I've been in a dry spell lately for seeing music. With the exception of Maryland Deathfest, which I didn't bother to photograph or document, I've only seen two shows since April: Krakenfest and Inter Arma/Earthling at Slim's. MDF was awesome, but I didn't even attempt to get a photo pass, and really I just wanted to go and have fun. I go through these dry spells occasionally, but this one's gone on a little longer than usual, leading me to wonder if it's time to retire altogether. But then I see a show like Friday's triple bill at Slim's with Inter Arma, Richmond occult doom outfit Windhand and Raleigh's impressive Horseskull, and I get excited all over again.
I'm not too excited about the photos I got that night because it was dark (which I've come to expect), and it was pretty crowded, especially for Windhand. That's great for the bands, not so great for my shots. I actually think I got better Instagram photos than camera photos (btw, you can follow me here, where you'll see a few MDF photos, as well as lots of pics of my dog and my boyfriend).
I've said before that Inter Arma has released the best album of the year. Every time I see them, they seem to play a different set, and get more and more fierce. Windhand, who released a really strong split with Cough earlier this year, was particularly crushing. There was some issue with the vocals in the PA, which was bad for both Inter Arma and Horseskull, but actually kind of worked for Windhand. I love Dorthia Cottrell's voice, but being so low in the mix gave it a super ghostly sound. But I certainly wouldn't recommend that for every show. It was my first time seeing Horseskull, and I liked their combination of classic doom and Southern rock. I especially liked the song that was about "bad women and bad drugs." If someone wants to tell me the name of that song I would appreciate it. Looking forward to seeing them again.
Some other upcoming shows I'm planning to see: the metal cookout at Maywood on July 6, then Ramming Speed and Valient Thorr at Kings that night, Hardcore Hank's birthday bash in Wilmington; the Gwar-b-cue in Richmond (maybe on this one); KEN Mode and Inter Arma at Local 506; Iron Maiden at Walnut Creek (I don't remember what it's actually called now). Debating Hawkwind in DC on Oct. 12. And, not metal at all, I will probably go see Woody Pines at Local 506.