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Maryland Deathfest XIII – Third Round Primer

The third and final round of Maryland Deathfest 2015 bands was announced yesterday and, as we’re known to do, we’re compelled to run them down. If you thought the lineup was already gold, prepare yourself for platinum. And of course, let us know who should’ve made the cut in the comments.

In addition, the MDF XIII organizers laid out the who-on-which-stage specifics for the entire weekend, along with the bills for the Thursday kick-off celebrations. You can find both below. Tickets for the May 21 – 24, 2015 event go on sale September 5 at 3 PM EST, so get your clicking fingers primed and ready in case there’s another early bird-esque sell out.

— Ian Chainey

Adversarial | Blackened death metal | Canada
Album to check out: All Idols Fall Before the Hammer (2010)

A nasty blaster speeding along with a near war-metal ferocity. Related to Nuclearhammer.

More: Microgenres: War Metal – A Primer.

Agoraphobic Nosebleed | Grind | USA
Album to check out: Agorapocalypse (2009)

MDF XIII will be the first full live appearance from the drum machine-aided grinders. Known for singer Jay Randall’s nuttiness and guitarist Scott Hull’s utter heaviosity. Altered States of America (2003) is also notable for taking grind to its logical extreme. Related to Pig Destroyer, Salome, and Fulgora, among many others.

More: Interview: J. Randall (Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Grindcore Karaoke), Interview: Kat (Salome, Agoraphobic Nosebleed).

Amorphis | Death metal, hard rock, prog rock | Finland
Album to check out: Tales from the Thousand Lakes (1994)

The Finns will play 20-year-old Tales in its entirety. Though fans of their early work will readily throw blows with later-era diehards, Amorphis have always remained interesting, be it their dark death metal classics (’92’s The Karelian Isthmus) or their turn towards more melodic fare (’06’s Eclipse).

Antigama | Grind | Poland
Album to check out: Resonance (2006)

Quirky grinders who aren’t afraid to toss jazzy dissonance/oddball riffs into the blast blender.

More: Antigama – Warning, Antigama – Stop the Chaos.

Artificial Brain | Technical death metal | USA
Album to check out: Labyrinth Constellation (2014)

Bewildering tech deathers who infuse their tumult with knotty prog and a spacey atmosphere.

More: Song debut: Artificial Brain – “Labyrinth Constellation”.

Backslider | Punk, fastcore | USA
Album to check out: Maladapted (2010)

Philly fastcore outfit that adds a touch of thrash to their Infest-y punk.

Bevar Sea | Doom, stoner metal | India
Album to check out: Bevar Sea (2012)

A reverent and fun take on bands in the vein of Saint Vitus. Could be a break-out candidate.

Bloodbath | Death metal | Sweden
Album to check out: Nightmares Made Flesh (2004)

This all-star outfit (Katatonia, Opeth, etc.) started life as straight Swede death worship (’02’s Åkerfeldt-fronted Resurrection Through Carnage), but staked out fresh ground later in their career. We should know their new singer by the time they hit the stage.

More: Bloodbath – Bloodbath over Bloodstock (DVD).

Cephalic Carnage | Grind, death metal | USA
Album to check out: Lucid Interval (2002)

The perma-stoned hyrdo-grinders have taken on many shapes and sizes, but always come back to the blast. For MDF, they’ll be playing cuts from their first three LPs.

More: Cephalic Carnage – Misled by Certainty.

Chainsaw to the Face | Powerviolence | USA
Album to check out: Chainsaw to the Face (2013)

A New Jersey powerviolence group boardering on rough-throated grind. The edge is strong, the riffs are fast.

Cianide | Death metal, death/doom | USA
Album to check out: Death, Doom and Destruction (1997)

Chicago death/doom legends, matching burly OSDM with crushing crawls.

More: Interview: Cianide.

Ciborium | Death metal | USA

MDF organizer Ryan Taylor’s old band. Had a Swarm of the Lotus connection.

