Doom maulers Nightfucker dig up psychological and societal pressures on self-titled debut

The mind is a bizarre thing that is practically impossible to figure out. People go to school for years and years to try to understand that psyche, analyze it, and hope to one day be able to solve people’s problems. And it’s sure to be a field where the jobs never will dry up, because people always are going to struggle, and someone has to be there to try to put the pieces together.

I say all of this in anticipation of the debut self-titled record from Nightfucker, a death-doom trio that’s been together as a unit for nearly a decade but are just now getting to us with this first full-length. No attempt to shame there, as these things take time, especially the brutality that’s slathered over these monstrous four tracks that gurgle, bleed, and spill pus all over this already sticky record. Oh, that mental illness bit I was on about at the start? The record’s themes actually aren’t vile and gross and instead visit the terrain of abuse, suicide, delusions, self-harm, and the deterioration of the human state, so there’s some pretty heavy stuff going on here besides just the music. The band—bassist/vocalist Adam, guitarist Dominic Finbow (late of UK doom maulers Moss), and drummer Nick—put your senses to the test on this record that reminds of the ills of life and society we face every day.

“Temptation’s Curse” has noise dropping like a curtain, with gnarly growls rupturing peace, and a menacing, mean tempo hulking toward you. The playing is slow and violent, moving glacially across the land, scraping up earth and bones underneath it, as the sounds stretch and eventually begin to boil. The track rumbles and defaces, with horrifying growls strangling, and the music smearing soot as the misery comes to an end. “Worthless Spirit” has thick basslines, a bleeding orifice in its center, and animalistic growls doing damage. The riffs slice wedges while the song begins to thrash wildly, as guttural doom oozes to the surface, burnt to a crisp by the guitar work that emerges. Growls agitate, the noise hovers like a ghoul, and then things just suddenly end.

“Addiction Sentence” opens in the midst of a noise pit as the doom floor drops and manages to sink even deeper into the earth’s crust. The playing creates a slimy film amid the feeling of utter defeat and hopelessness, while nasty wails and morbid growls set the pathway, as a wall of noise seems to grow nearly too high to overcome. Screams punish the psyche while the band mauls until the lights are turned out. “Death Beset” closes the album, bringing about a fog that’s too massive to navigate. The playing bashes away, while the vocals cut into the bone. The power emitted is utterly brutal, as cries stain with blood, feedback peels back already raw flesh, and the approach is flooding with menace. The final minute sounds like machinery and social structures crumbling as noise pierces seeping wounds, bringing the record to its horrible resting place.

Perhaps there will come a day when a record such as Nightfucker’s debut will seem like relic from a different time thematically, meaning that our mental health issues finally will be addressed, and the state of our society will stop crumbling. But that’s a pipe dream, and records such as these will continue to be relevant and haunting. This album brings pain musically and philosophically, and if that’s too much for you to handle, chances are, the band itself will understand.

For more on the band, go here: http://sentientruin.com/nightfucker

To buy the album (U.S.), go here: http://sentientruin.com/releases/nightfucker-nightfucker

Or here (Europe): https://ropeorguillotine.limitedrun.com/

For more on the label, go here: http://sentientruin.com/

And here: https://www.facebook.com/ropeorguillotine/

PICK OF THE WEEK: FALSE further solidify union, unleash chaotic assault on devastating ‘Portent’

Bands, for the most part, are just that—groups of people who create music together, sometimes have interchangeable parts, and sometimes they don’t even like each other. Then there are those rare times when the people in the band are more like a family who depend on each other, give each other shelter, and are each other’s support systems. FALSE definitely fall into that category.

During their nearly decade together, this Minnesota-based black metal unit—vocalist Rachel, guitarists Jimmy and Skorpiain, bassist Niko, keyboard player Kishel, and drummer Travis—have defied convention in numerous ways. Most of that comes in the way they flick spit at the ideas of what black metal is supposed to be and some of the inherent shittiness that stains that scene. But they also push back against a band just being a group of people who record music and tour together by carving out a family situation where these six people are FALSE, and no one else can just walk into the situation. As their path has carved through a debut EP, an untitled full-length, and other adventures, they’ve rounded into their stunning second LP “Portent,” an album that not only further solidifies their fiery passion and thunderous domination, but it further gels this group into a union that cannot be infiltrated or destroyed. The fact the band has suffered through tragedy and loss together the past few years only galvanized that situation, and the way in which they slither through these songs and savage the senses is stunning and earth toppling.

