Headbangers and heshers, this one's for you: Raleigh-based Internet metal radio station www.snakenet.com is holding its first metalfest this Friday through Sunday, June 28-30. Snake, aka New Jersey transplant Jerry Storch, will fill Raleigh's Lincoln Theatre with more than 40 bands that all worship metal--serious metal, not the nü and/or rap metal that "the kids" dig. Storch started the station in October 1998 and says that snake.com is now the Number Two overall metal station, "probably Number One if you discount the fact that the Number One station doesn't play metal, they play hard rock, more like what you'd hear on 96.1. We play extreme underground metal." The site plays bands on labels like Metal Blade, Sanctuary, Century Media Relapse and others and boasts more than 250,000 titles. "Our demographic is 60 percent from North America; the other 40 percent is from Europe," says Storch, adding that Canada and Scandinavia, home of those wacky, church-burnin' black metal Norwegians, make up a large portion of the non-Yank fan base.
The fest features an impressive list that rivals other major U.S. metal gatherings like Jack Koschick's Milwaukee metalfest or the New Jersey Metal Meltdown shows, which are as close as you'll come, stateside, to the huge underground Euro fests that attract thousands of fans. In fact, Milwaukee's Koschick is on board as a consultant/coordinator of sorts, assisting first-time promoter Storch in lining up the acts. Along with a few local shredders (Bone Shelter and Iskariot, for example), the roster includes Montreal's Kataklysm (on Nuclear Blast), black metal act Summon, Beyond the Embrace, Lamb of God (pictured above) and many more.
"We're hoping to become a player in the metalfest scene and put Raleigh on the map," says Storch. If this is your dream too, don your most obscure metal band T-shirt--something with a stylin' satanic design and an umlaut or two--and get ready for a me-tal weekend. --Angie Carlson