How to navigate the sheer number of festivals now available for the metal fan? With the aim of helping you sort through this vast variety, we’ve compiled the following primer. It’s by no means extensive; it’s simply impossible to write about all of the festivals we would have liked to mention. We focused on those we’ll be attending and on those who have the most attractive setlists in our eyes. That being said, do feel free to share more great festivals with us in the comments and please enjoy this, our selection of festivals for 2017.
Up until now, seeing the Twelve Step Suite live was a distant dream; even when Portnoy was still in Dream Theater, chances of this being played from start to finish were slim for a variety of reasons. However, it seems that, like in all good myths, in death lies rebirth; Portnoy has thus far confirmed a series of performances of the Suite, in festivals around the world. One of those festivals is Be Prog! My Friend in Barcelona, which we will be attending as you might remember. The drummer will be joined by a as yet unannounced, progressive supergroup. We should get our first glimpse of these performers in February, when they first take to the stage as The Shattered Fortress.
Slayer, Anthrax and Death Angel
Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, Austin, Tx.
The 2,750 capacity Moody Theater feels like a miniature version of an arena, with a general admission floor and two mezzanines. The sold-out venue provided Slayer fans with a contradictory experience: seeing an arena-sized production with an arena vibe… in a small room. Like an 80s scale model, Slayer, Anthrax and Death Angel took concertgoers back to thrash metal’s heyday not by simply cranking up the nostalgia time machine, but by reminding listeners of what it was like when classic metal bands were releasing their classic albums and were eager to present their newest tunes to fans. Both Slayer and Anthrax accomplished this by putting new songs in key spots in their sets, something almost unheard of for bands that are 30+ years old.
Last month, we at the blog had an absolute pleasure to sponsor Telepathy’s European jaunt. Hitting five separate dates with their post-metal fury, Telepathy exemplify the DIY tour mentality and thus, offer both staff members and our dear readers a rare glimpse into what actually happens on such tours. Below are the unedited, unabridged thoughts of one Teddy James Driscoll, who plays bass for the band.
Beyond the pleasure of meeting me, Be Prog! My Friend should be an interesting proposition for any fan of progressive music in its myriad forms. Before we get to the actual lineup, the festival itself and its grounds are lauded by the entire community as especially exquisite. Being urban as it is, centered in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Be Prog! My Friend eliminates many of the more worrisome elements of festivals, namely camping, logistics and transportation. In addition, the fact that it is in a more clearly defined and professional environment, it enjoys better sound qualities, higher production values on sets and many more perks. Lastly, unlike most festivals, it doesn’t go for a “bigger is better” mentality, preferring a small crop of quality bands over a slew of artists from all levels of quality.
Stop sharing those try hard Nihilism memes (guilty) and pay attention. The twenty minutes of music available from Vermin Womb is hot to trot and ready to fuck your soul back into the ether. Grinding and bellowing out of Denver (the US capital of grind?), Primitive Man’s Ethan McCarthy spearheads another trio of life plunderers. Unlike the Man, Vermin Womb don’t do slow. Nah. They do full tilt, blasting death and grind. The sort of music that even your closest metal friends will still refer to as “just noise”. Fuck those friends. They don’t know a thing.
Heavy Blog is Heavy, in conjunction with Halftone Booking, are proud to announce this collaborative tour where two bands of instrumental excellence will bring their music far from the comfort of their home towns. We’ve sung the praises of Sioum, with their latest album, Yet Further [review], where “you need…
After embarking on The Proggest August tour last year with homies Outrun the Sunlight and Native Construct, Wings Denied are back at it again with a full tour in The Traveler’s Curse Tour. Set to hit 20 dates all over the East Coast and Midwest, Wings Denied will be going…
I don’t like to ascribe special meaning to happenstance and coincidence, but merely ONE WEEK after releasing my final missive on The Dear Hunter’s Act IV – one which I assumed would be the last thing I would say about this band for quite some time to come – I am now back finding myself on the precipice of yet another daunting task. The band, as they are so want to do recently, dropped a mega-ton weight of news today in the form of a new album announcement, a big tour announcement, and a plethora of news, background information, and sketches of future plans from Casey Crescenzo.
Courtesy of C3 Presents, we’re giving away two pairs of tickets to catch this year’s Decibel Magazine Tour — featuring Abbath, High on Fire, Skeletonwitch, and Tribulation — next week in Austin, Texas!