“A Victual to Our Dead Selves” begins the record with a haze settling, creating a sound well, and a tension you just know is about to burst. That it does as the song begins to clobber, albeit with an atmospheric glow, as Rachel’s snarls begin to bite as she wails, “Have you ever felt the pain of possession, of self-worthless obsession? Of your heart being siphoned through the mouth of Beleth at his best, white horse and trumpets blaring and all?” The pace is storming and daring as guitars speed and topple earth, the playing pulsates, and drums crash down, inviting a fog to emerge and envelop everything. Gruff barks mix with phantasmal keys, as Rachel howls, “The warmth of your particulate fills me up like a beggar’s cup, you are me, and I am you.” The song reaches a tailspin of devastation, as the senses are scraped raw, the beasts twists and turns, and intensity surges before a fiery end.

“Rime on the Song of Returning” tears open as harshness spreads and Rachel’s vocals rip through a chasm of mystical chaos. Guitars soar and surge, as Rachel snarls, “Your ego dripping around my thighs, send the darkness, eyes smelling the wooded path, hands slipping in and out, feet boiling with blisters in the rain, if only the rain would wash away your sin, you are sin.” Synth melody emerges and embraces the shadows while the drums begin an assault, and everything else goes for broke. A doomy cavern is achieved, letting blood seep slowly as the vocals tear hearts apart, the pace ignites, and a path into umbra leads to the world igniting, punching its way out from the unknown. “The Serpent Sting, the Smell of Goat” slowly reveals itself, as the music uncurls, letting proggy beams into the room as the music begins to boil. Rachel calls, “We were told that the walls of the temple were a vessel born from god, to lift us from underneath the crushing wheel of life, death, and rebirth, no god shapes us,” as guitars go on an exciting run, ferocity spreads, and the scathing violence extends its reach. Guitars crush through the crust, chugging hard, with synth mixing in, and the vocals leaving welts. The track continues to spill, exploding and shape shifting, with glorious playing splashing light on everyone’s faces, as a final burst of calm bleeds out. “Postlude” is the conclusion, a brief tale-ending instrumental that has dark keys lurking, with gothy, transcendental ghosts leading you toward gates about to close.

FALSE never have been a typical band, and their music and camaraderie largely are unmatched anywhere else in metal. “Portent” is the next massive step in their journey together, one that doesn’t give a single consideration for rules, templates, or scene politics and instead stands on its own, defiantly. This is black metal that is a free, mangling spirit, and it’s delivered by six people who have suffered, hurt, and grown stronger together, and that’s a bond that would take all of hell to ever burn apart.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/falseofficial/

To buy the album or more on the label, go here: https://gileadmedia.net/

Torche remain thunderous as ever, continue to mix pop, sludge with psyche-breaking ‘Admission’

Photo by Dan Almasy

It’s probably easy to sit back and rest once you have a body of work that is celebrated and accomplished. I wouldn’t know anything about that. But others don’t know the meaning of the idea of taking it easy and simmering in past success, therefore every new step forward is exciting and explosive.

Torche have kept up their infectious thunder pop since 2004, and each time they come back with a new record, it’s always something toward which we always look forward. Same goes for “Admission,” the band’s fifth full-length record and first since 2015’s “Restarter,” and if you’ve been along for the ride with this band for any duration of their run, you likely know you’re in for some comfort territory but also some surprises. This 11-track, 36-minute album is a fun one, but it also packs plenty of explosives, some of the gnarliest material of their run together. The band—vocalist/guitarist Steve Brooks, guitarist Jon Nunez, bassist Andres Ascanio, and drummer Rick Smith—still sounds hungry, as they rip through these songs, leaving your head spinning at times, your heart gushing blood at others as they go for broke with these killers.

