Mar 212017


We’ve been following the evolution of the Shadow Woods Metal Fest since before its inaugural appearance in 2015, and have published lively reviews and photos from the first two fests (here and here), thanks to our contributor Kaptain Carbon, who has had a hell of a great time at both of them. The next edition of Shadow Woods Metal Fest in Maryland shows all signs of being another fantastic event.

In mid-February we reported on the first 20 bands confirmed to appear at the 2017 edition of the festival, and now Shadow Woods has announced the complete line-up. Among the new names that have now been announced are Uada, Woe, Dead In the Manger, Infera Bruo, Nechochwen, and Withered. Here’s the complete list of all 39 bands in alphabetical order — which is a super-strong group of names: Continue reading »

Feb 162017


We’ve been following the evolution of the Shadow Woods Metal Fest since before its inaugural appearance in 2015, and have published lively reviews and photos from the first two fests (here and here), thanks to our contributor Kaptain Carbon, who has had a hell of a great time at both of them. The next edition of Shadow Woods Metal Fest shows all signs of being another fantastic event.

With an announcement yesterday, 20 bands (out of nearly 40 that are expected) have now been confirmed for Shadow Woods 3, which will again take place at White Hall, Maryland on September 14-17, 2017 — and we’ve learned that early bird ticket sales are now scheduled to go live on February 17 — tomorrow — at noon Eastern Time. First, take a look at the line-up of performers announced so far: Continue reading »

Sep 272016



(Last year we were fortunate to bring you a report from Kaptain Carbon on the first annual Shadow Woods Metal Festival , and now we are fortunate to welcome him back with his report on the second edition of the festival, which took place on September 15-18, 2016, in the vicinity of White Hall, Maryland. He also took the photos that you’ll see in this post. Kaptain Carbon operates Tape Wyrm, a blog dedicated to current and lesser-known heavy metal. He also writes Dungeon Synth reviews over at Hollywood Metal as well as moderating Reddit’s r/metal community.)

The Shadow Woods’ second event is an important step for a festival still attempting to set its roots and find an identity. Held in the woods of upper county Baltimore, Shadow Woods caters to a diverse array of acts, but with a concentration on extreme metal. With a festival’s life this young, its future is always in jeopardy and dependent on press, attendance, and overall happiness of its guests. There was some speculation and conjecture whether or not Shadow Woods would even have a second gathering. This was further jeopardized with the ongoing drama of alcohol licensing and the looming calculations of cost versus return.

By the time the campfire of the second night was winding down and shrieks were heard throughout the woods, immediately swallowed by hideous laughter, the number of people who attended this year were convinced that this may be a thing to do every year. Continue reading »

Apr 112016

Shadow Woods Metal Festival 2016


As we begin the new week, I have some unfortunate news (at least it’s unfortunate for me). Beginning today and continuing through Thursday morning, I have to bury myself in my fucking day job for one of those day-and-night projects that periodically descends upon me. I’ll make time to post what other writers have sent me, as well as a few premieres I’ve agreed to do, but aside from this round-up and one “Short But Sweet” review I wrote over the weekend, I will be missing in action until sometime Thursday.

Before saying good-bye, I’ve collected a few items that I wanted to share — including, at the end of this post, streams of ten recent videos without commentary (because I’ve run out of time for commentary).


I’m late sharing this news, but the news is so exciting that I’m following the “better late than never” mantra. Last year’s Shadow Woods Metal Festival was a marvelous event by all accounts — including this account by our guest Captain Karbon. As I reported in February, organizer Mary Spiro and her team (who are joined by Baltimore’s Grimoire Records as co-producers this year) have been planning the second installment of this open-air camping metal party, which will run for three days in central Maryland: from Thursday, September 15th through Sunday, September 18th at Camp Hidden Valley, in White Hall, Maryland. They’ve been announcing performers since January, and now the complete line-up has been revealed — and it’s an eye-popper: Continue reading »

Feb 092016

Shadow Woods flyer


This has turned out to be an exciting day for U.S. festival announcements. In addition to the news that Panopticon will be one of the headliners at the Migration Fest on the west coast, the Shadow Woods Metal Festival also made some announcements about the second edition of their cool event, coming this fall on the other side of the country.

