Article By: Leanne Ridgeway
With four days before the start of #4DaysOfDoom, we bring you to Part Three of my four-part series on my ‘must-see’ bands performing at this year’s Maryland Doom Fest. Today we have MDDF Day Two!
If you missed the first two parts of this article series, you can check all our previous Riff Relevant articles about the MDDF event or bands right here. I’m not waiting…
This being my first ever Maryland Doom Fest experience, my ‘must-see’ acts list is long. The entire lineup of each night of the fest. There are so very many amazing bands to see, how in holy hell could anyone expect me to choose only a few? Bollocks! I must see all forty-seven bands, or at least I will try my darnedest to.
FORTY-SEVEN bands over four days. Weekend pass is $69. Dood.
I now present to you MDDF Day Two, in the State of Doom, at Cafe 611 in Frederick, MD. This is the Saturday, June 24th band lineup, with a sample track or album stream where available (Band tip: get a Bandcamp page.); listed by order of the day, confirmed as of June 14th: (***Special Note at the Serpents of Secrecy section below.)
MDDF Day 2 – Saturday, June 24:
• The Skull 1215 – 130
• Bang 1110 – 1205
• Wo Fat 1020 – 1100
• Earthride 930 – 1010
• The Watchers 840 – 920
• Hollow Leg 755 – 830
• Serpents of Secrecy 710 – 745
• King Bison 625 – 700
• Heavy Temple 540 – 615
• The Well 455 – 530
• Witches of God 410 – 445
• Black Tar Prophet 325 – 400
• Conclave 235 – 315
THE SKULL: (11:10 pm-12:05 am) With original Trouble members Eric Wagner (vocals) and Ron Holzner (bass), and the addition of Lothar Keller (guitars), Rob Wrong (guitars), and Brian Dixon (drums), The Skull are laying down some traditional American Doom metal upon the masses. They recently released a 7″ record (vinyl) via Tee Pee Records and I know many a hungry heavy music fanatic is going to be front and center for a taste of The Skull‘s set, come Saturday…
BANG: (11:10 pm-12:05 am) From the 1970s, we are welcoming back the world of BANG. Now, even being a product of the 70s myself, I was not familiar with this group. What the hell rock was I being held under? This is heavenly heavy classic rock, tons of riffalicious intent, beauty beats, and classic crispy vocals. Hot damn, this is sweetness on a stick. It’s a wonderful time to be alive and paying attention to heavy music!
WO FAT: (10:20-11:00 pm) With Kent Stump on guitar and vocals, Zack Busby on bass, and Michael Walter on drums, this Texas trio of supremely fuzzed riffage jams have been a road-tripping staple of mine. You may find me assisting these fine gents at their merch table at certain points of Day Two. However, during their set, I shall not be kept from that stage view. Fight me, bro! They have been around the world and back, supporting their multiple releases, and are yet again right now. Their most recent release is ‘Midnight Cometh‘ on Ripple Music and their tour sending them for a perfect landing at MDDF. (Please, all those up on high of the mighty Wo Fat Riffage setlist creators, let them play their version of Jimi’s ‘Gypsy Eyes’. That song got me through three states’ drive on repeated play loop…)
EARTHRIDE: (9:30-10:10pm) Earthride have returned! The brotherhood of Dave Sherman (vocals), Kyle Van Steinburg (guitar) and Eric Little (drums), with new riders Ed Brown (bass) and Greg Ball (guitar), will be gracing the stage on Day Two! (If you recall from my first article, there are members of Weed Is Weed here taking us for an Earthride.) Recently signed with Salt Of The Earth Records in April, Earthride will be wielding the hammer of pure Maryland Doom down upon MDDF in their hometown of Frederick next Saturday evening. [Below is a link to a MySpace player. Yes, MySpace!]
THE WATCHERS: (8:40-9:20 pm) Tim Narducci (vocals), Jeremy Epp (guitar), Chris ‘Cornbread‘ Lombardo (bass), and Carter Kennedy (drums), only needed the five songs on their Ripple Music début EP ‘Sabbath Highway‘ to win me over (read my review and check out the other dates for their ‘Sabbath Highway Tour’). West Coast bands don’t often hit near my East Coast, this is a no-miss set for me. Their EP floored me, and I cannot wait for them to melt my face to the floor.
