ritual of sin magazine

High Desert Hit: Monolith on the Mesa Scores with Inaugural Fest

The first annual Monolith on the Mesa was a smash success. I can’t speak to specific details or success in a financial sense, but in terms of brand building, of overall impression left with attendees and bands, the team behind the festival crushed it. Some thoughts below lifted from my fest notes:

Most importantly, in my opinion, in an ever-broadening sea of festivals and various sorts of “live music events,” Monolith on the Mesa offered a unique experience. It’s a loose comparison, but with the camping, the desert setting, the psychedelics and the towering art installations, it had a slight “heavy-metal-burning-man” vibe, a remark I heard numerous people make. For sure, the architecture, the landscape, the arid earth, all felt distinctly Southwest.

(There was a “Bedouin tent” behind us in the band camp built half into the ground that turned into a bar at night, and a brightly outfitted “party bus” next to it, as well as a Geodome. Though these spaces didn’t get all that much use this year - some of that likely due to the colder temps that set in at night - I could see these gaining traction in subsequent years. The atmosphere was right.) 

More exactly, Monolith brought together heavy music fans and festival enthusiasts of all varieties. And there were a lot of people there, certainly a lot for a first year fest. It was an interesting crowd. As Taos is pretty isolated, a majority of attendees had traveled in from the greater region. It was an unpretentious bunch - a bit trippy, a bit crusty, but definitely predominantly metal-oriented.

*It was a unique sight when Black Magic Flower Power brought in the funk to close out the Thursday night pre-party and many of these same metal heads were grooving right up front. And man, people were getting down. The mushrooms may have played a role. Gyrating, grinding, twisting as the band sung “lips, and hips and fingertips”… There were probably about 50 people up front for this, but the energy was through the hangar roof. Out in the middle of the desert, it felt like an sub-city disco. 

The lineup was well-curated and offered up a diverse variety of heavy music. OM, paired with a Mad Alchemy liquid light show on a high desert backdrop was about as transcendental of a live music experience as one could hope to find. The event staff was helpful, friendly and patient - a notable exception at clubs and bars. A ramp was brought in, host to many stage-side skate sessions in the afternoons and early evenings.

For many bands, getting out of the city and into the desert expanse seemed to be a welcome reprieve. The artist hospitality was next level. Crucially, the sound in both venues was incredible, an often thorny point at all-day festivals. In short, it felt like a festival run by artists, who understood what sort of details make bands and attendees comfortable and did all they could to accommodate those desires.

Though the wind whipped during the days, it calmed in the nights, which were beautiful, albeit cold. Such was expected in the high desert. I suppose I’d take those conditions gain over blistering heat. Especially when in a tent for three days. Many attendees opted for a more domestic arrangement, renting rooms in town or shacking up in a trailer in the adjacent Hotel Luna Mystica.

I’d recommend this fest to curious bands and fans alike. No doubt about that. If you’re planning on camping for the entirety of the fest, make sure to come prepared. Our crew camped out for three days in the band camp and it was a blast, but towels, some wipes for the ever-present dirt and other outdoor supplies are a must.

I’d like to extend warm, heartfelt thank you to Dano, Roman, the Taos Brewing staff and the entire festival team. You extended an incredible welcome, and it hit home with so many of us. Here’s to round two. Below is a gallery of shots from the pre-party and both days of the fest. I’ve yet to have a chance to develop the film I shot, but I will get those up here once I get to it. Cheers. - mg

A Monster in the Making: Looking Back on Austin Terror Fest 2017 + 2018

As we race within striking distance of the third annual Austin Terror Fest - coming up June 7-9 - we thought we’d take a look back through the haze at some choice shots from years one and two, on an event that’s grown exponentially into a national powerhouse.

In its inaugural year, the fest bunkered down within the trusted cavity of The Lost Well in March of 2017, using familiar turf cement its foundation in Bat City after the discontinuation of Southwest Terror Fest in Tucson the year prior. Year two saw a shift in venue, and timing - with the fest eschewing the melee of SXSW week in favor of a June date (great call), and splitting the now three-day event between The Lost Well and the two stages at Barracuda downtown on East 7th (on rotating days). Though The Lost Well lurks among my favorite establishments in the country, the decision to alternate the festival days between venues was a welcome shift, a notion that seemed to be widely shared amongst festival attendees. From a photography perspective, shooting different rooms, and particularly shooting outside at Barracuda, provided opportunity for some visual variance. To be brief, it can be an exhausting exercise in patience and creativity shooting three consecutive days in a scantly-lit venue.

Dusty, Dorian and company seriously upped the ante once again for year three, assembling a staggering lineup and moving the fest entirely into the Red River district to be held at Barracuda and Empire Control Room & Garage. My speculation here really isn’t worth shit, so I’ll let you draw your own assumptions about the quake readying to shake Austin in a few weeks. The ATF camp also just dropped the following teaser:

Sunday night will also feature a very special, intimate show at Beerland beginning at 7:00 p.m. Performing acts and additional details will not be released until day-of-show although fans can continue to expect a dynamic, curated lineup of top acts in today’s heavy metal scene. This secret show will only be $10, cash-only.

