Last Saturday, California Metalfest V took over The Grove, a 1,700-person capacity venue in Anaheim, California, as 30 bands on two stages played in front of headbangers from all over SoCal. Scene favorites As I Lay Dying headlined the event.

This year, early arrivals to Metalfest got warmed up by As Blood Runs Black and After the Burial on the main stage, while the side stage featured newcomers Destruction of a Rose, Suffokate, and Molotov Solution. The Human Abstract headlined the side stage and kept the crowd engaged with their highly technical brand of modern metal.

Hometown favorites Winds of Plague and Suicide Silence were two of the highlights of the evening, taking command of the crowd with their unique takes on the metalcore sound. The massive mosh pits incited by both acts reminded Noisecreep of the days when bands like D.R.I. were still playing warehouse shows to insanely energetic crowds.

Event headliners As I Lay Dying lived up to the tough task of following two hometown favorites by playing on a lengthy set of modern thrash metal songs that gave the crowd their fill. Over the past few years, AILD have become one of the hottest groups in their genre and Metalfest definitely found them in fighting shape.

Past editions of Metalfest were held at the Glass House and the Fox Theatre in Pomona, California, over the course of two days. The 2010 edition featured Fear Factory, Job For A Cowboy, Bleeding Through, Whitechapel, and Earth Crisis.

While California Metalfest V lacked the marquee names of previous years, the combination of electrifying live performances and wildly enthusiastic crowds made it a truly memorable night.

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