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Preview of Sunday for 2013 Maryland Deathfest

Oh fuck, it’s those guys. Venom.

Ah, the bittersweet last day of the 2013 Maryland Deathfest. Who will you be scrambling to see? There are a lot of good bands today, and if this was the only day you bought a ticket for, you have made a good choice. Entrances open at 1:15 pm

Rumor has it that the members of Speedwolf are the drunkest metal band in Denver. TRVE Brewing has even named a beer after them called Death Ripper Ale. Let’s see how hungover they are from Saturday. 1:50 – 2:25 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

This will be one of the last shows Ilsa will play with their current lineup as they will be using a new guitarist going forward. Or at least, that’s the rumor I heard. Maybe the previous guitarist, Garrett Underwood, has already handed over the duty to Dom Romeo, the “dom” of A389 Records. 2:00 – 2:30 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Cruciamentum equals heavy old school, slightly melodic, death metal. I don’t know if I can handle this so early in the day, but I will try. 2:40 – 3:20 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Tinner comes from Finland. They bring d-beat, masks and a lot of attitude. 2:45 – 3:25 (Baltimore Soundstage)

France’s Glorior Belli recently went through a Southern-fried black and roll phase. I hope they are out of that. I like their “older” more orthodox black metal. I plan to check them out and see. 3:30 – 4:15 (Sonar Stage 2)

Contrastic may be one of the few grindcore bands I like. Experimental and challenging, they seem to be pulling the best from a lot of genres (deathmetal, grind and electronic, industrial, jazz, and the kitchen sink) and creating something really unique. 3:35 – 4:10 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Midnight plays black and roll with speed metal overtones. And they wear black masks. I am never a fan of that look, but they sound pretty good so I will check them out. 4:15 – 5:00 (Sonar Stage 1)

Kromosom came all the way from Australia to play some hardcore punk for you. You should go see them. I wish I could be in two places at once. Maybe I will be. – 4:15 – 4:55 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Gride are super fast somewhat melodic grinders from the Czech Republic. But I don’t speak Czech. 5:00 – 5:40 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Pagan Altar have been around forever honing their special brand of British doom metal, but in all that time they have never been to the USA. So you better check them out. 5:00 – 5:50 (Sonar Stage 2)

Iron Lung are two guys making powerviolence in my living room. Yeah, I wish. But it is astonishing how much aggression and power can come from just two, nice normal looking gentlemen. 5:50 – 6:25 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Sacred Reich plays politically aware thrash metal with a bit of humor and a lot of heart. 5:50 – 6:45 (Sonar Stage 1)

No fest would be complete without some epic power metal. The legendary Manilla Road plays the traditional kind with soaring guitar riffs, beautiful vocals and lyrics you can understand. – 6:45 – 7:40 (Sonar Stage 2)

Integrity is a well-respected hardcore band that has been terrorizing audiences since the late 1980s. They call this hardcore, but I just think they are a great rock and roll outfit. 6:45 – 7:35 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Sleep. What can I say? Slow, contemplative, heavy, unprecedented stoner sludge. You don’t need any “enhancements” to listen to this band, but it helps. 7:40 – 8:40 (Sonar Stage 1)

How many times has Bobby Liebling been brought back from the edge of destruction to play with Pentagram for you? Too many to count. They will be premiering their new guitarist, I would imagine. 8:45 – 9:45 (Sonar Stage 2)

Candles, robes, blood. This is black metal. This is Ascension. 8:50 – 9:40 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Magrudergrind grew out of the prolific Washington, D.C. hardcore, punk and DIY show scene. They have released about a million records and have a strong following and for good reason. Expect continuos stage-diving. 9:00 – 9:35 (Baltimore Soundstage)

I would have given a lung to have seen Venom play on a cruise ship, but all I have is this video. Oh well. They pretty much invented the term black metal. Enough said. 9:50 – 11:00 (Sonar Stage 1)

Citizens Arrest is punk rock the way I remember it. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and nostalgic and like I might even want to stage dive (I won’t). They are godfathers of the NYC hardcore/punk scene. Why are they playing during the set of another band I want to see? Kill me.- 11:00 – 11:45 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Note: Set cancelled due to visa issues. So enjoy this video. The second wave of black metal brought forth Carpathian Forest. This is their first time on American soil. Get in that tent! – 11:00 – 12:00 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

I have seen Converge. Their style of chaotic hardcore is not really my thing. But don’t let me stop you from enjoying their set, which concludes this installment of the Maryland Deathfest. – 12:00- 1:00 (Baltimore Soundstage)


Preview of Saturday for 2013 Maryland Deathfest

(the) Melvins love you.

