USA

Maryland Deathfest 2010 Recap Part 1

The great thing about fests like MDF is that the metal is simply overflowing. The bad thing about fests like MDF is that the metal is simply overflowing. If it’s sitting down to catch your breath, or grabbing a drink or a bite to eat, there are plenty of reasons causing one to miss one or too many killer bands.

Slough Feg/ Funeral Circle @ Red Room, Vancouver BC, May 29 2010

The inveterate Slough Feg are one of those bands that pulls it off so well live that they’re able to sound identical to what they do on tape, which I found pretty impressive considering how ornate their songs can get. Personally, I was there to hear songs from their latest, Ape Uprising!, and they did not disappoint, throwing the excellent “Simian Manifesto” into their set early on. But as they’re touring for their 20th anniversary, the band threw loads of gems into their set. It was great to hear older tracks like “Tiger! Tiger!”, “The Final Gambit” and “Hiberno-Latin Invasion” live. And seeing Mike Scalzi and Angelo Tringali work their guitar magic, playing off each other is especially jaw-dropping – they recall the classic Gorham/Robertson harmony work in Thin Lizzy.

Portal/ Krallice/ Bloody Panda @ Mohawk Place, Buffalo NY May 24, 2010

The energy that Portal projected, both in their music and their sheer physical presence, was overwhelming. Every gesture that The Curator made was impossibly intense. I spent the entire set staring wildly up at the band, certain that any moment something Very Bad was going to happen. They’re masters at wielding this carefully managed sense of dread. Portal is aptly named; when they were on stage, reality felt somehow thinner than it was before.

Natalie Zed reviews the May 24th performance by Portal, Krallice and Bloody Panda at Buffalo, NY’s Mohawk Place. Concert photography by Adam Wills.

Godsmack – The Oracle

It has been a Godsmack trademark to toss out allusions to material that is more interesting and more ambitious than their commercial hits would seem to suggest. As The Oracle offers up its share of such material, it will be interesting to see where the band continues to take things from here.

Soulfly – Omen

The thing about Omen is that it feels like Soulfly is running through the motions in a lot of ways. The clue to that lies (again) in the Jeffrey Dahmer referencing; the cannibal was arrested and tossed in the can in 1992. He died in ’94; this was the best the band could do?