Things get off to a fast start with “From Here” that runs by in less than two minutes, coming in burly and heavy, with Brooks wondering, “Where am I to go up from here?” as the melodic sludge carries out. “Submission” punches in with deeper, grittier vocals, riffs spiraling off, and Brooks calls of, “You’re alive,” sending more drubbing down your spine. “Slide” has muddy guitars and a cool, muscular riff with melodies splashing down amid punishment that keeps adding bruising until the song kicks out. “What Was” is fast and punk-fed, a melodic gust that tears through the song and keeps you spinning from one end to the other, leading into “Times Missing” that tramples the earth and everything in front of it. The track has a numbing pace while the vocals float in the air, and then the soloing comes in and burns things down. The track keeps landing blows, releasing a gazey cloud and hanging around until the final deluge comes to an end.

The title track is one hell of a revelatory song, feeling like poppy ’90s shoegaze, wrapped in a helium bow. The track is cracking with emotion, and the catchiness is impossible to shake maybe ever. This is one of Torche’s best songs to date, and don’t be caught off guard by the doomy underbelly. “Reminder” has start-stop riffing, with Brooks wailing, “Cold winds blow me over.” Guitar shine picks up at the end, with the track bleeding out. “Extremes of Consciousness” has riffs driving and the singing boiling, with an infusion of air sent in for good atmospheric measure. Then come two bludgeoning hammers in a row, first with “On the Wire,” a doomy, concrete thick song that is as heavy as anything in their arsenal. “Sit still on the wire,” Brooks howls amid echoing sludge that overwhelms. “Infierno” might be even nastier as guttural filth and clubbing thrashing take over, with Brooks admitting, “I can’t take the heat.” The guitars are buzz saws and sparks fly, leaving everything to burn to the ground. Closer “Changes Come” brings light back as psychedelic crunching emerges, with Brooks noting he’s “flying high but feeling changes coming on.” Noise starts to swallow the body before a glimmering burst pushes through and only then letting everything submit to corrosion.

Torche don’t appear to know the meaning of slowing down, and even after 15 years together, they still have plenty of surprises up their sleeves, which they deliver in spades on “Admission.” This is a record that took a little time to sink in its teeth, but once it did, the songs started to feel as familiar as the tracks that have played repeatedly in my headphones and on my speakers for years. This is a solid piece of work that will keep you guessing from beginning to end, always paying off your intrigue.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/torcheofficial

To buy the album, go here: https://store.relapse.com/b/torche

For more on the label, go here: https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords

Under a Full Moon push back against capitalist society on savagely crushing ‘Our Riches’

Doom metal always has and always should dwell in the darkest elements of society, the things that make us wonder why life has to be such a burden sometimes, often impossible to navigate. Much of what you hear in this style also dines on death and the idea of the end, as the suffering and pain  becomes overwhelming and almost too much to take.

Multi-international funeral doom band Under a Full Moon also bring to the table the feeling of hopelessness and despair, but what’s on their seventh (SEVENTH! In two years!) album “Our Riches” swings things a little differently than a lot of records of this ilk. Here, they focus on the grips of capitalism and devastation it can bring to the lives of people who are not in the upper echelon of society. It’s a struggle so many of us know, even those who aren’t exactly dealing with poverty. It can become a lot to bear sometimes, and often we have no control over the situation because someone above us is pulling the strings. On this eight track, nearly 70-minute record, you get a heaping dose of the pain and suffering the duo—EB (vocals, guitars, drums, bass) and GS (keyboards)—examines on this devastating record that’ll challenge your will and push you to experience their discomfort.

“A Thought That Became a Dream” is the 9:47-long opener that emerges from a strange, spacey ambiance as guitars chug awake and doom drapes fall. Ghostly growls lurch, while the tempo drubs, noises vibrate, and the track feels like it floats in pools of light. Growls return, the ugliness wells, and the track goes out with electronic sting and ache. “A Newfound Hope” pokes through a dark fog, landing blows and bringing blood to the surface. Growls bubble while the playing lurches, and a patch of clean playing is swallowed by heaviness and infernal growls from the depths. The music then spins hypnotically, winds bristle, and the track ends in sizzling sound. “The Coming Morrow” is slow-driving punishment, situated in anguish, while the growls destroy, and the track slurs dangerously. Calculated chaos spreads as the bottom drops the fuck out, and menacing growls blacken eyes. “Soil” runs a generous 11:59 and opens in a sound swirl, with the world spinning out of control. You’re then encircled by massive crushing as the synth floats like a stationary black storm, offering a shadowy texture to the bludgeoning. The track chews over and over as the pace crunches, streaks of beauty fade, and the track comes to a cavernous end.

