It was a day filled with darkness, where twisted minds would assemble to hail morbid sounds of the underground. The Blackest of The Black Festival, took place in Silveroak Ca. and the atmosphere was thick and solemn. A mad house was soon to be unleashed, the chamber of tortures was bone chilling while Danzig’s Castle welcomed you home with gory images. In the park you could walk and witness the depravities an ill mind can depict with amazing skills like; hanging 10 feet above the ground, defying gravity as your flesh is hooked mid air, fire blowers and sword eaters. Beyond the sodomy and lust, there were hymns of satanic rituals, as Venom Inc went on stage and unleashed their black metal. Other acts like 3teeth and Butcher Babies raged on during the first day of The Blackest fest.
Day one had a great line up from 3 teeth warming up the stage with their sonic sounds and energetic performance of industrial metal. Their frontman Alexis Mincolla delivers some brutal vocals teaming up with Chase Brawner on guitars and Andrew Means on the heavy drums to unleash a brutal assault. Xavier Swafford delivers a sound on keyboards adding that intense sound to their tracks. The sultry ladies of Butcher Babies came in packing brutal vocals. Butcher Babies, a women fronted metal band, completely gave their all on stage. The fans loved watching Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, metal goddesses, rampage the stage, with some of their favorite tracks. The band Butcher Babies are no amateurs to the festival scene, they have performed in Mayhem Fest and toured with Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies and Metal Church. They are a very well exposed band and their sound keeps getting better and better. Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd gave the audience what they wanted, metal and groovy tunes. Metal needs more raw women like Heidi and Carla, make metal great again!
Other crucial bands like Suicide Silence and Deafheaven made the stage hot like a summer day under the blazing sun. Suicide Silence played tracks from “Doris” to “Dying in A Red Room”, and their true fans showed respect and love to their brutal sounds. Eddie Hermida, Chris Garza and Mark Heylmun rocked the stage as fans crowed surfed. Daniel Kenny and Alex Lopez are two great members of the band, and add an intense energy; all together on stage deliver with precision and give you some of the best metal sounds out there. Despite what the media says, these guys deliver punishing breakdowns, and killer drum blast allowing fans to rage. Deafheaven brought some black metal tunes for this dark day. Their set was intense and ominous. Active since 2010, George Clarke and the band have delivered 3 full length albums, and on stage they displayed a brutal assault. Together, Kerry McCoy and Shiv Mehra project some evil guitar sounds and fans worshiped each note. Drummer, Daniel Tracy delivers catastrophic explosions, filling the void in your heart with some post-black metal melodies. The night was ready for the rest of the bands, like Discharge, classic brutal punk act, Corrosion of Conformity and the killer headliners Suicidal Tendencies.
The three last acts for the night completely destroyed the stage and punished fans with brutal melodies, and anti-political tunes. Discharge gave the fans a different sound, more of a punk infused rock, however the fans raved madly. Their sound is a brutal hardcore-cross over with metal and the energy of JJ Janiak can have the fans raising hell in the pit.The fast beats on the drums by Tezz, and heavy bass by Rainy projected loud waves toward the crowd. Corrosion of Conformity played some groovy doom metal for fans of the stoner metal genre. Their sound is heavy, deep guitar tones and deep drums that raise hell. The profound sounds were omitted from two sides, left and right amps, exploding with heavy guitar riffs by Pepper Keenan and Woody Weatherman. While on bass Mike Dean gave power to tunes like “IX” and more. The drums are always the relentless tones and Reed Mullin can provide intense combinations amping the fans up. This Raleigh, North Carolina doom metal act charmed the fans and prepared the stage for Suicidal Tendencies. The Long Beach locals, Suicidal Tendencies, brought their arsenal of melodic riffs, thrash-punk and classic tunes like “Institutionalized” among many. Mike Muir, a legend, has the energy of a teenager and runs from one end of the stage to the other singing as the band delivers killer guitar riffs (Dean Pleasants and Jeff Pogan) and furious drums by legendary Dave Lombardo (Dead Cross). Ra Diaz, their most recent bassist can definitely deliver amazing deep bass riffs and involve the crowd from the stage. The interaction between band members and fans is amazing, the pit never stops, and the tunes pierce your black heart, making fans raise dust, and mosh together. All in all day one will create a new chapter in this dark festival. Suicidal Tendencies always destroys stages, and fans love raging to their fast pace metal. Their performance during this festival was spectacular.