Directly below you’ll find the Austin Terror Fest 2019 lineup as well as daily schedules, followed by a collection of images from ATF 2017 and 2018. I shot the black and white photos, and the color shots from 2017 were taken by Jay Conlon. I’ll see ya up front. - mg

ATF 2019 Lineup (Daily set times below)

ATF 2019 Lineup (Daily set times below)



6:30 - 7:30 PM: Goatwhore

5:30 - 6:15 PM: Pyrrhon

4:45 - 5:15 PM: Genocide Pact

4:00 PM: Doors


11:30 PM - 12:30 AM: Church of Misery

10:15 - 11:15 PM: Primitive Man

9:00 - 9:40 PM: Unearthly Trance

7:45 - 8:30 PM: Terminator 2

7:00 PM: Doors


12:30 - 1:30 AM: Pig Destroyer

11:00 PM - 12:00 AM: Integrity

9:30 - 10:15 PM: Full of Hell

8:30 - 9:15 PM: Taverner

7:00 PM: Doors



5:30 - 6:30 PM: Panopticon (*Blaze Foley - Cover Set*)

4:30 - 5:15 PM: Dorthia Cottrell (*Townes Van Zandt - Cover Set*)

3:45 - 4:15 PM: Deep Cross

3:00 PM: Doors


11:30 PM - 12:30 AM: Indian

10:15 - 11:15 PM: Dalek

9:00 - 9:40 PM: Street Sects

7:45 - 8:30 PM: Crowhurst

7:00 PM: Doors


12:30 - 1:30 AM: Lightning Bolt

11:00 PM - 12:00 AM: TR/ST

9:30 - 10:15 PM: Daikaiju

8:30 - 9:15 PM: Machine Girl

7:00 PM: Doors



6:30 - 7:30 PM: Bongzilla

5:30 - 6:15 PM: Thou

4:45 - 5:15 PM: Temple of Angels

4:00 PM: Doors


11:30 PM - 12:30 AM: Bongripper

10:15 - 11:15 PM: Black Cobra

9:00 - 9:40 PM: Dreadnought

7:45 - 8:30 PM: Mountain of Smoke

7:00 PM: Doors


12:30 - 1:30 AM: Alcest

11:00 PM - 12:00 AM: Panopticon

9:30 - 10:15 PM: Dark Castle

8:30 - 9:15 PM: Echo Beds

7:00 PM: Doors


8:00 - 10:40 PM: TBD Special Guests

7:00 PM: Doors

TOKE at Streets. April 25, 2019

Always a pleasure having our TOKE homies come through Denver. Their Thursday night show was the first I’d attended inside the redone Streets (formerly Streets of London) on Colfax. It was a promising visit, but I will hold off on commentary until I’ve tucked a few more dates there under the belt. For now, some snaps from the show. - mg

TOKE will be back on the road supporting Church of Misery in just a few weeks, a run that includes a return to Denver on May 29th. Dates below:

May 23 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live (as part of Maryland Deathfest) ! (tickets)
May 25 – Detroit, MI @ The Sanctuary $# (tickets)
May 26 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle $# (tickets)
May 27 – Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Company $# (tickets)
May 28 – Kansas City, KS @ Riot Room $# (tickets)
May 29 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge $# (tickets)
May 31 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon $# (tickets)
Jun. 01 – Portland, OR @ Dante’s $# (tickets)
Jun. 02 – Oakland, CA @ Oakland Opera House $# (tickets)
Jun. 03 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex $# (tickets)
Jun. 04 – Tempe, AZ @ Club Red $# (tickets)
Jun. 05 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sister $# (tickets)
Jun. 06 – Oklahoma City, OK 8th Street $# (tickets)
Jun. 07 – Austin, TX @ Empire Control Room (Austin Terror Fest) ! (tickets)
Jun. 08 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall $# (tickets)
Jun. 09 – New Orléans, LA @ Santos $# (tickets)
Jun. 10 – Nashville, TN @ Little Harpeth Brewing $# (tickets)
Jun. 11 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl # (tickets)
Jun. 12 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 # (tickets)
Jun. 13 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Cattivo %# (tickets)
Jun. 15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus # (tickets)
Jun. 16 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East %# (tickets)

# = w/ TOKE

Daughters turn loose at the Gothic. March 5, 2019

I shot these photos a few days before embarking on a tour, and just got around to sorting through them. I’d seen so many insane shots of Alexis Marshall and Nick Sadler from previous tour stops, some of the wind was already absent from my sails. But here is a first stab at some shots of Alexis.

The show was remarkable, both on a popular level, in that the Gothic Theater was packed with fans anxious to hear both tracks from Daughters new album “You Won’t Get What You Want” in addition to some older cuts; and on a personal level, in that it’d been ages since I’d wrestled with swarms of teenagers for position in front of the stage. I forgot how savage the youth can be. I respect the intensity; they really didn’t give a fuck if I was trying to shoot. I received the hard box out bolstered by a wall of Juul smoke. That’s not to say the band didn’t bring in a varied crowd. Presumably the more seasoned attendees occupied a space nearer the bar, and freer of hassle.

