With Ozzfest having devolved from a summer colossus, to a free event, to a one-day band dump, Glenn Danzig's Blackest of the Black reigns as the preeminent all-metal festival helmed by a heavy-music icon. It's only getting Blacker: This year's lineup ranks as the strongest, top-to-bottom, in the tour's six-year history. Headliner Danzig's most recent release culls from two decades of "lost tracks," with a quality level more befitting a best-of album than an odds-and-ends collection. All that vault excavation didn't make Danzig nostalgic enough to exhume Misfits material for his current set lists, but Dimmu Borgir's stage show, involving corpse paint, inverted crosses and other macabre imagery, should satiate the Fiends' lust for spectacle. The Portuguese group Moonspell delves deep into Gothic ambience, with dense orchestral synthesizers and grave spoken-word poetry about tragedies befalling angels. Winds of Plague combines the symphonic atmosphere of Danzig's classical Black Aria albums with grunt-voiced deathcore. And Skeletonwitch lives up to its awesome song title "Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery," combining Iron Maiden-style harmonies and solos with punky backbeats and demon-whisper vocals. All ages.
Sat., Nov. 8, 6 p.m., 2008