Maryland Deathfest Preview #2: Friday, May 27th

This upcoming weekend marks the return of the biggest underground metal festival in North America, the Maryland Deathfest. Quite a few Hellbound contributors are making the pilgrimage down to Baltimore for the four day festival, which starts this Thursday and carries on through Sunday, so we have picked some of our most anticipated bands to see each day and will be running daily previews this week.

Here are some bands that Sean and Adam are excited to see on Friday night.

Pulling Teeth (5:30 – 6:00, Main room)
Hometown hardcore heroes Pulling Teeth have a Canadian connection. PT guitarist Dom is originally from Brampton, Ontario and played in the band Day Of Mourning before moving to Baltimore and forming PT in 2005. The band is often compared to brutal hardcore/metal bands like their Deathwish Inc. label mates Integrity, whose lead singer Dwid Hellion has done collaborations with the band. Pulling Teeth has also backed up legendary Canadian metal legend Thor on recent tours, calling themselves Thor’s Teeth while doing so. Dom also runs the A389 Recordings label, a vinyl-only label that does everything from hardcore to doom to crust releases. – Sean

Cripple Bastards (8:35 – 9:05, Main Room)
One of the bands I am very excited to see on Friday is Italian grind unit Cripple Bastards. Together now since 1988, the band has released a myriad of split 7″s and CDs, a few comps and a handful of full length albums. While this is the band’s second appearance at MDF, the first one happening in 2007, I have never had a chance to see the group and am looking forward to thirty minutes of furious punk-influenced grind. – Sean

Neurosis (9:10 – 10:45, Outside Stage 1)
Neurosis has been one of the most intriguing bands of the past twenty-five years, pushing the boundaries of metal since their debut album, 1987’s Pain of Mind. Since then, the West Coast band has been experimenting both sonically and visually, often including psychedelic visuals to accompany their live performances. Throughout an illustrious career spanning three decades, including nine studio albums, three live albums and a variety of splits and singles, Oakland’s Neurosis have inspired numerous bands (including the post-metal movement which includes such acts as Isis & Pelican), and countless fans around the world. – Adam

Kylesa (10:45 – 11:25, Main room)
Hailing from Savannah, Georgia (also home to Baroness), Kylesa have been slowly making a name for themselves on the stage. Combining two drummers with a triple vocal attack, Kylesa defy classification, mixing sludgy Sabbath-like riffs, tribal drumming, Floyd-esque interludes, without losing any momentum at all. Having seen them perform in Toronto before, I can attest to their powerful live show, which continues to garner them attention throughout the metal scene. – Adam

Exhumed (11:45 – 12:25, Main room)
It has been five years since Matt Harvey put his long running band Exhumed on official hiatus but this weekend will mark the group`s return to life. After announcing in 2010 that the American gore grind band was back up and running, recording a new album with the band`s final line up (including Wes Caley, Leon Del Muerte and drummer Danny Walker), expectations have been high. The band will be releasing a brand new album on July 5th, entitled All Guts, No Glory, on Relapse Records. It will be their first new studio album in eight years and, fingers crossed, we will get to hear some new songs on Friday night. In the meantime, here is a teaser clip of one of the new songs.

Sean is the founder/publisher of; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.