Lord Dying’s thrashy sludge provided a nice reprieve from the methodical heaviness that was Psycho California. Playing cuts from their Relapse Records debut and this year’s sophomore effort, Poisoned Altars, their set was fast, fun, and riffy. What I noticed most were the amount of people smiling. The band was smiling; the crowd was smiling; I was smiling. So many smiles for a supposedly “evil” band. And that’s the great thing about a festival like this one. Even if much of this music comes from a darker place, the fact that so many people gathered to celebrate it together dispelled any bad vibes or animosity. It was like you had 4,000 potential friends because you all had something immediate in common by being there. Especially in the tiny room where Lord Dying played. It’s an instant conversation starter when you take a face full of somebody’s sweaty mop because their headbanging to some sweet riffs next to you.