Khemmis ticket give away

Khemmis at Songbyrd

The venue Songbyrd in Adams Morgan has recently started hosting a few metal shows and with the killer Denver based doom metal band Khemmis playing there on Thursday, July 18th we thought now would be a great time to give away some tickets to a metal show there! But that’s not all, along with the free pair of tickets we’re giving away a copy of their 2018 album Desolation signed by the entire band to the winner as well!

To enter: just leave a comment on this post telling me if you’d rather have a signed copy of Desolation on CD or vinyl. Then this Tuesday, July 16th at 12pm noon the contest will close and the winner will be selected from all valid entries using Random.org. The winner will receive a free pair of tickets to the show as well as a signed copy of Desolation in the format of their choice at the show! Be sure to use a valid email you check regularly 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. Please don’t enter if you know you can’t make it to the show. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets from EventBrite here.

Oh and I almost forgot to mention, be sure to get to the show early to catch Atlanta based Cloak open the show. They play an old school traditional style of metal blended with black metal and their songs a super fun. Now check out these videos of the bands and let me know what format you want a signed copy of Desolation in!

Khemmis – Isolation

Cloak – Beyond the Veil

How Atlas Brew Works became the most metal brewery in America

Back in September 2012 I was handing out flyers outside the Howard Theatre after Kreator, Accept and Swallow The Sun played a show there. As fate would have it there was another guy there flyering for a metal night event at the brewery he worked at. You guys know I’m always interested in metal related events in the area and so I quickly struck up a conversation with him. Little did I know at the time that I’d just met someone who would quickly become one of my best friends in both the local heavy metal AND craft beer scenes. That’s how I met brewer Will Cook. We quickly began working together to bring metal heads together over craft beer at events at Port City Brewery in Alexandria, Virginia. We couldn’t have bands play there but we did have people send in requests for metal songs to play over the speakers and I’d contact a bunch of the venues in the area to get tickets to upcoming metal shows to give away to people that showed up. These free events were a hit and we got lots of metal heads from all around the area to come bang their heads over pints. However, Will and I were always frustrated with not being able to actually host bands to play live. We did a few events at the Pinch to get around this, but it still wasn’t the same as having metal bands play at a brewery. When Will ended up working at Fair Winds Brewing in Lorton, Virginia, we continued the metal nights there and had bands like King Giant, Yesterday’s Saints and Gloom premiere new music at these events. The place was farther away than Port City though, which made it harder for people in DC or Maryland to get to the events. Then in 2016 Will began working at Atlas Brew Works in the Ivy City neighborhood of Northeast Washington DC and that’s when everything came together.

Flyer for the first metal night at Port City

I was excited when Will told me that Atlas was interested in continuing to host our metal night events. We held a few events there in 2016 but it was the DC Heavy Metal Holiday Party in 2016 that we decided was going to be the first time we tried to book actual bands at the brewery. We were still figuring things out and I remember giving away upcoming concert tickets at this show between bands. There was no stage yet so the bands played on pallets we stacked as a makeshift stage. Genocide Pact was the first band to play there and Gloom finished out the two band bill. The place wasn’t sold out but enough people showed up and paid to get in to the show that we saw that this was something that could work. Things started fairly slowly at first but when local concert promoters started booking shows there as well things really started to take off. Hasan of Ripping Headaches was the first to ask me about putting his own metal shows there and in April 2017 he put on his first of many metal shows at Atlas when Thantifaxath headlined the brewery. Hasan and other outside promoters like Jordo & Tommy of Crowbars Up, Evan from Perdition Booking/Maryland Deathfest, Adam from Savage Party and Mary from Shadow Woods Productions, and more recently Lauren from Homesick Promotions and Shamla from Metal Teresa Productions, (and probably others I’m forgetting) have all brought incredible bands to Atlas Brew Works since then, far more than Will and I could have done on our own.

