Ah yes, the Milwaukee Metalfest. Some good things do happen in Wisconsin, USA that makes us famous. Well, other then the cheese, milk and various other dairy products that seems to come forth from the area. So, after a few years of thinking about it, I finally decided to go to the Milwaukee Metalfest XVIII. Sadly, I had missed the past years which saw bands such as Emperor and Exhumed gracing the stage, but the line up this year didn¡¦t seem that bad. Some of the bigger bands to play this year were Macabre, Cattle Decapitation, Deeds of Flesh, Goat Whore, Black Dahlia Murder, Death Angel, Cephalic Carnage, The Misfits, and a few others. So, it may not have been the greatest Metalfest line up, but it was good none-the-less.
Ah, so the first day. I must admit, I was in a pretty shitty mood due to events that had happened a few days prior, so I was not in entirely the best of moods. Showed up a bit late, but as with so many metal shows it seems, it started late too. The fest is unfortunately full of a lot of ¡§Pay to Play¡¨ bands, so anyone with the money is allowed to play¡Kwhich isn¡¦t always good. So, things started off for me with Dark Grave (or Soul Demise¡Kdidn¡¦t catch the name and with times being screwed up, the schedule was off), a decent black metal band who even did a tribute to Quorthon and Bathory, which was nice. I could tell they were heavily influenced by Bathory, which isn¡¦t a bad thing. One thing I did notice from the beginning: the sound. I had always heard horror stories about the sound being so bad at Metalfest, yet it was pretty good. Everything was clear and you could make out all the instruments and vocals. After a few more 20 minute sets that the bands are allowed, I ran into my first big disappointment ¼ Gorgasm was not playing. So, I was forced to sit through the crappy Drag Foot band, skip over Bar Whore *horrible band* and return to see Malice 420 in a pissy mood. This was a good thing, because Malice 420 was grindcore º I like grindcore¡Kand it is good to hear while you are pissed off.
After thrashing about a bit for Malice 420, I headed to see Dark Shift. I had learned of these guys a while back through a little flyer they had handed out at an Iced Earth show. Finally I had gotten to see them live at the 2nd stage outside. Now, if you like Iced Earth or music similar, you should definitely check out these guys! (http://www.insaneguitar.com/DarkShift/) They were great! They were very good with the crowd as well and people flocked into see them. They were quite the fan favorite, as well as one of mine. I really look forward to seeing them again and what else they are capable of.
From Dark Shift, I returned to the main stage to sit through a few other un-notable bands. Electrickchair made me laugh because the drummer was such a small girl. She seemed like she was only 10. A little out of place I thought. Without End was an EXTREMELY good old skool thrash band. They were very catchy with songs ¡§Lords of Defiance¡¨ and ¡§From Afar¡¨ being my favorites. I will have to look for more on these guys too. Too bad Chain Snap, the following band nearly made me vomit. A few laughs came after they finished when the crowd yelled at the singer to ¡§go back to Hot Topic¡¨ and that ¡§Stained sucked.¡¨ He was wearing these stupid ass bondage pants that just screamed ¡§I am a trendy bitch.¡¨
Oh, and then was Onus. I like these folks º Not only because I know them personally, but their music is very good. It is a melodic death metal¡Kbut don¡¦t think of In Flames or bands with the Gothenburg sound. Think death metal that is melodic. They played an excellent show as always with ¡§And Then My Friend You Die¡¨ ¡§The House¡¨ and ¡§The Individual.¡¨ Adam, guitarist and vocalist is truly a pleasure to see on stage. He is a BIG guy, and I mean BIG! But, you wouldn¡¦t be able to tell the way he moves and jumps about. The guy loves it up there and is sure to show it each time. (www.evilonus.com)
After Onus, a Children of Bodom inspired Skeleton Witch played, and then came a nice surprise from Fallen Hollow¡Kwell, at least for one song. They started off with a very energetic black metalish opener in which a guitarist played an electric violin¡Konly he played it like mad and with the speed that a guitar player might use in grindcore. After that song though, it sadly became mediocre at best.