“Gazing Into the Abysmal Darkness” is a slow melter, hulking along and flexing muscles as growls smother, and the violent pace brings scarring. The growls gurgles blood while everything around it is absolutely quaking, with the guitars burning through surfaces as everything comes to its end. “Cesspool of Sorrow and Pain” is the baby of the group, clocking in at 5:22 and starting with synth strings and dark guitars. The heaviness emerges and begins to flatten the senses, while the growls are buried in layers of filth, with the drums just going off. The playing powders bones, while fierce growls strike, and a hole is burned in the song’s center. “My Final Strife” has keys blazing, heavy breathing, and the song opening into a humid pit. The misery rains down steadily, as funereal keys set an impossibly bleak ambiance, leaving space for the grinding growling. Things begin to slowly fade, while the final strikes do damage before dissipating. “My Last Tide” ends the album, and at a mammoth 15:21, it is the record’s longest chapter. Keys drip and simmer while a sound bed crumbles, setting up a long introduction that finally is pierced with screams about five minutes in. There, the doom thunder rumbles, picking up the pace and barreling into hell. The words sound pained and warped, slithering through before a brief halt, picked up on the other side by a synth haze. Bells ring, adding to the haunting emotions, while the track lies there bleeding, refusing death until it drains its last drop.

Not all struggles can be overcome, and it’s very possible we’ll never be loosened from the grips of capitalism in any of our lifetimes. Under a Full Moon have a sobering reminder of this situation on “Our Riches,” a record that keeps adding the mental pressure we all feel. We’ve all sustained punishment, we’ve all lost, and sometimes the only way to cope is to immerse ourselves in the darkness so maybe we can understand it a little better.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/uafmbm/

To buy the album, go here: https://tridroid.bandcamp.com/album/our-riches

For more on the label, go here: http://www.facebook.com/tridroidrecords

Abbath continues to inject icy chaos into black metal, shows expanded colors on ‘Outstrider’

Photo by Francisco Munoz

Being a follower of any type of music means you have to remain fluid for changes, because they often come fast and furiously, and they don’t consider people’s feelings. When Abbath left Immortal, it felt like one of those seismic shifts that would leave both sides forever scarred and never the same again. How wrong those premonitions ended up being.

Last year, Immortal released “Northern Chaos Gods,” a record that’s still buzzing in our heads and holds its own with any selection in their catalog, and now Abbath comes swooping back with a killer second record “Outstrider” that manages to one-up his own band’s excellent 2016 self-titled debut. You pretty much know what to expect from Abbath, yet there’s so much more going on with this nine-track album that utterly stomps the ground and shakes the earth to its core. Abbath has a mostly reconfigured lineup along with him this time as joining him are lead guitarist Ole Andre Farstad, bassist Mia Wallace, and drummer Ukri Suvilehto, who provide a really solid foundation for the buzzing vocals and frosty black metal DNA. But the music also extends beyond black metal and opens up all kind of colors and opportunities, which helps make this such as fun, fiery record.

“Calm in the Ire (of Hurricane)” kicks off the record feeling like you’re literally in the midst of the storm with winds whipping, riffs speeding, and Abbath’s trademark snarl front and center. The tempo is punchy and chugging, while strong soloing scorches skin, and the track ends suddenly. “Bridge of Spasms” has powerful guitar work that drives hard, Abbath’s vocal buzzing in his throat, and some warped guitar work. The playing smears soot, while Abbath’s vocals are spat out, and the drums open a final assault, bringing the song to an abrupt end. “The Artifex” has drums pounding away, leading to the song tearing open and the vocals going for the throat. Great guitar work floods the scene and spirals away, while the back end of the song goes for speed and knocks you for a loop. “Harvest Pyre” trucks through the gates, with the vocals lacerating, and pure hell being generated. The chorus is simple, with Abbath howling, “Harvest pyre!” that should be easy enough to call back live, and the guitars light the way to the smashing finish.