Flyer for the first metal show at Atlas Brew Works

In fact, on June 20th, the Irish death metal band Zealot Cult will be headlining the 100th metal show at Atlas (details here)! There are other breweries around the country that have, and continue to, host metal shows. I’ve seen a few at Hardywood and Champion down in Richmond, and Three Floyds has metal bands play their Dark Lord Day festival every May, but I don’t think there’s another brewery in the country that can claim that they’ve hosted anywhere close to 100 heavy metal concerts. Not punk shows, not indie rock shows, not dude with an acoustic guitar in the corner doing covers shows, but actual brutal, loud, fast, heavy metal shows. That’s something really special we’ve got here in DC and I hope people realize how lucky we are to have something like this happening in our area right now.

Flyer for the Atlas Brew Works Benefit Show

Through all of this Atlas Brew Works has become a central hub for our area’s metal scene, the closest thing the DC area has to Brooklyn’s legendary Saint Vitus Bar. The staff has truly embraced the local metal community, not just to sell beer or fill the place on otherwise slow nights, but they actually enjoy being a part of the local metal community. It isn’t uncommon to see staff members wearing shirts of metal bands that have played the venue in the past and several of them are even in their own metal bands too. They treat the bands well even when turn outs are less than optimal and Atlas has put money into the venue for upgrades to the stage, the sound system and making sure they have all the necessary licenses and such as well. All of this is why I’m proud to plug the Benefit For Atlas Brew Works show going on this Saturday, June 15th, at the brewery. They’ve put a lot of money into supporting our metal scene so Hasan and the Crowbars Up crew has joined forces to put together another great line up for this benefit show that will let us all give back to the venue that has given our area’s DIY metal scene a home. The bands Blood Spore (death/doom) and Basilysk (death metal) are coming down from Philadelphia to play this show and two locals who have played Atlas a lot, Myopic and Foehammer, round out the bill. The suggested cash donation is $10 for this show and doors open at 7pm. Further details can be found on the Facebook event page for the benefit show here. This will be Atlas’ 99th metal show and I think it is definitely long past time we gave something back to the brewery. I hope to see many of you there, it’s sure to be another fun night at the most metal brewery in America!

Slayer ticket give away

Slayer at Merriweather Post Pavilion

It’s not everyday that a metal band as renowned as Slayer comes to town but this Tuesday, May 14th, we’re getting the chance to catch Slayer one final time when they play Merriweather Post Pavilion! As if the metal gods Slayer coming to town wasn’t great enough, also on the bill will be Lamb of God, viking warriors Amon Amarth and death metal legends Cannibal Corpse (with Erik Rutan on guitar!). DC Heavy Metal couldn’t be more excited to give away not one but two pairs of seated pavilion tickets to this show! That’s right, for this one we’re going to pick two winners and each will get a pair of seated tickets to the show. To enter: just leave a comment on this post telling me what your all time favorite Slayer song is (if you need help you can see their discography here). Then this Monday, May 13th at 12pm noon the contest will close and two winners will be selected from all valid entries using Random.org. Each winner will receive a free pair of pavilion tickets to the show! Be sure to use a valid email you check regularly 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. Please don’t enter if you know you can’t make it. NO FLAKES! If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets from Ticket Master here. Now check out these videos of the bands and let me know what your favorite Slayer song is!

Slayer – Raining Blood (live)

Lamb Of God – Another Nail For Your Coffin

Amon Amarth – Crack The Sky

Cannibal Corpse – Code Of The Slashers

Meshuggah ticket give away

Meshuggah at Fillmore Silver Spring

Mother’s Day is a special day and this year it falls on Sunday, May 12th. There’s no better excuse for forgetting to call your dear ol mum than going to see the mother of all technical djent bands, Meshuggah, at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Mother’s Day! We’re pretty psyched every time Meshuggah makes the trip from Sweden to tour the US but this time around they’re bringing The Black Dahlia Murder with them so you know it will be a killer show from start to finish! To enter: just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite Meshuggah or TBDM song is! Then on Friday, May 10th at 4pm the contest will close and I’ll pick the contest winner from all valid entries using Random.org. The winner will receive a free pair of tickets to the show! Be sure to use a valid email you check regularly 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 I haven’t heard back from the winner in 24 hours another winner will be chosen at random. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets from Live Nation here. Now check out these videos of the bands and let me know what your Meshuggah or The Black Dahlia Murder song is!

