The 5th annual Fall Metal Festival featuring some of the best in Michigan and Ohio metal ripped and thrashed the packed house at the Diesel Concert Lounge.

Hard Edge Radio, Cabresto Tequila, and Life In Michigan banded together to bring Fall Metal Festival Five to the Diesel Concert Lounge on November 22 and 23. The festival featured talented musicians from Michigan and Ohio who played fierce and fiery metal music to over 700 fans. Featuring two stages, running back to back, this was a feast of continuous metal.

Fall Metal Festival Five – Day One

The festival kicked off with the students of MCC Rock Academy. The lessons have paid off for the young musicians, many of them were multi-instrumental switching from bass, to guitar, to drums. Most impressive was the repertoire of covers they chose including, “Mr. Crowley” by Ozzy Osbourne and “Phantom of the Opera” by Iron Maiden. The Maiden cover was unexpected and the band did a nice job of tackling the tough song.

Soldier’s Last Breath wasted little time playing a barrage of hard rock and metal. While each member of the band is a competent musician, the drummer really shines. The drummer has great presence and technique, which was highlighted on the tune “Quicksand” where the bass and drums rocked a groove.

The guys in Vicariant were out to show folks at the fest they meant business. Bringing a dose of groove, they played a set that carried the sound of Drowning Pool and Godsmack with much heavier vocals. The band was super-charged and engaging, running around throughout the crowd and getting people fired up. Keep an eye out for this young band.

Upon first hearing Audio Violence, you would swear Steve Souza of Exodus had a new side project playing some big ballsy grooves with a twin guitar attack. It was written all over the faces of the band they had a lot of fun playing their music for the crowd. The singer even jumped off the stage to get into the pit.

Wow. It may not be the most journalistic expression to describe the performance by Bowdown, but the many who witnessed their show thought the same thing upon hearing their opening tune. The music was reminiscent of Hatebreed and Earth Crisis delivered with relentless conviction. These guys were fierce and had the Diesel Concert Lounge held tight in a vice grip of metal and hardcore overtones.

Society Hostile busted in with a serious amount of low-end thumps and grinding riffs. Most impressive was the fact the drummer and guitarist had joined the band a few weeks prior to this gig. They played as if the band had been together for years without a hitch or hesitation. At times the crowd heard notions of Staind, in particular with the clean vocals. There was also an element of Static-X to their sound as well.

Bringing melodic death with vast progressive passages, Truth Ascension made sure Ohio was well represented at the Fall Metal Festival. This band also played at Get Into The Pit and exhibited the same energy and intensity as the last show. The band has shed one guitarist without a loss in sonic fidelity. The drums provided a sweeping torrent of rolls and blasts that engage the listener.

Coven 13 harkened back to the glory of metal with Sabbath tinged songs clad in black leather. They kicked off with “Riddle of Steel” and rode the steel throughout their set. Winding through dark hypnotic pathways, the band exuded raw power with a ton of bass and excellent drum riffs. The guitar riffs were sharp and deadly but played with great feeling. As always, David Landrum did what all great frontmen do by commanding the stage and engaging the crowd to get involved.

With a strong and passionate fan base, As Darkness Falls feasted on the energy and unleashed a storm of aggressive yet surprisingly melodic metal. Their sound suggests bands such as Chimaira and Throwdown. They play bold and assertive music with added intensity through the dynamic performance of the band. The lead vocalist was off the hook prowling the stage, jumping out into the crowd, and climbing the lighting rig.

Unholy death metal boiling with pure evil is what Dismemberment wrought during their set at the Fall Metal Festival. The band is plays riffs with teeth shattering intensity and a rhythm section that rivaled the dynamic Death duo of Reinhart and DiGiorgio. This band was outstanding and had heads banging and hair flying in the crowd. With an abundance of talent, these guys should be touring with national acts bringing their infectious music to the masses.

From Blue To Gray brought the first day of Fall Metal Festival to a close in spectacular fashion. Burning with beautiful rage and fury, they set out to be remembered. There was an added fervent quality to the show as vocalist Dale Fewless flew about the stage. From Blue To Gray played a great set of technically brilliant tunes, which included, “Terrible Among The Fierce” and the newer “Bath Salts.”

