Today Jenny and I headed down to the Ottobar to attend the Maryland Folk Metal Fest. We were hoping to have a nice dinner, hear some great music, and possibly meet some other occultists. Happily we were successful on all three fronts…

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We got there just as the first band was finishing their set and took to the bar for refreshment. Jenny and I have both come to really love hard cider, and so took the bartender’s recommendation, which was Crispin, which we found to be pleasantly refreshing, and is so similar to apple juice you’d honestly never taste the 5% alcohol by volume. We were on our second round before long…


I like my death metal as much as the next metal-head, but wasn’t really in the mood for a lot of growling, double-bass rage today. So while plenty of bands were cut from that cloth (not that there’s anything wrong with that mind you) there were two that evening much more in the folk camp that really stood out to me.

The first of them we saw was Ashagal – a three piece band (bagpipes being one) with some heavy medieval influences, and whose subject matter quite often includes Norse Mythology. Their song A Moonlit Path, the tale of Odin’s encounter with a group of dark elves (who find out too late the god’s identity) gave me some serious frisson.


Ashagal at the Maryland Folk Metal Fest – Ottobar, Baltimore

We then decided to duck out for a bit to grab some dinner. We both used to (separately) come to shows at the Ottobar many different times over the years, and always remembered the neighborhood as being slightly sketchy (in that good Baltimore way)… but the neighborhood now is well on its way towards gentrification. The upside though, was right across the street was the new high-end butcher shop/restaurant Jenny had heard of called Parts & Labor.

While definitely somewhat on the pricey side, for those who are serious about meats this place is a must-visit for a Baltimorian (or any visitor to our fine city). We ended up getting the full butcher’s board, and two more ciders (Jack’s this time, which was also good… sweeter…). But the tray stole the show, different salamis, copas, and spicy paté which was like three different layers of complex deliciousness. Every piece was downright delectable, and we savored every bite (with or without mustard). It also didn’t hurt that the meal came with bread served with a butter made of pig lard that veritably melted before your eyes.


Full Butcher’s Board – Parts & Labor, Baltimore

After a spectacular meal, we headed back in and swung by their table so we could meet Ashgal and pick up some of their music. We immediately hit it off with John Harford the band’s bagpipe player, and all found we have a lot of similar interests (not the least of which is the occult). He had noticed us from stage as well, and could tell we were appreciating their stuff, so like many “real-deal” folks can sense one another and gain instant rapport, I think we achieved just that. I’d also worn my Heidevolk shirt, and he (being awesome) knew them, so we had that to talk about as well…

We also picked up two CDs, one from Ashgal and another from John’s other band which is like medieval Turkish instrumental stuff… I look forward to listening to them both, and we hung out with John a bit more all throughout the night, so I look forward to the chance to do so again as well… or perhaps even work together on some magickal operation one day.

We then caught the other band that evening that really caught my eye (or ear…). Named for the great stag of Valhalla, Chicago-based Eikthyrnir had the whole joint rocking, even impressing other professionals there that night.


Eikthyrnir at the Maryland Folk Metal Fest – Ottobar, Baltimore

It’s kinda hard to recommend them, as their stage performance is likely a lot different than how their stuff would sound recorded, but I think there may possibly be only two bands out there that can make an accordion sound metal… Korpiklanni and these guys…

I also did a little bit of O.T.O. outreach, and in the process fulfilled one part of an oath I took as part of the IIº. Naturally I can’t tell you what, but if you’re second degree or higher you could probably guess. If so, and you’re still scratching your head… just understand that for me (and many people I think) being at a concert is sometimes much akin to attending a religious service. And this place is a staple venue…

While there were still a few things I was curious to possibly still see, we both were quite happy with the entire experience and decided to head home an hour or so before the Fest finally ended.

Another awesome day.


Saturday 8/20/16-

Sun: Leo-

Moon: Aries-

For my disclosure on this or any of my post or pages… please visit my Disclosure page.

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