Unholy black metal possesses Boston this weekend: No Life Fest (March 5-6)

Presented by Mike and Jay Beckwith and Mike Eleftheratos, No Life Fest -- held at the Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain on Saturday and Sammy's Patio in Revere on Sunday -- boasts a monolithic lineup pairing Boston's best with high-profile groups from New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Saturday 3.5 @ Midway Cafe

On Saturday, recent Metal Blade Records signees Ipsissimus are sure to impress - the Connecticut band's masterful 2008 EP, The Three Secrets of Fatima, is one of the best American BM releases in recent years and a preview of better things to come. Castevet, an experimental BM group from New York City, meld hardcore's percussive intensity with technical, darkly melodic riffs and leads. The band's debut LP, Mounds of Ash, was considered one of the best releases of 2010 by a number of metal publications, and their upcoming showcase at SXSW is likely to win Castevet greater exposure and praise.

The fest's monolithic lineup isn't limited to black metal - old-school hardcore favorites Psycho headline, while Suffering Bastard -- a group of skuzzy Providence degenerates equally versed in grindcore and harsh noise -- plan on shaking some bones. And be sure to catch Hirudinea and Deathgod Messiah: the former represent a muscular synthesis of death metal, black metal, hardcore and grind, while the latter barrel through stripped-down black/death hymns in reverence of Sarcófago and Vulcano. Rampant Decay, INTHESHIT, Blood of the Gods, Livver, and Scaphism round out the night's lineup. The show starts at 6pm, $12 or $10 with 21+ ID.

Sunday 3.6 @ Sammy's Patio

Sunday's lineup boasts Witch Tomb, a pure black metal band in the vein of Profanatica and Beherit. One of the most respected local groups on the lineup, Witch Tomb have released records on Die Todesrune and Hells Headbangers, two of the most important and recognizable labels within the genre. They're joined by Panzerbastard, another nationally respected band and another group on the bill with a hybrid sound - Panzerbastard play punky death metal with a heavy dose of the BM sound and aesthetic. Nightbitch, an Ipsissimus side project with traditional heavy-metal riffing and vocals, are another exciting addition to the lineup, as are Blessed Offal, a Boston death/doom band that recently emerged from years of hibernation to release their Autopsy- and Runemagick-influenced self-titled EP. It's out on March 6 through "Total DIY cassette only" label No Visible Scars; the band hopes to release it on vinyl at a later date. Sunday's lineup also includes Nachzehrer (a traditional BM ensemble fronted by Eleftheratos), as well as Bone Ritual, Vaettir, Obsidian Tongue, Sarcomancy, and Die on the Steps. This night is 21+ only and kicks off at 6pm. 

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