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(Live Review) METAL THREAT FESTIVAL - DAY 1 (Monstrosity + more)

Metal Threat Festival

Part One

Day One 4-14-23

The Brauer House

Lombard, Illinois

By The Beard & Little Johnny

THIS, is what happens when you allow Little Johnny to book shows.

Stop number nine, and bands 48-55, on “The Reviews Never Stop Tour 2023” brings your dynamic reviewing duo, (The Beard & Little Johnny) to day number one of The Metal Threat Festival in Lombard Illinois. Day one, is apparently The Day of Death Metal.

On the Bill:

Dungeon Serpent

Cardiac Arrest

Cerebral Rot




Dead Congregation


The Beard located a spot by the far-right wall, and luckily, one of only about a dozen stools in the entire place. With my back against the wall, (so the pit can only come at me from one direction), I am prepared for approximately eleven hours of non-stop death metal mayhem. Little Johnny is near the stage and is as antsy as a kid the night before Christmas. Currently it is early on a Friday afternoon so the floor is not yet even half full, but this will surely change quickly.

First up: Melodic death metal from British Columbia in the personage of:


Initially, I found them kind of a death/doom sound. Vocals are the death growl (common to the genre), but the music alternates between a slower paced plodding and a speeding train style. Some of the doom portions were nicely melodic and had good structure and pace. I enjoyed the fast death portions less, but as an amalgamation it was good for an opener.

Dungeon Serpent have only been together since 2019, and have just one release, (the 5-track 35-minute World of Sorrows), so not much of a catalog to draw from in their opening set. Still, for a big fest opener coming out of the gate, The Beard will give a generous:


Second up: Local Death Metal from Chicago’s own:


This Chicago act may look like a retired biker chapter, but they have been making music for a quarter century and have seven full length albums to draw from. Cardiac Arrest has more of a death/thrash sound, which means that Adam Scott’s vocals are not entirely illegible. The Beard kind of likes this material, including tracks from their latest release, “The Day that Death Prevailed”.

Johnny has started doing something between a mosh and that weird “monkey hop” thing Ozzy does in concert. Not sure what to call it, but hey, now it’s a show!

Very good drumming from Jim Debenderfer. Again, for the second band up, these guys are good. Maybe the Day of Death won’t be a much of an “only Johnny enjoys it” day as I thought. Cardiac Arrest’s style did wear out its welcome a bit as their set went on, but overall, another solid band in a genre that is admittedly not my favorite.