Are you ready for the longest day of you life? That’s Saturday at the 2013 Maryland Deathfest. You’ve barely had a chance to recover from Friday night’s mayhem and debauchery when, whoops!, the bands get going again at the crack of noon. Entrances open at 12:00 pm

I don’t know why the video of Baltimore’s Asthma Castle is so bad, but the audio is pretty decent.  See them in real life by getting to the festival early. Just keep in mind that their vocalist is  kinda intimidating, and their drummer claims to play for both Pig Destroyer and Misery Index. Yeah, right. Welcome to Saturday. 12:30 – 1:00 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Disciples of Christ christen Saturday’s shows at Baltimore Soundstage with their DIY brand of hardcore. 12:30 – 12:55 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Wake has some Canadian grindcore for ya, eh.  1:10 – 1:35 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Get your gasmask ready for Kommandant, those storm troopers of blast beats. 1:15 – 1:50 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Like Rats, presumably named for the Godflesh song, play sludge hardcore.  This klean cut krew kills.  1:50 – 2:20 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Slowing things down a bit is Anhedonist with their doom-flavored death metal.  2:05 – 2:45 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Do you like hardcore bands named for comic book characters? Go watch Eddie Brock. Note: the video takes a while to get going but the sound is representative. 2:35 – 3:05 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Loss say they are disappointing live. I don’t believe them. This is beautiful.  3:00 – 3:45 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Iniquity is Danish technical melodic death metal. It does not need any more adjectives. Love the shaky cam. 3:30 – 4:15 (Sonar Stage 2)

Weedeater wants you do know that they do not participate in gossip. That’s refreshing. Here’s a studio clip so you don’t have to think about it. There will be a guy from the band Whore filling in on the drums for MDF.  4:15 – 5:00 (Sonar Stage 1)

Vinterland does not have a lot of live videos that I can find, and I think they only ever made one record. So enjoy some lovely melodic, ambient black metal and this pretty picture. 5:00 – 5:40 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Massgrav sounds like how I remember punk rock sounding in the 70s and 80s. And that’s a good thing. Wish I could be in two places at once. 5:00 – 5:45 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Everyone I know is obsessed with Wino and The Obsessed.  Wino is one man who seems to be able to spread his musical seed far and wide.  5:45 – 6:45 (Sonar Stage 1)

Weekend Nachos cram a lot of aggression and musical drama into 90 seconds. Plus they taste great with beer. Delicious.  6:45 – 7:25 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Do you enjoy French black metal for the discerning palate? Aosoth is served with a side of corpse paint. 6:50 – 7:35 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Expect brutal old school death metal from Broken Hope. 6:45 – 7:35 (Sonar Stage 2)

Quirky, heavy, visual and lots and lots of drums. I love (the) Melvins. Do not miss. 7:35 – 8:35 (Sonar Stage 1)

Once Ihsahn played in a black metal band called Emperor. Now he plays in a band that headlines at the ProgPower USA Fest in Atlanta. He’s an icon and an excellent musician no matter what genre he plays.  8:40 – 9:45 (Sonar Stage 2)

The Canadian war black metal band Revenge rarely tours. You decide how you want to live your life.  8:40 – 9:30 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Something missing from your musical diet? You probably need some hardcore from Vitamin X. Watch out for that boot to the back of your skull.  8:50 – 9:40 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Down  is likely the most “mainstream” group to perform at this year’s MDF.  But maybe you like a little Southern infused stoner/sludge metal led by former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo. Ain’t nothin’ really wrong with that. 9:50 – 11:00 (Sonar Stage 1)

If some of the people in Antaeus look familiar it’s because you saw them earlier today in Aosoth. Which one will you like better? 11:00 – 12:00 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

I will probably get my punk fix for the night with Finland’s legendary Terveet Kadet. Tight.  11:20 – 12:00 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Saturday closes with powerviolence pioneers Infest. Here, hold my beer and watch this.  12:15 – 1:15 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Preview of Friday for 2013 Maryland Deathfest

Carcass has the best hair.

Friday at the 2013 Maryland Deathfest sees the beginning of outdoor stage shows at the Sonar Compound as well as the first night of punk, crust and hardcore shows at Baltimore Soundstage. The two venues are about a 5 minute walk from each other (or more like 7-8 minutes if you are me), so plan accordingly. The videos below are all live, unless I just could not find a decent live upload.  Entrances open at 3:00 p.m.

