The last day of Doom Fest 2019 seemed a little anti-climactic after the previous evening. There was definitely a smaller crowd for the Sunday show, and while Conan unleashed the biggest mosh pit of the entire festival, and Toke might have been one of the top five bands I saw throughout the weekend, it seems many could feel the sense of finality and dread of returning to reality on Monday.
The band that kicked off the evening for me was Horehound, a post-sludge outfit from Pittsburgh. Contrary to my review of their debut album, they actually only have one vocalist…who also happens to be the organizer of the Descendants of Crom fest in September, in case you’re undergoing doom fest withdrawal syndrome in a couple months. 😉
Headed across the street to Guido’s to check out Stone Dust Riders, a 90’s style stoner rock trio from the high desert plains of… uh, Baltimore. Despite some amplifier issues that ended things a little bit early, they still put on a solid set.
Toke is the next great southern sludge band — you heard it here first. Hailing from the same part of North Carolina as Sourvein and Weedeater, they have some sonic similarities…but with a bit of Sleep thrown in, for good measure. Saw these guys for the first time last month opening for Church of Misery in Detroit — and I would definitely travel to see ’em again.
I’d also seen Kings Destroy pretty recently — they opened for Ufomammut in April. While their sound has evolved over the years from epic doom metal to something more radio friendly, they have not lost their ability to craft great melodies.
Zed is a band that’s been on my radar for nearly a decade (I actually panned their record The Invitation back in 2010), but I had never seen ’em live. To be fair, their music has grown on me since I wrote that review, and it comes across quite well in the live setting — this was the most energetic set I saw on Sunday. Since most of their songs are under four minutes long, they were the only band all weekend that finished before the end of its allotted time slot… fortunately, they had a couple more numbers up their sleeves once told they could play a bit longer.
Doom Fest was the first stop of a North American tour for Conan (they’re playing Toronto tonight), having just flown in from a big European festival the night before the gig. Full credit to the sound guy — this was the clearest I’ve ever heard Jon Davis’ vocals, which are usually drowned out by the rumbling wall of amps. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I ended up right next to the speaker…like I said, the mosh pit action was pretty intense. Actually, it did hurt. My hearing. For the next few days.