By Cody Branchaw
Black clothing and long hair filled the Nyumburu Cultural Center Saturday night as the University of Maryland Metal Club held their annual concert. Chains hung from belts while graphic T-shirts with demons and bold gothic font made wearing plain-colored clothing the only way to stand out. A girl walked past with dark dyed hair covering a paragraph on the back of her shirt, leaving only the fitting phrase ‘black as night’ showing at the bottom.
Nearly 60 people came out to the concert, which featured three local metal bands from Baltimore, dressed in black and ready to rock.
“It’s so exciting,” said president of the Metal Club and 5th year mechanical engineering major Alex Bee. “This is the big event. This is what everyone looks forward to.”
As the bands came out to play the atmosphere began to shift from friendly social gathering to a tense excitement. Throughout the first few songs attendees slowly began to nod their heads to the fast-paced beats while others removed the hair ties that restricted their headbanging. After the first band, Enemy Insects, finished their opening set, the second band, Insenmor, picked up where the first had left off, pumping the room full of powerful guitar riffs and insane-tempo drumming while a small mosh pit began to form in the back of the crowd.
While the attendance may seem small, the emotion and music still draws some of the more die-hard metal fans.
“I’ve been to concerts where you see a guy bringing his wife along, and she just doesn’t care, and you don’t get that at local shows, said Christian Armstrong, a 26-year-old Amazon employee, “because those kinds of people don’t know about it, it’s a small crowd and a more intense crowd, people who love music.”
Through the blackness of the clothing and the initially intimidating appearance, there exists a strong bond between the fans of this hardcore music.
“You definitely get to know the people in the community,” said Mike Wilson, the bassist for one of the performing bands Isenmor.
“There are a couple of us that will come back who are still in the area,” said University of Maryland and Metal Club alum Max Hofackur. “I’m gonna keep coming back until I can’t.”
Club Treasurer Matthew Hubbard said that he feels that the club has a decent voice on campus and is attractive to metal fans around campus.
“Through the First Look Fair and StampFest we get a decent amount of people. You see someone wearing a metal t-shirt, sometimes I’ll go up to them and talk about the club.”
When the club is not hosting their annual concert, it acts as a regular social club for anyone who cares about metal or even just music.
“We invite people to come meet up once and week and talk about anything metal pretty much,” said club President Alex Bee.