WORCESTER, Mass. – The year’s most intense weekend of metal and hardcore is just days away, as the 14th Annual New England Metal and Hardcore Festival begins with a special “Kick Off Party” on Thursday, April 19.

The show will feature live performances by Thy Will Be Done, Last Chance to Reason, Legion, The Confrontation, Forsaken, Eyes of the Dead, Strike Hard, Acaro, Conforza, Desiccation, and Widow Sunday. Doors will open at 5 p.m.

The party, as well as the festival itself, will take place at the Palladium in Worcester, Mass., the festival’s home since its inception.

Fans who can’t make it to the festival will be able to follow all the goings-on via live updates, interviews, and backstage footage at, where music journalist Scott McLennan will be filing reports online throughout Metalfest weekend.

McLennan has seen the fest grow from ambitious beginnings into the world-class event it is today. “I remember when The Acacia Strain, All That Remains, and Killswitch Engage were part of the up-and-comers at Metalfest and here they now are as headliners,” he said. “Few festivals are as good at discovering and nurturing talent.”

Having covered several editions of Metalfest as well as other fests, Scott knows that traditional reviews only capture a sliver of what goes on. So this year he decided to take this approach of supplying mini-reviews and stories throughout the duration of the festival. Scott was the music columnist at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette for 15 years and is a music correspondent for The Boston Globe.

The full schedule of band set times will be revealed today at 3:33 p.m. EST.

Fans can also follow the fest with the free New England Metal and Hardcore Festival mobile app, available at the iTunes store.

A camera crew will be on hand this year to document the show for an upcoming film focusing on the history of the festival, behind the scenes footage and the development of the show. The documentary will be produced by Manny Santiago from Crimson Media and sponsored by Shook Clothing.

The complete lineup for Friday includes The Black Dahlia Murder, The Acacia Strain, Oceano (final show), All Shall Perish, Nile, Skeletonwitch, Carnifex, Death Threat, Lionheart, First Blood, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Molotov Solution, The Contortionist, Conducting From The Grave, Betrayal, Reign Supreme, Fit For An Autopsy, CDC, This Is Hell, Incendiary, Palehorse, Obey The Brave, FocusedXMinds, Legion, Hour of Penance, Rude Awakening, and Longshot.

Saturday’s lineup is All That Remains, DragonForce, Overkill, Protest the Hero, Unearth, Iwrestledabearonce, Periphery, Bane, 100 Demons, Cruel Hand, Holy Grail, Shipwreck, God Forbid, Structures, The Mongoloids, Naysayer, Ro­­tting Out, Huntress, Expire, The Greenery, Cockpunch, Hung, Revenge, Diamond Plate, Wrong Answer, Manners, Suidakra, Trumpet The Harlot, and Fire in the Skies.

Sunday will close out the weekend with Killswitch Engage, Every Time I Die, Vanna, For Today, Sleeping Giant, Chelsea Grin, Stick to Your Guns, Attila, MyChildren MyBride, Emmure, For the Fallen Dreams, On Broken Wings, Recon, Texas In July, Betraying the Martyrs, Upon a Burning Body, Like Moths To Flames, Volumes, Hundredth, No Bragging Rights, Glass Cloud, Counterparts, Gideon, and The Air I Breathe.

This year’s vendors include: Arrest Records (, Godlyke Distributing (, Delusive Clothing (, Get Punched Apparel (, Metal Machine Entertainment (, Deathwish (, All In Merch (, FDR, Sinister Girls (, Victory Records (, Hurt Reynolds Clothing (, Naragansett, Plug Your Holes (, Hails and Horns (, Shook Clothing (, Hatewear (, Iron Fist (, and Shirts For A Cure (

Tickets are still available. Ticket prices are: $40 (Friday), $45 (Saturday), and $40 (Sunday) or $115 (three-day pass).

Sponsors this year include All In Merch, Monster, Narragansett, Hails & Horns magazine, Ibenez, Tama, BLK HEART Group, Metal Blade Records, Zildjian, Metal Injection, Metal Wreckage, Break Thru Music, Sound Rink, Green Vans, Shook Clothing, Planet Waves, D’Addario, Pro Mark, Evans drumheads, RED, f.y.e., R&D Express, In Tune guitar picks, and SSV Silver Surfer Vaporizers.

Performers are subject to change.


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