Strange tourfellows: Skeletonwitch and Ghost B.C.

Well, it's finally happened. I finally saw Ghost (B.C.)  And I blame it all on Skeletonwitch. Ghost and Skeletonwitch made a stop at Rams Head Live on July 29 during a five city mini tour that grew out of the fact that the bands would cross paths on their ways to other places. Skeletonwitch are …

ZUD: black and roll from Maine

Today, I am listening to ZUD, a blackened rock and roll outfit from some remote location in Maine that I have never heard of.  They just self-released an album, The Good, The Bad and The Damned. The fact that I saw Skeletonwitch last night has made me want to seek out others who use a …

Abazagorath rekindling the black flame of American black metal

Although many look to Scandinavia for "trve" black metal, the Americas have always played a role in the propagation of this extreme musical subgenre.  Abazagorath, from New Jersery, have reigned as pioneers of the USBM aesthetic  since 1995. Hey, New Jersey is not frostbitten, but it certainly can be very grim. Over the years, Abazagorath …

Only turning 25 is real or how to properly celebrate your birthday

My friend Hasan turned 25 this past week, and to celebrate, he organized a show at The Sidebar Tavern. Being a complex man, Hasan wisely assembled a group of bands into a birthday show that reflected his diverse taste in music. He also served up some killer vegan chocolate cake with peanut butter icing from …

Highlights from Ratscape 2013 day 1

The first day of Ratscape is in the books. I was only able to stay for four bands, but what I did catch was an impressive and diverse array of some of the unique talent Baltimore has to offer. Truth be told I should have just stayed there the whole night and not left for …

Iron Man band sign to Rise Above Records

For the last several months, fans of the doom metal band Iron Man have been teased--nay--tortured by Facebook status updates about a new album. Then there was a YouTube video previewing songs for this new full-length.  Not long ago, we learned the name of that record-- South of the Earth. I have heard most of these …

2013 RatScape Preview

Ratscape II is coming up this weekend (July 19-21) at Hour Haus Studios, located on the SE corner of North Avenue and Howard St. Unlike some of the other Baltimore festivals, Ratscape is somewhat of a DIY kind of thing, and most of the bands playing are not well known, although there are some distinct …

Ratscape: an interview with the founders

Baltimore recording engineer Mike Franklin thinks that Baltimore is essentially one big family that just hasn't met yet. He hopes his festival, Ratscape, a celebration of underground local music which he organized with his friend Josh Schleupner, could be one way for all those talented "family" members to get to know one another. Held July …