Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: August 2000

Milwaukee Metalfest 2000
Review by Melanie and Jo

OK, first of all I totally disagree with the marketing of Metalfest. It’s *not* the only show that matters – what about all the local and national shows bands must play before they’re good enough to get a decent crowd in Milwaukee? (or come up with the $ 1000 to pay for tickets in advance? Believe me “even if the label pays for it”, it will come out of your studio or tour budget later, guys! You just THINK it’s all free. Why do you think “tour support” is so hard to get these days?) What about all the tours which draw consistently more fans? I think it’s an overpriced “series” but it does provide a good variety of bands. I think this Metalfest series is kind of a scene-rape, but oh well.

Jo says: Definitely NOT the only show that matters, but probably the biggest “underground metalfest” in the US. Larger acts aside (Like King Diamond and Destruction), the Ohio Deathfest had most of the “smaller” bands which I considered killer on it’s bill (for half the ticket price) like Mortal Decay, Pyrexia, Internal Bleeding, Malignancy, Dying Fetus, Disgorge, Deeds of Flesh, Corpsevomit, etc. Considering I didn’t even watch a number of the bigger acts, I could have lived without them on the bill and a cheaper tickets.

Still, we had a set/schedule, and we pretty much stuck to it, meaning if there was a band we hadn’t heard or planned on seeing, we most likely did NOT see that band. Which means that no matter about “171 bands!” we only planned on seeing a fraction of them, and did just that. This is apparently what most people do. So it’s not really the deal you think you’re getting. Still, what we paid for our tickets was a deal for the number of cool bands we saw.

So anyway, this was the first Metalfest for Necrosis. Jo and I traveled to Milwaukee grudgingly. There were so many transportation and logistics hassles, that I basically told people I wasn’t going until I was actually IN Chicago, about to go to Milwaukee! The transportation headaches were terrible and are probably the reason I won’t go again unless there’s a good car rental or super cheapie airfare deal to Milwaukee. I hated the fact that I had to impose on my friends so much, and hated the stress and worry. That’s not what Metalfest and vacation are about. So fuck that.

Jo says: Transportation on Sunday morning almost made ulcers I don’t even have flare up, and having partied all night previous and having to get the situation solved on zero sleep helped none. When all was said and done, it worked out fine. Too bad people around here (Ohio) are assholes and ALWAYS ‘have no room’ when driving up there. Thanks for nothing stupid fucks. As usual, we know who matters. So many bands, so little time. When 2 good bands play at once, you have to catch a lot of half sets. When schedules ran behind (which they did), it made it even tougher.

The only full sets I watched were Dying Fetus, Hate Eternal, Disinter and almost all Catastrophic and almost all of Fleshgrind.

To get to the gristle though .. the bands we planned on seeing, plus a couple others, ruled!

Here is who ruled, according to my crossoffs and circlings on my schedule:

Mortal Decay, Macabre, Mayhem, Pentagoria, Fleshtized, Enter Self, Disinter, Malignancy, Internal Bleeding, Thornspawn, Pyrexia, Somnus, The Chasm, Hate Eternal, Catastrophic, Opeth, Deceased, Epoch Of Unlight, Withered Earth, November’s Doom, Immolation, Impaled, Noctuary, Lorde of all Desires, Coffin Texts, Children of Bodom, Fleshgrind, Dying Fetus, Usurper

Jo adds: Entombed since I love their older stuff. I was of course disappointed when they played new stuff, but I knew it was gonna be that way.

A lot of people also liked Destruction, and King Diamond. I didn’t. Sorry.

Best Set: Disinter (bias bias bias) OK, so when you know when the next part is going to happen, and know when to scream “die fucking die!” and when to throw tapes <and have the press pass and band permission to let you do it!>, and when the killer cover song is going to happen, you have a bit of an edge over the average fan right? Yep! I think it was 7 songs. Highlights – “Blinded by Fear” (At The Gates cover), “Hunter’s Moon” (new song), thrashing and screaming to the rest of the set, and watching Zion snap the mike stand in half (it must have come unscrewed, but it looked really cool)…

Jo says: Hate Eternal was pure energy, and gets the award. Disinter and Dying Fetus were amazing too. Impaled gets a mention here as well.

Best Surprise Band: Excathedra. Me, to Jo, watching the set: “That guy reminds me a LOT of Rob Kline.” JO: “Me too.” Me: “The dual vocals and the gauntlets.. we must interview.” The set ruled. It was mostly really fast, un-Brootal death metal. (by un-Brootal I mean it wasn’t that cheesy fast crap that all the 15 year olds seem to like and all the good musicians seem to hate.) We did interview, after I found a flyer that said “ex-members of Pessimist… ” and a very thorough, cool, original, and entertaining interview it is! Strangely, the ONLY interview we did at “the only show that counts” (utter BS!).

