Bangers and Thrash

• Spring is finally overtaking old man winter and with it comes a pretty exciting crop of shows in Baltimore, starting on Wednesday, April 16 with Black Mess presenting NWOBHM veterans Satan (on their first U.S. tour ever) at Metro Gallery. Bat, Extermination Angel, and Cemetery Piss open. The following night, catch Kill Lincoln and grinders Enemy Insects, also at Metro Gallery.

• Record Store Day (a celebration of all things vinyl) is on April 19, and it brings plenty of excitement this season. There are, of course, tons of RSD-specific releases and specials at local shops like Celebrated Summer and Black Mess, but we've also got a few cool related events. Baltimore's own Misery Index has a listening party for its new record, The Killing Gods, at the Ottobar upstairs, followed by a downstairs show featuring Sepultura tribute band Clenched Fist and Ministry tribute band Without Sympathy.

• Black Mess Records hosts its two-year anniversary party on April 26 at the Gold Bar, featuring records and other dark goods for sale from various vendors, plus DJs and performances from Dural and Dweller in the Valley.

• April 26 Paganfest-an annual celebration of folk metal, this year featuring Korpiklaani, Turisas, and Chthonic-kicks off at Ottobar. The next night, Extremity Retained is throwing what amounts to a metal fest there, with High on Fire, EYEHATEGOD, Corrosion of Conformity, Magrudergrind, Strong Intention, and Ilsa all performing.

• Will Daniel Higgs appear on tour with his band Skull Defekts? No one knows, but it promises to be a great night either way-they play at the Gold Bar and the Crown with Zomes, Horse Lords, Microkingdom, and Multicult on May 2.

• Maryland Deathfest festivities kick off May 21 with a pre-party at the Ottobar featuring Immolation, Misery Index, Black Breath, and Noisem, as well as the first public screening of Welcome to Deathfest, the MDF documentary (which features an interview from this author). MDF itself spans four days, with performances at Soundstage, Rams Head Live, and the Edison parking lot. In addition, a raft of more intimate gigs has been scheduled at the Sidebar. May 22: Dopecopper, Bastard Sapling, Cemetery Piss, and Monger. May 23: Nightbitch, Tombstalker, Crypter, Casket, and Inverted Trifixion. May 24: Ashencult, the Pilgrim, Skelptarsis, Söft Dov, and Wounded Giant. May 25: Pneumatic Slaughter, Yautja, Old Lines, Visceral Disgorge, and Symbolic. Other MDF highlights include Dark Angel, My Dying Bride, Candlemass, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Triptykon, Crowbar, and Agalloch. For full schedule, check marylanddeathfest.com.

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