This was my first time seeing Daughters live. Admittedly, I was a bit lazy when it came to shooting, and just couldn’t be fucked jockeying for position this night. I simply wanted to watch the show. I assume the set wasn’t as chaotic as it might have been in a smaller, more intimate space, but they delivered one hell of a performance, as it looks like they’ve done throughout these recent North American and European tours.

I also spoke with Alexis for Westword around this time as well. You can read part of that discussion here.

Austin Terror Fest // Friday gallery

The second edition of Austin Terror Fest went off this weekend, with metal fans from Austin and far beyond turning out in droves in the face of a swampish heat. Changing tack a bit from last year, this year's three-day fest was split between the Lost Well (Friday and Sunday) and the Barracuda (Saturday), a change of pace that brought a variety to the event many seemed please to see. In addition, the moving of the festival off of SXSW week, as it was last year, and into June helped the festival establish a presence much more its own. These factors and an incredible lineup helped ensure both venues remained packed throughout the fest. It was one hell of a weekend to say the least, and a great step forward for Austin Terror Fest.

The bands all rose to the occasion, with a number of groups delivering sets that may have been the best I've ever seen from them. At least the most striking, given the intimate nature of the venues. Yob's Friday night finale was certainly one of those performances. 

Though we left Denver at an ungodly hour Friday morning, the U.S. west is still fucking huge and by the time we reached the Lost Well Of Feather and Bone was hammering out the final 30 seconds of their set. Thus, the smaller gallery for this opening set of photographs. We will roll out shots from Saturday and Sunday over the next two days. - mg

*Apologies in advance to any bands who do not appear in the galleries. It's certainly nothing personal - these are simply a few selects from what we were able to shoot. Thank you to Dusty, Dorian and the whole Austin Terror Fest crew, everyone at Worshipper, the Lost Well and the Barracuda. Well fuckin' played.

photos: Michael Goodwin // @boilingdenim


“No glass other than a small pipe,” was the repeated proclamation from the hired security guard nearest me. He was directing one of the many massive lines winding into Denver’s Civic Center Park yesterday, on the famed and forgettable 4/20 for the lazily titled “Mile High 4:20 Festival.” Slightly less noticeable, behind the dude screaming about God and sinners, was a flashing LED sign about public marijuana use being prohibited. It's a clusterfuck of a scene. None of it makes sense and it's so entertaining. A man with few teeth asks me if a pipe stashed just on the other side of the chainlink fence is mine. It’s not, I tell him. “You think anyone is watching? I don’t smoke weed, but that’s a nice pipe.” - mg


In anticipation of the festival's full schedule release, Austin Terror Fest starts the week with a 5-band hammer. ATF 2018 is June 15 - 17 in Austin, Texas.

3-day full fest pre-sales available here. Full lineup to follow.

ATF 3 Bands.jpg


Bands announced thus far:

Come to Grief
Primitive Man
40 Watt Sun
Cloud Rat
Acid King
Of Feather and Bone


Soulstone Gathering 2017

A few hiccups on a 26-plus hour drive from southwest France to Poland prevented us from making night one of the 2017 Soulstone Gathering in Krakow, but we sent it deep for night two, which featured a stoner-y barrage of riffs from Somali Yacht Club, Soma, Dopelord, Belzebong and Greenleaf.

Thanks a ton to Jacek and crew for the hard work and for having us along. Story and more photos from Krakow’s loudest in the upcoming Issue IV.  - mg


Desert Bound

Been a while since I've been on here. July (and this half of August, for that matter) came and rushed the hell on out, and I've done my best to avoid the Internet. Currently, packing up and shooting west for Psycho Las Vegas 2017, and what's sure to be one hell of a trip. We'll try to get some crowd pleasers up on the Instagram throughout the weekend. See y'all at the Center Bar. This one his going to be nuts. 

We will also have some copies of Issues II and III with us. Buy me a beer and you got a deal.

- MG

Pre-order giveaway end today (5/1) at 5pm MST

Last minute entries! Pre-order a copy of Issue III Beyond the Dumpster Fire today for entry to win one of the following:

- Ticket to Denver Electric Funeral fest (June 16+17, Denver, Colorado)
- 11x17 print of Issue III cover (framed)
- 11x17 print of Issue I cover (framed)
- 'Creeper's Choice' - 11x17 print of any photo we shot and posted on our IG (framed)

Winner's will be announced on Instagram. Get in there!

Issue III: Beyond the Dumpster Fire pre-order

It's live! 

 All pre-orders will include a copy of Issue II AND a 4x6 print of the Issue III cover. Pre-ordering the issue will also get ya entered for a chance to win one of the following: 

- 11x17 print of Issue III cover (framed)
- 11x17 print of Issue I cover (framed)
- Creeper’s choice 11x17 print of any photo on our IG
- Ticket to Denver Electric Funeral June 16-17

Hell, if you share this image with the tag #ROSbeyondthedumpsterfire on Instagram, and we’ll enter ya twice. Winners selected via random drawing May 1. Pre-orders ship May 4. **European orders. We are working on an overseas distributor to help lower shipping costs. Will keep you updated.