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Friday I got to the venue and picked up my pre-ordered merch and went around taking photos of things like food menus and exclusive merch items that were available for my MDF X Survival Guide. I had to head back to the hotel to upload all that stuff and post it to the site. When I got back to the festival the first band I caught was one of my favorite bands, Macabre! I hadn’t gotten to see them in years and it was awesome seeing them play on one of the big outdoor stages. They’re always entertaining live. They tell stories between songs of the various serial killers their lyrics are about and for this show they even had some extras come out on stage for a couple songs. A guy dressed up as the Zodiac killer (video of that below) came out with pistols aimed at the audience and on another song there was someone wearing an Albert Fish costume who was being chased around by some woman on stage with a stick. Glad to see they’re keeping their show as uniquely bizarre as their music. I love this band and seeing them was definitely one of the highlights of Maryland Deathfest X for me. I’ve posted three of their more interesting videos that I shot of them below, including their cover of Venom’s Countess Bathory, but I’ve got more on my YouTube page here.
The next band I caught that day was British band Napalm Death, one of the fathers of grindcore. They always put on a great show and this was no exception, even if the sound mix wasn’t very good for them. They attempted to play a song from each album, but I know they didn’t play anything off of Fear, Emptiness, Despair for one, and probably not some other albums either. Still, they did play some old songs they don’t usually play any more and even played the song Scum with a guest appearance by Dan Lilker on bass. They included their Dead Kennedys cover of Nazi Punks Fuck Off in the set too, which made me wonder how many NSBM fans were in attendance at MDF and if any were paying attention. Anyways, Napalm Death put on an excellent grind show that was going to be tough for anyone at the fest to top, or so I thought. Again, I shot a lot more video than I’ve included below on my YouTube page here, and I have also added the three videos that Total Fucking Mayhem posted for you to enjoy as well.
The next band to play was the day’s headlining act, Godflesh. They’re an industrial two piece who are also from England and I don’t think they had played the US since reforming in 2010 until this show. I’m really not a huge fan of theirs, or industrial in general, though I know they are one of the most influential bands of the genre. For many people this band was the main reason they came to Maryland Deathfest this year. I shot very little of them, just a couple courtesy photos and a video of one song, however I’ve also got more footage from Total Fucking Mayhem posted below for those that are more into them than I am.
While Godflesh was keeping everyone mesmerized outside, I decided to head indoors so I could get a good spot for the final three bands of the night. The first of these was Unsane, one of the pioneers of the noise metal genre. I don’t really know a whole lot about them, other than they are from New York City, but they were entertaining and I didn’t mind checking out their performance. I shot a couple videos of them from early in their set though they finished with a cover of the Flipper song Ha Ha Ha, which you can see video of below thanks to Total Fucking Mayhem.
The next band to play was Setherial, a black metal band from Sweden. They were the first of several foreign black metal bands that were making appearances at this year’s Maryland Deathfest and I was glad I had staked out a spot in the front to watch them from. The song selection was pretty good and I felt lucky for the chance to see them play live, though they seemed like they would have fit better with some of the bands on the next two days. Still, it was nice to get some black metal in on each day of the fest. I shot three videos of them that you can check out below.
After Setherial finished it was time for the final band of the night, Nasum. Nasum is a Swedish grindcore band that broke up when their vocalist/guitarist, Mieszko Talarczyk, died in the giant tsunami in 2004 while he was vacationing in Thailand just after his 30th birthday. They decided to reunite in 2012, the band’s 20th anniversary, to do a special tour of farewell shows with Keijo Niinimaa of Rotten Sound doing guest vocals. This show was part of that tour and while I knew Nasum was a very influential grind act I simply wasn’t prepared for what I witnessed that night. They put on what was absolutely one of the most intense performances I’ve ever seen any band metal perform, regardless of genre. I don’t say that lightly, I’ve seen A LOT of extreme heavy metal bands over the years and this was definitely one of the most crushing shows I’ve ever seen. They had a couple come out in a suit and wedding dress, both wearing gas masks, while an air raid siren played to start the show but once they left the stage and the band started it was pure brutality from then on out. They had Jason Netherton of Misery Index come up on stage and help out on vox for a few songs with them (I’ve got video of that below) and Travis Bacon, guitar player for the band Grudges, jumped up on stage to do a song with them as well. The pummeling was relentless until Nasum left the stage, however they came back and did a couple more songs as an encore. I cannot stress enough how impressed I was by their show, it was definitely my favorite of the entire festival. I walked out of there feeling like my hair was sticking straight up because I’d just been struck by lightning and I fucking liked it.
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