The varieties of metal music are astounding. Any genre that contains both Bon Jovi and Napalm Death is going to have more breadth and depth than any “it all sounds alike” stereotype will lead you to believe. If you can’t square this concept in your head, look at a different genre: Merle Haggard and Sam Hunt are both “country”, and that is about all the common ground you’ll find.
Keep this in mind as you look at our Darkness Day lineup. All the bands will melt your entire damn face clean off, but the similarities end there. Here’s a very rough taxonomy of where each band falls in the metal world, with the reminder that all definitions are open to debate. The ones used here can mainly be considered as a jumping-off point for further exploration of the bands, their contemporaries, and their influences, after which you can tell us that we’re 100% wrong. Much thanks to Surly metal authority Cory Just for his help on this project.
TOXIC HOLOCAUST: Extreme metal. This genre itself has a raft of subgenres. Wikipedia lists 40; there are likely more. The definitions are fluid, and you aren’t sorted into one house of metal by a dumb hat. Many can be applied to Toxic Holocaust. They even got a positive review from the indie-rock tastemakers at Pitchfork.
DID YOU KNOW? Thrash and crossover thrash are two different things. Thrash is metal played at astonishing speed. Crossover thrash is metal that, while still played at a blistering tempo, has elements of hardcore punk. Hence, crossover thrash. D.R.I. would be considered godfathers of this style.
KHEMMIS: Doom metal, but also elements of death, black, and thrash metal. Think Black Sabbath taken to its logical endpoint, with music and lyrics steeped in dread and, well, doom. Their album Hunted was Decibel Magazine’s #1 Metal Album of the Year in 2016.
GHOST BATH: Post-black metal/atmospheric black metal. Some critics compare them to U.K. “shoegazer” bands like My Bloody Valentine; we ran this by Cory, who said this was the dumbest fucking thing he has ever fucking heard.
DID YOU KNOW? Def Leppard, the band behind “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, was initially a part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM, it’s a real acronym) movement, a late ‘70s surge of punk-inspired British metal bands (see also: Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Budgie). Def Leppard, as your parents will no doubt tell you, became more associated with the hair/glam metal scene that took over the world in the late ‘80s.
SUNLESS: Progressive death metal. Pretty much what it says it is: death metal, with a focus on technically intricate (i.e. progressive) songwriting and performance.
GOD CAME FROM SPACE: Slayrah. Not a genre, but it does feature Surly’s Sarah “Slayrah” Lawson, so we’re going to run with that. The only band to play every Darkness Day.
The music starts at 11 AM on Saturday. Your set times:
God Came From Space: 11:00am – 11:45am
Sunless: 12:15pm – 1:00pm
Ghost Bath: 1:30pm – 2:15pm
Khemmis: 2:45pm – 3:45pm
Toxic Holocaust: 4:15pm – 5:15pm
Have we mentioned the best local metal show of the year is also free? Pay for the beer and the food, but the metal is on us.