Meshuggah – Clockworks

The Black Dahlia Murder – Nightbringers

Castle coming to Atlas Brew Works

This Wednesday night DC Heavy Metal is very proud to bring Castle to Atlas Brew Works for a night of shredding riffs and craft beer! Also on the bill is Faith In Jane and Witchkiss. You can check out the Facebook event page for this show here. I love booking at Atlas because they’ll have great beer on draft, the staff is totally into supporting metal, and of course Fred will be there with those tasty meaty and vegan tacos. I don’t book a ton of shows these days so when I go through the effort to do so I really try to get a solid line up. I think it is safe to say this line up is stacked! Here’s a little info on each of the bands so you can check them out before the show.

Castle is one of my favorite bands from the West Coast and I’m excited to bring them back to Washington DC. You may have seen the SF Bay Area based band at Maryland Doom Fest in 2018 and/or 2016, but this is their first DC show since they played the Pinch in 2015. They’ve got a killer new album, Deal Thy Fate, that came out in October and you can give it a listen/buy it here. They always put on a fun live show and I remember seeing how their high energy live show really woke up the audiences at both of their Maryland Doomfest appearances.

Castle – Evil Ways

Faith In Jane is is from Thurmont, Maryland, and they have been gaining a lot of fans due to their great live performances. Their psychedelic stoner jams will be a great fit on this bill. Be sure to listen to their album, Countryside, which they released in December.

Witchkiss is the opener from Hudson Valley, New York. They play a big, loud, atmospheric style of doom metal that will set the tone for the rest of the night. Be sure to check out their full lenght, The Austere Curtains of Our Eyes, released in March 2018 below.

Thanks for reading to the end of this shameless self promotion. I really am excited to see these bands live and I hope that if you can’t make it out Wednesday night that you at least take the time to check these great bands out.

Review of Exiler by Construct Of Lethe

Band: Construct of Lethe
Album: Exiler
Release Date: 20 June 2018
Record Label: Everlasting Spew Records
Buy on CD ($10) or digital ($5) from: Bandcamp

Cover of Exiler by Construct of Lethe

Finally getting this Construct of Lethe review up on the site that we’ve had sitting on the back burner for a bit. Vivek wrote this piece about one of the most brutal death metal bands to have ties to our area. As usual you can stream songs at the end of the post, and there’s even some studio footage of the drums being recorded for one of the songs too!

Construct of Lethe is a death metal band based in Woodbridge, Virginia. According to their Bandcamp page, this band is Tony Petrocelly’s band to combine and release music from his previous bands, which are Xaoc, Dead Syndicate, and Betheldeign. Since then, the band has taken its own path. Exiler is Construct of Lethe’s second album after Corpsegod (January 2016) and their only EP The Grand Machination (October 2016). Exiler is a powerhouse that does not let up and has a barrage of twists and turns to keep the listener engaged. Before I discuss the album, let’s talk about who Construct of Lethe are.

Construct of Lethe are composed of the members Tony Petrocelly, David Schmidt, and Patrick Bonvin. Tony Petrocelly handles the rhythm guitar and bass duties, Patrick Bonvin handles the lead guitar work, and the lineup is completed with David Schmidt on vocals. Construct of Lethe recruited Kévin Paradis, of the French death metal band Benighted, to be the session drummer on Exiler. Petrocelly handled all of the recording, mixing, and mastering of the album.

On Exiler, Construct of Lethe showcase punishing and suffocating death metal, while showing off technical prowess as well. Lyrically, it’s a well-developed anti-Christian rant, filled with plenty of Deicide and black metal influenced anti-christian lyrics. Throughout the album, the listener is treated to death metal that is relentless. There is also a slight technical prowess and melody that underlie much of the aggressive death metal attack. This is topped off with Schmidt’s excellent vocal delivery. His voice elevates the music. It’s very much in the vein of Immolation and Morbid Angel.

