A photographic account of heavy music in Portland, Maine
Legend has it that it was written by the dark ones: Necronomicon Ex Mortis, roughly translated, Book of the Dead.
Tonight, like a shambling corpse emerging from a root cellar, local grind band Book of the Dead will be reanimated for a lucky audience at Geno’s.
The occasion is Dougfest 2015 — a birthday party for guitarist Douglas Porter, who will play in all three of tonight’s scheduled bands: Book of the Dead, Johnny Cremains, and Appalachian throwbacks The Ghosts of Johnson City.
Porter, who turned 36 on Tuesday, is one of Portland’s most prolific and beloved musicians. Last time we wrote about him, he nearly broke our tiny corner of the Internet, amassing hundreds more page views than anything else in our canon.
“I’ve spent my entire drumming career trying to be worthy of being in a band with Doug Porter,” said his longtime friend Adam Cogswell. “Every time you have the honor of creating music with Doug, you become a better musician/artist. Every practice. Every show. Every time.”
Tonight, Cogswell is drumming alongside Porter in two bands: Book of the Dead and Johnny Cremains. He has known Porter for more than 20 years, having met him in John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor.
“He was the guitar player, even back then,” Cogswell recalled.
In 2002, Cogswell, Porter and Jason LaFrance decided to move south to spring Confusatron on Portland audiences. Thereafter, they wove themselves into the city’s fabric through seemingly countless bands including Spork, Frosted Porn Flakes, and The Watchers.
“I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch,” he added.
Book of the Dead — a trio with Porter, Cogswell, and Candy Man — formed in 2008 but has been hibernating since 2011.
“It’s been years since we’ve played these songs, but it’s all muscle memory,” Cogswell said.
“Playing (the songs) again is like hitting play on an an old cassette. We just watch and laugh at each other as our limbs somehow remember how to play these blazing-fast technical songs.
“It’s an out-of-body experience almost.”
10 p.m. 625 Congress St.