Coke Bust | Hardcore, punk | USA
Album to check out: Confined (2013)

Unhinged hardcore with flying tempos and a tough-guy temperament.

More: Full album stream: Coke Bust – Confined.

Conan | Doom, stoner metal | United Kingdom
Album to check out: Blood Eagle (2014)

An ultra-heavy power trio that can gear up to old High on Fire speeds.

Devourment | Brutal death metal | USA
Album to check out: Molesting the Decapitated (1999)

Stupidly quick snare rolls, slams, and belches aplenty.

Engorged | Death metal, death/thrash | USA
Album to check out: Where Monsters Dwell (2004)

A storming, old-school romp through death metal and gory thrash. Has links to Ghoul, Impaled, Ritual Necromancy, Lord Gore, Splatterhouse, and Frightmare, among many others.

Entrails Massacre | Grind | Germany
Album to check out: Crucial Strikes with Attitude (2003)

Long-running grinders that spit a certain Scum-iness. The band of a billion splits. Needs a discography/compilation release ASAP.

Excel | Crossover, thrash, hardcore | USA
Album to check out: Split Image (1987)

One of the leading lights of the Venice, California crossover scene in the ’80s. ’89’s The Joke’s On You is also worth hearing.

Flagitious Idiosyncrasy in the Dilapidation | Grind | Japan
Album to check out: Flagitious Idiosyncrasy in the Dilapidation (2008)

Raging grind that has its share of death/grind grooves. Sits fairly close to the punkier approach of mincecore.

Full of Hell | Grind, hardcore | USA
Album to check out: Rudiments of Mutilation (2013)

Grind timbres fused to a hardcore skeleton. Just announced a collaboration with Merzbow, so that should be loud.

More: Album Stream: Full of Hell – Rudiments of Mutilation.

Ghoul | Thrash, death/thrash | USA
Album to check out: We Came for the Dead!!! (2001)

The Creepsylvanian splatter-thrashers Frankenstein death/thrash to a myriad of styles including surf. Something of a supergroup with links to Impaled, Engorged, Exhumed, and more.

Grin and Bear It | Powerviolence, hardcore | USA
Album to check out: Demo (2011)

Ruthless Ohioans building and tearing down brief punk blasts.

Homewrecker | Hardcore, grind | USA
Album to check out: Worms & Dirt (2012)

Clevo hardcore given a thorough grinding.

Inter Arma | Blackened sludge | USA
Album to check out: Sky Burial (2013)

A tough-to-categorize storm of Times of Grace rhythms and frightening sludge. Related to Bastard Sapling.

Internal Bleeding | Death metal | USA
Album to check out: Voracious Contempt (1995)

Part of the NYDM slam committee.

Inverloch | Death/doom | Australia
Album to check out: Dusk | Subside (2012)

Scheduled to play a special diSEMBOWELMENT set, whose Transcendence into the Peripheral (1993) is a foundational album in super-dense death/doom.

Iron Man | Doom | USA
Album to check out: I Have Returned (2009)

A trad doom solo fest featuring fretboard scorcher Al Morris III.

More: Stream: Iron Man – “Hail to the Haze”, Iron Man – I Have Returned.

Jex Thoth | Doom, psych | USA
Album to check out: Jex Thoth (2008)

A fuzzed-up crawl through the occult. Jex also logged time in Totem and Sabbath Assembly.

Knelt Rote | Black metal, death metal, death/grind, noise | USA
Album to check out: Insignificance (2010)

Started as ear-splitting power-electronics and then transitioned into a Portal-like din of unnerving chaos. Filthy. Includes members of Engorged.

Mantar | Punk, stoner metal | Germany
Album to check out: Death by Burning (2014)

A power duo intent on knocking out stoner-y/Melvins-y riffs by the bushel. Just don’t call them sludge.