Jo adds: I liked Lorde of All Desires as well. Having not heard them before, I was really happy with my first exposure to them.

Best “new band”: Catastrophic. I just read that their new album is coming out on Metal Blade. I just liked ’em a lot.

Jo: I do believe there is a 3 song promo out for Catastrophic. Anyway, I was really looking forward to seeing these guys. I like Pyrexia, and I like old Obituary. Bottom line – they were excellent. There are definitely some undertones of older Obituary in their music, but it was just really catchy ass kicking brutal death metal. They’ve got a lot of stuff in the works (including Kill TV – there’s your free plug Brian *wink*), so keep an eye out and definitely pick their CD up when it’s released.

Best Underground Band set: Lorde Of All Desires – I loved the slower pace and evil overtones.

Best “Expected” sets (or “we knew they were going to rule”): Hate Eternal, Dying Fetus, and Fleshgrind. They just never disappoint. The crowds were there to prove it, too.

Best Fan Wounding: Some guy got his face split by some other guy in a hallway mosh-pit. I saw blood streaming down half of his face, and a forlorn look from him. It looked bad, but I’m sure a few stitches later he was fine. It just looked really cool. I like blood.

Second Best Fan Wounding: I flung a tape offstage during Disinter’s set and whacked some dude in the brow/eye with it (yay!!!!). I am so honored! I was trying for blood and screams but at least I got a good pain-look  ;> Angel was nice about the tapes this time, throwing them underhand. I was the one hurling them, out for misery! Beware WSOM and Sept. 1/Flying Machine attendees!

Third Best Fan Wounding: Some dude broke his thumb when stage diving during Internal Bleeding. Nobody caught him and his thumb bent all the way backwards. No blood, but it had to be painful.

Best Stage Props: (spikes aside) The IV bags and the bone (Impaled). My cat gets sub-q therapy at home for kidney failure, so I have a lot of exposure to this stuff, and I spent a good deal of time staring at the bloody IV bags, wondering if they were Abbott’s or not. <geek!> The bone ruled though. So did the set, hehe..

Very Bad Cancellations: Jungle Rot, Pessimist (damn, damn, damn, damn!!!!)

Best Torture Awards:  JO: This goes to Bob (Vigna, Immolation) for not giving me one of those CDRs he was carrying around!
Second Best Torture: I was able to sneak in an entire hour of torture to a certain guy I had not seen in a year who was trying desperately to avoid me. (which I did tell to his face.) We ended up running all over the entire venue, doing a lot of nothing, gathering gossip, and I ended up with 2 numbers which I’ll probably never call, but hey, it was fun!

Best Gossip: That Randy G., oh so nice to me 6 months ago, oh so out to jump my bones, went to federal prison for software piracy for 21 months! Thus his band had to cancel (I think? I don’t know, I saw the rest of them running around, and got this tidbit from them). I guess an impending jail term is enough to get a guy desperate enough to lie to a woman and beg her to move 14 hours from her home to live with him and take a fake job… *gay gay gay* Lesson to be learned: Don’t run a warez site. If you make money, BUY software. Don’t trust humans.
Second Best gossip: Hmmm… it involves big record labels and newly signed bands, so of course I’m not telling. Just wait for the release party!
Third Best Gossip: Hmm… it involves a very well-known “black metal band” from England and a band from the US and an early winter tour, but I’m not telling who! (but I am going to the show so they better play here and it better not snow!)
Fourth Best Gossip: A certain guitar-playing member of a certain very big evil death metal band needs a replacement. The person they wanted is not permitted to do it so they now have to seek elsewhere.  ;>

Jo’s take on gossip: Well, that about says it all above. I wasn’t aware Anal Blast kicked Eric out. I also heard some excellent Nile gossip I didn’t know.

Worst Sound: Immolation. It was almost all noise! They’re a great band but I left the room after 2 songs, disgusted. If they had been on one of the smaller stages, their sound would have kicked ass. I couldn’t believe I was watching Immolation and they were sucking. I had to leave the area to avoid thinking bad things.