In “Rot of Augury”, the opening and main riff is mid paced while having a punch to it. It paints an image of an army marching across the battlefield and has a similar vibe to something like Morbid Angel on Gateways to Annihilation. Around the two minute four second mark, “Rot of Augury” uses plenty of blast beats to transition into a more intense second riff. This transition works because of how it grabs and holds on to the listener and keeps the them hooked for the rest of the song. It also has a very good use of pinch harmonics to show off a dissonant riff. This speedy and dissonant riff is great because of how rough yet technical the riff is. The use of pinch harmonics in this riff are very engaging too, they are a cool little flash which keeps the listener attentive to the song. This moves into another fast and chromatic riff that is used as a segue into the lead. It sounds great as a transition into the lead. The lead has a slight melody which makes it good to hear. After this lead, the track goes into the breakdown, which serves as another transition into another lead. The use of a lead to finish the breakdown is smart, it continues the breakdown without giving the feeling of it dragging on. Once after the solo is finished, the song concludes with the main riff.

On the album’s third track, “The Clot,” the Immolation influence begins to peak. This track in particular is where Construct of Lethe show off their technical abilities at their best. From the intro alone, we are treated to a song that has all the anger, brutality, and greatness of something that came out of New York in the 90s. The main riff is a very blasting and harmonic riff, it sounds as if there is a nonstop jackhammer pounding away. It’s fast and right up in your face and has a very powerful kick to it. “The Clot” incorporates a slightly melodic riff as a way to contrast the machine gun-like roaring riff that was done before. The second lead on this track is supported by the intro riff which enhances the lead. It makes it very abstract and surreal. Lyrically, in contrast, this is where the Morbid Angel influence peaks. Especially the Gateways to Annihilation and Formulas Fatal to the Flesh Morbid Angel too. One example of this, “His wings are numbered hexakosioi hexekonta hex.” Another example of this:

“I undertake katabasis to descend to the Hetoimasia
Affliction amongst deities
Crawl from the desert with phulakterion bound to the limb
Regurgitate the schema: listen, hear, do unholiness Sanctify to me!”

Both of these examples show how creative and well developed these blasphemous lyrics are. It’s clear Construct of Lethe know their anti-Christian language and they have no problem spouting such lyrics, even if the listener has no clue what they mean. I looked up the meanings behind some of these and “hexakosioi hexekonta hex” is ancient Greek for 666. It takes the language used by orthodox Greek Christianity for blasphemy. It’s well thought out and delivered.

The vocals provided David Schmidt are excellent and have many demonic elements to them. It’s the perfect death metal vocal style for Exiler. Throughout the album, the vocals provided by David Schmidt, have a traditional, yet very gruff edge to them. There is also a strong “traditional” demonic sound to them. It makes the delivery of the blasphemous lyrics evil and it sounds like they are coming from hell. One example is the track “A Testimony of Ruin.” This is a slower track which helps to showcase the strength of his vocals. Schmidt’s vocals are guttural and have a strong bellow to them. Schmidt is able to inject a lot of energy into each word because of the slowness of the song, it makes the delivery of the lyrics a lot more harsh because the anger in his voice is channeled in full. On “Soubirous,” Schmidt’s vocals are at their most sinister. The listener hears how much of a vile and raspy growl Schmidt can produce which shows off his range as a result. This is occurring on the fastest track on the album. Schmidt’s vocals enhance the music of the track and makes the music even more evil. The vocals on “Soubirous” act as another instrument and really pack an unholy jab to the listener. While on this track we see the heights of David Schmidt’s vocals, on the track “Fugue State,” is where weaknesses are present. Mainly in the clean and spoken word parts of the track. I can understand why the sections where the spoken word vocals are used. That said, Schmidt’s normal voice for these lyrics makes them more comedic than sinister. His normal voice is funny to listen to after hearing all of the growling before. It has a cheesy feel to them and makes the lyrics seem amateur. I laughed at line “I come to the realization that I have in my hand, the head of Jesus fucking Christ.” I laughed even harder at the backing vocal of “Christ.” The clean, spoken word vocals occur for most of the song and bring the song down as a whole. However, this only occurs on “Fugue State” and do not appear on the rest of the album. It’s a hiccup at worst. For the most part, Schmidt’s vocals compliment the riffs and the music enhances Schmidt’s vocals. It is the symbiotic relationship between these two elements that shines very bright in Exiler.

