Most Metal Moments of 2013

2013 has had a lot of great moments this year so again I thought I’d ask a small sample of the various people, personalities and characters from around our area’s metal scene about theirs. I asked everyone two questions, what is your favorite album of the year? and what was your most “metal” moment of 2013? Feel free to leave a comment with your own answers to these questions, you readers of this site are part of the scene too!

Grant Dickie is better known around these parts at Grimy Grant and you’ve hopefully read some of his album reviews on this very site. You can check out his posts here. Also be sure to add him on Twitter at @jgrantd if you haven’t already.
Favorite album of 2013: Soma by Windhand
Most metal moment of 2013: When I started to really get into metal a few years ago, it was because I listened to Ilsa. One day I noticed a curiously named band called Bolt Thrower on Ilsa’s MySpace page in their “influenced by” section. Learning more about Bolt Thrower I found out that they’re a band based off of the table-top game Warhammer 40k. This piqued my nerdness and enticed me to get more into the band. Years later, they’re one of my main go-to bands and when I found out they were playing at Maryland Deathfest on May 23rd I nearly tore my shirt off and yelled out in my cubicle chair. Karl Willets and his merry band played onstage for only about 50 minutes due to some logistical problems with the Maryland Deathfest, according to their official band page. Still, when the fog erupted onstage and those four recognizable and epic figures emerged, when I somehow managed to squeeze near the front row, when I saw Willet’s sweat, it was just as good as any amount of time that they could have played. During the first chords of “World Eater” I completely flipped out, went raging in the pit, and then did a first-ever crowd surf – things a respectable adult would never do. Then again, Bolt Thrower brings out the most valiant and rocking in all of us.

Milla Lindqvist is the other album reviewer on though she’s known as Tal on the site (see her posts here). She also runs a blog called In My Winter Castle where she reviews concerts she attends and other things.
Favorite album of 2013: Pelagial by The Ocean
Most metal moment of 2013: I really love the Russian folk/pagan metal band Arkona, and I’m kind of crazy about their vocalist, Masha Scream, with her long blond hair and just slightly Asiatic features, her outfits of furs over a traditional Russian tunic, her beautiful clean vocals and most of all her vicious growls. So it was pretty amazing getting to see Arkona play a headline set at Cafe 611 in Frederick, Maryland on October 28 – not just because I got to see Masha up close and to headbang and push people around to over an hour of Arkona’s music, but also because some other fans mistook me for Masha – not once, but twice. I could hardly believe it when a guy came up to me between two of the openers and asked, “Are you Masha?” It was probably the best compliment I’ve ever gotten – certainly the most metal one!

Simon Callahan books DIY metal shows in Washington DC and manages to get some great underground bands from around the country to play with top local metal talent through his Metal Squad Party Force. He also plays guitar and sings in the local band Midnight Eye.
Favorite album of 2013: Sky Burial by Inter Arma
Most metal moment of 2013: This year had a bunch of memorable metal moments, but some of the most memorable were probably: Midnight Eye’s release show on August 8th at The Pinch where we managed to fry both of our guitar amps the first night of the tour. And booking Absu there November 14th was one of the biggest, craziest shows I’ve ever booked in DC. And of course, the DC Heavy Metal 4th Anniversary show at the Fillmore Silver Spring on September 26th was fantastic. Years ago the first DC shows I played or booked involved Earthling at the now-defunct Corpse Fortress, just a few blocks away from the Fillmore. So getting to drink DC Brau while backstage with Earthling at DC’s biggest venue was a nice highlight and poetic touch to my time here.

Downfall Of Gaia performing at The Lab
Photo of Downfall Of Gaia performing at The Lab by Metal Chris.

Justin Woodward, aka Hollow Lung, plays guitar and does vocals for the local metal band Permafrost and also books DIY shows through his Hybrid Hearing Productions.
Favorite Album Of 2013: Valonielu by Oranssi Pazuzu
Most Metal Moment Of 2013: Four years ago Permafrost played a show with a band called Empier from New York. They became our first out of state friends. Soon after they became Black Table. Our styles were now more similar and we had a strong connection. This year I started booking shows at The Lab in Alexandria and I was presented with an amazing opportunity. Riff Lifter Booking and Black Table contacted me to book the German black metal band Downfall Of Gaia with Black Table for a Virginia date on their US tour. Stepping back and seeing a full room of all new faces while watching a band from half way across the world that I also love was my most metal moment. Being able to orchestrate shows with amazing bands is very surreal. Booking has been such an awesome experience and has made my life more fulfilling. Thank you everyone. Stay Metal.

