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July 13, 2000; The Ottobar; Baltimore, MD

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The Ottobar, situated in the netherworld of the defining line between business and industrial Baltimore, came to life with the ominous sounds of Baltimore's finest in dark metal on this dark and dreary night.

Season Of Fear took the stage with a crisp set of the old-school death metal that they are well known for. Frank and the boys got the crowd going with their blend of fierce originals and well-chosen covers. The set ended with a cover of Slayer's "Dead Skin Mask."

Dark Disciple, a band I had not yet heard but had heard plenty of, owned the stage for the next 30 minutes. The only band that I could think of while they were playing was that they reminded me of Impaled Nazarene. Dark Disciple brought the same kind of intensity that Mikka of Impaled Nazarene has called nuclear metal and total hell to the small confines of the Ottobar this evening. A new, debut CD from Dark Disciple should be available soon.

FOG continue to impress with their new songs - conquering new realms in the death/black genre is not an easy task, but FOG attack with fervor and style. The new songs don't rely on keyboards as much as their debut CD "Jezabel's Dream," but that doesn't detract from the music at all.  Special note must be made of FOG's William Hayden - his guitar playing continues to impress me. Hayden displays a good blend of technique and style which is often not found in the extreme music scene. 

The new songs continue the 'pain in the world' theme, yet still show elements of hope that each person is responsible for their own strength. The lyrical battle between the real and ethereal continues to provide tension. Soaked in emotion, the lyrics and vocal delivery are just as intense as the music. John Childs gives everything he has in performance to the point of being drained - isn't that the point of cathartic release? 

My anticipation for new FOG material is growing; luckily the band is working on new songs when studio time will allow. New suffocating, enlightening, and brutal music - what else could anybody else want? 

Once again I find myself imploring music lovers to support their local music scene. The talent that is literally right around the corner is overwhelming. Give it a chance - you'll be pleased you did; at the same time you'll be a part the support that continues to give local bands a chance to play in clubs and get the exposure they need to continue their craft. Rough Edge extends a "kudos" to the Ottobar for being one of the best outlets for local music. 

Support local music!

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.