Noise or Music? No Need to Choose on June 24

Written by Scott Belzer | June 21st, 2023

Hear ye! Hear ye! A Rippin’ Production seeks to settle the debate once and for all between “noise”—harsh, cacophonous raw aggression in this case—and the more melodic brand of heavy metal. Need more information? Slightly confused? Don’t know what the hell I’m talking about? Consider the following lineup of amazing bands in store for June 24 @ Bogg’s Social & Supply, which could be considered a clash of two colossal tours (and may very well be exactly that).

And while you’re at it, pick a side (I’ll be acting as a double agent for both), place your bets (buy a ticket), and make your way to this fun-filled night on Atlanta’s West Side.

Savage Master | No/Mas

Louisville’s Savage Master has been crafting lust-filled tributes to death and evil since Halloween 2014. The band’s latest effort, 2022’s Those Who Hunt at Night, continues their traditional take on classic heavy metal, evoking such stalwarts as Cirith Ungol, Saxon, and Judas Priest through soaring guitar melodies, galloping rhythms and vocals straight out of an X-rated-fantasy-themed comic book. Singer Stacey Savage takes what works for all those heavy metal pioneers and adds the playful, authoritative edge found in the likes of Debbie Harry and Cherie Currie. When combined, Savage Master puts out thunder-and-lightning, Harley-revving rock n’ roll worthy of your favorite tongue-in-cheek ‘80s horror sequels, a day spent hopping bars, or a night dedicated to mischief.

The noisy answer to Savage Master’s expert craftmanship is Washington D.C.’s No/Más. This brutal four-piece has been slinging sludge-filled grindcore and death metal since 2017, culminating in their latest 2022 full-length—Consume / Deny / Repent. Not for the weak of heart, No/Más takes elements of your favorite discordant death and crust bands—heavily distorted guitars, grimy-yet-groovy riffs, tempos, and blast beats that change more than the winds of a hurricane—and throws them in a slime-filled blender. Roger Rivadeneira’s vocals plunge as deep as John Letzkus’s guitars and Patrick Mason’s bass and meet the raw savagery of Henry Everitt’s thunderous and frenetic drums. No/Más isn’t looking to reinvent the wheel when it comes to confrontational, pit-worthy grindcore—they’re just aiming to dish out one of the best examples any active band can claim. You can bet your ass they succeed.

Crossed Hearts | Knoll

Atlanta’s Crossed Hearts have been hitting the road and growing in stature since releasing their catchy single “White Lies” in 2022. The band’s 2023 full-length, Forced Perspective, continues the quintet’s own brand of melodic heavy metal, showcasing the formidable pipes of Carlee Jackson and the virtuosic guitar chops of Daniel Lerch and Alvaro Garcia. When placed alongside the stomp-worthy rhythms from bassist Matt Mill and drummer Amos Rifkin (y’all know this guy?), Crossed Hearts provides a noteworthy entry into the epic saga of heavy metal. What sets them apart are the personal, heartfelt (sometimes downright lustful) lyrics, as well as the love and care forged into the music. These folks love heavy metal, and it’s evident (dare I say contagious?) in each one of their hard-rockin’, head-bangin’, gang vocalizin’ tunes. Raise your first and join the fun.

Memphis’s Knoll, in the same way, has staked their own claim in the realm of brutal grindcore. Offering a wall of sound filled with trudging breakdowns, mathcore-worthy guitar riffs, machine gun blast beats, and downright agonized vocals, Knoll drags listeners to the dissonant depths of desperation. On their latest full-length, 2022’s Metempiric, the band caps it off with disorienting electronics and trumpet blasts (!) to really hammer home the notion that this isn’t just another entry into grindcore, but a methodical and intelligent approach to it. Listening to Knoll live is almost a psychedelic experience—one filled with anger and rage, as well as a call to action against the forces of inevitability. The soundscape is there to challenge you, dear listener, to claw back against the sands of time and fight back against hopelessness. It’s a trip, man, and one well worth taking.

Moonlust | Dungeon Filth

Raunchy rock n’ roll soars to new heights (or sink to new lows, depending on your point of view) with Atlanta’s own Moonlust. Combining elements of psych-rock, garage-y punk, and good ol’ fashioned hard rock, Moonlust offers dance-worthy rhythms and straightforward melodies suitable for any heavy music appreciator. The band also brings a unique energy to the stage that revels in its own irreverence. It’s tongue-in-cheek, it’s playful, and overall, it’s there to provide attendees with a good time. You don’t have to ascribe any well-thought-out ideas or concepts while listening to Moonlust because that’s not what they’re there for. They’re there to make you want to shake your rump, bang your head and make a toast to vibin’. 

Atlanta’s Dungeon Filth will also be present to ensure the vibes are set for a tumultuous evening. This deathgrind trio has become one of the city’s staples when it comes to brutal death metal, serving up an energy unique unto themselves night after night. Watching the combination of Dr. Ew, FesteringMass and Pungent Spence (their self-given names, not mine!) play a show is truly an experience, one filled with hyperactive spectacle and unrelenting riffs straight from the grave. The band’s melodies are quick-and-dirty in the truest sense, smartly bridging the gap between grind, death metal, and crust punk. The first time I saw Dungeon Filth, I was whipped by a cat-o-nine tails and made all the better for it—if that doesn’t convey what Dungeon Filth is all about, I don’t know what will. 

Scott Belzer

Tickets for Music Vs Noise Fest are available here.