Mary Spiro runs the blog Metallomusikum, is a Baltimore metal music contributor at and she runs the Black Metal Baltimore Facebook group. In addition to all that, she’s a staple at metal shows in Baltimore.
Favorite album of 2013: Valonielu by Oranssi Pazuzu
Most metal moment of 2013: One of my most metal moments of 2013 began on Halloween night when I sludged it up in my viking costume with Black Tusk and Inter Arma at The Sidebar Tavern in Baltimore. The next night I was thrashing with Death Angel and 3 Inches Of Blood at Mojo 13 in Wilmington, Delaware. That Saturday, I enjoyed some post-this and some post-that at Washington’s DC9 with Pelican and Coliseum. I concluded my show marathon on Sunday, where I celebrated a black and death metal “ritual” with Watain, In Solitude and Tribulation at Baltimore Soundstage. A stretch of shows like that, each one different from the last, represents the diversity of my musical interests. It also proves that I don’t have to travel more than 100 miles from home to find that diversity. I love living here!

James Healy is the vocalist and guitar player in local black metal band Thrain and now, after working for a local music shop for years, he has started Old Town Lutherie doing guitar repair and tweaks for many of the area’s metal musicians. If you want a real pro who is a metal head to make your guitar sound great, he’s the best guy to talk to in this area.
Favorite album of 2013: Vermis by Ulcerate
Most metal moment of 2013: This is a pretty tough one! 2013 as a whole has definitely been the best year in metal for me personally. It’s hard to choose just one “metal moment” as there were so many awesome moments to choose from! Well I’d have to say first that watching the D.C. scene grow bigger than I’ve ever seen it is a mighty contender that overshadows any one event. But, in the spirit of this write up the most metal moment I experienced was having the opportunity to share the stage with one my all time favorite bands, Battlemaster, on December 7th at The Lab. I’ve been a huge fan of those guys for what seems like a lifetime and D.C. always shows them a warm welcome! Here’s to an even better 2014!!

Adam Jarvis is a great drummer and he’s a busy one too. He’s currently a member of Misery Index, Pig Destroyer, Fulgora and Asthma Castle and he’s also worked with many other bands.
Favorite album of 2013: …Like Clockwork by Queens Of The Stone Age
Most metal moment of 2013: I’d have to say this year’s Maryland Deathfest was the most metal thing that happened this year. Not the obvious awesomeness of bands and friends united in the slums of Baltimore for a great weekend of boozin and blast beats. But this moment has to do with some events that happened that weekend. Down headlined on Saturday night and my other sludgy southern fried band Asthma Castle opened the fest that day. We ended up acquiring a massive bottle of Jameson. I filled up my flask and kept it in my care package for Phil Anselmo which also had some records from my other bands Fulgora, Misery Index, and Pig Destroyer. I handed the bag off to Jimmy Bower when I was super wasted and it still had the flask in the bag. This wasn’t just any plain Jane flask: it was a flask that my high school girlfriend gave me!! It had my name engraved on the front of it and “I Love You” engraved on the back!!!! So I brought it up when I ran into Phil at Hellfest in France, that I accidentally gave him my flask, and he just looked at me weird and then we just kept on drinkin!! That flask is now gone hopefully sitting in Phil’s room with my name on it and I love you!!!

Adam Jarvis of Pig Destroyer performing at Gwar-B-Q
Photo of Adam Jarvis of Pig Destroyer performing at Gwar-B-Q by Josh Sisk. Click it for the larger version.

Josh Sisk is a photographer who shoots all kinds of bands around the Baltimore and DC area, including tons of metal bands. You can see some of his work here. He’s also the heavy metal columnist for the Baltimore City Paper.
Favorite album of 2013: Return To Annihilation by Locrian
Most metal moment of 2013: Early in Pig Destroyer‘s set at the Gwar-B-Q in Richmond on August 17th, there was a palpable moment where the crowd and the band suddenly locked into sync together before turning it up SEVERAL notches. Everyone started screaming, mobbing the stage, knocking into the band, each other. Band members fell down, everyone fell down. Suddenly people started hauling themselves up into the rafters of the gazebo-like outdoor structure they were playing in, hanging upside down, stomping their feet along with Adam Jarvis’ breakneck drumbeats, making the “building” shake and causing a fine mist of white particles – I assume birdshit? – to rain down on the band and everyone. The security tried in vain to get the kids to come down, but pretty much failed, overwhelmed. The band, feeding off the crowd, ripped through the rest of their set in rare form. A highlight of a great day, and something that made a big fest feel, just for a second, like a grimey, intimate warehouse show.

