Three Year Anniversary

Today turns 3 and it wouldn’t ever have been possible if it wasn’t for all the metal heads in this area. I am rather proud of myself as there are so many blogs out there that start and stop before running this long. I never thought when I started DCHM that it would end up changing my life but it certainly has. I’ve met so many cool people because of this site and it is you all who make this site worth doing. You read this site, tell your friends about it, shake my hand and say thanks at shows, and even tell me when I screw things up on the site, be it minor grammatical errors or bad/old info on the concert listings. It all helps make something better than I could have ever hoped. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to continue to improve the site and spend most of my free time making it kick even more ass. Right now I’m in the middle of the slow process of completely revamping the Venues page. When it is done all the info on it will be updated and it will look more like the Upcoming Concert Calendar‘s new look. It will also include info on other local metal related businesses like record stores that specialize in metal and local guitar repair shops with employees that are metal heads. I’m also working on a deal with the Howard Theatre to give away tickets to their upcoming metal shows so hopefully one of you will be winning tickets to see Morbid Angel soon.

There’s another change coming to DCHM, and I think it’s a big step for the site. I’ve been thinking for a while about posting some album reviews on the site, however, I personally don’t like writing album reviews. So I’ve decided to let someone else start writing some for DCHM. I’ll have a formal announcement about that later but expect to see, at least at first, only material by local bands being reviewed here. I think Pig Destroyer’s new album will be the first review but again, some of the details are still being ironed out. The site keeps me very busy as it is with the constant updating of the calendar and you may have noticed some long gaps between posts on the site this summer. Those were mostly due to my free time simply being overwhelmed with the work I need to do on the site just to keep it up to date. Hopefully letting someone else post some album reviews will help break up those gaps between my posts. It’s kind of scary to me to give up some of the writing control as up to this point everything on DCHM (photos, videos, writing, reviews, concert listings, etc..) has been written or shot by me. But I’d like to see the site get even bigger and it is getting to the point that I simply can’t do it alone. Please don’t ask me if you can start contributing to DCHM, if I want you to do so I will ask you. I’m working on setting up a mailing address that local bands can send material to for review but nothing is final yet so you’ll have to wait for that info to be posted when it is solidified.

I’m looking forward to seeing evolve into something even better than what it is now but it still takes help from you guys. If you’d like to kick a few bucks my way you can always do so via Paypal by sending any amount money to (or just clicking here). I promise to only spend the money on things related to the site, and maybe beer. But most of it will definitely go to things like hosting, concert tickets, upgrades to my cameras for concert photos, and restocking merch. Even if ya can’t help out financially helping spread the word to your metal head friends always helps too. Thanks to everyone for making the past three years the most metal three years of my life! Keep it heavy and remember, support the scene you’re a part of!

Review Of Kreator and Accept at the Howard Theatre

North American Teutonic Terror Attack Tour
Wednesday the 5th of September 2012 was a night of firsts at the newly renovated Howard Theatre in Washington DC. German metal bands Kreator and Accept, along with Finnish opening act Swallow The Sun, were kicking off their North American Teutonic Terror Attack tour that night. This was also the first real metal show at the Howard Theatre since reopening in April. I say that it was their first “real” metal show because Animals As Leaders opened for indie rock band Thrice there back in May, but that wasn’t a metal show really. The Kreator and Accept show brought out the long hair, tattoos and band logo patch covered battle jackets to the fancy Howard Theatre.

The venue originally opened in 1910 and eventually became DC’s version of the Apollo Theater by catering to a mostly black audience by booking top blues, soul, motown and gogo acts. It closed in the early 1980’s but has been reopened after about $30 million worth of renovations which completely overhauled the exterior and interior. It is located just off of the U Street corridor near both the 9:30 Club and the Howard University campus. The classic styling of the exterior really stands out in this area of the city. The interior is very clean and modern looking Howard Theatre interiorwith the walls adorned with photos of various black performers (such as James Brown and Diana Ross) who, I’d guess, have played there in the venue’s historic past. The staff at the Howard were extremely nice. They were all wearing black suits and were very helpful with any questions one might have. In all honestly, the Howard Theatre seemed like it might be a little too nice for a metal show. You could tell they were new at this whole hosting a metal show thing. For example they brought water down to people in the front rows between bands on a serving tray, which is really kind, but just leaving a couple of pitchers on the bar with some cups would have worked too. They also didn’t have a barrier between the stage and the band, just a couple of bouncers standing where there were gaps in the monitors presumably to prevent people from climbing on stage. They were pretty big guys and it definitely affected the sight lines. There are large screens on either side of the stage that you could watch the show on and there was an upstairs mezzanine with seating, however, that section was closed for this show. The sound at the venue was pretty good and the lighting wasn’t as fancy as the set up at the 9:30 Club but it was pretty bright and made the bands look good. I did have a few gripes with the venue, though nothing too major. The flooring in places was a bit off and had what seemed like air bubbles under it that were a bit awkward to walk on, Beers on tap at the Howard Theatreparticularly in the mosh pit area. They didn’t have a lot of beers on tap, and certainly nothing that could be called a micro brew or local beer. Again, the lack of a photo pit was annoying to me, but I suppose that’s more of an issue for me than most people. Also, they shooed everyone out of the venue after the show very quickly. Did you want to hang out with your friends over a few beers after the show? Too bad, get out. Everyone was out the doors and the bars were down within about 10 to 15 minutes after the show ended. It seemed a bit rude after an evening where the staff was very hospitable the rest of the night. The biggest problem I had was that the show wasn’t very well attended and I really didn’t see the venue do any kind of promotion for this show aside from posting it on their website. Throughout the night people were coming up to me thanking me that my site had told them about this show, which is cool and all but really the venue should have gotten the word out better. This was their first metal show and with several more coming up on the calendar (Morbid Angel, Symphony X, Epica) I was hoping they’d have worked more to get the word out. But hey, I guess that’s my job too. Well, that’s my take on the new Howard Theatre, let’s move on to the bands that played that night.

