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An epic headbangers' ball

Metal rules at Dusk's Mortvvm Aestvs MMXIV
By CHRIS CONTI  |  June 11, 2014

SLAYERS Churchburn. [Photo by Hillarie Jason]

While the unsuspecting Federal Hill set dine on chicken marsala and crème brûlée this weekend, hundreds of black/death metal fans will congregate around the corner at Dusk on Harris Avenue for Mortvvm Aestvs MMXIV, a heavy-duty headbangers’ ball of epic proportions — a dozen bands spanning three nights starting Friday the 13th (yikes). Viva la metal, motherfuckers!

While Harris Avenue is usually associated with strip clubs (and traffic adjudication nightmares back in the day), the small brick-laden lounge on the corner known as Dusk has become the go-to hotspot for live shows of every conceivable genre, particularly the metal scene. Thanks to Ricky Sunderland (along with co-owner Pat Butler), Dusk has developed into one of PVD’s most vital live venues over the past four years while garnering a stellar reputation for accommodating local and national touring acts.

The Mortvvm Aestvs event will feature various sub-genres of heavy metal, similar to last year’s highly successful Something Bloody fest held at Dusk. That rumble down was a sight to behold while traveling along Route 10 into Providence, and the teeth-rattling thunder from the outdoor stage was heard and felt from blocks away. This year Sunderland teamed up with the forzaMorte
group, a collaborative effort by a number of Providence-based musicians exclusively focused on developing the extreme underground music community within our region. PVD music vets Andrew Petrosinelli, Mark Laskey, and Mike Cardoso are the masterminds behind forzaMorte as well as members of the band Sangus, which will perform during the Saturday night session. The outdoor stage was nixed this year to help keep costs down and will pass the savings on to the attendees, with an $8 cover charge per evening; three-night passes will be available at the door for just $20 (401.714.0444,

Lining up 12 bands across three nights sounds like a logistical nightmare, but Petrosinelli said the lineup fell into place pretty easily and has been confirmed since February. The Satan-approved soiree was initially inspired by a one-off show booking of New Jersey black metal legends Krieg, commemorating the 10-year anniversary of landmark release The Black House.

“The excitement of this single gig inspired booking the other nights around it,” said Petrosinelli, “and from there conscious decision was made to present the event as three successive night shows.” Marking the occasion, Krieg will be performing the album in its entirety “whilst adorning the chains, bullet belts, and corpse paint of the classic Krieg era of yesteryear,” he noted.

Petrosinelli served as stage manager for last summer’s Metal Fest event and witnessed firsthand the tremendous outpouring of support from fellow metalheads. He said they intend to make the Mortvvm Aestvs festival an annual event as a “summer opening party,” and plans are already in the works to bookend the year with a free show (scheduled for December 27) featuring Sangus and many more acts.

The opening night salvo is a murderer’s row of metal from around the region and beyond, with Baltimore doom-riders Oak co-headlining with local favorites Churchburn, who absolutely slayed on the outdoor stage last year. Word is Churchburn will be releasing a new EP this summer. NYC’s Throaat and bile-churning Boston vets Blessed Offal will round out the Friday night lineup.

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