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Bangers and Thrash

What’s up with heavy music

Photo: Josh Sisk, License: N/A

Josh Sisk

Baltimore’s two most notable heavy-music record stores are ending the year with shows. Celebrated Summer (3620 Falls Road) is throwing the Haunt of Forty, a 40th birthday bash for owner and forever-young hardcore kid Tony Pence (of Deep Sleep, Wargames, Never Enough, etc.) Dec. 14 at the Ottobar featuring a reunion of long-gone local band Liars Academy as well as Strike Anywhere, Mindset, and D.C.’s Coke Bust. Hampden’s Black Mess (3853 Falls Road) hosts Australian death-metal band Vomitor, along with Extermination Angel and Negative Plane, Dec. 6 at the Golden West.

Two other DIY shows to watch out for: Baltimore’s Roomrunner returns from a tour to promote their record, Super Vague, and is celebrating with a show this Saturday, Dec. 1, with City Paper’s 2012 “Best Album” winner Multicult, Hive Bent, and 2 Inch Astronaut. Check Roomrunner’s Facebook page for the location. Friday Dec. 7, Harvest, Bet the Devil, and Wargames play the Charm City Art Space.

When Sonar closed, a389 Recordings turned its annual anniversary bash into a two-day show at the Ottobar Jan. 18 and 19, with a excellent lineup—headlined by Integrity and a rare reunion show for Left For Dead, a ’90s Canadian hardcore band fronted by the prolific Chris Colohan (Cursed, Ruination, Swarm aka Knee Deep in the Dead), as well as Despise You, Lack of Interest, Weekend Nachos, Catharsis, Gehenna, and some of the best current local bands: Ilsa, Full of Hell, and Old Lines. The only problem? The Ottobar’s smaller capacity meant the shows sold out immediately. So the label has added more shows at the Ottobar, Charm City Art Space, and the Sidebar, scheduled on Jan. 17, 19, and 20, turning it into a four-day festival. The additional shows are all walk-up only, no advance tickets. See for a schedule.

Baltimore’s own Maryland Deathfest, the best extreme music event on the East Coast, returns for the 11th time this year and the last of the band announcements have been made. Bolt Thrower, Carcass, Down, the Melvins, a rare show for Maryland’s own the Obsessed (as well as Pentagram, making this a can’t-miss year for fans of Maryland doom metal), Sleep, and many more will play at the fest’s traditional location—the venue formerly known as Sonar. This year, however, for the first time, MDF adds a second venue a few blocks away, at Baltimore Soundstage, for a hardcore/punk stage. Standout acts there include Infest and Vitamin X reunions as well as Tragedy, Rotten Sound, Converge, Iron Lung, and many more. The whole thing goes down May 23-26, and while full fest passes are long gone, other ticket options are still available at

In recent release news, Regents has just put out a new full-length on Lovitt Records, entitled Antietam After Party. Composed of members of some of the most influential DIY-hardcore bands of the late ’90s (Sleepytime Trio, Maxmillion Colby, Frodus, and others), Regents has been making a name for itself as a dynamic live band. The album was recorded by J. Robbins, who also plays bass on the record (but not as a touring member of the band). Grindcore legends Pig Destroyer’s new album, Bookburner (their first with Misery Index drummer Adam Jarvis), has also just been released and scored an unlikely accolade for an extreme metal band—Billboard. The record debuted at No. 102 on the Billboard Top 200.

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