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 »

Mar 202018



For a time, it looked like last year’s edition of the marvelous Shadow Woods Metal Festival would be the last one. The Maryland property where the event had been held for three years was sold, and the odds of finding another mid-Atlantic location that could preserve the festival’s unique character as an open-air camping, heavy metal gathering seemed daunting. But inspired by the fervor of previous festival goers who did not want to see this end, festival founder Mary Spiro began working behind the scenes, searching for a new venue and raising needed funds through contributions from past attendees. The work paid off.

Late last week Shadow Woods announced that a fourth edition of the festival — now known simply as Shadow Woods IV — will take place from Thursday, September 20th through Saturday, September 22th in Purcellville, Virginia, at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center (HFAC). And that news was accompanied by the disclosure of the entire confirmed line-up of more than 40 bands — which we’ll get to right away, and then provide a few more useful pieces of information.

So, here’s the line-up, day by day, with the bands listed in reverse order of their appearance (with headliners at the top) and brief commentary by the fest: Continue reading »