(Andy Synn (and other fiends here at NCS) is attending Maryland Deathfest XV, which begins a bit later this week, and here he names the five bands whose performances are highest on his list.)
In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a little event called “Maryland Deathfest” happening this week, and I’m lucky enough to be attending for the second year in a row.
As a result, my contributions to NCS are going to be somewhat… minimal… until next week (though I do have a little something blast-tastic lined up for Friday for you all), while I do my best to develop and nurse a cumulative five-day hangover/bangover.
In recognition of this momentous occasion, however, I thought I’d put together a quick list of the five bands I’m most looking forward to seeing at MDF this year – although thinning it down to only five definitely wasn’t easy!
DECREPIT BIRTH – BALTIMORE SOUNDSTAGE, THURS 25TH MAY
This year – in a major counterpoint to 2016, which featured a much more blackened/Black Metal pool of artists – the vast majority of the bands I’m looking forward to seeing are from the Death Metal side of things, and Decrepit Birth are definitely one of the bands whose set I am most anticipating.
Having never seen the band before, I’m not entirely sure what to expect, but if I were a betting man I’d put my money on a punishing plethora of blastbeats, finger-snapping riffs, and mind-bending space-prog melodies, all delivered at something approaching the speed of light.
And, as everyone knows, the faster you get, the heavier you get.
That’s just science.
CRYPTOPSY – BALTIMORE SOUNDSTAGE, THURS 25TH MAY
Speaking of bands I’ve never seen before – this is kind of a big one.
Now, obviously the Canadian catastrophists are currently out on tour playing None So Vile in its entirety, so I’d imagine we’re probably going to get that as a big part of the set, but I’m also hoping we get a few cuts from both Whisper Supremacy and 2012’s Cryptopsy as well (“Two-Pound Torch” or bust!), as these are my favourite Cryptopsy albums.
Heck, I’m also looking forward to hearing a few cuts from The Book of Suffering, which I thought was pretty badass!
Plus, if nothing else, getting to watch Flo Mounier tear it up behind the kit is bound to be a sight to behold in itself.
VADER – RAM’S HEAD LIVE, FRI 26TH MAY
There are actually a bunch of bands I’m really looking forward to checking out on Friday – Skeletal Remains, Nordjevel, Sargeist, Autopsy – but my pick of the bunch has to be everyone’s favourite Death/Thrash riffmongers Vader.
Yes, I’ve seen them before (a few times now, actually), but when it comes to pure power per square inch, few bands provide the same level of value for money as the pugnacious Poles.
Granted, I wasn’t a huge fan of their most recent album (too much Thrash, not enough Death), but knowing Piotr and pals, the setlist is bound to give us a nice mix of old-school, new-school, and no-school classics, as well as wall-to-wall riffage of the highest calibre!
GRAVE – RAM’S HEAD LIVE, SAT 27TH MAY
Much like their Polish brethren above, I’ve actually seen Grave a few times before (although not for a while now), and they never disappoint.
And while I will definitely be running off at the end of their set to catch Insect Warfare at the Soundstage, it would be disingenuous of me to try to pretend I’m not looking forward to catching Ola Lindgren and his cadaverous crew again!
NIGHTBRINGER – RAM’S HEAD LIVE, SUN 28TH MAY
Almost a three-way tie with October Tide and In The Woods… (two other bands that I’m definitely not going to miss seeing), I ultimately had to plump for Nightbringer and their blasphemous barrage of blackened brutality as my “must see” band of the Sunday.
Not just because their new album, Terra Damnata, is so devilishly good, but because I’m really just looking forward to getting absolutely blitzed out of my mind on blastbeats and belligerence by a band who I know are going to take no prisoners (and take no shit).