Throwing it down

The Something Bloody Music Fest at Dusk
By CHRIS CONTI  |  July 24, 2013

BRINGING IT Lolita Black's Otis [center].

Heavy metal brethren from around the region (and beyond) will unite for a hell-raising extravaganza on Harris Avenue this weekend, when Dusk presents the Something Bloody Music Fest. Pack the earplugs and an extra liver for this one — we’re talking about 30 bands on two stages on Saturday and Sunday starting around 2 pm. The SBMF has culled a wide array of hard-edged acts sure to satisfy all. An early-bird deal is still in effect — just $35 for the full weekend pass or $20 per day (which will increase to $25), available at and Armageddon Records.

Providence has never seen a heavy metal festival of this magnitude; Dusk co-owners Ricky Sunderland and Pat Butler have been planning the event for months. Gathering and successfully scheduling 30 bands (ranging from here to Chicago) is quite the feat, and Sunderland acknowledged the potentially bloody mess on his hands, logistically speaking.

“I wanted to host outside events since the day I found this location,” Sunderland said when we chatted over beers last week, “and we are finally going for it. I am nervous as hell, but so much hard work has gone into it that I know it’s going to be great.

“This is the largest event I have ever tried to pull off and there’s just so much preparation involved, from lighting and staging to acquiring the proper permits, designing flyers, fencing off the property for the outside stage, renting the port-a-johns.”

Sunderland credits Tom Sly of Thrillhouse and Andrew Petrisonelli for assembling the hefty roster and ironing out the madcap logistics, as well as artistic guidance and flyer designs from Josh Yelle, Corey Gomes, and Joe Skorupa of Owls and Athens.

“I just hope everything works out and people actually show up to this thing, ya know?”

Judging by the spirited reactions on social media sites, I don’t think Ricky and Pat have anything to worry about. Sunderland has built a fervent fanbase with the highly successful Metal Night series held every Wednesday. And even if the genre lands well outside your sonic wheelhouse, the people-watching and overall atmosphere at any Dusk show is worth experiencing. Butler and Sunderland have garnered a well-earned rep as top-notch hosts of local and national acts over the past three years.

The broad “heavy metal” genre lends itself to a wide spectrum of assaultive sounds, and Something Bloody nails it, from classic death metal to technically progressive stoner rock. Nationally recognized headliners include Dawnbringer (Chicago), Dehumanized (NYC), and Cauchemar (Canada). On the local front, be on the lookout for Bog of the Infidel and Witch King. From PVD-based instrumental riff kings Thrillhouse to the bass-heavy, supremely stoned rumble of Elder, there are plenty of reasons to get out there and support the Something Bloody Fest.

Providence music veteran Bob Otis has been a fixture in the local music community for more than 20 years as part of legendary crust-punk vanguards Dropdead. This weekend he will perform with two decidedly different bands, resurrecting death metal trio I, Destroyer on Saturday, followed by the almighty Lolita Black on Sunday. Otis suffered a blown eardrum a few months back but is on the mend and ready to rock.

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