(We present Andy Synn’s reflections on the just-completed 2017 edition of Maryland Deathfest.)
Oh MDF, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
Well, maybe not literally. That would take a hell of a long time, and probably be intensely boring for everyone (myself included).
Instead, how about a few random musings and “hilarious” non-sequiturs from this year’s festival for your entertainment? How does that sound?
NUMBER OF BANDS SEEN OVER THE WEEKEND
VOLUME OF ALCOHOL CONSUMED
NUMBER OF STAGEDIVES WITNESSED
NUMBER OF STAGEDIVES PERSONALLY ATTEMPTED
TOP 3 ALBUMS PLAYED IN THEIR ENTIRETY
3. World Downfall
2. The Ultimate Incantation
1. None So Vile
LOUDEST CROWD REACTION
Vader announcing they would be playing The Ultimate Incantation in full.
WEIRDEST CROWD REACTION
People were really into Sargeist’s magic bowl…
NEW DISCOVERY OF THE WEEKEND
Tie between Subrosa and Uada. Both utterly spellbinding, and both bands I’d somehow overlooked until now.
Missing Insect Warfare.
Too many awful drum triggers.
Flo Mounier – Cryptopsy (was there ever any doubt?)
James Stewart – Vader (absolutely phenomenal performance)
BEST SETS OF THE WEEKEND
1. Oranssi Pazuzu
2. October Tide
- Finally getting to see Cryptopsy live was such a huge moment to me. And it totally reminded me how good (not to mention how gruesomely groovy) None So Vile is.
- Similarly, getting to see Decrepit Birth live was something I’d been looking forward to for a long, long time… and it was well worth the wait. Although, and don’t shoot me for this, I definitely felt like they could do with a second guitarist live.
- Surprisingly underwhelmed by Nordjevel. I’m a big fan of the album, and they put on a solid enough set, but sound issues (and a few other things) seemed to conspire against them on the day.
- On the flip side, Morbid Saint put on one hell of a show and really impressed me.
- Vader dropping in a full run-through of The Ultimate Incantation with such nonchalance and complete lack of prior hype was both an awesome surprise and the sign of a band supremely confident in their own badass…ness.
- As I stated above, Uada set a painfully high bar with their awesome set of shameless Dissection worship (with added atmosphere) on the Saturday. I immediately went and bought the album and, although it’s a damn good listen, it still doesn’t quite capture the sheer energy and intensity of their live show.
- Morbid Angel put on a solid, but relatively lacklustre, performance, including a rendition of the new song “Warped”. Personally I had no problem with the band playing only Tucker-era material (it’s good stuff), but I did take a little bit of issue with the diva-esque behaviour of making every other band (including the phenomenal Grave) set up their drum kit down on the stage, so they could have the drum riser all to themselves.
- Also, Steve Tucker’s stage banter makes him sound like a sketchy auto-repair mechanic.
- October Tide. ‘nuff said.
- Oranssi Pazuzu absolutely stole the show – and the weekend overall – for me on the Sunday, with a set that was the absolute epitome of “not giving a fuck what anyone thinks”. I expected them to be good, but not that good.
- I still kind of miss the suited and booted look for Akercocke, but at least the music is still badass!
- Pete Sandoval’s closing drum solo for Terrorizer was about as long as 3-4 regular Terrorizer songs.
- Rah, leave the duck alone.
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend, full of bands, beer, and bros (and lady-bros) that I won’t soon forget.
I know you guys skipped Candlemass (for the second time), but the complete lack of Behexen here is actually criminal
They were in my top 10. And yes, Andy has been indicted.
I saw them. I enjoyed them. I didn’t mention all 25 bands I saw here.
I didn’t say you did…but allow me to clarify. Leaving Behexen off an article covering the highlights of MDF is criminal
I am something of a smooth criminal, it’s true.
Hey, Im in a good mood…So sure, why not?
I was also blown away by Oranssi Pazuzu. Great sound and totally grooving. I was on the keyboard side and that dude was insane. And I’ve never heard anybody get that kind of sound out of a Telecaster. All in all very entertaining.
Behexen was quite a spectacle too. I was with a buddy who’s relatively new to black metal. His take on Behexen: “Those guys are scary.”
That final ½ stage dive…. was it only half-assed?
Haha, I’m glad someone asked about that… no, it was in reference to this REALLY tiny girl who tried stagediving during one of the Soundstage bands (I can’t remember which one now) but was so small she basically got out into the crowd and was immediately deposited back on the stage, on her feet, so she had to try extra hard the second time to get out there. So I gave her a half point for the first attempt.
Brilliant. My mind had on the contrary actually pictured someone large as 1½ person, weighing down the oppressed crowd.
Totally agree re Oranssi Pazuzu and Uada. Since you mention Morbid Saint, I thought the other thrash band, Exumer, also put on a great show. On the death front, I also quite enjoyed Father Befouled/ Encoffination and Skeletal Remains, in addition to the big names. Necropsy were fun, too. Let’s just say their singer was probably the least pretentious person on that stage all weekend. I didn’t spend that much time at Soundstage, but Noothgrush and Agoraphobic Nosebleed are definitely among my personal highlights for the weekend. And man, that Candlemass set was a worthy end to the festivities. In the Woods… was underwhelming in comparison, but they also had the unenviable task of going on right after OP. All in all, a great weekend and well worth the trip. The crowds were great, too. Packed venues until 2am every night!
Mike Heller (Malignancy) legit SHITS ON Flo Mounier, just saying. Cryptopsy aren’t really a tight live band.