Worst Screw: Summon. 11 am Saturday for one of the best USBM bands?! Especially since Lividity’s slot was open (6:30 pm). *extremely gay* I missed them but the few who saw them, of course said they ruled.
Second Worst Screw: November’s Doom closing the fest. They apparently had a good crowd but still, being upstairs at 2 am on Sat., is just uncool.
Third Worst Screw: (Jo says:) This happened to us: Pat – ‘Sure, we’ll give you a ride back to the Hotel Wisconsin tomorrow morning, we have space.’ Then, *Poof* A disappearing act. I take a ‘no’ better. *gay*

Oh My, Best Partying: Laughing my ass off for 5 hours straight, crammed between 2 people on a bed made for 1 or so, watching some bandmembers challenge eachother to drinking shots. Of course, after the correct amount of shots, the desired effect occured – bazooka barfing into the toilet (with “encouragement” pounded on the bathroom door). All of the pseudo-anger, the jibing, the dares, the testosterone, I was just dying laughing… Now that’s metal!  ;>
Second Best Partying: Running between Anita’s room and Dying Fetus’s room and Corpsevomit’s room. Going up and down the halls waiting for Matt McClelland (Corpsevomit) to emerge so I could go “shhhhuuuuuttttt uuuupppp!!!!!!!!” at him, and hope he’d say it back – at the top of his lungs (he did – but at the show where it was ok). I remember I found Corpsevomit by hearing Possessed’s 7 Churches blasting.. I just had to tell the room’s occupants they had great taste in music. It turned out to be them. Very drunk. :)

Third(hand) Best Partying: I heard that Corpsevomit spent the entire Metalfest in a state of inebriation and ‘shroomin. I don’t know how they play such technical material onstage… then again, I don’t really know how they can stand UP after taking some of the stuff I’ve seen them take! I wasn’t at this party though so I don’t know for sure. It just sounded like a cool story.

Jo thinks: Best partying was definitely Saturday night in Malignancy’s (Anita’s) room. The room was packed, and the party was literally all night long. What better way to follow up an excellent set than to throw an excellent party with ‘feetless’ attendees? Thanks for the fun guys.

Cool People Awards: You mean besides Mike and Angel and Disinter for saving our asses three times in 2 days?! <thinks… > Hmm, Mazur PR for giving us the press and photo passes – you’ll see your efforts well reciprocated in the good coverage of your events! Sparky for letting me sleep in your room .. My vet for taking my cat so I could go on vacation which I really needed …

Dumbass awards: All of the “sure, we’ll give you a ride to _____” who didn’t follow through and left us stranded. You caused headaches, stress, and much ill-feeling. Just say NO guys, don’t say yes and them be liars and make us hate you. People games suck. A close second to the dispatcher-guy at SW Airlines who blamed our delay on “micromanagement” instead of trying to work out a solution. Grow a brain. Honorable mention to: the black guy with the 2L of vodka who made the “speech” at the Malig party (Sat.), then came back with a 24″ sword-cane after getting kicked out!

Jo says: I hated all the fuckin’ crusty ass people (the Crusty Crew, the transients) who scraped pennies for a year to buy their tickets. (Anyone who’s been to the show knows who/what I’m talking about) I’m not sure which was more irritating – ‘Can I have a swill’ holding an empty cup in your face (like anyone who just paid $3.75 for a draft is gonna waste 2 drops of it on their dirty asses) or their stink from not bathing for weeks at a time.

Best Suffocation/Trip Folly: Me! I was completely out of breath on the plane on the way back, due to rapid ascent and faulty cabin pressure, mouth gasping and arms flailing at Jo to get her attention (in my crazed state I thought she could somehow activate the oxygen mask!) and she didn’t notice at all – just stared out the window. It was classic, but VERY frightening and not nearly as funny as “aren’t you the girl who fell in the pool?”

Jo says: My best trip folly award goes to Duane, the drummer in Sarcophagus, who made the mistake of passing out on a couch in Anita’s room with beer in hand. Let’s just say, beer turned to a lightbulb and a package of shampoo, and there are pictures.

Overall, I don’t know what to think about Milwaukee. Yeah, there were a lot of people there. Yeah, there were a lot of great bands, which were reasonably cheap to see if you don’t count in plane ticket costs. Yeah, the partying ruled all. Yeah, it was great fun. The air conditioning and especially the No Smoking made the show a wonderful event. I was LOVING the fact that I could breathe at a show for once. A couple of bands got screwed over by the scheduler(s), the transportation hassles and costs were horrendous, logistics were bad, freebies were very scarce compared to Jersey or Ohio, interviewable bands were lacking, etc etc etc … I would say if you have everything worked out and have some $ to blow, and the time off work, attending Milwaukee would be fun. If not, don’t sweat it – you’re not missing a lot.

Jo says: All in all I had a lot of fun. Sure, it had its drawbacks, but what doesn’t? I went with no expectations either way, but had a good time overall. I went planning on watching a set list of bands, and I did end up discovering a bunch of bands I really like (and that, in my opinion, is what makes something like that worthwhile- especially for the bands who play it). For ‘comparison shopping’: Compared to Jersey, I liked Milwaukee better. Compared to the Ohio Deathfest, I liked the Deathfest better. Compared to sitting at home, I’d take any of the shows, anyday.  I urge anyone to get out there and support the scene anyway they can, be it by attending larger shows like MMF, or smaller shows put on by your local bands. Without the fans, the scene is nothing.