I went ahead and uploaded this live video of Baltmore’s Old Lines so you could see what they looked like. But the sound is not ideal as you cannot hear the vocals. Take the extra two minutes and google a studio song off their debut album because it is really great.   3:30 – 3:55 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Ambassador Gun. Fast, crusty grind.  3:50 – 4:15 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Heartless. Angry, fast, break your neck music.  4:10 – 4:40 (Baltimore Soundstage)

How to describe Ahumado Granujo? Weird, fun techno dance music blended with grindcore. Yup. Must be seen to be believed. 4:30 – 5:05 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Full of Hell put on an impressive display of agression at the A389 Fest back in January. I expect nothing less this time around.  5:00 – 5:30 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Convulse will give you  heavy, growly, old school death metal.  5:05 – 5:50 (Sonar Stage 2)

Ingrowing means deathened grindcore in Czech.  5:40 – 6:15 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Benediction passes out old school death metal with tea and biscuits.  6:15 – 7:05 (Sonar Stage 1)

Everyone tells me that Sete Star Sept from Japan are amazing. If I make it over to their set I will find out. Chaos. 6:40 – 7:00 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Pig Destroyer.  Grindcore you know and love. They have a hot dog (both a regular and a vegan version) named after them.  7:10 – 7:55 (Sonar Stage 2)

Evoken is slow. heavy funeral doom. Kill yourself.  7:10-7:55 (Stage 3)

Hellshock. Straight up crust punk from Portlandia before it was overrun by coffee drinking hipsters. No, that’s not true. There have always been hipsters in Portland. 7:15 – 8:00 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Repulsion provided the stem cells that spawned grindcore. Blazingly fast and aggressive.  8:00 – 8:45 (Sonar Stage 1)

Righteous Pigs. Crisp, clear vocals make it apparent this proto-grindcore death metal outfit has some issues.  8:50 – 9:40 (Sonar Stage 2)

Ringworm. Touted as Cleveland hardcore, whatever that is, this band is known for biting lyrics and catchy guitar riffs too. I dig ’em. 9:00 – 9:30 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Carcass is a grindcore band from the UK that grew up to be a melodic death metal band.  9:50 – 11:00  (Sonar Stage 1)

By the time Pelican comes on, you will be ready to listen to wordless post-metal. Engaging and fascinating soundscapes. 11:00 – 12:00 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

I love Rotten Sound of Finland. I am not the biggest grindcore fan but, jeebus, they are fun watch and listen to. 11:25 – 12:15 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Tragedy plays super catchy, head-banging crust punk. If you grew up on punk or like bands such as Social Distortion  and Hellbastard, you will appreciate their hard-edged take on the evolution of this genre.  A nice closer for Friday night. 12:30 – 1:30 (Baltimore Soundstage)

Preview of Thursday for 2013 Maryland Deathfest

Hey, Bolt Thrower. Don’t look so annoyed. You are headlining the first night of MDF.

Here’s an audio-visual preview of what to expect at the 2013 Maryland Deathfest Thursday night. I will try to post live videos for all the previews, unless I just can’t find one or the sound is horrible. Then you will get a studio recording. (Remember that Evoken has been moved to Friday.) Thanks to Carrie Patrick for compiling the set times and locations because I am a slacker this year.

First up, we have Noisem (formerly Necropsy), young death metallers out of Baltimore. Noisem – 4:40 – 5:05 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

What’s this hellspawn from the Philippines? It’s Deiphago. Looking forward to this mayhem. Deiphago – 5:20 – 6:15 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Pallbearer will slow things down considerably but will probably be as loud as the previous band. Hold on to your bowels for this one. Pallbearer – 6:30 – 7:20 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Japan brings us Abigail’s blackened thrash. Or is it thrashened black metal? Abigail – 7:35 – 8:25 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Cobalt has been described as black metal, extreme metal, avant garde metal. Whatever, you want to call this, I am excited to see them. Solid stuff here. Cobalt – 8:40 – 9:30 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Closing the night is Bolt Thrower, the quintessential death metal band from England. Just awesome. Great way to open the fest. Bolt Thrower – 9:50 – 11:00 (Sonar Stage 3/Inside)

Musical genre map creates new work procrastination tool

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 10.45.02 AMAs if I needed another distraction from whatever I am supposed to be doing, a friend posted this link on Facebook last week. Every Noise at Once is nearly every musical genre mapped with representative song samples.

