite bands ever, so I just had to get right up near the stage for this one. I got very bashed and bruised but did a ton of headbanging. The setlist could have been a little better but in general they were totally awesome.
Obituary - I was totally wiped out from Entombed so I stood way back for Obituary but they were still awesome.
Magrudergrind - I'm not really into grind but they played really well.
From Ashes Rise - Epic crust band was a nice ending to an awesome festival experience.
There were a bunch more bands I didn't see, including a bunch that I wanted to see and couldn't due to conflicts or generally being too wiped out to move. Here are some crowd pictures:
Entombed from the rooftops:
Insane crowdsurfing during Entombed from up close (I'm on the right):
Crowd from the stage during Asphyx:
Insane mosh pit during Blood Duster:
Anyway, I had a load of fun and can't wait to go again next year!