Vegas Doom Metal Festival Returns

Moreno Valley sludge-metal band Trapped Within Burning Machinery plays Doom in June on June 7.

Moreno Valley sludge-metal band Trapped Within Burning Machinery plays Doom in June on June 7.

The last time I saw Marco Barbieri was at Doom in June, an annual summer doom-metal fest at Cheyenne Saloon. The concert promoter and band manager (Demon Lung, Warbringer) had seen improved attendance but not enough to warrant a Doom in June Vol. 4.

That changed with the recent announcement that the festival was back in a big way—two days (up from one) and 23 bands on the decidedly harder end of the doom spectrum. (In other words, fewer stoner and hard-rock groups and more death-doom.) So what happened?

Barbieri says he had a blast last time so he’s trying again. This time, he listened to attendees when they insisted they were more likely to travel if the festival spanned two days, and when they told him they preferred darker, doomier bands.

“The name and the brand Doom in June is growing, and I couldn’t turn my back on that,” Barbieri says

The festival lineup, which takes place June 6-7, is a serious metalhead’s dream: Acid Witch, November’s Doom, Pale Divine, Satan’s Host, My Ruin and Christian Mistress. There’s no Black Sabbath-level headliner, but Barbieri is content to slow-grow the gathering until it draws a famous band.

The other development in Barbieri’s musical existence: He was reinstated as president of indie-metal label Century Media Records. It’s a position he left in 2007 to focus on real estate. Currently he splits his time between Century Media’s L.A. offices and Las Vegas, where his family resides. But don’t expect Century Media’s roster of artists to storm Doom in June.

“I like to put things in their own boxes so things don’t get incestuous,” Barbieri says. “Century Media is my job; Doom in June is my hobby.”

Upcoming shows this week:

The best live music this week is animal-themed: Punk guitarist Cheetah Chrome sprints into the Dive at 10 p.m. April 10 with—appropriately enough—L.A. punk revivalists the Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs.

Australian psyche-dance band Jagwar Ma tears into Beauty Bar at 10 p.m. April 9. Imagine a hypnotic blend of the Stone Roses, the Beach Boys and the Happy Mondays, and you get the ecstatic idea.

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