Morpheus Descends | Death metal | USA
Album to check out: Ritual of Infinity (1992)

Overlooked NYDM responsible for an early ’90s gem of churning chugs and grooves.

Mortal Decay | Hardcore, punk | USA
Album to check out: A Gathering of Human Artifacts (1992 – 1995)

Burpy brutal death. They’d soon evolve into a more technically adept entity, but their early demos have an Impetigo-esque knack for hooks.

Obituary | Death metal | USA
Album to check out: Cause of Death (1990)

One of the iconic death metal bands. The riffs are genre keystones along with the wonderfully strangled vocals of John Tardy. Slowly We Rot (1989) is probably “the one,” but it’s hard to go wrong with their first three albums.

More: Indisputable: Top 10 Obituary Songs.

Origin | Technical death metal | USA
Album to check out: Antithesis (2008)

One of the longest running and foremost boundary-pushers of the blast n’ widdle. Features drummer extraordinaire John Longstreth.

Primitive Man | Sludge, doom | USA
Album to check out: Scorn (2013)

Brutish, knuckle-dragging sludge that piles on the subsonic oppression.

Prosanctus Inferi | Blackened death metal | USA
Album to check out: Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night (2013)

A propulsive meeting of OSDM with elder black metal evilness. Related to Father Befouled.

More: Full album stream: Prosanctus Inferi – Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night, Prosanctus Inferi – Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitation.

Razor | Speed metal, thrash | Canada
Album to check out: Evil Invaders (1985)

These Canadian rippers were so solid, simply wearing their patch in a promo pic is a measure of quality. Just now reaching the height of their influence. Violent Restitution (1988) and Shotgun Justice (1990) are also worth your time.

Spazztic Blurr | Crossover | USA
Album to check out: Before…and After (1988)

Cult crossover act that bordered on grind. Lovably weird. Left behind one of the great band pics. Related to Wehrmacht. Reformed this year.

Thantifaxath | Black metal | Canada
Album to check out: Sacred White Noise (2014)

Mysterious trio of atmospheric-rich black metal that has an off-kilter approach.

More: Premiere: Thantifaxath – “Where I End & the Hemlock Begins”.

Triac | Hardcore, punk | USA
Album to check out: In The Blue Room (2008)

Noisy grind with an unleashed punk fervor.

Vattnet Viskar | Black metal, doom | USA
Album to check out: Sky Swallower (2013)

Black metal that carries a doom-ish heft and has pockets of pretty melancholy.

More: IO Exclusive Track Stream: Vattnet Viskar’s “Barren Earth”.

YOB | Doom | USA
Album to check out: The Unreal Never Lived (2005)

Mike Scheidt and company are still on an incredible run — including a tiny break for Middian in the middle — of doom destruction matched by the dualism of third-eye-openings.

More: Debut: YOB – “Aeons” (remaster), Invisible Oranges TV #2: YOB, YOB – Atma.

Thursday, May 21st @ Rams Head Live:
Bevar Sea
Iron Man
Jex Thoth
Primitive Man

Thursday, May 21st @ Ottobar:
Internal Bleeding
Mortal Decay

Friday – Sunday @ Edison Lot:
Anaal Nathrakh
Aura Noir
Artificial Brain
Inverloch (playing a diSEMBOWELMENT set)
Lock Up
Metal Church
Morpheus Descends
Prosanctus Inferi
Serpentine Path
Twilight of the Gods

Friday – Sunday @ Rams Head Live:
Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult
Dragged into Sunlight
Impetuous Ritual
Knelt Rote
Vattnet Viskar

Friday – Sunday @ Soundstage:
Agoraphobic Nosebleed
Cephalic Carnage
Chainsaw to the Face
Coke Bust
Early Graves
Entrails Massacre
Full of Hell
Grin and Bear it
Inter Arma
Mother Brain
Napalm Death
Spazztic Blurr
Suffering Mind
Water Torture

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