FESTIVAL REVIEW: 2024 Milwaukee Metal Fest at The Rave/Eagles Ballroom In Milwaukee

Florida's death metal band Death to All performing on the stage in the front of a packed crowd at Milwaukee's well-known historic venue, The Rave / Eagles Club, on Sunday, May 19, 2024. (Photo credit: Mateusz Mittek)

MATEUSZ MITTEK | Go Venue Magazine

Milwaukee Metal Fest 2024 was a 3-day event co organized by Jamey Jasta in May 17-19 at The Rave/Eagles Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2401 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53233) as a second rendition of the post-pandemic incarnation of this event series with tradition going back to late 1980s.

Fans were able to also participate in the pre-party organized on Thursday at the same location with most of the amenities of the full festival.

Thursday, Pre-party (May 16)

The event kicked off around 5 PM with a meet and greet at the Dunable Guitars / Martyrstore.net stage, located in the bar area on the first floor. Fans could get their CDs signed, take selfies with members of Jasta & Friends, and join in a group photo. The main performances took place on the Century Media Stage, with three bands playing that night.

H1Z1, a Milwaukee-based nu-metal band, opened the night with an energetic performance featuring a cello bow intro by the bassist and a dynamic stage presence. 

Toxic Ruin from Sheboygan followed with a high-energy thrash metal set, engaging the crowd with powerful vocals and fast-paced guitars.

The night followed with a 90-minute set by Jasta & Friends, featuring including (in order of performance): Steve “Zetro” Souza (Exodus), Bobby Hambel (Biohazard), Hoya Roc (Smoke AD, Ex-Madball) with Danny Diablo, and Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Overkill).  The set included songs from Jasta’s new album, nostalgic stories, and a heartfelt appreciation for the audience. The performance ended with two Hatebreed songs, wrapping up the night on a high note.

DJ Danny Diablo closed the event with a heavy metal playlist.


  • Meet and Greet: Fans met Jasta & Friends, got CDs signed, took selfies, and joined a group photo.
  • H1Z1 Performance: Energetic nu-metal set with a unique cello bow intro and an active circle pit.
  • Toxic Ruin Set: Fast-paced thrash metal with engaging crowd interactions.
  • Jasta & Friends: 90-minute set featuring multiple guest performers and songs from the new album.
  • DJ Danny Diablo: Ended the night with a heavy metal playlist.

Jasta and Friends

Toxic Ruins


Pre-Party Festival Atmosphere

Friday, Day One (May 17)

The second day of the festival began at 2 PM with doors opening to a large crowd of metal fans lined up outside. The downstairs vendor area was fully open, allowing fans to purchase merch as they entered.

The first band on the small stage was Engineered Society Project, delivering “dystopian hard rock” with a classic rock-star attitude. UADA followed on the Century Media stage, presenting a dark, atmospheric black metal performance.

Necrofier provided a classic black metal set with a strong stage presence, while Lords of the Trident entertained with a fantasy-themed power metal show featuring props and medieval outfits. Bewitcher delivered a dark, satanic speed metal performance.

Night Demon, Nunslaughter, and Illusion of Fate each brought their unique styles to their respective stages, with Night Demon showcasing well-crafted heavy metal and Nunslaughter embodying satanic imagery. Visigoth‘s power metal set saw crowd-surfing fans handled professionally by the staff.

Ancient Entities impressed with technical death metal, and Profanatica delivered a dark, black metal experience. Eternal Champion‘s power metal performance filled the ballroom stage.

IncantationHellwitch, and Overkill continued the day with intense performances. Hammerfall, a personal favorite, performed on the medium stage, bringing nostalgia and excitement reaching back to “Heeding the Call” from “Legacy of Kings”.

Symphony X impressed with their stage presence and charisma, while Havok‘s thrash metal set was a must-see for many. Doro‘s show was energetic and engaging, making it a highlight for heavy metal fans who gathered in numbers to witness the Heavy Metal Queen’s live set.