The ladies brought their knives and projected their roar at fans who moshed and chanted along with Heidi and Carla Butcher. The punk scene was represented by Discharge providing an intense set. While industrial metal by 3teeh and death core by Suicide Silence raised some eyebrows and captivated the essence of a metal fest. Black metal was well represented by Desfheaven on day one which would only warm the fans up for heavy sludge metal favorites Corrosion of Conformity. With closing act, Suicidal Tendencies, the fans had one more day to endure the macabre and sodomy acts of the the freaks lingering around the park. Metal was unholy on the night of May 26, 2017 all hailed the mighty riff.
The Second Night was hotter than hell with Venom Inc and Marduk bringing the dark mass in the black metal department. The Japanese sensation Vamps played some intense tracks and Ghoul thrashed the scene with their bloody show. An old time band, Atreyu, went on stage and played songs that many fans grew up with. Meanwhile Ritual played some raw black metal with corpse painted faces representing that local dark arts we’ve been craving.
The first act of the night was Ritual, they delivered a ravaging black metal anthem and displayed great musicianship on stage. Ian Fleming leads this Californian local band and they punish you with brutal black metal. Their solemn performance had fans raving and enjoying each demonic chant. The band has been active since 1993 and with their powerful force they swept the masses during this first ever Blackest of the Black. The day went on with the cannibals of Creepsylvania, Ghoul, went on stage thrashing the scene. Their performance consisted of some killer thrash metal tracks, filled with hungry riffs and explosive cannon blast, meanwhile fans would get blood rained on. The band plays with precision and skills that will make any metal head, mosh. The festival had a band from every metal genre, Devil Driver projected their Santa Barbara heavy metal and the crowd went wild to each guitar solo and insane vocals.
The legendary band Venom Inc rampaged the stage with their classic black metal sound. Mantas, The Demolition Man and Abaddon brought tracks like “Black Metal” among the brutal performance. Mantas on guitar shreds like a metal god, while The Demolition Man gores out as he plays brutal bass notes. On the throne, Adaddon sits hammering away with perplex tones and fast beats. The fans moshed relentlessly and all hailed black metal once more. Venom Inc proved why they play metal, and the fans responded with blood warming headbands, and raised horns. These legends can play black metal with raw power and transport fans to dawn of time when black metal was invented. Marduk the Swedish black metal purveyors gave a dark ritual, playing classic songs and unleashing demons from the pits. With Mortuus fronting the band, Morgan revived the sound of Marduk and depicted songs of satanism and blasphemy. The stage trembled as Fredrik Widigs hammered away on the drums, and Devo deepened the classic black metal band’s sound. This band has an ominous presence on stage, and they summoned the darkest souls to the pit. The blasphemous act raised hell on stage, and The Blackest of the Black festival was scorched with dark hymns.
The Japanese sensation, Vamps, went on stage and hyped the crowd with their hard rock. They were the transition from black metal to hard rock, as the night awaited for Ministry and Danzig. Vamps, played hard rock, and girls at the front row loved each second of it. The fans wore blood sucking attires, and raised their horns to their heavy sound. The Vamps are crossing borders with their infectious sound and will continue to bring heavy tunes to fans and lovers of metal. Hyde, the lead singer rages on stage as he emerges from the backstage wearing a hooded sleeveless shirt, and captivates metal fans with his vocals. All, while K.A.Z. rips a new one with his harmony on guitar, pairing up with Jin on synthesizer adding the macabre atmosphere. Ju-ken on bass and Atimatsu add heavy tones to each track which complete this quintet of Japanese hard rockers. These rockers were followed by Ministry who completely stole the show. They performed a new track and fans raged as they unveiled this fresh single titled “Antifa” off their upcoming release “AmeriKKAnt”. Danzig took the stage, and in the darkest of nights he performed the classic track “Mother” among many others. Danzig has the attitude of a rockstar, he rocks harder than anyone on stage, projecting his majestic voice at metal fans. The pit was on fire, as Danzig performed his best show yet. The festival had the best ending to a marvelous obscured day two. The expectations were met by all bands that performed, the macabre performers on the side stages elicited the darkness corners of your brain. The chambers of torture, Danzig’s castle and the stage were all perfect for this festival. A variety of metal genres shook Silveroak, Ca. during this long weekend, and all hailed metal.
Written By: Hostile Jo
Photos by: Gabby Briones
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