Chris Penrod is better known as the Chicken Man and if you go to many metal concerts in the area you’re sure to spot him sooner or later tearing it up in the mosh put in his bright yellow chicken suit. The more brutal the band playing, the more likely you’ll find him there.
Favorite album of 2013: Passages Into Deformity by Defeated Sanity
Most metal moment of 2013: I’d have to say the my most metal moment of 2013 is a draw between Pig Destroyer‘s set at Gwar-B-Q. When everyone was hanging off of the ceiling rafters in that little gazebo. I thought that thing was gonna fucking collapse. Or at Dying Fetus at Empire on November 2nd. I wound up taking a hard fist to my nose and I’d have to say, that was the most blood that has ever poured out of my face at once. This year was very metal.

Richard Johnson aka The Grindfather, is the main man of the Northern Virginia based grindcore band Drugs Of Faith and he also runs the ‘zine turned blog Disposable Underground.
Favorite album of 2013: Surgical Steel by Carcass
Most metal moment of 2013: Dave Witte asking me to play a song with his band Brain Tentacles (along with his musical partner Bruce Lamont) for the D.C. date of their tour on November 4th. A string of musicians played with the band, each sitting in on a different date of the tour, but I was just honored to be asked. Having borrowed Taryn from Drugs Of Faith‘s bass, I got down to the Black Cat in DC, and using his saxophone, Bruce showed me the riff I was to play. What I didn’t know was that Agata from Melt-Banana (Brain Tentacles was opening for them) was going to improvise on guitar as well for the song. So not only was I performing on stage with Dave and Bruce, two awesome musicians themselves, but with the guitarist from Melt-Banana as well, for me it was a show to remember!

Mark Osegueda of Death Angel performing at Empire
Photo of Mark Osegueda of Death Angel performing at Empire by Metal Chris.

Kim Dylla runs Kylla Custom Rock Wear where she creates custom clothing that you have probably seen worn on stage by members of bands such as Slipknot, Machine Head, Watain, Death Angel, Children Of Bodom, Kreator and more! She can even make you custom clothing to wear on stage or to just bring out your inner rock star.
Favorite Album Of 2013: IV: An Arrow In Heart by Aosoth
Most Metal Moment Of 2013: I’ve been making custom stage clothes for bands with my company Kylla Custom Rock Wear full time for about two years now and I’d have to say the most metal moment of 2013 for me would be seeing two of my favorite bands, Kreator and Death Angel, wear my pieces on live on stage in the same night, October 30th. Somehow the Kreator/Overkill tour date at the Baltimore Soundstage and the Death Angel concert at Empire in Springfield were booked on the same night, and my assistant and I were determined to go to both. Kreator purchased a whole stage wardrobe from us and when it arrived, Kreator guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö told me that for the first time they felt like a “real band,” which was quite a compliment coming from the thrash legends I had been listening to for my entire adult life. My assistant Laurie and I met with them about some new wardrobe pieces and went on a very Baltimore adventure with Kreator’s Mille Petrozza to a vegan restaurant. Our cab driver was right out of Grand Theft Auto. We had to leave the show early in the set and speed down to Springfield to catch Death Angel’s set. Unfortunately we walked in after the first few songs had been played. Death Angel vocalist Mark Osegueda got on the microphone as I walked in to tell me how much he loved the vest I made that he wears on stage. Being a die hard old school thrash fan (in addition to my true love of black metal), nights like this really blow my mind, and I feel so privileged that through the clothing company I get to actually be a contributing part of the music that I love and give back to metal.

Mario Trubiano is the drummer for the local stoner metal band Borracho. If you like fat riffs then check these guys out!
Favorite album of 2013: Earth Rocker by Clutch
Most metal moment of 2013: Earlier this year, we (my band Borracho) met and became friends with Port City brewer Will Cook and before long we were talking about collaborating on a beer. From that first conversation, through several pilot batches, and after many beers together at tastings at the brewery, we finalized and approved the recipe for Borracho Smokin’ Brown Ale. The beer debuted in super-limited quantities at a party we threw at The Pinch in Columbia Heights on May 18th. We organized a killer show with our buds Wasted Theory from Delaware, Weed is Weed from Maryland, and Cortez from Boston to mark the occasion. The beer sold out, the bands threw down, and it was a drunken good time for all involved. Metal through and through.