“Land of Khem” has guitars dripping before the full deluge strikes, and gruffer vocals make their way in and leave bruises. The guitars soar into the sky, as gurgly vocals and mystical playing combine to shake up minds, while the song bleeds out into chaos. The title cut has a clean opening before things pound aggressively, and melody mixes in to add textures. The chorus is growl sung, while the playing sends shockwaves before clean guitars return and send the song out. “Scythewinder” is fast, with riffs coming at you at shocking intensity, furious vocals well up, and the track overwhelms. Abbath’s throaty “woah” feels like a guttural command forward, while the riffs leave devastation in their wake. “Hecate” has a weird start, sending echoes, before the track leans into a spirited assault that destroys. Abbath’s creaky growls scrape while the tempo leaves welts on flesh, and a dreamy guitar section emerges before the song ends with guitars wailing out. Up last is the band’s smoking cover of Bathory’s “Pace Till Death” from their “Blood Fire Death” album. As expected, the band gives it a sooty, savage makeover that’s full of piss and venom, the perfect way to end this fire-breathing album.

Abbath’s mission to prove himself and demonstrate just how much left he had in the tank gets another punishing boost with “Outstrider,” a record that’ll give you chills even in the midst of a hot summer. With a firm lineup in tow and with Abbath’s voice sounding deadlier than ever, this band should give everyone a run for their money as it hits the road. These songs are some of the nastiest of Abbath’s run, which is in no danger of ever ending.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/abbathband

To buy the album, go here: https://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/

Or here (International): https://shop.season-of-mist.com/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.season-of-mist.com/

PICK OF THE WEEK: Immortal Bird unleash anger, resentment into tumultuous ‘Thrive on Neglect’

Photo by Andrew Rothmund

It’s rare when anger in music is nearly palpable, like you can feel the emotion, the pain, the hurt, and the fire. Even without understanding what went into said music and what colored the words with blood, you feel like you experienced a piece of it, simply through the power of the expression. It’s hard to shake, and it gives the music more depth than your garden-variety rage.

It took one visit with Immortal Bird’s rampaging new record “Thrive on Neglect” to at least partially understand the gut-wrenching resentment that informs these seven songs. The band never has been one to simply coast by on their heaviness, as there always has been a lot to parse through when it comes to the lyrics. This record however, their second full-length, requires you to sit with the words, not because they can’t be understood (the enunciation is rock solid) but because the total picture becomes clearer, and the piss and venom turn richer. Vocalist Rae Amitay already was one of metal’s more evocative lyricists, but this time around, her daggers are fully showing, and they are doused with blood. Along with her are guitarist Nate Madden, bassist John Picillo, and drummer Matt Korajczyk, the same unit that’s been touring together for several years now on their first collaborative album together. That cohesiveness is apparent, as the band sounds deadlier than ever.

“Anger Breeds Contempt” kicks off the record and drills you intensely, with the bass thickening, and Amitay’s vocals scraping old wounds. “I, I am, I am not, lost, I am, not a lost, cause,” she phrases deliberately and ferociously. Guitars stream clean for a stretch, even getting jazzy, before the blows land again, the power bursts, and Amitay wails, “It was you who made me feel dull, I can’t forgive that, I can’t forgive you,” as the ending goes for the throat. “House of Anhedonia” begins with Amitay declaring, “We are cursed!” before guitars loop around and bring disorientation, the band pushes back with gale force, and the drums splatter the senses. Atmosphere situates behind the song before we’re back to bludgeoning force, then a slow-driving push, then a speedy burst into hell. “Vestigial Warnings” has the drums killing, guitars sweeping, and dizziness rising amid disorienting growls. “Centipede crawl to the shadows, lose all your legs and learn the processes,” Amitay howls as the music grows tornadic, tossing around debris, while the track chugs and slips into sludgy stepping. The bass drives the front end, noise settles, and the drums beats everything into oblivion.

