May 262019


After the first three days of Maryland Deathfest 2019 my feet are protesting, my back is mewling in pain, but my brain feels like it’s 13 years old again, jumping up and down and anxious for the last day to begin.

I’m here in Baltimore with my NCS comrades Andy Synn and DGR, and a big crew of good friends from Seattle and scattered other locations. Needless to say, we haven’t been blogging, but I thought I’d check in real quick before running the metal gauntlet one more time, beginning this afternoon. Continue reading »

Jun 182018


The biggest extreme metal festival in the U.S. has just revealed the first group of bands who are booked to perform in Baltimore next year. Barring death, debilitating disease, or some kind of unforeseen rudeness by my fucking day job, I’ll be there again, along with some of my most steadfast NCS comrades and assorted other miscreants and saints, including more than a few of you.

To cut to the chase, here are the names of the first 25 confirmed bands for Maryland Deathfest XVII, set to take place at Rams Head Live and Baltimore Soundstage on May 23-26, 2019: Continue reading »

May 302018


(Here is Andy Synn writing about his excursion with other members of the NCS crew to the just-completed 2018 edition of Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore. Photos by Islander, except the one above by Andy.)

I don’t know what you’re up to, dear reader, but I’m currently sat here decompressing and trying to recover (both physically and mentally) from another weekend spent enjoying the sights and sounds (and smells) of Maryland Deathfest.

But, rather than put together a straightforward write-up of each day in a purely linear fashion, I’ve decided to echo what I did last year and provide a slightly more irreverent insight into the weekend’s festivities. Continue reading »

Aug 142017


The 16th edition of Maryland Deathfest will take place in Baltimore on May 24-27, 2018. In June, MDF announced the first round of confirmed bands for the festival and added 19 more in July. And today, about an hour ago, they named 13 more, including My Dying Bride, Misþyrming, Dødheimsgard, and Mantar. Here’s the full list of new names:

My Dying Bride (UK)
Misþyrming (Iceland)
Dødheimsgard (Norway)
Viscera Infest (Japan)
Arkhon Infaustus (France)
Mantar (Germany)
Mortal Decay
Pavel Chekov
Torn the Fuck Apart
Bestial Evil Continue reading »

Jul 242017


The 16th edition of Maryland Deathfest will take place in Baltimore on May 24-27, 2018. In June, MDFannounced the first round of confirmed bands for the festival. A few hours ago the organizers announced a further list of 19 bands to join that first group of 25:

Cripple Bastards (Italy)
Defeated Sanity (Germany)
Gateway to Hell
Helmet Continue reading »

Jun 262017


The 16th edition of Maryland Deathfest will take place in Baltimore on May 24-27, 2018. Today, MDF announced the first round of confirmed bands for the festival, and it’s a list that palpitates my heart:

Bloodbath (Sweden)
Blood Incantation
Broken Hope
Chthe’ilist (Canada)
Destroyed in Seconds
Dead Infection (Poland)
Enemy Soil
Eyehategod Continue reading »

Jun 032017


I expected to get this second installment of Maryland Deathfest 2017 impressions finished before now, but have been caught up in other commitments since posting Part 1 (here), which is part of the price paid for being spirited away for five wonderful days in Baltimore.

In the first installment of these reminiscences I sort of cut to the chase, naming what I thought were the best sets of an event that (by my lights) was a rousing success overall. But those five days in Baltimore were filled with other memorable moments, both on-stage and off, and I’ve collected more of them in this concluding segment. I’ve also selected more of my not-professional photos to go along with the batch in Part 1. Continue reading »

May 312017


(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? Continue reading »

May 312017


That photo up there shows the sight that greeted my eyes on Monday night while waiting for my ferry boat home after returning to Seattle from Maryland Deathfest 2017, but it also accurately represents my glowing impressions of this year’s fest in Baltimore.

Like many, I was disappointed to learn that MDF would be “downscaling” this year, eliminating the Edison Lot venue and having all the shows indoors at Rams Head Live and Soundstage. I also saw some grumbling on the internet (imagine that! grumbling on the internet!) that the line-up wasn’t as strong as in many past years; on top of that, Nightbringer was a last-minute no-show because of an airport outage in the UK.

Despite those misgivings, my own strongly held view is that this edition of the festival was a rousing success. (Part 2 of this post can be found here.) Continue reading »

Sep 302016



I’m a few hours late spreading this announcement, but better late than never. The news is that Maryland Deathfest has announced the final round of confirmed bands for the 2017 edition of America’s best metal fest, set to take place in Baltimore on May 25-28. Here they be, cut and pasted from the MDF Facebook:

Candlemass (Sweden) – Nightfall set
Tiamat (Sweden) – Exclusive U.S. appearance
Grave (Sweden) – Exclusive U.S. appearance
Root (Czech Republic) – Exclusive U.S. appearance
Oranssi Pazuzu (Finland)
Mother Brain
Fucking Invincible
Organ Dealer
Junior Bruce
Flash Out
Night Raids
Disparo (Australia) Continue reading »