Denver metal groups to rock Craig Saturday |

Denver metal groups to rock Craig Saturday

Each time Craig natives Sam Johnson and Evan Hertzog return to their hometown, it's with a different cluster of friends. With any luck, their appearance in Craig this weekend will be their best trip yet.

Johnson and Hertzog will be among the musicians taking the stage at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion Saturday night as the community welcomes several metal bands from Denver and surrounding areas.

Johnson is the lead singer for the group Artemesis, which stylizes itself after bands like Megadeth, Lamb of God and other influences. He joined the band at the beginning of the year, not long after leaving the group Dissonance in Design.

"It's cool, because I used to go to their shows and think it would be awesome to sing for them," he said.

Johnson was invited to join by his friend, Matt Meyer, one of the band's two guitarists. He quickly set to work putting his personality into the music.

"I get to have a lot of creative aspect on the lyrics, which is a big thing for me because there's a lot of deep things in me I need to portray for this music to make it shine," Johnson said.

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The new Artemesis roster has already proven successful, blending old school metal sensibilities with newer techniques. The quintet made the cover of the June issue of Hollywood Music Magazine, and they already have plans to embark on a national tour within the coming months.

As well as recently playing in Steamboat Springs, Johnson wanted to be sure to bring the experience to his hometown. This marks the third time he has performed in town with as many bands, with a group called Sunday Massacre in 2010 and Dissonance in Design last summer.

"This show will bring a strong presence of music to the table, especially since it's one of the few places in Craig with a stage," Johnson said. "The people of Moffat County have big hearts and I know there's a lot of people there who love heavy metal. I'm not a rock star by any means, but I just want to show kids there that you can end up having music be a part of your life."

Among the numerous other acts that will be performing Saturday are Biological Meltdown, Unreasonable Human, and Harvest the Murdered, the latter of which features Johnson's former bandmate Hertzog on the bass.

Hertzog also came into his new group earlier this year after a tenure with Dissonance in Design. As the name might indicate, Harvest the Murdered offers a death metal sound complete with a lot of real world subtext in its lyrics.

"They've been around a while and I really respect them," Hertzog said. "They've got some brutal stuff and it's somewhat political, but it's got a lot of elements of all kinds of metal."

Hertzog said his band is in the midst of getting an album produced, a process that has been slow because of some financial concerns. Nonetheless, his time with the group has been hugely positive, and he looks forward to bringing their message to Craig.

"There's a lot of metal-heads in Craig, and they don't get a lot of stuff up there," Hertzog said. "It's always fun to go back and play there, each time the results have been awesome."

If you go…

What: Concert by metal bands Artemesis, Harvest the Murdered, Biological Meltdown and more

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, doors open at 6 p.m.

Where: Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion

Cost: $7 at the door, $5 with a promotional flyer available on Facebook