Kamelot‘s highly anticipated epic performance featured spectacular stage presence and decor. Autopsy, led by a drummer-vocalist, delivered a unique experience, followed by the headliner, Blind Guardian, who closed the night with an intense and memorable show featuring the beloved classic “Mirror-Mirror”.

Saturday, Day Two (May 18)

The day started around 2PM, but unfortunately, Time to Kill did not perform as scheduled. Morbikon opened on the medium stage with a melodic black metal set, followed by Internal Bleeding‘s intense hardcore performance. Martyr AD and Devourment continued with heavy-hitting hardcore and cannibalistic themes, respectively. The Red Chord delivered an energetic deathcore set, while Skinless entertained with death metal and crowd interaction.

Death Ray VisionSoilent Green, and Terrorizer each showcased their unique styles, with Terrorizer featuring notable members from Morbid Angel. Death to All performed a set from Death’s “The Sound of Perseverance” album, receiving high praise for accurately capturing the essence of Chuck Schuldiner’s legacy.

Municipal Waste‘s set was a lively party with crowd-surfing and nuclear waste-themed stage decorations, while Possessed delivered an old-school death metal experience. Hatebreed‘s Jamey Jasta led a powerful show with a massive circle pit, and Deicide followed with a legendary death metal performance featuring a timeless classic “They Are the Children of the Underworld”.

Testament impressed with their stage outfit and lighting, and Katatonia offered a moody, dream-like experience. The night concluded with Mr. Bungle’s eclectic and heavy set, featuring unique props and engaging the crowd.

Sunday, Day Three (May 19) 

The final day of Milwaukee Metal Fest 2024 began with Amerakin Overdose, a nu metal band from Portland, known for their aggressive sound and early 2000s aesthetic. Errors of Humanity followed with a tight deathcore performance, engaging closely with the audience on the small stage.

Monochromatic Black took the ballroom stage by the storm, blending progressive death metal and deathcore with a powerful and charismatic performance by singer Tanya. Upon Stone delivered an energetic melodic death metal set on the medium stage.

Casket Robbery from Madison impressed on the big stage with Megan’s ominous vocals and technical, fast-paced modern death metal. It Dies Today brought old-school metalcore to the medium stage, combining varied vocal styles with melodic and technical elements.

Bleed From Within‘s heavy metal/metalcore performance on the ballroom stage showcased their speed and complexity. Exhumed entertained with a theatrical grindcore/death metal set on the dark, medium stage, featuring interactive moments like chainsaw and guillotine acts combined with thematic outfits of the band members.

Atheist‘s old-school progressive metal set on the ballroom stage included intense crowd interaction, while Paleface Swiss delivered a high-energy beatdown deathcore performance on the medium stage, thrilling the fans.

Lacuna Coil‘s set on the ballroom stage was a highlight, featuring a positive message of encouragement from Cristina Scabbia (vocal). I Am Morbid played the “Altars of Madness” album in full on the medium stage featuring David Vincent, Pete Sandovall (original members) and Bill Hudson (Doro) and Richie Brown (ex-Trivium). 

Avatar provided a spectacular audiovisual experience on the ballroom stage, starting with Johannes Eckerström’s (vocal) dramatic entrance. Death to All performed “Scream Bloody Gore” on the medium stage, with Max Phelps’ vocals impressively true to the original album.

In Flames performed a mix of old and new material on the medium stage, with Anders Fridén (vocal) expressing gratitude for the fan support. The festival concluded with Slaughter to Prevail‘s heavy deathcore set on the ballroom stage, featuring deep vocals, fast drumming, and strong audience connection.

This concludes my experience at the 2024 edition of Milwaukee Metal Fest. It was a truly amazing and yet humbling experience as it was my first large festival. I would like to once again thank Robert Chadwick for providing me with the opportunity to cover this event.

All images © Mateusz Mittek

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