I completely missed the opening act, Swallow The Sun, because the show started so damn early. 6pm doors, really?!?! They’re a good band but I saw them two years ago with Katatonia and Orphaned Land so I Accept at the Howard Theatrewasn’t too upset I had to miss them. I got there as the classic German metal band Accept was setting up and they took a while to do so. As I mentioned before, this was the first night of the tour and so there are bound to be some issues. On one side of the stage the band’s stacks toppled over, almost into the audience, and they had to put them back up. Technical issues caused the band to take quite a while to set up and the show ended up being delayed considerably. Regardless of all those set backs Accept still put on a really fun show. They formed in the 1970’s and are a bit corny, their most famous song is Balls To The Wall after all, but they sure get the crowd going with their catchy riffs and sing along chorus lines. Udo Dirkschneider, the band’s famous ex-vocalist, hasn’t been in the band Mark Tornillo of Acceptfor several years but Mark Tornillo did a great job fronting for those classic songs and his stage presence kept everything entertaining. Of course lead guitarist Wolf Hoffmann was in peak form showing off his ability to make all kinds of wild eyed facial expressions while soloing without looking at his hands. Their set list was a good mix of old and new, and you can view that here. The band really did a great job getting everyone pumped and set the stage for the final band of the night, Kreator.

Kreator is one of the big three of German thrash bands from the 1980’s, and my favorite of the three as well. They’ve had a long career with 13 Mille Petrozza of Kreatorstudio albums to date. That’s a lot of material to try to cover in one set and no matter what they play they’re going to leave some favorites out of the set list (which you can see here). They took a while to take the stage due to more technical difficulties but once they did the shredfest really began. They started off with a few songs from their latest album, Phantom Antichrist, and ended up playing a total of five songs from it. The rest of the set was filled with classic Kreator songs, older and more modern, and their mosh friendly riffs kept the energy level high for most of their set. The band had so much artwork on stage with them it almost looked like a maze, but it did look pretty cool, especially the massive banner in back with the zombie horses. Kreator wasn’t as charismatic on stage as Accept though frontman/guitarist Mille Petrozza did a good job of of keeping people excited between songs. Guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö walked off stage during a song at one point, presumably for technical problems, and came back. His guitar sounded muddy in the mix for most of the set and Kreator’s overall sound didn’t sound as good as Accept had. That’s all probably due to more technical problems that can’t really be blamed on the band. Still it was a hell of a lot of fun as Kreator always brings it to their shows and this night was no exception. It is a shame that the delays made several in the already sparse crowd leave early to be able to make the metro before the trains stopped running. In the end Kreator is still one of the best thrash bands to see live and their performance at the Howard Theatre proved they’ve still got it.

Kreator at the Howard Theatre

After the show I hung outside the venue for a little while talking to people, including a guy I met named Will. He’s the assistant brewer at Port City Brewery which is based in Alexandria, Virginia, and he was handing out flyers for a metal night he’s trying to get started there on September 19th. He seemed cool and you can tell he’s got a real passion for metal. Will said he has been frustrated by the lack of places for metal heads to hang out in the area when there isn’t a concert going on so he figured he’d try to start something up at the brewery he works at. Since he brews the beer while listening to heavy metal it only makes sense that he’d invite people to come out and drink the beer while doing the same! It sounds cool and you can check out the details about the event, including how to submit song suggestions, here. If you’re reading this somewhere else and planning on catching this tour, I shot photos of the merch booth that you can see here and here, which should give you an idea of what the bands will be selling and for how much. Well, I hope you enjoyed this review. You can check out the videos below that I shot, one of Accept and the other of Kreator and if you’d like to see more of my photos from this concert you can see the rest of my shots of Accept here and Kreator here. Stay metal everyone and support the scene you’re a part of!

Pallbearer ticket give away

If you like your doom metal with an extra dose of heavy and a heaping Pallbearer at the Rock & Roll Hotelside of gloom then you don’t want to miss Pallbearer coming to the Rock & Roll Hotel on Wednesday, September 12th, 2012. is giving away a free pair of tickets to one lucky winner to catch this must see show and all you’ve got to do to enter is leave a comment at the end of this post telling me which metal band you’d like to see come to the Rock & Roll Hotel next! On Monday, September 10th at 5pm EST I’ll pick a winner at random (using from all valid entries to get the free pair of tickets to the show! Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. If I don’t hear from you in 24 hours then I’ll pick another winner to get the tickets. Don’t worry, I wont add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all your entries will be disqualified. If you simply can’t wait to see if you win the contest you can get tickets from Ticket Alternative here for $12.

Pallbearer’s debut album, Sorrow And Extinction, was released in February and has been making waves in the world of doom metal, and for Pallbearer Live album cover artgood reason! The Arkansas based band uses clean vocals on top of crushingly heavy riffs that will have you feeling the weight of that casket when you hear them play live. As an extra bonus, everyone in attendance can pick up a free copy of Pallbearer Live on 10″ vinyl provided by Scion A/V at the merch booth. The opening act on the Paths To Oblivion Tour is Royal Thunder, an Atlanta, Georgia based rock band. Samothrace was supposed to be on this tour but had to drop due to an “immediate illness in the family of a band member” according to this post. For this show their spot on the bill has been taken by Asthma Castle, a Baltimore based band that should fit perfectly with the two touring bands. Now crank up the song below, Devoid Of Redemption, while you enter the contest below. Good luck!