Death metal blends the raw percussion of thrash metal with black metal’s low-tuned guitarwork to produce horrific imagery and lyrics, with Cannibal Corpse providing an outstanding example of death metal’s uncompromising aesthetic and toxic soundscapes.
Ministry may not be as well-known, but their eclectic blend of styles has drawn criticism from outsiders while delighting fans. KSE, Converge and Job for a Cowboy each push boundaries with unique approaches.
Slipknot’s vicious thrash metal assault makes them the ideal act for any festival celebrating this genre’s brutality. They enjoy strong support within the thrash community and promise an explosive live show performance.
Band is best known for the success of their debut duo of LPs which kicked off the nu metal movement with their infectious mix of throbbing bass, hardcore guitars, and vocal gymnastics. As ambassadors of nu metal, their performances became an iconographic embodiment.
2017’s Kingdoms Disdained marked their triumphant return after more than a decade of silence. Their transformation from deathcore darlings to metalcore mainstays – due to anti-religious and political commentary – cemented them as leaders of the scene, dispensing with any negative connotations associated with metalcore music. They openly reject its pejorative connotations altogether as an effective force.
Huntington Beach metal giants Avenged Sevenfold made a powerful comeback after an extended hiatus with their album Nightmare hitting number one of the charts, marking its most potency to date as it also showcases M Shadows as a singer, Synyster Gates as a modern guitar hero, and The Rev as an imaginative artist.
While other acts on the bill like Of Mice & Men (middling metalcore), Breaking Benjamin (pro forma radio rock), and All That Remains (cloying patriotism) merely followed traditional hard rock formulas, Avenged Sevenfold took things one step further. Though they didn’t opt for Disturbed-esque explosions of pyro, their set was spectacular regardless. Their stop/start chugging on God Damn, lounge louche horn section Sunny Disposition, and Meshuggah/War Of The Worlds type explosion in Exist demonstrated their creative prowess.
Lamb of God
Lamb of God has earned itself an esteemed place among heavy metal bands for its aggressive musical style and politically charged lyrics, earning itself one of the highest rankings on Billboard 200 charts. Formerly known as Burn the Priest, they have released numerous critically-acclaimed albums including their latest, Omens, an impressive and powerful release showcasing their abilities in creating various genres.
Band has developed an immense fan base through their intense live performances, featuring enormous stacks of guitar amps that can be heard for miles around. Their energetic concerts are must-attends for all metal fans. Early releases, such as 2000’s New American Gospel and 2004’s As the Palaces Burn and Ashes of the Wake set them on a path toward mainstream success – however 2012’s Resolution marked an unexpected shift in sound.
Wisconsin’s latest extreme music festival offers an excellent lineup. Brit gross-out greats Carcass will return for another appearance, alongside fellow melodic death metal pioneers At the Gates and more.
King Diamond — the charismatic front man for his own band and Mercyful Fate — rounds out the bill. Though organizers encountered some difficulties finding appropriate bands for this lineup, they managed to put together an excellent lineup without any filler bands.
Black metal behemoths Emperor are legendary for their intense, brutal and visceral live performances. As pioneers in their genre, Emperor have had an impactful influence on its development with their sound that blends harsh vocals with pounding guitar riffs to produce an intoxicating wall of noise – Ihsahn’s growls are skin-chillingly good. Their albums boast epic, transcendent qualities.
Their 1985 debut marked the birth of black metal, setting an unforgiving example with their sound. Their early recordings are considered seminal while Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk is among their best-received work. Furthermore, their unique blend of symphonic elements and striving for complexity set them apart from other black metal artists while their many controversial activities – documented by Lords of Chaos book/film combination – give them lasting relevance today.
Melodic metalcore’s most conceptually ruthless torch-bearer draws upon death metal and thrash metal for an intense headbanging experience, featuring Phil Bozeman as vocalist who effortlessly switches between rhapsodic singing and demonic chanting vocally and instrumentally.
Black Sabbath pioneered traditional metal with their dark and brooding aesthetic and arrangements, but they’re far from being the sole innovators of this genre. Opeth mastermind Mikael Akerfeldt also employs folk, jazz and classical elements into their band’s black and death metal sound.
Gojira brings powerful stories of military battle and valor into power metal, adding both an emotional and educational component. Their multiple industry accolades and record sales confirm they’re one of the subgenre’s literary powerhouses.
Though known for church burnings and corpse paint, metal subgenre is also celebrated for its wide array of vocal and lyrical dichotomies. Opeth frontman Mikael Akerfeldt made history with their integration of folk, jazz, classical details into their black/death metal sound; Queensryche’s Peter Steele brought vampiric sexual magnetism alongside sci-fi storytelling on Operation: Mindcrime by Queensryche.
Converge from Massachusetts bridged the gap between metalcore and hardcore aggression on their 2001 debut Jane Doe album, making them undisputed leaders of melodic death metal movement. Their title track, “Bitter and Then Some,” features a minimalist second verse riff which loops like the pits it inspired; Equal Vision later reissued both Jane Doe and its follow up Petitioning the Empty Sky with bonus tracks in 2005.
Job for a Cowboy
Job for a Cowboy will open up the Jagermeister Stage early at this year’s festival with a set on Arizona tech death metal act Job for a Cowboy from Arizona. Recently completed recording its follow up to 2014’s Sun Eater, with drummer Navene Koperweis (Entheos, ex-Animals as Leaders) recording studio parts for its next release since August of 2020.
Picture this: every summer before the first weekend in August, an ordinary rural village becomes home to one of Europe’s premier metal festivals.
Decibel Magazine and 3 Floyds have come together once more to present an event unlike any other: Decibel Magazine is proud to host the official Metal & Beer Fest presented by 3 Floyds, with over 25 national breweries and numerous bands sure to make this an eventful celebration. Tickets include access to the festival and unlimited* sampling from local breweries.
Doom metal is a subgenre of heavy metal that blends doom, gothic rock and death metal into one style of music. The genre is well known for its haunting melodies, romantic lyrics and vampiric vocalists like Peter Steele of Type O Negative who embody vampiric sexual magnetism with their powerful vocal performances.
Doom metal emerged during the early 90’s when extreme metal and doom metal aesthetics collided, producing bands such as Paradise Lost, Anathema and My Dying Bride. Nowadays doom bands like Shape of Despair, Solitude Aeturnus and Daylight Dies employ slow, dirge-like songs filled with melancholy for their soundscapes.
On the Heaven stage was Atlanta natives Withered who have previously been featured by Concerthopper (read Richard Davenport’s review here), followed by Weedeater from Wilmington NC for an amazing set.
Whitechapel was able to spark excitement amongst their audience despite their relatively modest sound by unleashing their direct and intense performance, led by Phil Bozeman’s throat-wrenching vocals that brought forth an atmosphere of dark emotion and screaming from frontman Phil Bozeman – leading the crowd into frenzy as mosh pits formed under their custom light rig’s flashing strobe lights.
They then launched into their brand new song, “Decennium”, with its combination of bass heavy death metal and grind – an audience favorite! Over their 15 year, 8 album career, they have found their sound evolving beyond typical deathcore genre.
This shows they are committed to continually evolving their sound and offering fans the finest music possible. They will hit the road this month alongside Archspire, Signs of the Swarm and Entheos – stay up-to-date by following them on social media or visiting their website!