(By Leanne Ridgeway, Owner/Chief Editor, RiffRelevant.com)
Continuing my run down of ‘must see’ bands performing at this year’s Maryland Doom Fest, we bring you to Day One!
This is part two of a four-part article to share my sheer demented joy over the event itself, the bands involved, and the current lineup for each day of the fest. If you missed the first post, you can check all our previous Riff Relevant articles about the MDDF event or bands. I’ll wait…
Lied! Last time, I shared that my ‘must see’ acts of MD Doom Fest are… well, every act is my must-see. I am absolutely horrendous at choosing my ‘favorite’ anything. Some of these fine folks are in long-listened-to bands I’ve never before seen perform live. A few are bands I’ve seen a photo of but never before heard.
The hell with that. Rather than make a mind-melting choice for a small selection of groups from such an incredible list of heavy music artists playing MDDF this year, I must see all forty-seven bands (give or take whoever is still alive and kicking the day after each evening’s events).
FORTY-SEVEN bands over four days? Weekend pass is $69? C’mon.
Enough of the rehashing. Here is each band at MDDF Day One, with a sample track or album stream where available (bands all need to have a Bandcamp page, like now); and listed by order of the day’s lineup, confirmed as of June 14th:
MDDF Day 1 – Friday, June 23:
• Captain Beyond 12:10 – 1:30
• Lo Pan 11:10 – 12:00
• Apostle of Solitude 10:20 – 11:00
• Faith In Jane 9:30 – 10:10
• Beelzefuzz 8:40 – 9:20
• Wretch 7:50 – 8:30
• Demon Eye 7:05 –7:40
• Brimstone Coven 6:20 – 6:55
• Black Manta 5:35 – 6:10
• Sierra 4:45 – 5:25
CAPTAIN BEYOND: (12:10-1:30am) Captain Beyond was founded the year I was born. (Figure that one out.) They were around a good while, then defunct for many years. Several attempts were made to return, along with unfortunate losses of two of the band’s original members. A few years ago, original member Bobby Caldwell resurrected a new Captain Beyond. His intent was to record some new music and bring back some of the history-making songs to the world. The current line-up includes Bobby “Fire” Caldwell, Jeff “The Count” Artabasy, and new members Simon Lind and Don Bonzi. They began touring again earlier this month, and to everyone’s triptastical delight will be headlining Day One of MDDF along their route!
LO-PAN: (11:10pm-12:00am) After much frustration at my years of missing out on seeing Lo-Pan live and in person, I was finally able to break that curse earlier this Spring. They were everything I’d hoped. Fantastic sound, driving flurry of guitar work, pummeling low-end, soaring vocals, beautiful songwriting. Lo-Pan is a bit of an aural addiction for me. Their recent EP ‘In Tensions’ still hasn’t left my weekly rotation since its release in January. (Read my review here.) Their recordings transition seamlessly to a live set. I could see them play weekly and it would be a new experience each time.
APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE: (10:20-11:00pm) This act was born in Indianapolis, and are gracing the MDDF stage with their repertoire of True American Doom Metal. That’s what Corey Webb (drums), Chuck Brown (guitar/vocals), Steve Janiak (guitar/vocals), and Mike Naish (bass) say they play. These four gentlemen are far too humble and puritan in their adjective usage. Apostle Of Solitude are True American Unbelievably Heavy As All Boundless Fucks Doom Metal. You were searching for riffs? I apologize on the lack of riffs available for you, these guys took every single last one of them. They may achieve a sonic dimension sound barrier breach by 10:35pm.
FAITH IN JANE: (9:30-10:10pm) From Thurmont, MD comes the trio of Dan Mize (guitar/vocals), Alex Llewellyn (drums), and Brendan Winston (bass), who are Faith In Jane. Who Jane is and why she has Faith is not my area of expertise, but what I do know is that these three can wail some sound out of their instruments. Grooved power doom metal aching with fuzz. It’s goddamned lovely.
BEELZEFUZZ: (8:40-9:20pm) The one time I bore witness to Beelzefuzz, I was floored. The Maryland quartet of Dana Ortt (vocals/guitar), Darin McCloskey (drums), Greg Diener (lead guitar/vocals), and Bert Hall (bass) was something unexpected. I was riveted by the Beelzefuzz blending of classic heavy rock, progressive and doom metal with a near swampy soulful tint. I’m very much looking forward to a second round.
WRETCH: (7:50-8:30pm) This trio of men from Indianapolis, IN seem to look fairly pissed off. Whether they are is yet to be determined, but ‘pissed off’ easily translates to ‘damned loud’ with music. Wretch play some of the heaviest, darkened doom rock/metal/whatever’s loudest that you could hope to hear at a Doom Fest. They’ve got a full palette of original songs, but here is Wretch‘s take on Motorhead’s ‘Sweet Revenge‘, off of Bad Omen Records‘ sampler release. If this isn’t enough to convince you, then just get the hell off my website.
DEMON EYE: (7:05-7:40pm) I’ve seen Demon Eye performing live one time, last Fall. Once is not enough. Must see them again. They’re a four-man crew playing amazingly crafty, traditional heavy doom-laced metal. Great songwriting and a hell of a lot of fun to watch on stage. So much so that it was almost disturbing. Demon Eye also has a new record ‘Prophecies and Lies‘ coming out in late summer. (Here’s the info.) We have the brand new track from it for you!
BRIMSTONE COVEN: (6:20-6:55pm) Heading into MD by way of Wheeling, WV, Brimstone Coven is… weird. By weird, I mean it in the very best, most heavy, harmonic blues swirled in a cauldron of damned fine creepy doom metal rock ‘n roll kind of way. There’s a slight member change at the moment, as their original vocalist is currently a part of Necromancing the Stone. It doesn’t change the fact that Brimstone Coven is not to miss. They are the Siren sound that seduces you into exactly what their name is. You will go willingly.
BLACK MANTA: (5:35-6:10pm) Not being from the Mid-Atlantic, I’m not familiar with every area band and their history. I have to root around the interwebs for my nerdful music learning. Finding multiple ‘Black Manta’ acts didn’t help matters, but narrow the genre and boom. One act from MD. (Hopefully, I have the right band here. Yell at me if I’m incorrect.) What Black Mantra from MD are is a heavy, no frills, lots-o-fuzz, straight up BOMB ROCK.
I happened to find these three songs from their 2004 EP ‘Fuck Them All But Six‘ on Soundcloud. (That title is the best…)
SIERRA: (4:45-5:25pm) These two gents hail from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. The MDDF is Sierra‘s very first stop on their first-ever headlining summer tour through North America. They’re trekking out of the Great White North, with fellow MDDF performers Witches of God (Day Two!). Sierra is a progressive doom metal duo, one that I definitely plan to see early Friday evening as they kick off the official Fest weekend.
Want tickets just for MDDF Day One? CLICK HERE.
There’s the full lineup! This is one full evening of destruction that is certain to kick our collective asses on Day One of Maryland Doom Fest 2017. Keep an eye out in the next few days for part three to get the dirt on Day Two!
You can find all you need right here: Maryland Doom Fest 2017 bands, venue, hotel info, tickets, merch and more.