HOLLOW LEG: (7:55-8:30 pm) While I could say many things about Hollow Leg, honestly… their bio sums it up perfectly: “Hollow Leg is an enormously toned groove engine hailing from the highways between Deland and Jacksonville, Florida.” That is exactly what they are, and they’re killing it. They are a goddamned Mack truck combustible engine mowing down everything on the highway. They embark on a ‘Northeast Migration Tour’ as of tomorrow, June 19th, with a stop on Day Two of MDDF! Come see for yourself…
SERPENTS OF SECRECY: (7:10-7:45 pm) With the five gents of Serpents of Secrecy all coming together from at least four different bands (most also actively playing and recording material), you know these guys are not screwing around. I don’t know what you may have heard about this group, but what I heard on May 5th in Baltimore damn near knocked me out of my shoes. Vocalist Mark Lorenzo, guitarists Todd Ingram and Steve Fisher, bassist Rev. Jim Forrester, and drummer Chuck Dukehart III. While they don’t yet have a Bandcamp page to share, they were recently in the studio recording. (***Special Note: Rev. Jim Forrester has been quite under the weather as of late. We’re told he will be at MDDF, but if you would be so kind as to visit the SoS Facebook or #RallyForRev group to find out how to help, we’d all be most obliged.)
KING BISON: (6:25-7:00 pm) King Bison comes out of Red Hill, Pennsylvania, with Chris Wojcik (guitar and vocals), Guba Renwick (bass), and Ryan Prough (drums). This three-man jam is of the hard and heavy straight-forward, mudjacking, boot stomper, blues-based rock n’ roll variety. Their most recent album ‘Odysseus‘ was released in September of last year. Oh, am I going to enjoy the hell out of this one.
HEAVY TEMPLE: (5:40-6:15 pm) Evil honey from a magic mountain, that’s how they describe themselves. Completely accurate. Last Fall, I witnessed the trio that is Heavy Temple. Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, these three women are all well-experienced at their craft of kicking ass, on stage and in the studio, with the very heaviest of bluesy doom metal. Vocals of strength to last you for days. Their latest album ‘Chassit‘ was released in January of this year. Good goddamned graciousness, their stage is a beautiful temple to worship the heavy. Listen here, then come hear live and in person.
THE WELL: (4:55-5:30 pm) This trio from Austin, Texas brings us back a few decades to times when psychedelia ran rampant. The Well is heavy and light, clear and opaque, shallow and deep. Balance. They balance heavy blues, psych, doom, proto, prog, into their blend of rock and metal… The Well does it very well. Their Facebook bio says “Ian’s reclusive and despondent, Lisa wears red lipstick, and Jason is the canary in the coal mine.” I’ll leave you that description to ponder as you listen.
WITCHES OF GOD: (4:10-4:45 pm) How do I explain what Witches of God sound like? Hard rock, sleaze metal, heavy occult, doom, alternative, glam, ethereal punk, traditional Los Angeles grimy, heavy crimped hair metal? HOW? It’s all of that, wrapped up in a sultry red box, tied in a stranglehold knot with a black velvet bow of super sexy. I cannot fucking wait to see this set.
BLACK TAR PROPHET: (3:25-4:00 pm) Black Tar Prophet is a two-man band churning out instrumental sludge noise metal from Nashville, Tennessee. At the present time, Greg Swinehart handles the bass/samples and Erik Dever is on drums. When a duo does it properly, I don’t concern myself with whether there’s guitar or bass happening. Black Tar Prophet does it properly, indeed. They give you a full fuzz, droning, swirling dirge of heavy. This should give us absolutely no peaceful reprieve whatsoever on mid-afternoon of Day Two.
CONCLAVE: (2:35-3:15 pm) With Jerry Orne (bass/vocals), Jeremy Kibort (guitars/backing vocals), Terry Savastano (guitars), and Dan Blomquist (drums / percussion) being from Massachusetts, Conclave is closer to me than MD. I’m right next door in NY and it’s damned cool to see a NorthEast band play MDDF. I’ve seen Conclave, last year at RPM Fest. Let me tell you, what a way to start MDDF Day Two! Sludgeoned graven doom deadly metal, riffs galore, drums of destruction. The sheer brutality of their sound is going to plenty waken that Friday-bangovered crowd, as well as prime the newcomers for Saturday. Wait until you hear this track… GodDAMN, this is heavy.
Want tickets just for Saturday, Day Two? CLICK HERE.
There’s the full lineup for Saturday! This is damned near a full twelve hours straight of doom and desolation. It just might put us down for the count on Day Two of Maryland Doom Fest 2017. I’ll be winding things up and publishing Part Four of the article as a final ‘COME SEE THIS WITH US!’ before leaving for MD later this week!
You can find all you need right here: Maryland Doom Fest 2017 bands, venue, hotel info, tickets, merch and more.