The 2006 edition of the Peabody's annual Cleveland Metal Fest is bigger, nastier, and cheaper. Three-day passes are a mere $12 and include Sunday night's Relapse Records Contamination tour, which will run concurrent with a regional showcase featuring Michigan death-metal-grindcore CHUDs Saprogenic, Cleveland underground sensation Schnauzer, and the local rip-grind-tear-repeat outfit Phronesis.
Saturday's locked-and-loaded bill begins early, with sets by such locals as industrial-steel-strength Curse Icon, nü-metalist Irreality, straight-metal-no-chaser Torne, and a string of national headliners. Silent Civilian singer-guitarist Jonny Santos survived the over-glitzy production that helped kill his run on Roadrunner Records with Spineshank, and his new group combines sugary nü-metal harmonies and mechanized thrash. Representing Victory Records and Orange County, metalcore quintet Scars of Tomorrow keeps getting heavier and catchier. The festival's big score is Florida rap-rock veteran Nonpoint, whose rote cover of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" is featured in the Miami Vice film. If you boo loudly enough, maybe they'll break out their hip-hop medley.
Friday's bill includes crossover duo All Out and 13 Faces, the metalcore band that will not die, featuring Runt frontman Rob Runt and Beyond Fear guitarist John Comprix. Show up early to catch Phil Hatchet (no relation to Molly -- drum roll, please), a Willoughby quartet that sells itself short by declaring it's "intent on bringing you straight-forward, ass-kicking metal."