Chamber Pop? What the heck is that? Let’s give a listen. The clip played is The National “Fake Empire.” Ok, yeah, I don’t think I will be listening to much of that.

What about Skiffle? Sounds fun! The clip played is The Vipers Skiffle Group “Pick a Bale of Cotton,” a song that might be cool to listen to while cleaning the house or washing the car.

Over on the left side is all the metal. (left hand path maybe?) Here they call Djent a genre (a subject of debate among metalheads) and the representative clip is Periphery “Make Total Destroy.” If you click on the subgenre, up pops a cloud of band names that have been determined to fit into that subgenre. I think there is room for argument there as well. But at least the site is entertaining.

Kind of reminds me of the super awesome and much more visual Map of Metal. Now THAT is a site I could spend a lot of time with.

I knew those computer scientists  and programmers were good for something.

BROS ‘Murdercastle’ slays musically, emotionally

Going to the theatre is not typically something I ever do, but when the production involves metal, murder and new friends, my interest is definitely piqued.  So it was with great excitement and anticipation that I waited in line outside the Autograph Playhouse (9 W. 25th St. Baltimore) for the opening night of  “Murdercastle”, the fifth production by the Baltimore Rock Opera Society  (BROS).

The musical, set in 1893 Chicago during the World’s Columbian Exposition, revolves around the true events of America’s first serial killer, H.H. Holmes. Unlike the BROS previous productions, which have included gods, demons and mythical beasts, “Murdercastle” had to create monsters from “regular” people dressed in nothing scarier than turn-of-the-century fashion.


Derek Brown as HH Holmes in Murdercastle. All photo by Tommy McConlogue.

Before the show, I read a little about Holmes, whose real name was Herman Webster Mudgett.  Apparently Holmes built a block-long, castle-like hotel where he conducted his torture and murders. The structure was filled with twisting hallways, secret rooms, and doors that locked from the outside. I recommend that you at least brief yourself on who Holmes is before you go, as it will help with following the play.

Also before the show, I had the chance to pose a few questions to the show’s music director John DeCampos and artistic director and writer Jared Margulies.

(Note: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS NO SPOILERS! Seriously, why would I do that to you?)

Tell me a little about this new production and the actors featured in it?

“This is BROS darkest and most challenging show to date, we are pulling no punches and musically and dramatically are going to blow everyone’s fucking face off! This mind melting experience will be masterfully acted by Derek Brown (H.H. Holmes), Moira Horowitz (Annie Millbrook), Chris Krsyztofiak (Benjamin Pitezel), Sarah Gorman (Mrs. Pitezel) and an insanely talented ensemble cast of about 40 people,” said DeCampos.

Indeed, now that I have seen the show, the cast is insanely talented at singing, dancing and acting.  This is no lo-fi community theatre production of “Grease.” BROS have created what they have termed “murder metal” and staged it in the most epic, over-the-top way they could possibly engineer and afford.

This was my first experience with a BROS production, but I doubt it will be my last.  I don’t think I have attended a musical production that not only satisfied my musical taste but also caused me to have such a strong visceral reaction to the content of the storyline.  There were times during the show when I wanted to scream out, “Nooooo, don’t go in that room!” but usually someone else in the audience would beat me to it. My eyes began to tear up during several of the solos, such as when Horowitz as Millbrook sings the refrain, “I must forge ahead, trace the missing thread, use the strength I have, listen when I swear I will find you!”

If you miss “Murdercastle,” you are definitely missing out on the some of the best original musical theatre that Baltimore, or any region, has to offer. The first several shows have already sold out, so if you plan to go, don’t wait to buy your ticket.  A few logistical hints: the theatre gets a little steamy so dress for hot weather.  There are no bad seats in the theater, but if you want to sit closer, get there at least an hour before the show, or pony up a few extra dollars for a VIP seat up front.

How did you come across the Holmes story, and what about it inspired you to create “Murdercastle”?

“After we had wrapped our second run of our first production “Grundlehammer,” I started thinking about some of the darker and more adult content that was removed from the show for the sake of making it more family friendly or politically correct, and I wanted to do something that was brutal and dark and engaging,” said DeCampos. “Being a horror buff and someone who has been fascinated with serial killers in general my brain immediately went to ‘ok, a metal rock opera about a serial killer would be awesome,’ but in thinking about that I realized that a rock opera about a modern serial killer would very, very difficult.”


