The online metal music festival, Slay at Home created by Frank Golda of Metal Injection, is an entertainment fundraiser that took place this weekend. Through charities such as MusiCares and Global Giving, the festival aims to collect donations to help those struggling financially in the music industry, and support front line healthcare workers who put themselves at risk everyday. The festival features music, special messages and art installations from metal artists in support of the cause. Following day one of the festival, day two kept up with the high volume, high energy artists that preceded them on Friday.
Cadaver, the Norweigan death metal band, was among the first to emerge from the ’80s underground metal scene and they’ve been making a strong comeback during 2020. From “Mr.Tumor’s Misery” released in 1992 to “D.G.A.F” that was released just this year, viewers were provided with both older and brand new tracks during their set. The grainy distorted vocals from Anders Odden combined with Dirk Verbeuren’s rapid, hardcore drumming made it near impossible not to head bang from home.
Another highlight, Astronoid, is the epitome of post-metal as their style goes beyond the typical conventions of heavy metal and becomes something unique. Brett Boland’s vocals were soft and light in contrast to the intertwining metallic guitar progressions, and together they formed songs that were very easy and pleasant to listen to. It was a refreshing and youthful set that inhabited a slight feeling of nostalgia.
Darkest Hour created a suspenseful opening as they displayed a black and white photo montage of their hardcore live performances with a classic announcer voice introducing them. They abruptly jumped right in as John Henry closed his eyes and shook as he let out his guttural growls. If people want to mosh at home, this is definitely a set to watch. The relentless heaviness and intensity lasted throughout the entirety of the set, enforced by mesmerizing guitar riffs and the fast-pace pounding of the bass drum.
The members of Khemmis, a primarily doom metal band from Colorado, opened up with a rendition of “Skulls” by Misfits that took on the tone of a slow jam metal ballad compared to the fast-paced original. For their second song they switched it up a bit as they whipped out their acoustic guitars for “A Conversation With Death,” a song off of their new mini album Doomed Heavy Metal that came out this April. The gorgeous sound of acoustic riffs during the bridge added a lot of character to the song.
Another band from Colorado, Allegaeon, plunged through their extreme metal set. By the look on Brandon Michael’s face, listeners could tell he knew that he was handing out some filthy bass lines. The fingers of both guitarists flew among the frets with insane dexterity as they fingerpicked the lead, and the drummer matched their ferocity. Vocalist Riley McShane’s beast-like voice was aggressively powerful.
In between sets, a short slideshow encouraged the importance of keeping local venues afloat during the economic crisis that has followed the outbreak of COVID-19. Seeing the crowds cheering and enjoying themselves at a concert, versus how desolate the venues are without bands and fans filling them up, tugs at the heartstrings. For many, concerts are not only a hobby but a career and a means of healthy escape. Concert goers were called to action and asked to reach out to their legislators using the site saveourstages.com to request the federal funding needed to keep the live music scene kicking. Music venues were the first to close and will be the last to open, but if people band together to amplify their voices, they’ll still be there when people are healthy and ready to rock.