A photographic account of heavy music in Portland, Maine
This year, Halloween in Portland cannot be contained to a mere 24 hours.
Halloween 2014 is a force of unfathomable magnitude. It is a blood-lusting juggernaut that begins Tuesday with Mastodon and tramples everything in sight until Saturday with Wolvhammer.
In short, it is the High Holidays for metalheads.
So consider this your at-a-glance guide of where to be and who to see. Be sure to get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids and beware the evil eye.
Mastodon is touring behind their sixth studio album “Once More ‘Round the Sun” — an LP that turns the dial ever so slightly back toward metal after their defection to rock with 2011’s “The Hunter.” For some, that slight return isn’t quite enough, but we count ourselves defenders of the album, particularly the song “Aunt Lisa,” which stands as tall as anything in their back catalogue (and features a now-rare vocal turn by Brent Hinds, who croons sweetly about cocaine and cunnilingus).
Gojira is touring behind their new DVD “Live at Brixton,” while Kvelertak is, well, just badass.
Lauren Wayne, general manager of the State Theatre, said Monday there are “plenty of tickets available,” and offered this crucial piece of advice:
“Don’t show up if you don’t want your face melted.”
Tickets are $31. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. According to Wayne, approximate set times are:
But wait! There’s more!
Beginning at 5 p.m., 207 Brand is hosting a Mastodon Pre-Show Rage at Empire featuring beer specials, giveaways and a heavy metal setlist engineered by King Shit of Fuck Mountain, Mr. Sean Libby (of Sylvia and Johnny Cremains fame), and his better half, Barbara Campanale.
We’re not sure anyone had ever thought to compare the relative merits of Pantera and Megadeth but — now that the question has been raised — you should seek the answer Wednesday at Empire during another installment of the long-running, hugely popular Clash of the Titans series.
Beginning at 10 p.m. Wednesday, two specially formed cover bands will represent each opponent in a song-for-song duel.
Representing Megadeth is guitarist Mike Prescott of Doubting Gravity, guitarist Kyle Jongerden of Lord Earth, bassist Johnny Noise of The Never Nudes and Haunted Cities, and drummer Stefan Samuels of Eldemur Krimm and Div Kid.
In Pantera’s corner is vocalist Zeke Price (formerly of Breeding Strength), guitarist Tom Hall of Kris Rogers and the Dirty Gems, bassist Jake Desjardins (formerly of Absence of the Sun) and drummer Shawn Quirk (formerly of Heart Shaped Rock).
When it comes to a tête-à-tête between Pantera and Megadeth, we think we already know the outcome; but we’re withholding judgement until early Thursday morning because we’ve been very wrong before.
10 p.m., 575 Congress St., 6 bucks.
If you missed State Theatre’s presentation of Damnationland earlier this month, fear not.
Beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Saco Drive-In, Damnationland — a collection of six, Maine-made short horror films — will be shown as a double feature with The Hanover House.
Gates open at 5 p.m. The cost is $15 per car for three people or fewer or $20 per car for four or more.
969 Portland Road.
This is it — the big night — so you don’t want to fuck it up.
There are a billion choices in Portland on Halloween, but we’re opting for something off the beaten path: a psychedelic rock show at Space Gallery.
Beginning 9 p.m. at Space, three local bands will assume the identities of ’60s rock bands: Jeff Beam and Friends will play as Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, the Lovers of Fiction will play as The Kinks, and The Blood Capsules will play as Roky Erickson. Joining the Blood Capsules is Justin Curtsinger of Zud and Grime Studios.
Maine-born/NYC-based Zachary Wilson will also serve as DJ throughout the night.
9 p.m., 538 Congress St., 8 bucks for members/10 bucks for everyone else.
This is arguably the highlight of the week.
If you have to choose just one show, let it be Wolvhammer, Mortals and Ramlord on Saturday at Geno’s Rock Club. While everything else in this calendar has a sheen of light on it — an air of levity or ironic detachment — this shit right here is the darkest of dark.
Wolvhammer’s appearance marks the second time in less than a month that Geno’s has hosted a Profound Lore artist (Lord Mantis); and Mortals’ appearance marks the second time in less than a month that Geno’s has hosted a band that is bound for Roadburn 2015 (also Lord Mantis). Even if it was just New Hampshire’s Ramlord, the show would be worth the trip.
Don’t miss this opportunity to support crushingly heavy national bands in our fair city. Pony up the 7 bucks.
625 Congress St.