FSView  01/30/2003   

by Eric Hartsfield

With the 'emo' movement having no end in sight,
self-indulgent, whining musicians have never been as
prevalent as they are today. And with shows like
"American Idol" adding insult to injury, pop music is
slowly pushing harder music completely out of the picture.

It has been years since MTV aired "Headbanger's Ball."
When Metallica's members cut off their hair, they took a
little piece of the metal scene with it. But metal never
died. Through the faithful and headstrong the genre has
survived.

North Florida Metal Fest is doing its part to keep rock
alive. Now in its fourth year, the festival has been a
staple in the local music scene. For the fan of heavier
music, this has been a must-see event.

Aside from drawing national acts, the concert this year
will include many local bands, such as Altar of Flesh.
The band is comprised of Jason Santos (guitar/vocals),
Matt Santos (drums) and Joe LaChapelle (bass/vocals).
For being a three piece, the band creates a powerful
sound. Altar of Flesh, which has shared the stage with
such acts as Morbid Angel and Monstosity, compare
favorably with most national acts. A song like "Crucified
Again," off the band's demo, shows the true potential of
the group. The sound is extremely hard and unrelenting.
It is the epitome of in-your-face metal. The future of
metal belongs to groups like Altar of Flesh.

On the national scene the North Florida Metal Fest lists
many large acts, and Malevolent Creation headlines this
year. The Buffalo, NY natives play a heavy blend of
death metal. The band's latest album, The Fine Art of
Murder, is intrinsically evil -- a key part of what one looks
for in a death metal band.

After playing for over 10 years and creating a number of
albums, the metal veterans show no signs of stopping.
Malevolent Creation is currently on a tour where it is
playing almost every day for two months straight. With
dates across the globe, it is apparent it is spreading the
death metal gospel to the world.

Don't miss what could be the loudest show of the year.
The lineup also includes Bloodlet, Bloodjin, Reflux,
Impurity, Cystic Dysentary and Breathe. Aside from being
an assortment of disturbing names, the bands are
guaranteed to leave their mark musically, too. The North
Florida Metal Fest 4 is Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Beta Bar.
Doors open at 5 and the show starts at 6 p.m. Advance
tickets are on sale for $10. The concert is all ages.