Moira Horowitz as Annie Millbrook with Derek Brown as HH Holmes in Murdercastle. Photo by Tommy McConlogue.

DeCampos concluded that it would be impossible to get an audience to sympathize with modern-day monsters such as John Gacy or Ted Bundy. It was just too soon for them. So he went a little further back into history.

“Eventually, I came across a wiki article about H.H. Holmes. The first thing that struck me was that I, a fairly knowledgeable person on the subject of serial killers, had never heard of him. Moreover the details of his crimes seem custom tailored to the format of a staged rock opera. The backdrop of Chicago in 1893 during the Worlds Colombian Exposition, his maze-like hotel with the death traps, his opportunistic and enterprising approach to murder, the fact that he was America’s first serial killer only preceded by (the UK’s) Jack the Ripper and that his career and life were unlike that of any other serial killer, all these things made his story a perfect fit,” DeCampos said.

After seeing “Murdercastle,” I must admit that at no point during the performance did I ever feel sympathy for Holmes. I knew what was coming. I just didn’t know exactly how BROS was going to accomplish it.

What challenges did you face bringing the Holmes story to life?

“First and foremost getting the BROS to agree to produce this show. Because just in merit of the scope, feel and darkness of this show BROS knew as an organization that this would be our most risky and involved show to date. Once we got on the Murdertrain and began production (two years after our initial pitch) it has pretty much been challenge after challenge all of which the BROS army has handled with great results,” DeCampos said.

“From a creative perspective the complexity of the show is beyond anything BROS has done before, and given the nature of the themes in the show the story line is a challenging one for us. Just the logistical nightmare of working with over 40 actors and 13 musicians has been a real task,” added Margulies.

Visually, “Murdercastle” is stunning. The costumes, although I am no historian, seem spot on. Even while waiting in line, we were greeted by period dressed players.  The lobby of the Autograph Playhouse also has been given a 19th century makeover.

The fantastic transforming stage speaks to the hours of design and engineering that went into creating it. Drugstore countertops flip to become staircases, which flip to become dissection tables. I must also mention the extremely clever use of assistant stage manager Jack Sossman, who, with his death gaze, subtle gestures and constant malevolent presence in nearly every scene, was both logistically functional and emotionally disturbing.

Death is ever-present, represented by a skeleton-theme that weaves throughout from beginning to end in the subtlest, as well as in the most spectacular ways.  And there is murder, plenty of it. Stabbing, head bashing, disembowelment and disfigurement abound, but don’t worry. It’s not like a GWAR concert.

“There are no blood splatters, this is not a gore fest, though you may feel like your heart splatters at the end,” Margulies said.

Musically, the score of “Murdercastle” runs the gamut from power metal to prog-rock to death metal and even some atmospheric and noiser black metal, which underpin the creepier scenes. I would say most of the singing remains solidly within the power metal or rock realm, but Brown dips into death metal growls at the appropriate times. Notably Madame Opticon (Kay-Megan Washington) soars skillfully into spine-chilling operatic tones during her number.

What else should we know about the music?


John Marra and Matt Beale as slaughterhouse workers in Murdercastle. Photo by Tommy McConlogue.

“This is our largest band to date for a BROS production. We have the Metal corps–three guitars, bass and drums. A pianist who also plays glockenspiel and does back up vocals alongside another back up vocalist also playing glockenspiel in a few spots,” DeCampos said.  “Then there is a cello, two violins, two saxophones and a trombone. That being said, this was one of the more challenging scores I think we have ever done. We set out to do a metal rock opera, but it had to exist in the time period of 1890’s so what did we do? Waltz time about half the score and then got nuts on the rest. Styles are kind of all over the place. We have your standard fare, one big show number one ballad and some string heavy transitional pieces. The rest is all metal. Overall I would classify it as prog metal but there are shades of power, speed, tech, and death. We have a handful of breakdowns that get pretty heavy and just recently, we began applying our skills to making some really mental noise for some of the more abstract parts of the play.”

Now that I have seen and heard the production, I would also add that unless you are sitting in the front row or your ears are particularly sensitive, you will not need earplugs for this show. The sound in the Autograph Playhouse is pretty clear no matter where you are sitting.

Would I recognize any of the musicians or singers from local bands?