Will Cook is assistant brewer at the Alexandria based craft brewery Port City Brewing Company and is the man behind the occasional Metal Night events held there. Follow him on Twitter at @PCBCBrewMetal.
Favorite album of 2013: Earth Rocker by Clutch
Most metal moment of 2013: Apparently my submission for 2013 Most Metal Moment was the same as Mario Trubiano’s from Borracho. We even picked the same favorite album of 2013. Our virtual mind meld is now my favorite metal Moment of 2013! And oh, fucking Slayer and Gojira played at the Fillmore Silver Spring on November 19th, my birthday! It was awesome: “Chop” gave me a ride, folks bought me DC Brau beers, my old ass survived the pit, and a good friend crossed the brutal circle pit to deliver me a much needed glass of water – without spilling a drop. Bad ass! Most unmetal moment of 2013: Constantly missing great shows because I have to wake up at 4am to brew beer.

Jo Gonzales runs Black Mess Records in Baltimore, a record store specializing in extremely underground heavy metal from around the world. They’ve also got patches and other merch that you just can’t find anywhere else in the area.
Favorite album of 2013: Satanae Tenebris Infinita by Imprecation
Most Metal Moment Of 2013: The most metal moment in 2013 was December 13th when I choked on the fumes of burning flesh at the Satan’s Unholy Abomination Fest II in Hyattsville, Maryland. The perpetrator was the vocalist for a great new sickening black metal band Ritual Decay. He was burning his beard and his hand badly, it was pretty fucking disgusting. I felt like someone had burned hot peppers in a pan, the way it was macing the whole crowd was really unbearable. Their music was solid and original as well!!! I’ve seen a lot of crazy shit at shows but that was a first for me choking on burnt flesh and burnt beard smoke… I felt bad for the venue!!!

Nina Osegueda performing with A Sound Of Thunder at Metal Quest II
Photo of Nina Osegueda performing with A Sound Of Thunder at Metal Quest II by Sako Tumi. Click it for the larger version.

Nina Osegueda is the lead singer for the local band A Sound Of Thunder and she also sets up some metal shows from time to time. Some would call her the Queen Of Hell.
Favorite Album Of 2013: Valkyrja by Týr
Most Metal Moment Of 2013: My dream has always been to put on a show with as many “nerd” themed bands as I could find. I was able to pull it off in 2012, so I wanted to do it again in 2013 during Otakon. Growing up, I used to be an otaku [Editor’s note: fan of Japanese culture, particularly their comics and cartoons]. I cosplayed and would go to conventions well into my twenties, but having joined a band after college I no longer had the time. I decided that this would be the year I fixed that. I scheduled the show for August 10th at the Sidebar (which I later realized was within walking distance of the convention center), and planned a Nathan Explosion of Deathklock costume. The bands were: Burning Shadows, Aries, Cassandra Syndrome, A Sound Of Thunder and Dethlehem. It went off without a hitch. The bands came, but more importantly, the people came. More people than we could really fit into the place, to be honest! The Sidebar is such a tiny spot, but it has such great character. People came from the convention (I had passed out flyers with the help of some friends), and people even came in costume. Imagine a bar full of costumed nerds rocking out to metal songs about dragons. This was my dream, and I was able to make it happen! It doesn’t get much more metal than that.

Metal Chris is me! I’m the guy who runs this whole DCHM thing!
Favorite album of 2013: Soma by Windhand
Most Metal Moment Of 2013: So many great metal moments for me this year, Phil Anselmo taking over my Twitter account to directly answer fan questions, Pig Destroyer‘s beer release show, the return of Black Sabbath with Ozzy, Maryland Deathfest and Gwar-B-Q were all super fun and of course getting to interview Kerry King of Slayer was something I’ll never forget. My favorite moment of all had to be the DCHM 4th Anniversary show on September 26th at the Fillmore Silver Spring with Vektor, Earthing, Borracho, Midnight Eye and Asthma Castle. Seeing so many of you fans of the site come out and support the bands and this site was just incredible! This wasn’t just a show with the DCHM name slapped on it either. It was a lot of work to put together but it was a success and the venue was so pleased that they want to do another DCHM show in 2014 and I can’t wait to do it all again!

