The 2nd annual Metal Meltdown was held in Pennsauken, New Jersey, which was a new sight from the first one (which was in Asbury Park). This was much better than last year due to the place having heat, better location and, overall, just a newer building. Plenty of bands were on hand over the two days to showcase metal…130 in all and no bands cancelled or were no shows (to my knowledge). Tons of booths were abound & were located throughout the halls on the sides of the stages. I had a booth (which I shared with the beautiful Maria Abril from Martyr Music). After an early breakfast with my friend Scott, Maria and Gedo (from Hammerheart Records), we got to the venue around 2:00 p.m. After getting our passes, we loaded in our stuff. Special thanks to Don Dekker of Nightfall Records for all his help. The show on Friday started around 4:00 p.m. and since our booth was located within the Nightfall stage, I got to see all the bands that played on that stage over the two days. Highlights for me on Friday included November’s Doom (who played a crushing set of doom metal that ruined me), Rain Fell Within (killer band), From The Depths (killer old school death metal), The Chasm (a great set of old school death metal and they sent shivers down my spine), Incantation (with a brand new line up, they played a skull pounding set of the heaviest death metal), Bloodstorm (despite not so great sound, they ripped through a set of old style death/black that fans of old Sodom would eat up), Impaled Nazarene (a great set of cyber metal and lots of old tunes) and Vital Remains (first set back with original singer Jeff, they sounded great). By this time, it was 2:00 a.m. and it was time to go to bed cause Saturday was gonna be a long ass day.
After a few hours sleep and a Wawa breakfast, I got to the venue around 11:00 a.m. One of the great things about these metalfestsbesides the bands are all the vendors from around the US. Plenty of companies had booths and that is where you could find all sorts of CD’s, records, shirts, etc. I did a little walking around and got a few CD’s. Some of the vendors there included: Century Media (Ula, thanks for the discount on the Heathen CD), Nuclear Blast, Thrash Corner, SOD, United Gutteral, Lost Disciple, Nightfall, Necropolis, Red Stream, Metal Core, Relapse, Crook’d Records, Metal Maniacs, etc. I was busy selling stuff all day, but a few bands that stood out for me on Saturday included: Corpse Vomit (finally saw them live, they played a great set of death metal), Lividity (their gore/death music was funny and great), Anal Blast (Don Dekker is one funny front guy and his band is fast and I mean fast), Pessimist (great new CD with a new lineup), Mortician (Will is so sick and the bass is so low, I love it), Angel Corpse (a set filled with total hate, this is what death metal is all about), Hate Eternal (2nd time seeing them and they killed me), Immolation (I’m biased, but, I love them), Withery (great set of death/thrash) and then to headliners Immortal on Saturday. First US show ever. The set was marred by lots of sound problems and while I’m not a big fan of black metal, this band was on the money. Very tight and though they played a short set, from what I heard, it sounded good to me. The guitar kept cutting in and out all the time, making it very hard to get into them for a long time. Overall, I thought the fest was great due to the bands, the vendors and all the people that I write to that I got to meet and stuff. The fest times ran fairly smooth and I hope promoter Jack Koshick decides to keep the event at the same location next year. I had a great time and I think the most difficult thing I had to do all weekend was when my booth partner Maria was tired of walking around I had to massage her feet, tough job but somebody had to step up to the plate. Actually, that was the highlight of the whole weekend for me was giving Maria a foot massage, ha, ha. I would tell anyone if you have never been to a metal fest you should go to this one. It is something you won’t ever forget. See ya next year Jack.