Fall Metal Festival – Day two

Day two of Fall Metal Festival Five dawned with a seething show by Violent Vessel. This is a young band with pummeling riffs exploring the boundaries of metal. They tapped into the vein of sound that touched upon Acacia Strain and Within The Ruins. It was good to see the younger generation embracing metal.

Assume Nothing was another crew of young musicians who unveiled their own take on the metalcore sound. Evidently the bass player was new to the band, yet he was more than capable as the band jammed a set full of melodic riffs, screams, and clean vocals. Bands like Bullet for My Valentine came to mind as they played. Their drummer had great chops and performed well to the crowd.

The guys in Destroy Us All were on a mission to set the stage ablaze. They play a metal mixture infusing elements of metalcore and punk. The overall atmosphere is metal, but there were times when the attitude swung to the punk spectrum. They kept the tunes rolling with minimal breaks and jammed hard. The crowd was reminded of early As I Lay Dying and Killswitch Engage.

As the Monty Python skit goes, “and now for something completely different.” Cell Block Earth dealt a crowbar upside the head, full of thrashing mayhem. Propane vocals on top of a jack hammer guitar and pugnacious bass with plenty of pop kept the crowd in awe of the firestorm this band had ignited. This is the kind of meaty crossover thrash that had you thinking of Sworn Enemy, Merauder, and Iron Reagan. Cell Block Earth was a wonderful treat for the ears.

Mare Crisium defined what it meant to be diverse in metal music. Each song featured a multitude of changes in pitch, timbre, and dynamics that render an aural landscape of rich sound. The performance at Fall Metal Festival had the band playing at the very top of their game. It is difficult to categorize them as you can move from a Deftone jam to the concrete sledge of Helmet with a range of colors in between. An added bonus for this show was an outstanding cover of “Part Of Me” by Tool.

While the Amish beards on three-fifths of the members of After The Minor could suggest a band with pacifist roots, upon hearing one roaring note it was clear they were there to wage war. Their set featured music showcasing their raw power and technical prowess. Mighty breakdowns giving way to classically influenced riffs. Keyboards played by vocalist Nic Ward added color and depth. Fans of August Burns Red and Thy Art is Murder would hear similarities in the style of music, yet these Flint, Michigan survivors find a way to carve their own sound.

Hate Unbound stormed the gates of Hell and never looked back. Drummer Danny Kendall and bassist John Kinder created an avalanche of monstrous rhythms that provided a canvas for guitarists Daryl Mitchell and William Cundiff to cast crunching riffs and lightning solos. On this backdrop of metal havoc, Art Giammara explored unfathomable depths with his distinctly guttural vocal performance. A circle pit swam as heads banged to one tune after another. This was one of the best performances of the evening.

At The Hands Of Victims quickly dealt out a super charged dose of high velocity metal. This band’s sound had much in common with After The Burial and Born of Osiris. You felt the energy and wrath as they tore through their set. The lead guitar work stood out with its technical proficiency as fingers ran like spiders across the fret board.

Starting out with synchronized moves and jumping around the stage, It Lies Within engaged a large crowd of fans with their metalcore extravaganza. Fans of Asking Alexandria and Devil Wears Prada would find a common core. This band did a great job of grabbing the audience’s attention and keeping them absorbed with the performance.

Boys Of Fall brought the Fall Metal Festival Five to a close with their explosive energy and uplifting style. Their sound has traces of Atreyu and Pierce The Veil along with a more straight ahead power pop punk vibe. Their fans jumped and sang along as the band poured back all the love they received.

Boys Of Fall
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It Lies Within
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From Blue To Gray
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Dismemberment
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At The Hands Of Victims
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Hate Unbound
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As Darkness Falls
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Coven 13
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After The Minor
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Mare Crisium
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Truth Ascension
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Society Hostile
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Cell Block Earth
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Destroy Us All
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Bowdown
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Audio Violence
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Vicariant
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Violent Vessel
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Assume Nothing
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Students of MCC Rock Academy
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Soldier’s Last Breath
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Diesel Concert Lounge
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Fall Metal Festival 5 Sponsors
Hard Edge Radio | Cabresto Tequila | Life In Michigan