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GALLERY: Queen City Metalfest was local metal royalty

What you missed, and why you shouldn’t miss again!

Charlotte, North Carolina was named after Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III. She was known as a patron and supporter of the arts, music particularly. History didn’t record her opinion of heavy metal, but I’d like to think she would approve of the seven bands gathered at The Underground at The Fillmore Charlotte to showcase the region’s diversity of metal.

There was a bit of an early start, but a nice crowd had already formed when Abhorrent Deformity started things off. Suitably brutal death metal quartet with some nicely snarled vocals and pummeling percussion.

Abhorrent Deformity - 10
Abhorrent Deformity - 07


Another four piece, Reflect//Refine, took to the stage next. Progressive metal with some nifty guitar work. The moshing had started in earnest now and the crowd was buzzing with enthusiasm.

Reflect Refine - 08

Reflect Refine - 01


Neither of the bands before had been lacking in energy, but Never I cranked it to 11. A little chaotic, this sextet always seemed on the verge of, but never quite, being completely out of control. Unpolished in a good way.

Never I - 03

Never I - 12


Violent Life Violent Death continued the pace. Playing from their recently released EP, Come, Heavy Breath, this a band that throws multiple styles into their music. Not a bad thing as it’s all fast and catchy.

Violent Life Violent Death - 09

Violent Life Violent Death - 11


The night also served as an album release show for Black Ritual. Red Horse of War is their new EP and it skews a little more towards the thrash side of thing. Regardless of sub-genre, they had the crowd rocking.

Black Ritual - 07

Black Ritual - 14


Over four hours since the start and the crowd still had plenty of steam as Annabel Lee came on. Chugging riffs and a solid stage presence. Always an entertaining performance.

Annabel Lee - 10

Annabel Lee - 04

Annabel Lee - 07


Last, and most certainly not least, was Blackwater Drowning. Well done melodic metal from a very charismatic outfit. A fitting end to the evening.

Blackwater Drowning - 12

Blackwater Drowning - 03

Blackwater Drowning - 07


While some seem to be anxious to write the obituary for Charlotte metal, I think it would be premature. Over 700 fans attended this year’s Queen City Metalfest and I think they would agree that, far from dying, the local metal community is still vibrant and growing.

See the full gallery here!

Once an aspiring male model, Kevin quickly realized he had a face that was better suited to being behind the camera. When he's not at a concert, he can often be found at sci-fi conventions or preparing for the coming zombie apocalypse.

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