“Yes, all the music is performed live and yes you might recognize many of the band members from other bands. Myself, Chris Baines, Tyler Merchant, and Jonathan Smeltzer were all in a Video Game metal Tribute band called Entertainment System, and all of us, sans Tyler, currently play in a synth based Video game band called Rare Candy,” DeCampos said.  “Jon and I were also in short-lived and under-gigged metal band called the Survivors of Camp Crystal Lake. Erica Patoka our pianist has done burlesque for Gilded Lily and recently did a jazz/lounge act at the Creative Alliance.  Lauren Anderson, the other back up vocalist, was in Gun Wife Gone and Dead White Kids. Zack Branch does some experimental jazz with a group/event he does called Talk Show, and Ruby Fulton (violinist) was recently featured in Urbanite and currently plays in Rhymes With Opera. Dan Benbow is playing sax in Community Center as well as newish metal band Snakefeast.”

What lies ahead for BROS?

You can expect to keep seeing more of us! We plan to begin touring our first original production, “Grundlehammer,” late this year or early next year in the Mid-Atlantic Region. We want to spread the gospel of rock to the hinterlands,” said Margulies.

“We are currently working on our HQ also known as BROME which is at about 65 percent completion,” added DeCampos. “After that we will be gearing up for our next show, “Electric Pharaoh,” which is the new show from Chuck Green, who was the writer and director of the space camp comedy we did, ‘The Terrible Secret of Lunastus,’” said DeCampos.

BROS is an all-volunteer organization. To get involved go to

Krisiun brings Brazilian brand metal to Metro Gallery 5/30

The Metro Gallery in Baltimore hosts a lot of indie rock and punk shows. Lately though the metalheads have been invading, and I am all for that. May 30 Brazil’s death metal masters Krisiun will perform. If I am not dead from Maryland Deathfest, I will be there. Who am I kidding? I will be there dead or alive. Here is a link to the Facebook event with a list of the other bands playing. If I am lucky, I will score an interview  with them pre-show. My Portuguese is not so good, however.

Metallomusikum featured on WYPR’s The Signal

For the most part, I am behind the camera and behind the microphone in my lame attempts to capture my view of the metal world. But I recently stepped in front of the microphone for this story by Aaron Henkin of WYPR in Baltimore for the weekly show, The Signal.

Uzas of Dominium (Photo by JM Giordano)

There are a few factual errors.  Half the bands that played at the show he attended April 20 were black metal and not death metal. (And since I am a huge black metal fan, I must defend this!) The lead singer of the Maryland band Part Death is Filipino, not Latino, as if it matters. Dominium’s EP is called The Incursion, not The Inversion. And the co-owner of Black Mess Records is Alex Camacho (not Camachio).

But all and all, Henkin does a good job of capturing the general vibe of what extreme metal is all about.  If you want to hear me yammer on about nothing in particular, I come in at 6:40 minutes of this 25 minute broadcast. Lots of bands are featured in this show. Also interviewed are Ryan Taylor and Evan Harting, organizers of the Maryland Deathfest. Click here to listen to the show.

Here is a video of the band Dominium from Richmond who were one of the bands interviewed.  This film was shot by my buddy at Rants Magazine. This is BLACK METAL!

Twisted Sister still make me wanna rock

The last act I caught at this weekend’s M3 Rock Festival was Twisted Sister. It was what my husband and I had waited all day for,  and they didn’t disappoint. There’s not much to say. They put on a great show as always, and the fans loved them. I was very happy that Dee did not wear any makeup. He’s dramatic enough as it its. I was also glad they played “Burn in Hell,” one of my favorite Twisted Sister songs.

If you missed this show you might want to make an effort to catch them at the Superstorm Sandy Relief Concert on May 11 in Freehold, NJ. For details, check Dee Snider’s website here.

Here are a few photos.

Dee-Snider 1 JJ French-M3 twisted-m3 3 TS-M3-4 dee-snider 2

Reminiscing with W.A.S.P. at M3 Rock Fest

No, I did not hang out with Blackie Lawless. But the entire vibe of the W.A.S.P. performance at the M3 Rock Festival last night did have the feeling of being a career retrospective. I guess that’s what you do when you have been around in spandex for 30 years.

During most of the songs they played old videos of the songs they were, in fact, playing live on the stage. I found this distracting. Did they want me to watch them? Or did they want me to listen to them and also watch them on their old video? What do you want me to do Blackie?

Any way, unrelated to W.A.S.P., it was also freezing cold at M3. Had to keep  moving just to keep warm! Here are a few photos from last night’s show.


Blackie Lawless


Look at the screens, now look at me, now look at the screens.



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