REVIEW: Maryland Deathfest 2019

Maryland Deathfest held their annual festival in the venerable city of Baltimore a few weeks back. The four-day is one of the best-run independent underground metal festivals in the world. As usual Ghost Cult was on hand for the festivities, with Hillarie Jason bringing you her spectacular eye on bands through photos.  Continue reading

Maryland Deathfest 2019 Announces Daily Lineups, All Tickets On Sale

Maryland Deathfest has announced their daily lineups for the 2019 festival. Last week they made their “round two” announcement, but “a handful of bands will be announced this week to wrap up the billing”. All ticket options are now on sale at the link below. Continue reading

Maryland Deathfest 2019 Books Borknagar, Unleashed, Voivod, Anaal Nathrakh, Churchburn And More

Maryland Deathfest has added a plethora of new bands to the 2019 festival. Borknagar, Unleashed, and Benediction will all play Exclusive USA shows at the fest and joining them are Voivod, Anaal Nathrakh, Churchburn, Revenge, Primitive Man, Spectral Voice, Neckbeard Deathcamp and many more. Usually, round two is the “final announcement for MDF, but “a handful of bands will be announced next week to wrap up the billing”. All ticket options are now on sale at the link below. Continue reading

Churchburn – None Shall Live… The Hymns of Misery

 

Blackened sludge/doom gem, Churchburn, returns with their sophomore full-length release, None Shall Live… The Hymns of Misery (Armageddon Shop). This record is equally bleak as it is heavy across each track. There are great sections of songs where you can really bang your head to and then the next minute the tempo slows way down and you can feel the walls around you melt. Getting seven amazing tracks seems like the perfect length as well, so the album does not overstay its welcome, yet is still enjoyable. Continue reading

Morne – Churchburn – Obsidian Tongue – Sea: Live At The Middle East, Cambridge MA

 

Did you ever go to a show and know right off the bat that it was one for the record books? Well on Friday December 12th at the Middle East Nightclub in Cambridge, there was such a show, and this one makes it into my top 5 out of about 60 for the entire year of 2014. Why? Because it had some of the best bands New England has to offer on the bill coupled with one of the most amazing atmospheres, crowd wise, I have seen in a while.

I always know it’s December in New England when Morne plays a show in the Boston area. A band that keeps it’s local show appearances to about one a year won’t ever be blamed for over saturating the local scene, not that I know anyone who would complain if they were to add a show or two each year. Stacked to the gills with local heavyweights Churchburn and Obsidian Tongue plus a solid new comer, SEA, opening up the nights musical assault, I knew there would be no complaints about the music on this night.

Unfortunately I missed most of SEA’s set but what I caught was really good. Take heavy, slow doom and mix it with part melodic, part chugging riffs. At least that’s what I took away from the 2 songs I got to hear. It was enough for me to be interested in the band and what they do in the months ahead. Hopefully there will be some sort of recording to come from them in the near future.

 

Next up was the Massachusetts black metal outfit, Obsidian Tongue, recently off a stint with Agalloch where they played on 6 of the North American tour dates. This band has grown so much in the past few years and now is a serious force to be reckoned with on stage. How exactly they are able to create such a full sound being a two piece, I have never understood but watching this band mature over the past 4 or so years has been a sheer pleasure and they are definitely one of my favorite local bands.

 

Churchburn hit the stage and began the set with their song ‘V,’ showcasing their take on unrelenting black/death/doom. I have seen this band more than a few times and have not been disappointed once. When Dave Suzuki gets to the mic it’s almost as if instead of opening his mouth, his face actually splits open (like it’s on a damn hinged cantilever or something) and spews raw venom at the audience. One of these days I think he might bust a vessel or something. Absolutely powerful performance from a really devastating band out of Providence. They are solid front to back and definitely not a band to miss.

 

By the time Morne started their set, the place was sold out and started to get a bit steamy. Sneaking a peek at the setlist got me excited for what was to come as it was filled with a combination of songs from all three full length albums. First song was the opening track off the newest release, Shadows, called “Coming of Winter” which was appropriate on many levels. The newest member of the band, Paul Rajpal, seems to be a superb fit to the band and gels very well. The dual nature of Milosz Gassans vocal style, filled with emotion, always reminds me of a dark and painful form of Tuvan throat singing. If you listen carefully you might understand what I mean. As they blasted through the 8 song set, the entire crowd was rapt with their performance, and for good reason. This was one of the most powerful performances I have seen them play to date, which is saying a lot since I have never seen them be anything but top notch. The band just plain crushes, I have no idea how else to put it but this time they leveled the place.

 

This show proved just how strong and vibrant the underground metal scene(or whatever the hell you want to call it) is here in New England.

I highly recommend checking out all of these bands if you haven’t already done so. They do not disappoint!

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Morne on Facebook

 

Churchburn on Facebook

 

Obsidian Tongue on Facebook

 

SEA on Facebook

 

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY HILLARIE JASON