Since 2017 SteelChaos and Steelfest earlier in the year, this extreme metal get-together has been my bi-yearly highlight for, well, exactly this past year. Exceeding expectations has been the modus operandi thus far, so let’s take a preview for this year’s meet-up.

Friday’s artists in order are Cavus, Galvanizer, Evil Angel, True Black Dawn (and their meathook-show), Armour, Bölzer (SWI), Marduk (SWE), and Arcturus (NOR).
The last five are the best hype generators – more or less for obvious reasons – since Marduk kicks all kinds of ass and Arcturus is pretty legendary. True Black Dawn’s meathook-show is intriguing on paper and for me is a stand-in for last year’s shock-performer, but we’ll see. Armour is interesting as well, since apparently they’ve taken themselves out of deep freeze for this, maybe. Speaking of maybe, maybe this year Bölzer avoids accidents and actually manages to arrive. Or maybe they’ll have an accident on stage (please don’t let this be oddly prophetic).

Saturday’s line-up is Devouring Star, Morgal, Azaghal (and their album release party), Thy Darkened Shade (GRE), Root (CZE), Ruins of Beverast (GER), Impaled Nazarene, and closing us out is Primordial (IRE).

Going by their names alone, Devouring Star, Thy Darkened Shade, and Ruins of Beverast go straight to my must-see list. Our opener for Saturday because – let’s be honest here – Devouring Star is a kickass name. Thy Darkened Shade has lyrical themes about “Anti-Cosmic Satanism” (according to metal-archives at least) and that’s great, I was getting pretty sick of all these cosmic satanism -themed bands. Ruins of Beverast as well, great-sounding name, can’t wait until I hear them play to give a sound behind the name. And of course there’s Impaled Nazarene, but in this case if you don’t know what IN sounds like, you’ve been living under a bigger rock than I.

All of this seems very reminiscent of last year, so I’m hyped.

Running order