Maryland Deathfest 2018 – Baltimore Maryland

For a metal fan, especially an underground metal fan with a cultured taste, Maryland Deathfest is the holy grail of music festivals. They are metal fans, so they understand metal fans. It has grown by leaps and bounds like a little cottage industry with California Deathfest, Quebec Deathfest, Netherlands Deathfest, Days of Darkness and more to come I’m sure. As I attended my first ever full weekend, I saw incredible bands on my bucket list, met a lot of great people from all over the world, hung out with friends and basically had more fun than I could imagine. It was basically summer camp for die-hard metal fans. No judgments, no fights, no fake kung fu in the mosh pit, just all awesomeness 24/7. Fun for families and even dogs. Plus Natty Bo’s and cheap and delicious street tacos! Continue reading

True Mortem Added To Maryland Deathfest, Ticket Options Selling Out Fast

Maryland Deathfest has added True Mortem to the bill to replace Inquisition. The festival is bearing down with a little over six weeks to go and ticket options are running out. The festival has also released its vendor list, which you can see with the entire band lineup below. Continue reading

Maryland Deathfest Drops Inquisition, Adds Three New Bands

Maryland Deathfest is now less than two months away. They have announced some lineup changes including Zemial, Chthe’ilist, Blk Ops, and Inquisition now being removed from the festival bill. Now added are Bölzer, Ascended Dead, and Future Terror, as well as Prong who were previously announced. A replacement for Inquisition revealed soon. Due to scheduling conflicts, The Ruins of Beverast has changed the day of their  performance to Saturday from Sunday. Many of the ticket options will soon be sold out, so check our list below of current availability. Continue reading

Eindhoven Metal Meeting: Part II – Live At Effenaar

On day two of Eindhoven Metal Meeting, a surprising amount of energy has been drained by the inevitable afterparties that spread through Eindhoven, but also to the neighbouring town of Tilburg. Metalheads simply cannot stop a party once they get going, and so the next day starts up a little slower. Thinking I may be able to skip the long line for the pat downs if I arrive a bit later, I’ve decided to arrive between the first and second band. Nope. There is still a line as many more of the partying metalheads had a similar idea, as did many of the day ticket holders. Thankfully the line is a fair bit quicker today though than it was yesterday, and I manage to get the first band of the day.

Continue reading

Eindhoven Metal Meeting: Part I – Live At Effenaar

Every year as people around the world gather to celebrate their own midwinter celebrations, usually focussing around light and warmth, the Effenaar venue in Eindhoven instead celebrates the dark and heavy. Eindhoven Metal Meeting is seen by many as the Christmas party of the Benelux metal family. As in previous years, Ghost Cult Magazine sent me to report, and take some snaps. Continue reading

Venom, Dark Tranquility, Coroner And More Booked For Eindhoven Metal Meeting

With just over a month to go, the 2017 Eindhoven Metal Meeting approaches The lined up boasts the likes of Venom, Dark Tranquility, Coroner, Carpathian Forest, Master’s Hammer, Destroyer 666 and many more. The full lineup is listed below and tickets are still available but expected to sell out. As always, the “longest-running indoor extreme metal festival” in the Netherlands will take place Friday 15 & Saturday 16th of December 2017 at the Effenaar venue in Eindhoven. Continue reading

My Dying Bride Cancels For Eindhoven Metal Meeting, Dark Tranquility Added

Due to unforeseen personal circumstances, My Dying Bride has dropped out of this December’s Eindhoven Metal Meeting. Apparently, the cancellation was beyond the control of both the band and the festival. The good news is, Dark Tranquility has been added as an exclusive headliner on December 15th, the first night of the fest. More details, ticket links, and the full lineup so far are listed below Continue reading

Netherlands Deathfest Is Less Than Six Months Away!

neatherlands-deathfest-ii-final-lineup-ghostcultmag

With California Deathfest in the rearview, the team behind Maryland Deathfest turns its attention to already completed Netherlands Deathfest event next March, less than six months away. Details below: Continue reading

Baptism – V: The Devil’s Fire

Baptism – V The Devil’s Fire album cover ghostcultmag

After four long years of waiting, the Finnish black metal troubadours Baptism have finally regaled us with a new album; V: The Devil’s Fire (Season of Mist). Their newest effort follows their 2012 release As Darkness Enters.

From the very start of the record, the production is a pleasant surprise. Whereas most black metal bands seek the “trve kvlt” sound of low-fi recordings, this albums benefits from a very crisp and clear sound. Every instrument has its own place in the aural painting and the vocals are nestled in quite nicely.

Next to the tremolo-picked chords, the blast beats in triplets, and the Abbath-like growling vocals – all must-haves in black metal – Baptism also ventures into very melodic (almost post-black) sections with original chord progressions, which give you a moment to breathe between the old school black pummeling. The song ‘The Sacrament Of Blood And Ash’ introduces the melodic meandering to the listener quite well, with the help of the death/doom outfit Swallow the Sun’s vocalist Mikko Kotamäki. Mr. Kotamäki’s haunting vocals compliment the first gloomy respite of the album very nicely. His vocals complete the gloomy, weary, almost desperate atmosphere of the instrumentation.

Moving ever further down the line, ‘Abyss’ and ‘Cold Eternity’ further explore another venture away from the traditional black metal sound. Earlier on in the album Baptism already hints at a Pagan influence in their songwriting, which comes to true fruition in these two songs. The arrangements, very reminiscent of England’s Winterfylleth, project vivid mental images of veteran pagan warriors contemplating their battles and losses, and the feeling one gets when aimlessly wandering around ancient forests.

All in all, Baptisms fifth studio release is a solid black metal bastion, with a fresh twist. Purists might argue that it is not “black enough”, but for a casual of curious listener it is a very solid record. Most importantly, the reason I did not single out any band member in particular, is that the band sounds like a unified front. A solid record by a solid band.

7.5/10

SAM C.A. VAN DE LEUR

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Watain, At The Gates, Satyricon Confirmed For Blastfest 2015

blastfest 2015 poster

Blastfest will be held 18-21st February 2015 in Bergen, Norway and in case you missed this lineup announcement, here it is again:

Alfahanne
Aspherium
Asphyx
At The Gates
Baptism
Blood Red Throne
Bolzer
Bömbers
Borknagar
Byfrost
Craft
Crib45
Cryptopsy
Dark Funeral
Dark Tranquility
Dead To This World
Decapitated
Demilich
Den Saakaldte
Djevelkult
Destroyer 666
Destruction
Endstille
Esoteric
Falloch
Finntroll
Gehenna
Hecate Enthroned
Impaled Nazarene
Kall
Melechesh
Moonsorrow
Morgoth
Naer Mataron
Orange Goblin
Paradise Lost
Primordial
Purple Hill Witch
Rotting Christ
Samael
Sarke
Sarkom
Satan
Saturnus
Satyricon
The Sickening
The 3rd Attempt
Tortorum
Tsjuder
Vallenfyre
Winterfylleth
Wyruz
+ more yet to be announced.

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