Aug 102022

(Today our friend Gonzo brings us his third and final report on the recent Fire in the Mountains festival in Wyoming, along with a few of his own photos. You can find the first two installments here and here.)

Day three of any festival hits different. It’s no longer a matter of going balls-to-the-wall for 12 consecutive hours. It’s an endurance contest. It’s a marathon you’re running against yourself. One minute you’re staring bleary-eyed at the roof of your tent before the sun comes up, and the next, you’re chugging espresso you made in the back of a Subaru Outback in desperate hopes of being able to slog your way through the rest of the weekend.

And that’s just the first two hours.

But never mind that. No point in wasting any time lamenting your mental condition, I thought to myself as I threw some extra clothes into my backpack. Today would first be spent outside the confines of our beloved festival, and into the mountain range that we’d only been able to admire from afar. Before any music, we’d be taking a side quest to Grand Teton National Park. Continue reading »

Aug 052022

(Our friend Gonzo has brought us the second installment of his commentary on the 2022 edition of the Fire in the Mountains festival, which took place in Wyoming in late July. To check out the first installment, go here.)

Saturday morning came before I was ready for it. The sunrise roused me from an intoxicated slumber, and my bladder was quick to remind me of the choices I’d made the night before. “Balls,” I muttered as I put pants on, preparing to leave the warm confines of my tent and head towards the port-a-potties near the entrance to camp.

I unzipped the tent and stepped out into the frigid morning air. The temperature had dropped by almost half of what it’d been during the day. A layer of frost had accumulated on the top of the tent. I was grateful I’d kept my Amorphis hoodie on before going to sleep, even if I had no memory of doing it. So far, the running score of this weekend was FITM: 1, Gonzo: 0. Expecting anything else would’ve been ridiculous of me.

Walking along the makeshift footpath through camp, the stunning peaks of the Tetons were looming through the morning mist. This land, this festival – there was something different about it, something almost tangible. It’s not every day you find yourself immersed in nature, surrounded by wildlife, refreshingly out of range of any cell phone service, and have eight hours of amazing music to look forward to, but that was exactly what this day would hold for the lucky 1,200 of us who made the trek to this festival. Continue reading »

Aug 022022

(Our Denver-based contributor Gonzo was fortunate enough to be at the 2022 edition of Fire In the Mountains, which took place in the shadow of the glorious Teton Range in Wyoming. Today we present the first of his reports about the festival.)

I stepped out of the car and gently shut the door. Raising my arms over my head and interlocking my fingers, palms facing skyward, I stretched my body as if I’d never stood up on my own two feet before. Sitting on my ass for over 7 hours in a Subaru Outback through desolate landscapes and wide-open highways with barely another soul in sight for miles does tend to drain you after a while. And looking around now, it was almost fair to wonder if we’d driven through a portal to another dimension.

That otherworldly dimension, for our purposes, was known as Fire in the Mountains, a deeply unique festival experience that was just about to kick off its first occurrence in three years. Set deep within the Wyoming wilderness just outside of Grand Teton National Park, this gathering of metalheads, artists, hippies, weirdos, psychonauts, and anyone in between had gained a lot of buzz throughout the US festival circuit. Some called past incarnations of it “loose as goose shit,” while others described it simply as the best weekend they’d ever experienced in their lives. High praise for a festival that attracts just over a thousand people each year in a setting that requires you to pack in your own water.

Now that we’d arrived, the anticipation that had been building since 2020 was palpable, like a thunderstorm slowly looming over the mountaintops in the distance. More cars were slowly beginning to pull in, sporting license plates from as far as Canada, Ohio, Florida, California, Minnesota, and more. It was clear this was a destination for many. It was time to set up camp and let this experience take us wherever it would lead us. Continue reading »

Nov 292019


Our site obviously isn’t an all-purpose outlet for metal news. We almost never post announcements of tours, festivals, line-up changes, or even forthcoming albums (unless there’s an advance track we like that we can share in a new-music round-up). We get dozens of such announcements in our in-box every day, and even if all we did was copy/paste those things into our page, there wouldn’t be time to do much else. Plus, there are tons of other sites out there which do the newsy copy/paste thing. Why would anyone need one more?

Having said that, the last few weeks have brought a flood of enticing 2020 festival announcements, and I thought it would be worth making a slight exception to our usual decision-making and collect some of those here today. Still, this collection isn’t intended to be comprehensive — most of what I’ve picked will take place in North America — nor is my memory photographic, so I’m sure someone will be irritated that we left them out. Apologies in advance.


I’ve already expounded at length about how much I loved the first edition of Ascension Festival Iceland, which I attended earlier this year. Definitely one of the best festival experiences I’ve ever had — maybe THE best — and a fantastic successor to the Oration festivals that preceded it. All respect and appreciation to Stephen Lockhart and his partner Edda for making it happen — and even more gratitude and respect to them for bringing back Ascension for round two next year. Continue reading »