Maryland Death Fest XI: Citizens Arrest, Converge, Ilsa, Iron Lung, Kromosom, Magrudergrind, Tinner
124 Market Place
Baltimore, Maryland, 21202
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
Maryland Death Fest XI
After 10 years and over 300 bands representing over 20 countries, the Maryland Deathfest (or "MDF" for short) has developed into the premier metal festival in the United States, and one of the most talked about festivals internationally.
The concept of MDF is simple: to bring to the United States the best and most extreme bands the underground has to offer. Never conforming to trends, or being limited by genre restrictions, MDF is a showcase of what extreme music, both new and old, is capable of. With an emphasis on diversity, the festival brings together the very best death metal, grindcore, doom, thrash, hardcore, black metal, and experimental bands from all around the world. With bands from all over the U.S. and Canada, and exclusive fly ins and rare appearances from some of the most in demand bands from Europe, Australia, and Japan, the diversity of the lineup is only surpassed by the diversity of MDF's rabid fan base, who annually travel from all over the world for a weekend of fun and music.
Since MDF's inception in 2003, festival organizers Ryan and Evan have continued to strive to bring together some of the most legendary bands in the scene and some of the most talked about up-and-coming bands in the underground for an unparalleled experience. Combining the DIY attitude of two young metal fans who are actually part of the scene instead of trying to exploit it, with a refreshing professional touch, MDF is year after year given high marks for being one of the best run and most organized festivals around.
Citizens Arrest were a New York-based band that existed from 1989 to 1991. The group often blended hardcore punk, grindcore and powerviolence styles. Seems that most folks are familiar with them these days as Ted Leo was at one point the singer and then guitarist before joining Animal Crackers and then Chisel. Their main inspiration in the early days of the band were from Boston area hardcore from the 1980s like DYS and SSD as well as early powerviolence pioneers, Infest. In 2011, CXA reunited (with ALL original members) and resumed playing live shows and released a brand new 4-song 7" EP.
Five years since their last release, Converge return with The Dusk In Us: a brutal but beautiful album that shows the band’s artistic evolution while still capturing their classic sound. The ninth full-length from the Boston-based heavy-music innovators—vocalist Jacob Bannon, guitarist Kurt Ballou, bassist Nate Newton, and drummer Ben Koller—The Dusk In Us proves to be both dark and hopeful, abrasive and melodic, devastating and powerfully cathartic.
In recording The Dusk In Us, Converge once again worked in Ballou’s renowned Godcity Studios in Salem, Massachusetts. Produced by the band and mixed by Ballou, the album matches its raw energy with a subculture-crossing inventiveness that’s earned Converge longtime reverence within the punk, metal, and hardcore scenes. One of Converge’s most dynamic and avant-garde albums to date, The Dusk In Us unfolds with an uncompromising honesty born from “writing about experiences in my life and working through the complexities of those things through song,” as Bannon explains.
On the album-opening “A Single Tear,” pummeling drums and caustic riffs form the backdrop to strikingly vulnerable lyrics like “When I held you for the first time/I knew I had to survive.” (“‘A Single Tear’ is about becoming a parent, and the perspective and strength it can give,” Bannon notes.) With its abrasive guitar work and menacing undertones, “Under Duress” brings a tortured howl to lyrics channeling what Bannon describes as “my emotional reaction to the complex world in which we live.” A frenzied blast of pure fury, “I Can Tell You About Pain” offers what NPR recently hailed as “hardcore-fueled extreme music that simultaneously elevates and destroys.” And on the seven-minute-plus title track to The Dusk in Us, Converge deliver a slow-building, quietly haunting epic of ethereal beauty.