Exiler is one of the best local releases I have heard in a while. It is a showcase in traditional and dissonant death metal, with a touch of technical prowess and hints of melody. Construct of Lethe take these musical elements and combine them with a sinister and bellowing vocal style that puts the tracks into overdrive. Combining all of this with sophisticated and blasphemous lyrical content make this record an ideal example of how death metal is done right. This is a great continuation of what was started on Corpsegod.

Drums recording for Rot Of Augury

Horrendous to play first metal show at Adroit Theory Brewery

Horrendous at Adroit Theory

Adroit Theory brewery in Purcellville, Virginia, is hosting their first metal show ever on Saturday, January 26th! Pennsylvania based death metal band Horrendous is one of the hottest underground metal bands around right now and they’re set to headline this first metal show at Adroit Theory with support from Outer Heaven and Foehammer. And because we’re so excited about this show DCHM is going to give away a pair of tickets to one of you lucky DCHM readers! To enter: just leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite metal album of all time. Then at 5pm EST this Tuesday, January 22nd, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win the tickets to this show. Be sure to use a valid email you check regularly 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 I haven’t heard back from the winner in 24 hours another winner will be chosen at random. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets here.

This show is part of Adroit Theory’s 5th anniversary celebration, known as Dawn Of A Dark Day Fest V. The fest starts at 1pm with 48+ Adroit Theory beers on tap, including variants of some of their best big stouts like Dia De Los Muertos, Death Of Cthulhu and Black As Your Soul (B/A/Y/S), plus another 45+ guest beers from other breweries. You’ll need a ticket to the beer fest part which you can get here (make sure you switch it to the regular ticket for $40, not the VIP, unless you REALLY want the VIP). The metal show will start at 6pm and anyone with a ticket to the beer fest portion of the event will be allowed into the show for free. Please note that the tickets we are giving away are just for the metal show, you won’t have access to the earlier beer fest portion of the event unless you buy a ticket to that. If you’re interested in other metal shows going on at area breweries be sure to check DCHM’s <a href="https://dcheavymetal.com/upcoming-concerts/&quot; upcoming metal concert calendar as Oliver Brewing in Baltimore has a show coming up and of course there are many on the schedule for Atlas Brew Works in NE DC. Now, a bit about the bands…

Horrendous released their debut album, The Chills in 2012 to much fanfare in the underground but their 2014 album, Ecdysis, was their true breakout. It was reviewed very highly in many metal publications and by fans alike and the band started showing up on tours with some big names. In September 2018 they released another modern classic of riff based death metal when Idol showed that this band can still bring the riffs along with the super fun live show they’ve been perfecting from heavy touring. Support band Outer Heaven is also a death metal band from Pennsylvania and they’ve been gaining popularity for putting on some truly brutal shows around the region. Their 2018 full length Realms of Eternal Decay is a pummeling album of demonic death metal. The opening band, Foehammer, is a Northern Virginia based doom metal band that is very slow, very loud and ultra heavy! Their slow, churning riffs carry the weight of oceans and drown the listener in their fuzzy wall of sound. Now leave a comment telling me what your favorite metal album of all time is and check out videos of the bands playing Adroit Theory’s first ever metal show below!

Horrendous – Soothsayer

Outer Heaven – Into Hellfire

Foehammer – The Seer