Review of Echoes Of Battle by Caladan Brood

Band: Caladan Brood
Album: Echoes Of Battle
Release Date: 15 February 2013
Record Label: Northern Silence Productions
Buy from Bandcamp (digital) for $10: Here
Buy from Storenvy (CD or vinyl): Here (temporarily sold out)

Cover of Echoes Of Battle by Caladan Brood

We don’t usually cover albums from bands outside the greater DC area but to end 2013 I gave my album reviewers the chance to write about their favorite album of the year that they felt deserved more attention. Tal has done a great job relating how one of her favorite albums this year influenced her in the following review of Echoes Of Battle by Caladan Brood. You can always get more of Tal’s writing on her blog In My Winter Castle. I posted Grimy Grant’s choice, On The Edge by Volture, earlier today and you can read that post here.

In addition to spouting my opinions about metal (and sometimes other music), I also write fiction, generally of the wilderness-trekking, cavalry-charging, fireball-lobbing, epic clash of good and evil variety, and that metal in its various forms serves as inspiration for pretty much every scene I write (the good scenes, anyway). This fall, I embarked on a dark post-apocalyptic fantasy novel, and ended up wading into the marshes of black metal (fairly unfamiliar to me) to see what I could find that was suitably dark and fantastic enough to inspire my story. After struggling with the likes of Hollenthon (too grandiose) and Morgul (too creepy), I finally found what I was looking for in Austrian epic black metal band Summoning – and then I discovered newcomer Caladan Brood of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Indeed, I think Caladan Brood has bested Summoning at their own game this year. While songs like “Mirdautas Vras” and “Land of the Dead” off Summoning’s 2006 release Oath Bound fired my imagination, I didn’t find their 2013 release, Old Mornings Dawn, very inspiring. Caladan Brood’s debut album Echoes of Battle, on the other hand, made my heart soar and my fingers fly.

Caladan Brood takes their cue from Summoning’s darkly epic style, with its morose atmospheric guitars, medieval-sounding melodies and peculiarly evil vocals. Like Summoning, Caladan Brood mainly uses a raspy growled vocal style, like some dark creature that crept out of the earth, perhaps a more evil version of the cave-dwelling, croaking creature Gollum from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. But adding to the epic reach of the album, Caladan Brood also uses resounding clean vocals that sound like they could fill a cathedral. Further setting themselves apart from Summoning, Caladan Brood also augments the dark maelstrom of atmospheric guitar with some heavy guitar riffs and wailing guitar solos.

Where Summoning explores Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Caladan Brood takes on a different fantasy universe, the world of Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen. I must admit I’m not familiar with Erikson’s series – but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the album. The music paints such an epic picture of great cities, sweeping landscapes, huge armies and the devastation they bring, fallen empires and fallen warriors, that for some time I didn’t even need to read the lyrics. The song titles alone are evocative of fantastic images: “City of Azure Fire,” “Wild Autumn Wind,” “To Walk the Ashes of Dead Empires.”

Amazingly, this debut album from an unknown band topped the release from the masters of the fantasy metal genre. Summoning’s new album sounds a bit monotonous to me, a continuous flow of raspy vocals over a swirl of melodies and ominous guitar, just on the beautiful side of creepy. It’s nice as a non-distracting backdrop, but not much stands out or catches my attention. Echoes of Battle, by contrast, is full of epic moments that injected life into my writing, and should enflame the imagination of any fan of fantasy, whether writer or reader.

My favorite moment is in the second song, the eponymous “Echoes of Battle.” The song is full of epic melodic guitar, but about halfway through, the guitars sweep skyward in wave after wave, and even the rasped vocals seem to reach for the heavens as they lament about “Swords held high to the desert sky at such great a cost / Standards fly above funeral pyres.” It’s impossible not to be caught up in the soaring energy of the song; the brightest moment in my dark novel was brought about by this song, and I still have to stop what I’m doing and wave my fist in somber triumph whenever I hear this song.

The following song, “Wild Autumn Wind,” is driven by a lovely keyboard melody. Even the rasped vocals can’t take away from the beauty of this song. The atmospheric guitars and harsh vocals keep things grim, especially with lyrical themes involving the fleetingness of not just lives but whole civilizations:

“The bones of beasts and the bones of kings
Become dust in the wake of the hymn
Mighty kingdoms rise, but they all will fall
No more than a breath on the wind“

But the keyboard rises above the desolate imagery, giving it a romantic beauty. After all, the rise and fall of mighty kingdoms lie at the heart of every great epic story.

