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Maryland Deathfest XIII – Second Round Primer

The second round of bands for Maryland Deathfest XIII were announced today and it’ll make you hate yourself if you were late on last weekend’s early bird ticket sales. Of course ‘late’ applies to anyone experiencing browser lag since the 300 passes were snapped up faster than Yngwie Malmsteen putting on a coke-dusted button-up. No date yet for future ticket sales, so keep your eyes on the MDF website for updates.

As we did with round one, let’s take a deeper look at those now making the trip to Baltimore on May 21-24, 2015. Did one of your dream bands make the list? Let us know in the comments below.

— Ian Chainey

Anaal Nathrakh | Black metal | United Kingdom
Album to check out: Domine Non Es Dignus (2004)

Almost the definition of over-the-top, Anaal Nathrakh have grown from a hateful blackened blaster bordering on grind to a multifaceted proggy beast. Still loud as all hell, though.

More: Interview: Anaal Nathrakh.

Demilich | Technical death metal | Finland
Album to check out: Nespithe (1993)

Even though it’s now over 20 years old, Nespithe continues to sound alien with its ugly guttural utterances and angular riffs hailing from other dimensions. Plus, you can’t go wrong with the song titles: “The Sixteenth Six-Tooth Son of Fourteen Four-Regional Dimensions (Still Unnamed).” Singer/guitarist Antti Boman ended up in Jess and the Ancient Ones, which is still weird.

More: Death Metal English.

Early Graves | Hardcore, crust | USA
Album to check out: Red Horse (2012)

These San Franciscans have suffered tragedies (Makh Daniels, RIP), but have kept raging with thrash-inflected core.

More: Interview: Early Graves, Early Graves – We: The Guillotine.

Fulgora | Death metal, death/grind | USA
Album to check out: Risen/Artifice (2013)

Adam Jarvis (Misery Index, Pig Destroyer) and John Jarvis (Pig Destroyer) are joined by B. L. LaMew to chug through all of the grooves.

More: Stream: Fulgora’s “Risen/Artifice”

Martyrdöd | D-beat, crust | Sweden
Album to check out: Elddop (2014)

These blackened crusties expanded their palette to include epic thrash riffs. Connected to Skitsystem, Agrimonia, and Miasmal.

More: Martyrdöd – Elddop.

Mother Brain | Grind, powerviolence | USA
Album to check out: Straight to Business (2012)

A furious rush of powerviolence that’s quickened and given a more metallic timbre.

More: Round-up: Bölzer, Death Penalty, Mother Brain.

Napalm Death | Grind, death metal | United Kingdom
Album to check out: From Enslavement to Obliteration (1988)

Always a step ahead, the grindfathers laid down the template for multiple styles with three early classics (Scum (1987), FEtO, Harmony Corruption (1990)) and then progressed into one of the most dependable bands in the scene thanks to a varied onslaught united by aggression. Sample Fear, Emptiness, Despair (1994) and Smear Campaign (2006) to get a feel for their evolution. Napalm Death no longer have original members, yet they’re so good no one cares.

More: A Love Note to Napalm Death, Live Report: Napalm Death/Exhumed/Weekend Nachos.

Noxa | Grind, death/grind | Indonesia
Album to check out: Grind Viruses (2006)

A punkier take on grind n’ groove. Related to Cosmic Vortex.

Pizza Hi Five | Grind | USA
Album to check out: Oh, No! It’s Pizza Hi Five (2013)

A lo-fi, Scum-y grind duo that mixes in some of Agathocles‘ mincy-ness. What do you want on your tombstone? Grind. Mostly grind.

P.L.F. | Grind | USA
Album to check out: Devious Persecution and Wholesale Slaughter (2013)

Riff wiz Dave Callier and company rip grind with a thrash tenacity. Previously known as Pretty Little Flower and one of US grind’s under-appreciated gems. Has links to Kill the Client, Noisear, Phobia, Gridlink, and Oath of Cruelty.

Primordial | Black metal, folk metal | Ireland
Album to check out: The Gathering Wilderness (2005)

Emotional blackened balladeers tweak a Bathory/early-Opeth epicness in service of tales concerning their homeland. Connected to Dread Sovereign and Blood Revolt. Alan Averill will also be performing with Twilight of the Gods.

More: Interview: A.A. Nemtheanga (Primordial), Interview: Primordial’s Alan Averill (A.A. Nemtheanga), Interview: A.A. Nemtheanga (Blood Revolt).

Sodom | Thrash, blackened thrash | Germany
Album to check out: Agent Orange (1989)

Their In the Sign of Evil EP (1984) is often cited as a foundational recording for black metal due to its early evilness, but Sodom would also grow into one of the world’s top thrashers by the end of the decade.

More: Interview: Sodom, Sodom – Agent Orange.

Water Torture | Powerviolence, grind | USA
Album to check out: Water Torture (2011)

These New York natives utilize a dual bass attack to construct deafening powerviolence. Pillbox, their new album, will be out on August 5.

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