Live review: Pam and Mark Schaff
Photos: Pam and Mark Schaff
As we woke for day three, we just had the thought we were about to see something special on the night. This had been a great fest up to this point, and day three was only about to make it better. We did a little shopping at a few local vinyl stores before hitting the venue. But once we arrived at Cafe 611, we couldn’t wait for the night to get started. There were more favorites we’d been waiting to see again, and newcomers we had been wanting to see for a while that we were getting to see for the first time. Day three was about to start, and we were ready!
Gateway To Hell
First up on this Sunday was the heavy hitting Gateway To Hell. They have this heavy groove doom that has a great raw sound. The band consists of Jerrod Bronson (Vocals), Dan Petruccelli (Drums), Alex Briscoe (Guitar) and Eric Responsible (Bass). You can check out some of their fuzz filled tunes on their Bandcamp page
Raleigh, NC band Bedowyn was next on stage. These guys killed it with a great set filled with some heavy classic style metal music. They formed in 2011 and have a couple full-length albums to draw some great songs from. The band has members Marc Campbell (Drums), Alex Traboulsi (Vocals and Guitar), Mark Peters (Lead and Rhythm Guitar) and Channing Azure (Bass). Loved how they sound and hope to hear more from them very soon.
Saints And Winos
Ahhhhh… Finally a local band here at The Maryland Doomfest. Rochester band (who we’ve seen numerous times around Buffalo) took the stage and showed the fest crowd how they do it in New York. Joe Dellaquilla (Guitar and Vocals), Amanda Rampe (Bass and Vocals) and J.B. Rodgers (Drums and Vocals) never disappoint when it comes to the stage. They have a great heavy doom sound, and their songs all rock. Check out their Bandcamp page and pick up ‘We Rise’ which came out in September of last year. You won’t regret it!
Book Of Wyrms
Another of our favorite bands we haven’t seen was Book Of Wyrms. That ended this time at the fest. This space metal/doom/stoner/psych just flat out rock. Jay Lindsey (bass), Chris DeHaven (drums), Kyle Lewis (guitar), Ben Coudriet (guitar), Sarah Moore Lindsey (vocals, effects) have a killer sound. Be sure to pick up their newest album ‘Sci/Fi Fantasy’.
This was our second time to catch Sierra at The Maryland Doomfest. And just like last time, this progressive doom band from our northern neighbor killed it again at the fest. They have a couple full-length albums filled with plenty of heavy riffs and we recommend anything they have. They crushed the crowd here giving a great tuneup for the start of the second half of the last day. If you have a chance to catch them live, make sure you do!
Curse The Son
Hamden, CT band Curse The Son jumped on stage next. This is one of those first-time bands we had been waiting to see. Hard and heavy from the start, just the way it should be at the fest. Ron Vanacore (Guitars&Vocals), Ben LaRose (Drums), and Brendan Keefe (Bass) kicked out a killer riff filled set that killed the fest crowd. They have three albums and an EP out, and you should check them all out. We have a couple vinyl copies of them that stay in the regular rotation at home.
Pennsylvania natives Backwoods Payback got up next and blasted out a set of stoner rock doom that got the crowd fired up. They have an album that will be out August 3, and we can’t say enough the=at you need to pick up a copy. As well as any of their other albums or singles they have on their Bandcamp page. Heavy fuzz filled riffs are the only order these guys serve up, and they do it well. Can’t wait to see them again!
Caustic Casanova is a band that was definitely high on our need to see list. They come highly rated by some of our fest friends, and they know what they’re talking about down there. This is one band that lived up to the hype for us. They have a great sound and know how to command the stage. This DC band crushed the fans and drove the hard set they performed through the crowd. FRANCIS BERINGER (Bass, Vocals), STEFANIE ZAENKER (Drums, Percussion, Vocals) and ANDREW YONKI (guitar) ripped up the Cafe 611 stage. We grabbed a couple LP’s before they were gone and have them on steady rotation in the list. Make sure you get out and see them whenever you might have a chance. They rock!
One off our top wants to see list bands was next up in Duel! We’ve been wanting to see this band for a few years now, and it was worth the wait. In one of the most electric performances we’ve seen at the fest, Tom Frank (guitar,vocals), Shaun Avants (bass, vocals), Justin Collins (drums) and Jeff Henson (guitar) played to a packed crowd at the fest and torched the place with their brand of Texas Doom rock-n-roll. It was a never let up, throttle down set that left the fest crowd drained at the end. They have two albums out, and you need to get them both, right now, if you don’t already have them. And as for the live show, don’t ever miss one if they come near your city. Hoping they come to Buffalo soon, gotta see these guys again!!
The Midnight Ghost Train
For the second time at the fest, we have seen the last performance of a band. This year it was The Midnight Ghost Train. Formed in 2008, this Topeka, Kansas band took the final show to the Maryland Doomfest and let it all hang out one last time. And they did just that, the second highly energetic performance in a row on this night. Everything this band has to offer is of high, heavy, riff, fuzz-filled quality. And the live show matches anything you’ll see on a given night. We were glad we got to see them at least once before they left the stage for good. It was worth it for sure!
To close out the fest, Weedeater took the stage and produced what was most likely the loudest performance at the fest in the three years we’ve been there. “Dixie” Dave Collins (vocals/bass), Dave “Shep” Shepherd (guitar) and Travis “T-Boogie” Owen (drums) hammered the crowd with the low sludgy riffs that resonated in all our heads for days after. They have a handful of albums on their Bandcamp page, and all of them are recommended for your listening consumption. That’s only if you haven’t seen them live yet and have any hearing left. One other thing that they might be the first for at the fest, is a mosh pit and crowd surfing. Can’t remember seeing anything quite like that in past years. Weedeater kills it every time they get on a stage, so make sure you get out and see them when you can, we look forward to the next time!
As day three closed out, you couldn’t help but realize what you just witnessed over the last three days was nothing short of spectacular. The bands that came and went on the stage all killed it, and rocked the fest crowds. The crew, here again, did the best job you’ll see at any fest, flawlessly getting all the bands on and off the stage, keeping everything running smoothly. Our friend Dave Benzotti (make sure to check out his radio show) once again did a great job as the MC of the fest. Our 6 1/2 hour trip back home in the morning is now becoming something we don’t want to do but have to. The doom scene in Maryland is the best you’ll find anywhere in the world. The people that all contribute to the fest, are some of the most amazing musicians and human beings you’ll find. We are glad to call them our friends, and we look forward to next year when we get to do this all again. Stay tuned for Halloween 2018 for the announcement of next years Maryland Doom Fest lineup. We know it will be again the top fest to see on the year!
Until next year,