Last night was May Mayhem at the Regent Street Retreat (formerly The Annex) in Madison. The Annex used to be one of the premier places to see bands of all levels, but has dropped off in recent years. May Mayhem was an all night show with 2 stages and 12 local and regional metal band.
It would be nearly impossible (and a really long post) if I reviewed every single band at this show, so I'll just highlight some of the ones I liked. I have seen some of the bands before, but a few were ones I haven't seen.
One I have never seen is The Mended Dead, a four-piece from Madison, WI. The vocalist had amazing versatility as far as singing and rough vocals, but did not incorporate the typical low growls often heard in metal. They all had great stage presence without being overwhelming or obnoxious. The drummer was good and had a beautiful sounding snare that cut through the music. The entire band had a different look individually and as a group. They embody everything metal is - acceptance, passion, brutality and damn good music. I will definitely be seeing them again. Check them out on Facebook.
Murdercore is one I've seen before. They are a two piece from Poynette, WI with a female vocalist and I love them. There is only one thing to say about Murdercore: Face-Melting. Check them out here.
I have seen Divyded at least once before, but last night they really made an impression on me. The vocalist far exceeded my expectations and had a great singing voice as well as rought vocals. The music was heavy without being overpowering with clear and talented guitars. If I have any complaint, it's that Kelly (vocalist) uses sex to sell, but she doesn't need it. She has amazing talent and hopefully will go far. I highly recommend that you go see them at the next available opportunity. You can check them out on Facebook also.
Another band I haven't seen is Stux. They had no theatrics, no fluff but pure metal. There is so much I could say about them, but I think I'll stick to a very simple statement that my not-so-better half made:
"This is what a metal band should look like." I totally agree.
Two other bands who I have seen before and definitely enjoyed the other times as well as last night were Breech, who did a Slayer cover as well as a toast to fallen metal family member Jeff Hanneman and Ultrea, who was the main reason for me to be there.
Of course, there were other bands that I enjoyed and even a few that I'm not really a fan of, but I think you get the idea. I am so happy to see that the metal community is getting out to shows and hopefully the metal scene will make a comeback in a major way to the Madison area. Check out all the bands and when you see them playing a show, check them out for yourselves.