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

Nuclear Assault – Pounder EP

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Like spaghetti bolognese, it is hard to dislike Nuclear Assault, a thrash metal band who released a three well regarded albums in the mid-to-late 80’s, before internal combustion and some lesser offerings. Like spag bol, they were no nonsense, popular and easy to digest to the taste buds of all who liked their metal fast and thrashy. However, to over-extend the metaphor to the length of a string of tagliatelle, they weren’t as flavourful or complete as others, lacking the depth of ingredients in comparison to their contemporaries, and it’s very unlikely many would call NA their favourite dish.

Since announcing his impending retirement from live playing Dan Lilker has been a machine, blurring (sic) at the pace of his picking hand, bringing each of his projects to a concluding fruition, which has included the Lazarus act being applied to Nuclear Assault once again. Setting out to intentionally write “four killer old-school thrash songs”, the Pounder EP (Sidipus) is the band ramping up to a “Final Assault” tour and album in the second half of the year.

Achieving the majority of their pre-conceived idea, they have written four old-school thrash songs (well, three, and one, ‘Died In Your Arms’, that sounds as if Alan Averill was wailing along to a Metal Church outtake but not able to hear himself through noise-reducing headphones), though they’ve failed to live up to the “Killer” part of that promise. With what could kind-heartedly be called a “raw” lo-fi and DIY production, Pounder displays uncultured punky, chromatic thrash, a dearth of songwriting ideas and John Connolly’s once distinctive yelp having clearly seen better days.

One hopes this is merely the itching to get out of the blocks, let’s get something out there, false-start that serves as a irrelevant pre-cursor to a gold medal winning final sprint, but the portents don’t look promising for the final assault to do anything other than flounder and perish meekly.

 

4.5/10

Nuclear Assault on Facebook

 

STEVE TOVEY

Blurring – Blurring

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Hailing from the New York grind scene can be a challenge for any band. With such a prestigious history of bands the bar is set high for any new acts pushing out of the local scene. Blurring are a band with a difference however as, behind the awkward, uncomfortable mass of noise are the brains behind one of the most influential grind bands of the last 25 years.

Brutal Truth may no longer be sullying stages around the world, but that certainly hasn’t stopped bassist Dan Lilker. Joined by ex-Kalibas guitarists Scott D’Agostino and Matt Colbert and drummer Eric Burke who not only boasts appearances in both of those bands, but also appears as a guitarist in Nuclear Assault and Lethargy, Blurring are already name dropping their way as a serious player.

The only member of this super group that cannot boast a lengthy resume is vocalist Mark Weldin, however what he lacks on the CV, he more than makes up for in performance. Harsh and unrelenting, Weldin’s vocals sound like a man stabbed repeatedly in the throat. No relief can be found in the music either, as ‘Like Wolves’ backs it ups with a dizzying, churning sound only broken by aggressive blasting. ‘Terminus and the Flame’ has menacing undertones at awkward backing chords clash against lead while sole instrumental track ‘Rape Van’, sees a slow uncomfortable drag through 2 minutes of unsettling sounds that, unlike the real van provides a deliciously slow and addictive contradiction to the rest of the album.

Blurring perform the difficult task of taking every element they could think of to repel the listener on this self-titled (Handshake Inc.) début, but rather than adding it in small bite sized chunks, the whole album is a mass of chaotic sound that seems to barely hold itself together. The result is a depraved, uncomfortable half hour of black grind that somehow keeps you clawing back for another listen time and time again.

 

8.0/10

Blurring on Facebook

 

CAITLIN SMITH