Converge formed in Massachusetts in 1990, then made their debut with 1994’s Halo in a Haystack. Soon regarded as pioneers within the aggressive music arena, the band had a major breakthrough with their landmark album Jane Doe—a 2001 release praised as “iconic” by the A.V. Club (who also noted that Jane Doe “reaches canonical status with every re-listen”). The Dusk In Us arrives as the follow-up to 2012’s All We Love We Leave Behind, an album that Consequence Of Sound called “as skull-cleaving as it is beautiful” and that made its way onto Pitchfork’s Best New Music list.
While The Dusk In Us finds Converge defying boundaries and pushing into new sonic terrain, it’s also a natural progression for a band that’s long thrived on making music that both challenges and connects. “Our only goal is to create something that moves us and resonates with us emotionally,” says Bannon. “For us, it’s simply a new album about new chapters in our lives. We are a very ‘human’ band—always have been—and our songs are all rooted in our real-life experiences. The Dusk In Us is that new chapter, just as previous records were before that.”
They first started by playing covers of hardcore, punk and heavy metal songs, being self-confessed "hardcore kids with leftover Slayer riffs". The band soon graduated to playing live performances in 1991 after recording some demos on a 4-track recorder.
In their latter years, Converge have enjoyed relatively high levels of popularity despite the esoteric feel of their music and the substantial lack of media attention they receive. The extreme nature of their music, particularly the atonal vocals and often complicated finger-work of the guitar riffs make it difficult for some to appreciate this brand of metal. Later records have gradually become more extensively produced largely due to the maturation of their sound.
Converge's influences range from hardcore punk bands, such as Black Flag, Negative Approach, The Accüsed, and Born Against; metal bands like Black Sabbath, Godflesh, Slayer, and Entombed; and proto-mathcore bands Starkweather and Rorschach. Jacob Bannon has also discussed an appreciation for and inspiration from grindcore on Earache Records, post-hardcore on Dischord Records; thrash metal, such as Suicidal Tendencies, Vio-Lence, and Death Angel, and post-punk groups, such as Depeche Mode and The Cure.
Rampaging hardcore noize from these Australian fanatics. This band takes the Disorder/Confuse style of hardcore and cranks up the distortion in the style made famous by bands like Gloom and Disclose. Has the same hard charging power and wall of raw noise of bands like D Clone, Perdition and Nerveskade but with a solid and powerful hardcore punk backbone that recalls the masters of Scandinavian hardcore from years past. Some bands attempting this style start to fall apart and just sound like a barrage of senseless noise. Kromosom holds it down with solid and punishing songs directing, yes, channeling the energy of the noise and distortion in crushing riffs instead of pure white noise. This band is touring the US this summer and Japan soon after.
Magrudergrind was formed in 2002. The District of Columbia-based band dropped their self-released first record as delinquent teenagers and have since put forth countless splits in addition to two full lengths. Owing much to the close-knit global DIY punk community, since its inception the band has toured Europe and North America multiple times, Puerto Rico, Japan, and South East Asia with the likes of Misery Index, Unholy Grave, Phobia, and Rotten Sound. In 2007, Magrudergrind released their first full length, Rehashed, on Six Weeks Records.
2009 saw Magrudergrind's sophomore full-length, self-titled record on Willowtip Records, engineered by Kurt Ballou (Converge, Misery Index, Torche) and mastered by Scott Hull (Pig Destroyer, Phobia). A sonic escalation of the band's previous amalgam of grindcore and DIY punk, Magrudergrind's acclaimed self-titled release sent them into 2010 with notable appearances at the Scion Rock Festival in Ohio on March 13, the Maryland Deathfest, Memorial Day weekend and Hellfest in Clisson, France in June.
In 2011, Magrudergrind will release the "Crusher" EP on Bones Brigade Records and RSR in Europe. Two-thousand-and-eleven sees Magrudergrind appearances at the eclectic SXSW Music Conference in Austin, TX and premier European metal festivals in Holland, Portugal and Czech- Neurotic Death Festival, SWR Festival and Obscene Extreme Festival.
Magrudergrind will tour the East Coast US will fellow powerviolence/grindcore West Coast contemporaries Despise You in September 2011.