Unfortunately, all great things must come to an end, but there was still a solid day of heavy metal left to enjoy! Once again my cohorts and I found solace (and assistance to hangovers for some) in our now traditional diner for breakfast. Having been up late the night before, and an early start over at Edison, we did not get to the lots until right before Goatsnake hit the stage.Goatsnake, by Hillarie Jason Photography Primordial, by Hillarie Jason Photography
Sunday may have been the hottest, temperature wise, of the festival and it hit most of the festival goers early. Next to the far end stage at the Edison Lot was a shaded area with picnic tables, many filled with metal heads with their faces on the table top. I held my head up while enjoying Goatsnake from afar and then got a few songs in from Primordial. Right in the middle of the Irish Black Metal band’s set, I did have to leave for a short while as I had an interview with Amorphis outside of downtown Baltimore. Fast forward a few hours and it finally hit me… I was exhausted, gained quite a nasty cough from one of the thousands in attendance, and was incredibly hungry/borderline dehydrated. Now at this point, feel free to point and laugh at your screens, but I went back to the hotel room, chugged some water, inhaled a fruit cup as well as a small sandwich, then took a power nap. Yes, at the young age of twenty-five, I took a nap on the final day of Maryland Deathfest. However, now energized, I nearly sprinted back to the Edison Lot to catch some sets by Demilich and Neurosis.
After coming down off of a journey like performance by Neurosis, I made my way over to the far stage to catch what would be one of the greatest sets all weekend, Amorphis performing Tales from the Thousand Lakes album in its entirety. The piano introduction of the album hit while the crowd went into hysterics as each member made their way to the stage. Track by track they played, right through to the end of the Tales masterpiece of an album. Having caught my second wind thanks to my power nap, I was able to get through these last few Edison Lot bands before the Lot was closed until next year. After a quick rest and a short chat with Dave Edwardson from Neurosis, my roommate and I ventured once more over to Rams Head Live to watch the mysterious, yet terrifying, Portal. I had to pinch myself a few times to comprehend what I was watching as, yes shame on me, I had never heard a single story about this band, all of which were masked and performed with stage names. Playing under dim red lights for the whole set with strange videos playing behind them, the Australian five piece brought the crowd into a trance like state. One of my friends in attendance actually described the experience as uncomfortable, but awesome at the same time. Portal did not show any signs of slowing down as curfew came and went. The house lights came on, the PA was shut off, but they just kept on playing until the final note. Then, just like that, MDF was officially over. We all walked back in disbelief of the live stage show that Portal had to offer, yet also the fact that this crazy pilgrimage had come to an end.Portal, by Hillarie Jason Photography Portal, by Hillarie Jason Photography
The drive home the following day was bittersweet. I was bummed that the festival was over for the next year, but on the other hand I was happy to get home and return to the usual daily life I typically live. Maryland Deathfest was my first show outside of the New England area and it was everything I dreamt of and more. I urge every person who is reading this to find time and money to make this journey, this pilgrimage, to really understand how big of a festival MDF really is. Now the only thing left is to ponder what bands will be signed on for next year.
WORDS BY TIM LEDIN