Monthly Archives: July 2015
This September marks the first (and hopefully not the last) occurrence of Shadow Woods Metal Fest, a first-of-its-kind in the US mini-version of the Euro style open-air fests. The fest will be held in White Hall, MD about 30 minutes north of Baltimore. Thirty-six bands will perform over two days beginning September 25 and attendees can camp through September 27.
We, that is the makers of Metallomusikum, have been working on this fest for more than a year with the help of a crack team that includes Lokvlt Productions from Philadelphia, Leftover Pizza Productions in Frederick, MD and WinterForge Promotions in Pittsburgh PA. Our sponsors are Grimoire Records, the hybrid recording studio and record label based in Baltimore, MD, and Music For The Dead, an independent label also from Baltimore that specializes as they say, “in music no one living would want to hear.” In addition, another dozen more friends and colleagues were recruited to help with things like security, food & beverage, vendors and sound/stage/lights.
While every band selected for this curated list is outstanding, there are a few performances that should prove especially memorable. Headliners for Friday include Falls of Rauros, Occultation, Velnias and Immortal Bird. Headliners for Saturday include Midnight, Iron Man, Dweller in the Valley and Wormreich. Regarding Wormreich, this fest will be their first live performance since their fatal van accident on April 6, where they lost two band members.
We have 12 arts vendors, including Poison Apple Printshop and Runk the Skunk Jewelry, along with several record distros/labels, such as Crucial Blast, Salvation Distro and of course, Grimoire Records.
This fest will also have some workshops, which is pretty different from what you might encounter at other open air fests. Old Town Lutherie will teach a workshop in guitar maintenance, an expert in Scandinavian history and culture will present a workshop on Runes. And each morning different yoga instructors will hold sessions for those interested. Bring a mat and comfortable clothes if you want to try it out. There will probably be some other last minute surprises.
Along with all this, we have two exclusive t-shirt designs and one beautiful art poster created especially for this inaugural fest. Only 350 tickets will be sold to Shadow Woods and no tickets will be sold at the gate. Repeat: everything is pre-sale. Don’t wait. When the fest is sold out, it’s sold out. And we fully expect it to.
Our location is Camp Hidden Valley, a children’s camp on private property managed by the Harford County Boys & Girls Club. The landscape is beautiful and heavily wooded. There is plenty of room for tent camping, a huge dining hall where our vendors and one stage will be located, and men’s and women’s bathhouses with flush toilets, showers and running water. There are even outlets to charge your phone.
Shadow Woods Metal Fest is 21+ and BYOB. You can read all about it on the fest website. See all the related links below. We will be featuring short write ups on the bands in this space and on the fest website. See you in September!
Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t give up on things I care about that easily. This year’s Grimscape show was a trial by fire. First we had to move venues. Twice. And we lost our original headliner. But, that said, we found a home and regrouped and the results were nothing short of amazing. Thanks go out to The Depot in Baltimore and their sound guy Greg Serio as well as DJ Neska for keeping everything running smoothly and on time.
Rest assured that there will be more shows of this caliber in the months to come. We look forward to Grimscape #3 in summer of 2016.
I suggest that you keep these bands in constant rotation on your playlists:
Below is a link to some photos I took at the show, even the crappy blurry ones. Whatever. Enjoy and be sad if you missed it. Next shows coming up are Aug 16 and 17. More on that later.
New Jersey’s Windfaerer plays atmospheric “folkened “ black metal. I started listening to them when my friend Annie mentioned how amazing they were, and that I should probably book them sometime. I am still wondering why I have not done that yet. That said, until the right opportunity comes along, I thought it would be a good time to cast the spotlight on them and give them some of the attention they deserve.
My description of their music as atmospheric “folkened “ black metal is somewhat tongue is cheek (music writers like to play around with genre hybrids, don’t we?). But the truth is I think it is totally accurate. The snarling plaintive vocals put the band definitely in black metal territory. Melodically, their tunes soar through some epic aural landscapes that qualify as atmospheric. And as for the “folkened” part, the use of violin certainly lends more traditional sounds to the compositions, but not in in the commonly understood paradigms of folk metal kind of way. In my opinion, I think a lot of folk metal sounds like electrified polka tunes, and I absolutely hate it. This stuff that Windfaerer puts forth is aggressive, grim and haunting. It has an organic and emotional aesthetic that makes it seem like it comes from another time. There’s a reason the violin is Satan’s preferred instrument. That instrument can scream, wail and weep like a human voice.
I thought I would send the band some off-the-wall questions. Michael Gonçalves gave me some off the wall answers. Make sure to check out their new song “Celestial Supremacy” from their forthcoming self-released recording Tenebrosum, which will be available in its entirety on September 22. If “Celestial Supremacy” is any indication of the music on the rest of the album, Tenebrosum should be Windfaerer’s breakout recording. Labels should take notice.
Now on to the basics and Q&A.
Hails! This is Michael Gonçalves, the frontman of Windfaerer, answering these questions on behalf of the band.
Members/Instruments they play?
Michael Gonçalves handles the guitars and vocals, but on all recorded material thus far also plays the bass. Benjamin Karas handles the violin (acoustic and electric) as well as some vocal contribution. JP Andrade plays the drums. In a live setting, the band is rounded out by Peter Lloyd on guitar and Michael Munoz on bass.
Active since 2009.
Various parts of Northeastern NJ.
Label/ if any?
None, though some releases have been put out through our own imprint, Noire Perpetua.
Glorybound (demo, 2009)
Tribus (full length, 2010)
Solar (EP, 2012)
Tenebrosum (full length, 2015)
Why should people check out your band?
I think people should check out our music because it is sincere. We stand behind this art in full force. I feel a shroud of emotion draping me when performing our music. We are playing music we want to hear, paying homage to artists we respect, and driven by an ancient essence. If listeners notice that, then we are forever grateful.
Where do you think your music fits genre-wise?
This has been a tough question to answer because, to me, I feel an all-encompassing “Heavy Metal” would be fitting, but that wouldn’t be satisfying. Undoubtedly metal. We fall into the Black Metal spectrum, specifically influenced by Viking and Pagan Metal, and definitely slathered in a coating of Gothenburg-style Melodic Death Metal.
If your music could appear on any television or movie soundtrack, what would you want it to be?
Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, The Wrath of God or The Last of the Mohicans.
If you could go on tour with any band, who would it be, and why?
Sepultura circa 1991 because at that point in their career they were untouchable. Have time machines been invented yet? In today’s music, probably, Vallendusk from Indonesia because I think our music works nicely together or Metallica because then we could play giant stages and use pyrotechnics.
If you could add an additional guest member to your band from any era in music history who would it be and why?
Valfar (Windir) because he is a big influence on our music.
Upcoming shows include:
7/24/2015 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
8/01/2015 Pocono Folk Metal Fest – Stroudsburg, PA