“Avolition” is a firestarter that gets off to a calculated start before it begins tearing down walls. The playing is both sinewy and jerky, with Amitay snarling, “Sting me into silence, I need this to end at any cost.” Riffs pile on as the intensity builds, with the vocals absolutely crushing bodies, the music cutting you down, as Amitay calling, “You will assume I let you go, but I jumped right after you fell.” “Solace in Dead Structures”  is numbing, with the music sprawling before the guitars begin to cut tunnels. Gritty vocals slice through, as the track opens up and punishes, the playing mashes, and driving hell burns into ash. “Quisquilian Company” has guitars melting down, growls crushing, and black metal-style melodies riding on top of the rough waves. “I can replace you will a lesser evil I’ll choose to abandon,” Amitay growls, following up with, “When you are alone, you can learn something, but I know you won’t,” as clean guitars take over and the track vibrates out. “Stumbling Toward Catharsis” finishes the album by fading in before the savagery erupts and mixes with ethereal dreams. The track begins to thrash you alive, with Amitay admitting, “I saw my years without you as ruined hollow shells,” before the track kicks speed into high gear. The playing gets impossibly heavy, destroying what’s in front of it, as Amitay jolts, “There is only so much I can take, there is only so much left to say, maybe nothing is a waste, or it all is,” as the track ends violently, abruptly.

Immortal Bird’s ascent to “Thrive on Neglect” came from years of being road warriors, experiencing pains and triumphs, and cutting their teeth on steel as they adhered to their wishes alone. This band has grown from one that showed promise of being one of metal’s sharpest voices to fully achieving that on their smothering second album. This is a record that proves not only have Immortal Bird taken a prime spot on the battlefield, they’re already standing there with swords tested, shields dented by shots reflected and defeated.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/immortalbirdband

To buy the album, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/immortalbird

For more on the label, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/

Metal Immortal Festival makes debut in Pittsburgh with strong evening of classic heavy metal

Pittsburgh has had a lot of luck recently when it comes to riches of metal shows, especially festivals. Last year alone we have Migration Fest and the second annual Descendants of Crom, and this year we have three big metal-friendly fests that are all spaced out in enough time to hit them all. Saturday will be the first ever Metal Immortal Festival, a day-long event at Mr. Smalls that serves true, classic metal.

Pittsburgh’s own Lady Beast are at the heart of this event, and if you follow their powerhouse singer Deborah Levine on social media, you know she’s been working hard to gear up for this show that starts at 5 pm., with doors opening an hour earlier. Anyone who was at Migration known Smalls is the ideal space for an event such as this one, and with two stages and only 10 minutes between sets, this thing will be furiously moving, serving up metal from bands hailing from the U.S. and Canada who are all here to pay homage to classic metal. There won’t be much sub-genre hopping, but that’s not a negative at all. This will be a time to celebrate the riffs, thrashing your head, and getting lost in a sound that used to just be heavy metal before all the sound splintering. It’s an awesome lineup, it’s not an expensive ticket at all, so let’s look at each band you’ll get to see Saturday night.

FUNHOUSE STAGE

Outline

OUTLINE (5-5:25): Cleveland-based speed metal duo Outline released their debut record “Fire Whiplash” last year, a 22-minute mauler that celebrates everything purely metal and devilishly evil. The duo of vocalist/guitarist Tanza Speed and multi-instrumentalist J. Hammer should be a rousing, filthy way to get the fest kicked off.

For more on the band go here: https://www.facebook.com/outlinemetal/

Legendry

LEGENDRY (6:15-6:45): Pittsburgh-borne epic heavy metal band Lengendry find themselves recording for the esteemed High Roller Records, and they have two records—2016’s “Mists of Time” and 2017’s “Dungeon Crawler” under their belts. Expect heavy fantasy elements and straight-up homage to Conan the Barbarian, which is bound to go over well with any metal audience.

For more on the band go here: https://www.facebook.com/legendryband/

Fatal Curse (Photo by fursy.photos)

FATAL CURSE (7:40-8:20): New York heavy metal squad Fatal Curse just released their debut record “Breaking the Trance” in April on the well-respected Shadow Kingdom Records, and their fiery, fun sound will leave people with blackened eyes. Their sound is riff heavy with vocals that sound like they were drawn up in 1982, which might not seem like a compliment, but it totally is.

