Alright, that’s it for this year. Saturday might have been the big draw at Maryland Deathfest 2009, but Sunday was no disappointment either, unless you were a Pestilence fan. Pestilence cancelled due to visa issues and were replaced by a second set of Bolt Thrower, who played the same set as Saturday in a different order, and on the inside stage where things got a bit more intense (and a lot hotter) than Saturday’s outdoor show.

The highlights of the day for me were Kill the Client, ridiculously intense political grindcore from Texas, and Yakuza, who were really a nice change of pace with their atmospheric, deliberately paced compositions and their prominent use of saxophone. More thoughts and photos after the jump – and the full Sunday gallery with nearly 200 photos is here.

D.C.’s own Magrudergrind were the first set I saw on Sunday, and they were great. Singer was a joy to photograph as well:

The aforementioned Kill the Client, whose singer spent at least half the set crowdsurfing and moshing in the crowd, mic cord trailing behind him:

Splitter, one of many bands about which I remember absolutely nothing:

The worst set of the weekend, by far, came from Despise You. If anyone can explain the appeal of this terrible band to me, I’ll give you a cookie. Seriously, go have a listen and let me know a single thing enjoyable about this crap.

Yakuza, as mentioned, were awesome:

The Red Chord seem to draw wildly conflicting opinions, but I liked them:

Normally the complex black-metal stylings of Krallice would have really appealed to me, but it required a bit too much brainpower at that point in the weekend and kind of went in one ear and out the other. I’d like to see them again.

Fans got really stoked for Destroyer 666. Despite not being familiar with them beforehand, I was impressed with their show and picked up a couple records afterwards. They ended up being the de facto headliners after Pestilence dropped out, and they stepped up to the plate pretty damn well.

Devourment is a band in which I have little interest on record; their “slam metal” is way too simplistic and obvious to keep my interest over the course of a full album. Live, though, the continuous onslaught of mosh-ready power is pretty intoxicating:

Japan’s Sigh closed out the fest with a literal bang, as singer/saxophonist Mikannibal dripped candle wax onto herself before blowing a fireball towards the audience. Their set was a nice cross-section of recent material, and their crazily bombastic energy was a better way to close out a long day of metal than Wolves in the Throne Room‘s slow drone from Saturday night.

Full gallery here.