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You were waiting for the new Vampire Weekend album to drop when you heard about the death of Jeff Hanneman, one of Slayer’s founding members. Your metalhead friends wept openly. Right then, something hit you: “Maybe I should listen to some Slayer. Y’know, out of respect.” When you put on “Angel of Death,” something stirred within. You remembered that metal fucking rules, and now you’re fucking hooked. Right?! Good, news, convert! Maryland Death Fest is here to melt your face. The always anticipated metalocalypse is free of corporate sponsorship; it’s run by two guys who, basically, wanted to create a safe space for headbangers. Big bands always rally for Death Fest: This year unites Virginia’s Pig Destroyer (shown), metalcore band Converge, and Norwegian black-metal titans Carpathian Forest under one roof. After a couple of hours in the surely disgusting mosh pit, you’ll have forgotten about those cardigan-wearing vampires.
The Maryland Death Festival runs May 23 to May 26 at the former Sonar space, 407 E Saratoga St., Baltimore. $51-$57. marylanddeathfest.com.