Maryland Deathfest featured bands from all over the world making it the hardest Death Metal festival in the US.

Europe is known for getting the top-notch heavy metal festivals, but tucked away in the historic and seemingly run down city of Baltimore, Maryland is one of the best death metal festivals found in the US. Maryland Deathfest continues to thrive and assault ears for more than eleven years now. The location is fitting considering it was the home and final resting place for the late author Edgar Allan Poe. A city filled with architectural history and charms secluded into little pockets depending on which part of town you visit. With a palpable malaise and sense of melancholy looming over it much like the great poet’s work, perhaps he was greatly inspired by the city itself.

Maryland Deathfest is a horse of a different color for Baltimore, however, it brings in droves of death metal fans from all over the country including myself from Indiana. If you’re looking for rare merchandise including shirts, patches, vinyl, books, and more are plastered with your favorite death metal band. You’re bound to find what you’re looking for and if you don’t, you only need to ask the vendors.

One of the most pleasant things about the festival was the food, from zombie barbecue, pork lord tacos, and head banging hot dogs, it was easy to stay entertained while searching for festival sustenance. Beer bars and specialty drinks were also available and lines weren’t very long and the line flow was steady. The four-day festival seemed well-organized and production crews were on point even though several bands had to cancel due to issues with visas. The grounds were maintained and cleaned between sets for the two main stages and festival goers were fun and polite with little to no incidences.

MDF has a few different locations, with the two main stages featuring strictly death metal, and the subsidiary stages housing a bit more variety of styles. The main stages located in the parking lot and the subsidiary stages were at a local rock venue called Ram’s Head Live and another stage across the street. You have to pick and choose who to see otherwise you’ll miss some of the bands entirely.

If you plan to attend MDF, be sure to stock up on sunscreen and wear comfortable shoes. Apart from picnic tables under the bridge and fence line shade, the festival is all open air on concrete and you’ll be walking from one venue to another from time to time. Part of the fun was the mass exodus from one venue to another, especially for a popular band.

The first night I saw Crowbar and they did not disappoint, being one of the heaviest acts to come out of New Orleans. The Japanese band Coffins seemed to be the stand out favorite for most of the crowd and the rest were pleasantly surprised by how hard they rocked. MDF is a gathering of death metal representing multiple countries including Japan, Iceland, Norway, Canada the UK and US for the sole purpose of bringing the best death metal you can find in North America.

Maryland Deathfest stand outs were Crowbar, Coffins, Taake, Sacrifice, Dark Angel, Bongripper, Soilent Green, Inquisition, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Candlemass, and My Dying Bride who hadn’t toured the US in over 18 years and promised onstage not to let too much time pass before they played MDF again. MDF plans far in advanced and lineups for 2015 can be found on their website.

Maryland Death Fest:

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Festival Line up:

Castevet:

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MGLA:

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The Ruins of Beverast:

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Solstafir:

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Nocturnus AD:

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Taake:

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Hooded Menace:

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Tankard:

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Sacrifice:

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Dark Angel:

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Soilent Green:

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Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats:

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Candlemass:

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My Dying Bride:

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