The Black Market: The Month In Metal – March 2014

By ajcolores

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I spent the second week of March at SXSW, and I spent a pretty good percentage of my SXSW at metal shows. In truth, most of the people I talked to at the festival seemed to agree that this year’s metal lineups were pretty lackluster, but even so, every day the genre offered numerous acts I felt I had to catch, and I was energized a whole lot more often than I was disappointed. Some of the best bands I saw at SXSW — in any genre — included Power Trip, Obliteration, Psalm Zero, Vaporizer, Primitive Man, Vattnet Viskar, Pilgrim, and Black Market contributor Doug Moore’s Pyrrhon. I also skipped a bunch of excellent metal bands, many because I’d seen them already in other venues — Windhand, Christian Mistress, Sannhet, the Atlas Moth, Earthless, Trash Talk, Indian, Spirit Caravan — and missed others because let’s face it, there are only so many hours in the day. The names listed above represent only a fraction of the total metal acts who performed at SXSW in 2014, and I’d argue that’s a pretty impressive array of talent. However, I’d also agree with the consensus: This year’s metal lineups at SXSW really were lackluster. That’s not because the bands on display were by any means unimpressive, but because they represented such a tiny percentage of the great metal being released right now. 2014 is shaping up to be a historic year for this genre. Remarkable albums are arriving with an almost dizzying frequency. The bands scheduled to perform in Baltimore this May at the annual Maryland Deathfest might comprise the best metal lineup ever assembled — literally, no exaggeration, no hyperbole. Last week, Pelican guitarist Trevor de Brauw (who also serves as publicist for lots of excellent bands, including last month’s Black Market list-toppers Young Widows) tweeted:

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