If a bunch of death metal bands can pack Reggie’s on a Tuesday night, there is more than just cause for optimism.

When a Tuesday night feels like a Friday, you know you’ve done something right. That about sums up this year’s Metal Alliance for me. I was hard pressed to make this event during a work week but it was well worth it!

Tuesday at work is typically Terrible Tuesday for me. My boss held me until the last possible minute, then traffic sucked all the way downtown but Roger Schultz, JD Peterson, and myself still made it to Reggie’s before nightfall.

With so many acts on the bill, beers to drink, and interviews to conduct, I wasn’t able to catch the entire performance of every band but the ones who stood out to me were Black Crown Initiate, Jungle Rot, and Dying Fetus.

metal alliance

Black Crown Initiate is a band I have come to follow and appreciate. I got into the group years ago when I saw them open for Septicflesh. They are the philosopher’s metal band. Featuring a technical attack, metaphysical lyrics, and a vocalist with more stage expressions than Jim Morrison, they offer a tightness not often seen in a group so young. A six string bass and a seven string guitar accompany both clean and harsh vocals. They offer an unstoppable combination of melody and madness.

Jungle Rot is constantly improving their game. Their opening theatrics make you feel like you’re entering a war zone. You can close your eyes and imagine the Terror Regime tank creeping through ravaged terrain. Wearing vests from the “Doomsday video,” Jungle Rot commanded the stage with undisputed authority. The organized stage movements enhanced an already tight set. The visual energy the band projects is an assault you can’t tear your eyes away from. The hard work this group has put in is finally paying off. In my mind, J-Rot have moved from typical band status to event status. Seeing them live is now a requirement. The Midwest’s best kept secret has finally been let out!

Dying Fetus was insane. This was my first time seeing the band live and they definitely lived up to their reputation. It was the largest mosh pit I’ve ever seen at Reggie’s and the shit went on for ten songs! People were fucking crazy for this band: men, women and even some children who couldn’t have been older than ten were moshing, caught up in the band’s unbridled use of brutality.

The highlight of the Fetus set didn’t come from the band, it came from a fan who had recently passed away. His final request was that his ashes be scattered in a Dying Fetus mosh pit during the song “Homicidal Retribution” and the band did just that. I read later that this same fan also had his ashes spread at Behemoth and Taake shows!

Metal Alliance epitomizes what metal is really about: entertainment, unity, and music. There may be bigger fests out there, but very few put out a solid line-up that works, year in and year out. This was a fun event. A few people may have gotten a little too happy, but nobody got kicked out. I had to remind myself more than once that it was a week night as the turn out and mood was so spectacular.

I left that night proud that my city had represented this event so well. The tide is turning my friends. If a bunch of death metal bands can pack Reggie’s on a Tuesday night, there is more than just cause for optimism. \m/

This article was originally published 5/20/16 by Metalrecusants.com
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