For more on the band go here: https://www.facebook.com/Fatalcurse/

IRONFLAME (9:15-9:45): Right down south of Pittsburgh in Martins Ferry, Ohio, comes Funhouse Stage headliner Ironflame, whose striking power metal has given us two albums—2017’s “Lightning Strikes the Crown” and 2018’s “Takes of Splendor and Sorrow.” Andrew D’Cagna (Nechochwen, Icarus Witch) is the brains behind this whole thing that stomps around like it’s trying to wrest the crown from Queensryche, Manilla Road, and Maiden. This should rule.

For more on the band go here: https://www.facebook.com/IronflameUSA/

CHAPEL STAGE

Lady Beast

LADY BEAST (5:35-6:05): Lady Beast claimed two major accomplishments the past few years. First, they signed with Cruz del Sur, who released their awesome 2017 record (their third overall) “Vicious Breed.” And they were featured on Anthony Bourdain’s episode of “Parts Unknown” about Pittsburgh. They’re also a powerhouse traditional metal force led by the enigmatic Levine, whose stage presence could connect with people in the back of a stadium.

For more on the band go here: https://www.facebook.com/ladybeastofficial/

Destructor

DESTRUCTOR (6:55-7:30): Long-running power/thrash band Destructor was a nice get for this show, and they bring more than 35 years’ experience along with them. Ever since their 1985 debut “Maximum Destruction” they’ve gone through periods of hiatus and member changes (vocalist/guitarist Dave Overkill and drummer Matt Flammable remain from the early days), and since 2007, they’re offered up three more records, their latest being 2017’s “Decibel Casualties.”

For more on the band go here: https://www.facebook.com/DestructorMetal

Savage Master (Photo by Rachel Autumn Deering)

SAVAGE MASTER (8:30-9:05): Kentucky’s Savage Master combines whips, chains, leather, and spiked collar-wrapped heavy metal that’s punishing and fun as fuck. Over the course of two full-lengths “Mask of the Devil” and “With Whips and Chains,” the band has stuffed their records with devilish fury and a display that’ll make you think you’re strapped to a Medieval torture device. Also, singer Stacey Savage is an utter force to behold, and if you don’t bow to her wishes, she’ll bloody for face.

For more on the band go here: https://www.facebook.com/savagemasterofficial/

Night Demon

NIGHT DEMON (9:50-10:30): California’s Night Demon opened a lot of eyes with their Century Media/Steamhammer-released debut record “Curse of the Damned,” one of the best metal records in any sub-genre in 2015. They offered their second effort “Darkness Remains” two years later, proving their ridiculously heavy traditional metal not only is utterly solid but also made for a larger stage. If only they’d been born 30 years sooner. Nonetheless, we have them now, and their music should sound ideal on the larger Chapel Stage as they capture the night.

For more on the band go here: https://www.facebook.com/nightdemonband

Razor

RAZOR (10:45-CLOSE): Legendary Canadian speed thrashers Razor finish off the fest with music from their more than 35-year-old career, one that spawned eight albums, though their last one was 1997’s “Decibels,” which was released by Chaotic Records. Having recorded for labels such as Viper and Steamhammer, with their music later released by labels such as Roadracer and Relapse, Razor is a band that brings chaos, devastation, and muscular riffs, and they’ve been long respected and worshipped by musicians who played along with them and followed them for an awfully good reason.

For more on the band go here: https://razorband.bandcamp.com/

Along with all of this, there will be a generous slew of vendors that’ll be there to help you get your fill of records and other good shit, and the folks from George Romero’s film school will be there shooting a documentary about the event and metal fans in general. So, if someone asks you what you think of anything but metal, make sure you answer that it belongs “on fucking Mars, man.”

For more on the event, go here: https://www.facebook.com/events/mr-smalls-theatre/metal-immortal-festival/1422126664589493/

For tickets to the event, go here: https://mrsmalls.com/events/metal-immortal-festival/