New and Returning DIY Venues

With shows starting to really come back full swing this spring we’ve seen some new DIY venues in the area popping up, as well as some older venues returning to hosting DIY metal shows. I often hear people telling me they didn’t know certain shows or venues even existed, so hopefully this post will enlighten some of you on some of the places to catch upcoming metal bands play live. Of course you can always check out the handy DCHM calendar (here) for listings of every upcoming metal show in the area from DIY to arena bands.

First up this Friday, March 17th, (which is also St. Patrick’s Day) we’ve got the French death metal band Gorod appearing at Atlas brewery in the Ivy City neighborhood of Northeast DC. Originally scheduled to be at Pie Shop, it was moved to Atlas and will be the first public metal show there since they suddenly shut down last summer when the entire staff was let go. That halted all public operations in their tap room, including their scheduled upcoming metal shows. They’ve been open for months now with their new staff in place and this show will be their first with the new management so be sure to come out and help this show get a solid turn out so they’ll be happy to host more metal shows. Atlas was once at the center of the DC DIY metal scene and hopefully if things go well it can return to that status as a great place for metal shows in DC proper. You can check out the show’s Facebook event page here or buy a ticket from Etix here.

Then on the following night, Saturday, March 18th, there’s a free DIY metal show happening at the Döner Bistro in Leesburg, Virginia. The venue is starting to host regular metal shows on the 3rd Saturday of every month and this weekend’s line up includes the brand new stoner doom band Mammoth Rider along with the bands Druid Stone, Skomucon and Downe Lands. Hopefully they can get a decent turn out at this event and they venue will continue hosting more and more local metal bands there every month. More info on this show can be found on the Facebook event page here.

The next night, Sunday, March 19th, you can head over to Fat Tuesday’s on the back side of University Mall in Fairfax, Virginia, (near George Mason University) for a free show with a killer line up of local metal bands including old school thrashers Desolus, gothy/doomy (like a modern take on the Peaceville 3 sound) Torvus, Baltimore grind band Ixais and the war band Servitude. I’m pretty sure this is the dive bar’s first metal show since 2017, and a rare chance for NoVA fans to catch some of these great locals in Fairfax on a weekend night even. Hell, there’s 2 nights in a row of metal shows in NoVA and I’m not sure when the last time that happened was to be honest. Also, the bass player for Desolus is one of DCHM’s contributors so ya know, go out and support Vivek!

The final show I’m going to mention here isn’t until April 28th, but the Sky Lounge in Silver Spring has been getting a few metal (and other genre) DIY shows lately. At this show in late April the blackened death metal band Krvsade from Charlotte, North Carolina, will be coming up (give them a listen here) to play with the excellent local bands Nuclear Tomb (death/thrash), Sickdeer (black metal) and Goetia who are brand new (but include members of Genocide Pact and Deliriant Nerve). The venue is located on the 2nd floor at 11272 Georgia Ave and it should be a killer show. More details on the Facebook event page for this show here.

Of course you can always catch DIY shows at the already solidified venues like Pie Shop, The Runaway, Slash Run and Songbyrd but good turn outs at each of these four shows will help encourage those venues to start hosting more metal shows as well. I hope to see some of you at each of these!

Early November Concert Recap

I went to a few shows last week that were all great and I shot a lot of photos and videos and thought I’d share them here with you all. Mercyful Fate, Katatonia and the Dave Sherman Benefit show were all great experiences, I’m so glad live concerts are back this year.

Mercyful Fate

First up was the return of Mercyful Fate at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Tuesday, November 8th. Teutonic thrash legends Kreator were the first band I saw as it took me 25 minutes (and cost me a bottle opener on my key ring) to get into the venue leading me to miss opener Midnight. King Diamond has toured the US several times since Mercyful Fate’s last US tour in 1999 but fans have long been whispering rumors of a proper Mercyful Fate tour. With a blood moon lunar eclipse in the sky and midterm election results coming in time was standing still as Mercyful Fate took the stage. You never really know if a band as old as Mercyful Fate is going to live up to the hype live but I think it is quite safe to say that this show did. King Diamond’s voice held up well and the band had great energy on stage along with a beautiful stage set up and lighting. They played a set list full of classics and a new song off an upcoming album that is yet to be named. I didn’t have a photo pass for this show, all my shots were from the audience on my phone, but I think I got a few decent ones, and I got video footage of the new song “The Jackal of Salzburg” as well as my personal favorite Mercyful Fate song, “A Dangerous Meeting.”