Fucking Cattle Decapitation! Prepare to be decapitated! m/
YESSSSSSS......then it got REALLY good! CATTLE DECAPITATION! (www.cattledecapitation.com ) I make no effort to hide the fact I am biased and love grindcore¡Kspecially the lovely gore grind. And Cattle Decapitation is one of the best at it. Shouts of ¡§Decapitate me!¡¨ and ¡§Are you ready to get decapitated?!¡¨ were shouted out by me and several others as the crowd thickened. Live shows are a place where grindcore bands really shine I must say. They are probably the most energetic shows ever. The pits are nice, people are head-banging, and the music is fast, aggressive, violent and loud: just what I was looking for to get my mind off things. Not only that¡Kbut the bands themselves are insane. Every member was running about like mad, thrashing and waving guitars about, never standing still for a single moment. They started with ¡§Reduced to Paste,¡¨ a new song from the Humanure album. It fucking tore the place up. Truly the crowd was ready to get decapitated. Vokillist Travis Ryan is psychotic as well. Recently broken hand and all, his tongue and face are often distorted in odd ways as he spews forth his insane voice. On they went through a great set including songs ¡§Diarrhea of the Mouth¡¨ ¡§Polyps¡¨ and ¡§Lips & Assholes.¡¨ They are amazing¡Kgreat¡Kumm¡Kjust¡K wow. Only to make it better, I got to chat with Travis afterwards for a while too¡K
¡Kbut I of course made it back for Mortal Decay¡¦s set. Unfortunately they didn¡¦t get to play a full set, because someone decided to not heed the ¡§No smoking¡¨ policy and¡Kwell¡Kstart the building a bit on fire. So, after some pissing and moaning when the sound went out during their ok set *not the biggest fan of them, but wanted to see them live to get an idea* a police officer came on stage and told us the situation and had everyone evacuate¡Knot after giving high fives to the band on our way out first. º But, the fire was put out by the nice Milwaukee fire department while we metal heads chatted with the police and told them we could all collectively piss the fire out. So, back in we went to watch death metallers, Deeds of Flesh, take the stage. They were good¡Kbut much better the last time I saw them. Plus¡Kafter Cattle Decapitation¡Kthey were unimpressive by just standing their and playing. Nothing neat to watch.
For a nice change of pace, some black metal came next in the form of Goatwhore. This band has always been on my mind, but I have never gotten around to listening too intently to their music yet. After seeing them perform their ¡§bastardized black metal¡¨ *US black metal: P* I surely will get to checking them out finally. Very good indeed to see them on stage, complete with the spikes, bullet belts, and ¡§evil¡¨ gear associated with black metal. No corpse paint though
The Black Dahlia Murder didn¡¦t stand around when they played. º These newbies to the death metal world are fricken great at what they do. After a couple songs though¡Kthe really tore into the promoter and the Milwaukee Metalfest in general and how it was shit the bands had to play. They told everyone we and the bands were getting fucked over by the promoter Jack Koshick and that we should start our own fest to put the asshole out of business¡Kwhich sounds fine too me º And then, with a big ¡§Fuck you Jack!¡¨ from the band and the crowd, back into the set they went. Very entertaining and nice to hear them praise Death Angel and say they deserved better then the Milwaukee Metalfest as legends. And they sang about zombies º I like that. I even caught a drumstick from the band and got the nice fellows to sign it!
And now¡Kthe main act: Death Angel. For those who don¡¦t know, this legendary thrash metal band hasn¡¦t been in the state of Wisconsin for over 14 long years¡Ktoo long. I am very pleased that I was able to see them! They were beyond amazing! I chuckled a little at first because of how short they seem, but as soon as they started off, the place was ablaze. They talked of how good it was to be back, about metal brotherhood, about surviving a fire with us¡Kand the crowd ate it up. Why did thrash like this ever die out before?! They played from all of their albums, including tracks such as ¡§Evil Priest¡¨ ¡§Mistress of Pain¡¨ and ¡§Disturbing the Peace¡¨ as well as many more. They played much longer then they were supposed to, up until past 2 am where they finally had to cut the sound on the band! In the middle of a song! It was unfair, so of course, the crowd chanted ¡§bull-shit, bull-shit¡¨ for a while until we and the band realized they wouldn¡¦t turn the sound back on ¼ I did get a Death Angel guitar pic out of all of it, as well as a chance to be up close and personal with a truly legendary band.