Local Domination: Baltimore, USA
05/03/10 || InquisitorGeneralis
For those of you who are unawares, Baltimore is one hell of a town. Not in the sense of that stupid musical “hell of a town” type way. I mean literally, this place could possibly be where Satan and his host landed after the war in Heaven. It’s pretty fucken rough. Edgar Allen Poe was from Baltimore and look what it did to him! So is Ric Ocasek… uuugggghhhhh.
Let me throw some statistics at you…
In 1998 the Syphilis rate here was 30 Fucken Times the national rate.
Touchdown for Charm City there baby.
Last year we had 37 murders for every 100,000 citizens.
That’s about the same rate as Colombia and Venezuela. Score one for the drug connection.
Check this super-awesome graph out! That’s Baltimore for you, one to the head and that sucker is dead!
Our mayor just got booted out of office for taking bribes and giving city contracts to her lover.
Nothing like the American political system at work!
Oh, and this place is flat fucken broke…
But we are still going to pay that ousted mayor’s salary. Hooray!
What does all this mean? We make some pretty grimy metal here in B-More. There is not much standard death metal here; sludge, stoner, grind, and crust dominate the scene. Here are five of baddest, stinkiest, craziest metal bands we here in Mobtown have to offer. Enjoy.
The trve masters of the Baltimore metal scene are the relatively well known Misery Index. Featuring former Dying Fetus co-creator Jason Netherton formed the band with fellow Fetuser Sparky Voyles after the two left DF in 2001. Since then Misery Index has produced a steady stream of high-quality, grind-influenced death metal. Courtesy of yours truly Teh Index has certainly received plenty of attention here at Global D. For anyone who has never heard them before I would recommend picking up 2008’s Traitors before moving into the band’s older material. For all of you grind maniacs out there you may want to to grab the brand new compilation “Pulling out the Nails” which features all of the songs from the band’s EP’s and splits. Lots of short, grindtastic numbers to be found there.
A great band with serious metal chops, an extreme left-wing political agenda, and a bunch of pretty cool fellas to boot. What more do you need? These guys are our most well-known and successful metal export for a reason. With a new album due out in May things are only looking bright and cheery for Misery Index.
To keep things brutal, next on the local list is some “Filth City grind” courtesy of Triac. These three fellas serve-up hot, steamy, punk-influenced grindcore facials and will definitely appeal to fans of Brutal Truth, Nasum, and Insect Warfare. Fast, painful, and to-the-point sums up Triac’s style and they grind it out quite well. You can catch them playing gigs on the East Coast for the most part. Triac has also made a few appearances at the mighty Maryland Death Fest. More on that titanic event later.
Check out 2005’s full length “Dead House Dreaming” for 13 intense and painful tracks. I am not a huge grind fan or experiment so I can not really comment on the subtle nuances (do they exist in grind?) but I can tell you this is some no-joke shit, so if grind gives you a whopping hard-on you first need some fucking therapy… or you need to check out some Triac.
One thing is true here in Baltimore: we love our tough guy, chugga chugga hardcore and no one does it better locally than Stout who have been keeping the hardcore principles of respect, honor, shouting, and slam-dancing alive and well since 1995. They have released several demos and EP’s and one full length, studio quality record: 2002’s “N.G.M.F.”.
While Stout is certainly nothing groundbreaking, they do mix in some tribal elements to add a little spice to the standard hardcore meal. A meal that Stout always serve up with a huge side of breakdowns. These guys are certainly not posing or faking their hardcoreness and have earned a reputation for violent crowds and rowdy shows. If you are a fan of bands like Terror, Throwdown, Madball, and Agnostic Front you should give Stout a try. Just don’t try to pick up any change they drop… DUH DUH DUH CHUGGAH CHUGGAH DUH RESPECT!
Our one major departure from the rougher side of things is Anubis Unbound. Hailing from Aberdeen MD (a few miles northeast of B-More proper) these five fellas play melodic death metal tinged with hardcore in the style of As I Lay Dying, newer In Flames, and Soilwork. While not my personal favorite subgenre the band has solid talent, especially in the drumming and guitar departments. Anubis Unbound have one full length record, “Through Cursed Eyes”, under their belts and are in the process of finishing off a second. For a local band the production and sound are pretty damn good.
If modern melodeath is your cup of tea than you may want to check them out. With some better production and songwriting Anubis Unbound may be able to become a national act, although I fear the Hot Topic path awaits them.
Finally we have one of the newest crews on the Baltimore scene, Bet the Devil. This furious five some features current and past members of the following laundry list of bands:
Next Step Up, Trephine, Darkest Hour, Wake Up Cold, Silent Darkness, Hell To Pay, Mobtown Hooligans, Downtime, Harsh Truth, Unyoung Heroes, Fighting Chance, First Offense, and Soaphammer.
Whew, that’s a long list. Taking their name from local Baltimore Misanthrope Deluxe Edgar Allen Poe’s verse “Never Bet the Devil Your Head”, Bet the Devil bring an interesting mix of thrash, stoner, and straight up heavy metal. While a true album is in the works you are going to have to MySpace it to hear what these guys have to offer. Still, there is some promising shit going on here and I would recommend them to fans of High on Fire, Baroness, Mastodon, and Fireball Ministry. Bet the Devil play pretty regularly in the Baltimore area but have yet to really travel to far from the nest. I know several of these fucks personally and can vouch for their devotion to all things metal. Check ‘em out if you are craving old-school, no frills metal.
Well, that about does it for local domination here in Baltimore. Oh, we also have the Maryland Fucking Deathfest which is probably the best extreme metal fest in the hemisphere! Case in point, the photo below taken last year…
Fucken right, that’s me in the pony tail with fellow staffers Daemonomania to my left and Trauma behind us sporting the hat. The bald guy is our nutty friend Matt the Maniac. That fine piece of artillery is located right in front of City Hall! A fitting decoration for a town literally drowning in the blood of murder victims.
I hope you have enjoyed this litty ditty and maybe found a band or two you give a shit about. Yes, I may rant about massive amounts of STD’s and the thousands of bullet ridden bodies that pile up daily on the streets here, but there is no doubt that I have a ton of Baltimore love through and through. I am a certified BALTIMORON and damn proud if it.
Until next time, hons…