Click here to see all of my concert videos on YouTube.

Click here to see all of my photos from this concert on Flickr.

Mercyful Fate – The Jackal of Salzburg

Mercyful Fate – A Dangerous Meeting

Kreator – Flag of Hate / Pleasure to Kill

King Diamond of Mercyful Fate

Mercyful Fate at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Mike Wead and Hank Shermann of Mercyful Fate

Mercyful Fate at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Mercyful Fate set list 11/8/2022


The next night I found myself at the Black Cat to see Swedish doom band Katatonia along with the German prog band The Ocean. Again I missed the opener, Cellar Darling in this case, and I’m starting to wonder if it is just me or if shows are starting earlier now since the pandemic. This was the first night of the US tour and I wasn’t sure what kind of set list Katatonia would play, mostly newer stuff or and older “best of” style set. They played a pretty good mix with 5 songs off of The Great Cold Distance album and they even played their new song “Atrium” live for the first time ever at this show. Jonas Renkse’s voice sounded great and the band seemed fresh and really into the entire 90 minute show. The lighting has never been stellar at the Black Cat and since I just had my phone with me I didn’t get many decent shots of either band, but I did get some great video footage of Katatonia, which you can peruse below.

Katatonia – Old Heart Falls

Katatonia – Deliberation

Katatonia – Teargas

Katatonia – Leaders

Katatonia – Atrium first time ever played live

Katatonia -Evidence

Katatonia at the Black Cat

Katatonia at the Black Cat

Katatonia set list 11/9/2022

Video clip of The Ocean Collective

Dave Sherman Benefit

The following Saturday, the 12th of November, I headed up to Frederick, Maryland, for the Dave Sherman Benefit show at Cafe 611. The gig was a benefit show for the family of the late, great Dave Sherman. It was also something of a memorial show for the legend of the Maryland doom metal scene after his untimely death in September, but I’ve gotta say it was a pretty uplifting and positive experience. People were happy to see each other and most of the bands played some sort of cover or tribute to Sherm during their sets. The first band went on at 3pm, which was way too early for me to get there, but I did make sure I left in time to catch Victor Griffin and his band Place of Skulls. I guess they took too long setting up because several songs were cut out of their set and they ended abruptly after playing a cover of Pentagram’s “Relentless” (which wasn’t even on their set list). Still, it’s always cool to see Victor Griffin play live. Next up was Foghound and they put on a super high energy set and got everyone in the audience to raise their hands like how Dave Sherman would imitate riding a motorcycle. After they played it was time for another great set by Borracho. The DC based stoner band has been working on some new material and playing some of the songs live here and there and I managed to get video footage of a brand new song the first time they ever played it live that night. They closed their set with a Spirit Caravan cover, one of Dave Sherman’s bands, and I’ve got footage of that below as well. Faith in Jane closed out the show and the crowd was dwindling by the time they took the stage a little before 1am but the people that were there still had some energy! Faith in Jane had some technical difficulties but even so they still somehow seem to get better each time I see them, and this time was no exception. I wish I had been able to catch Pimmit Hills and some of the other earlier bands but I still enjoyed every minute of the sets by the four bands I did catch. I’m not one to believe in any kind of afterlife but I know that Dave Sherman would have been happy and proud to see all the joy in the room and on stage that night because of him.

Place of Skulls – Lost

Foghound – Turn Off the World

Borracho – Architects of Chaos – Part 1 first time ever played live

Borracho – Fang Spirit Caravan cover

Faith in Jane I don’t know this song’s name

Victor Griffin and Place of Skulls at Cafe 611

Foghound at Cafe 611

Borracho at Cafe 611

Steve Fisher of Borracho at Cafe 611

Faith in Jane at Cafe 611

Faith in Jane at Cafe 611

Faith in Jane at Cafe 611

Katatonia and The Ocean ticket give away

Katatonia at the Black Cat

Katatonia is coming all the way from Sweden to play the Black Cat on Wednesday, November 9th, and they’re bringing The Ocean Collective and Cellar Darling with them! Even better, DCHM is giving away a pair of tickets to this very show! All you need to do to enter: is just tell me your favorite band to listen to when you want to get into the Halloween mood. Then on Halloween, Monday October 31st, at 5pm Eastern the winner will be selected from all valid entries using Be sure to use a valid email you check regularly when you enter so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that. If the selected winner hasn’t written me back within 24 hours another winner will be selected. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can purchase tickets here.