As was true last year, Shadow Woods will be an open-air camping metal party that will run for three days in central Maryland: from Thursday, September 15th through Sunday, September 18th at Camp Hidden Valley, in White Hall, Maryland, the same location where the first edition of the fest was held last year.

Organizer Mary Spiro and her team (who are joined by Baltimore’s Grimoire Records as co-producers this year) have been announcing performers since January, and six more bands were named today. So far, 21 bands are confirmed to perform, and more are still yet to come. Here’s what it looks like as of today: Continue reading »

Oct 152015



(A long time has passed — two years and 11 months to be exact — since we last featured the writing of Kaptain Carbon at our site, but he has returned with this review of the first Shadow Woods Metal Festival, which took place on September 25-27, 2015, in White Hall, Maryland. All photographs in this post, most of which appear at the end of the review, were taken by Kaptain Carbon as well. Kaptain Carbon writes for Tape Wyrm ( and Hollywood Metal ( and also moderates Reddit’s metal subreddit r/metal.)

There were many things to be excited about at Shadow Woods Festival. First and foremost, it was a metal festival in a remote campground outside of Baltimore. While not the only outdoor metal festival, Shadow Woods offered an opportunity for America to mimic an event that Europe has done for decades. This was the inaugural event for a team of promoters and record labels who had little experience in hosting someting of this size and interest level. Second, the weather was supposed to be gorgeous and, for the cooling months of early autumn, in the low ’60s in temperature, a perfect time to feel the chill of heavy metal.

Upon arriving, the entrance to the camp was signaled by a printed flyer duct-taped to a cone, obscured by a bush. Another sign pointing in the direction of the festival was propped against a decorative bench in front of a remote house with a manicured lawn. Camp Hidden Valley usually plays host to numerous day camps for children, with its scariest events being schlocky haunted trails during Halloween. Other than that, Camp Hidden Valley offers educational programs for the Boys and Girls Club serving the greater Baltimore area. For the last weekend in September, however, more than 200 metal fans and adventurous spirits were sprawled throughout its 180 acres to celebrate darkness and fair weather chaos. Continue reading »

Sep 042015

SHadow Woods Metal fest


Way back in April of this year I discovered the Shadow Woods Metal Festival, an open-air and camping festival then being planned for the Mountain Lake Summer Camp in Fannettsburg, Pennsylvania, in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. Apart from the attractive setting, what really spiked my interest was the phenomenal line-up of bands who were scheduled to appear. I’m writing now to provide a few updates — the dates are the same, the line-up is even more impressive, but the venue has been changed. It’s still something I would damned sure attend if I weren’t on the other side of the continent.

Now the festival will take place — on September 25-27, 2015 — in White Hall, Maryland, about 30 minutes north of Baltimore. The exact street address will be provided to ticket purchasers. Camping and workshops on topics such as runes, guitar maintenance, and yoga will still be offered without additional charge, and artists and record labels will also have merch areas alongside several onsite food stands.

There aren’t a lot of tickets left. The festival will only sell 350 tickets, three-quarters of those are gone, and there will be no sales at the gate. This is a 21-and-over show, and it’s BYOB. To get advance tickets online, go here:

Now, let me remind you about the line-up, which has evolved since I first wrote about it. Continue reading »

Apr 092015


We received an e-mail yesterday about a new U.S. metal festival that really peaked my interest, initially because of the stellar array of bands in the line-up and then for other reasons as well. Somehow it managed to elude my all-seeing eyes, which I suppose just proves that I’m often asleep at the switch. The name of the event is The Shadow Woods Metal Festival. and it will take place on September 25-27, 2015.

You can see what I mean about the line-up from the flyer above (click the image to enlarge it). It includes lots of bands we’ve praised at this site, including Midnight, Falls of Rauros, Occultation, Menace Ruine, Velnias, Anagnorisis, The Flight of Sleipnir, HivelordsDendritic Arbor, Anicon, Fin, Unsacred, The Black Moriah, and ZUD, plus 20 more bands. I’m including details about the entire line-up at the end of this post.

(Sadly, one of the bands, Wormreich, was devastated by a fatal van accident on Monday of this week, though their place in the festival line-up has been preserved.) Continue reading »