This show is going to be the first night of the North American tour and Katatonia has a new album coming out in January titled Sky Void of Stars. Hopefully we’ll get to hear some of these new tunes on the tour (and be sure to check their music embedded video below for one of the new songs). Also along on the tour is the German band The Ocean Collective. Their proggy post-metal sound is a perfect compliment to Katatonia, and you should also check out their video embedded below for a song they did that features Katatonia’s vocalist Jonas Renkse. Cellar Darling is an up and coming Swiss band with progressive leanings and all three of the band’s members are former members of Eluveitie. Anyways, go check out the music videos by all three of these great bands and leave a comment telling me what your favorite band to get you into the Halloween mood is!

Katatonia – Atrium

The Ocean – Jurassic | Cretaceous (feat. Jonas Renkse)

Cellar Darling – Avalanche

Interview with Andrew Lee of Ripped To Shreds

I recently interviewed Andrew Lee, the mastermind behind the death metal band Ripped to Shreds, which aired on the Metal Embassy Radio Show. I also posted the interview portion of the radio show as a podcast so if you missed it you can listen to the interview that way. We talked about the new Ripped to Shreds album 劇變 (Jubian), working with the Japanese band Pharmacist, his solo project Heavy Metal Shrapnel, plus other subjects like what it’s like being an Asian American involved the heavy metal world of the West.

Metal Embassy Podcast episode 14: Andrew Lee of Ripped To Shreds

You can also listen to the Metal Embassy Podcast by searching for Metal Embassy in most podcast apps (such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music/Audible, iHeartRadio and more).

You can listen to all previous episodes of the Metal Embassy Radio Show here after they air.

You can buy or stream the new album 劇變 (Jubian) by Ripped to Shreds on Bandcamp below.

Ripped to Shreds music video for the song “Reek of Burning Freedom”

Interview with Sgah’gahsowáh of Blackbraid

I interviewed Sgah’gahsowáh, the main man behind the indigenous black metal band Blackbraid, and it just aired on the Metal Embassy Radio Show on Saturday. If you missed it don’t worry, you can still check it out in podcast form below. We talk about his debut album, Blackbraid I, which just dropped on Friday, the meaning behind several songs, his inspirations as a musician and more!

Metal Embassy Podcast episode 13: Blackbraid

You can also listen to the Metal Embassy Podcast by searching for Metal Embassy in most podcast apps (such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music/Audible, iHeartRadio and more).

You can listen to all previous episodes of the Metal Embassy Radio Show here after they air.

You can buy or stream Blackbraid’s debut album on Bandcamp below.

Blackbraid music video for the song “Sacandaga”

Live video footage of recent shows in DC

This summer I’ve started shooting more video footage of bands playing live around the area. I upload all my posts to my YouTube page (here) but I thought I’d post the footage I’ve shot lately. I’ve obviously seen other bands play as well but this is the video footage I’ve shot so far this summer.

Dawn of Ouroboros at Atlas Brew Works on 3 June 2022
Song: Spiral of Hypnotism

Tómarúm at Atlas Brew Works on 3 June 2022
Songs: Where No Warmth Is Found / Awake Into Eternal Slumber

Et Mors at DC Brau on 25 June 2022
Song: Damaged Pathways

Total Maniac at the Runaway on 1 July 2022
Song: Witch Christ

Bat at the Runaway on 1 July 2022
Song: Wild Fever

No/Más at Pie Shop on 8 July 2022
Songs: ???

Severed Satellites at DC Brau on 10 July 2022
Song: ???

Seasick Gladiator at DC Brau on 10 July 2022
Song: debut of new song that doesn’t have a title yet

Murdersome at DC Brau on 16 July 2022
Song: ???

Murdersome at DC Brau on 16 July 2022
Song: Revel in Darkness

Wythersake at DC Brau on 16 July 2022
Song: Cast into Swine and Sea

Mortal Ground at Pie Shop on 30 July 2022
Songs: We Are The Frontline / Freeland Whippet (In Memory of James Burns)

Mortal Ground at Pie Shop on 30 July 2022
Song: Little Deaths

Caustic Casanova at DC Brau on 6 August 2022
Songs: Red (King Crimson cover) / Shrouded Coconut

Valkyrie at DC Brau on 6 August 2022
Song: Afraid To Live

Valkyrie at DC Brau on 6 August 2022
Song: Secrets of the Mind

Valkyrie at DC Brau on 6 August 2022
Song: Fear and Sacrifice