Another favorite moment of mine is at the very end the album, where the choir-like clean vocals urge the warriors ever onward:

“Strap on your shields and raise your banners
Hear the call of raging battle
Beneath a hail of burning arrows
Push ever forward, never surrender
Siege weapons tolling out like thunder
Ripping the city walls asunder
Columns of flame reach ever skyward
Horizons filled with burning pyres”

In general, this final song, “Book of the Fallen,” wraps up the album in a satisfying way – with mournful vocals and dirge-like keyboard, the guitars at times hymnal, at times heavy and atmospheric, bidding farewell and encouraging us onward at the same time. Because for a fantasy writer or reader, the story is never over, but lives on and on in our imaginations; we relive the carnage and remember the fallen, and look forward to the next battle.

Though I started out listening to this album without any knowledge of the story behind it – and even used it to fuel my own, completely unrelated story – now I find I need to read the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Caladan Brood’s take on the story has left me hungry to know more about the world of grandeur, bloodshed, loss and memory that they’ve evoked. I only hope that the books live up to epic yet dark vision they’ve painted with Echoes of Battle.

Echoes of Battle:

Wild Autumn Wind:

Review of On The Edge by Volture

Band: Volture
Album: On The Edge
Release Date: 13 September 2013
Record Label: High Roller Records
Buy from Bandcamp (digital) and name your price: Here
Buy from High Roller Records (CD or vinyl): Here

Cover of On The Edge by Volture

One of the best new things here at DCHM this year has been the addition of two new writers doing album reviews on the site. We try to keep our album reviews focused on local bands, that’s kind of the point of the blog, but for the end of the year I told them both that they could pick any album from 2013, local, national or international, that they thought didn’t get enough attention this year to write a review of. The following is Grimy Grant’s pick for his favorite unsung album of the year, On the Edge by Richmond natives Volture. Of course be sure to follow Grimy Grant on Twitter at @jgrantd if you don’t already and be sure to read Tal’s choice for unnoticed album of 2013, Echoes Of Battle by Caladan Brood, here.

Volture is a band I’ve grown attached to recently. Their loyalty to old-school metal doesn’t stand out much in the crowd of current throwback bands worshipping at the shrines of Raven, Judas Priest, or Motley Crue. What makes them unique to me is their focus on tight, quick hard rock that is good old fashioned fun. Brent Hubbard, the former vocalist for the band, and Jack Bauer, the current lead singer, both seem to be imitating Rob Halford as they belt out tunes referring to motorcycle rides and the deadly Volture – an electric steel bird similar to the one on the cover of the Judas Priest classic album Screaming For Vengeance. A recognizable face in the group is Ryan Waste, lead guitarist for one of Richmond’s major metal bands, Municipal Waste. When I saw Volture play at GWAR-B-Q this year, Ryan Waste seriously plucked his bass and didn’t do the stage banter that he usually does with Municipal Waste vocalist Tony Foresta. Considering the ‘Waste is a huge asset to the RVA music scene, it’s commendable that Ryan Waste sticks to being just a member of the gang in Volture rather than the “star talent.” That could be on purpose since most of Volture’s themes are about being a gang of brothers as well as a band.

On the Edge is the band’s 2013 release and to me it’s the best thing they’ve put out yet because it goes over the top and doesn’t look back. The first track, “On the Edge,” kicks the album off with an image of soldiers “Raging onward / … / taking back what’s ours” and living by the code of “No surrender, no return” to their homes. Nick Poulos and Dave Boyd, the guitarists for the band, shred out a number of quick solos that help energize the song with the kind of speed and excitement of a battle. It’s a thrashy sound that goes overboard and which I really got into from the start. “Ride the Nite” follows immediately with Bauer joyfully singing about “Kick start the weekend / Going for a ride.” It’s a simple lyric but a sincere one sung by Bauer, whose voice doesn’t show any irony. Barry Cover drums a quick, solid beat through both of the first two tracks while Ryan Waste keeps the beat going steady with his bass. Performing classic fantasy themes tied with speed metal may be a bit laughable and tongue-in-cheek when performed today, but it’s pulled off well due to the commitment from the band and their skill.

Simplicity is both an engine for making On the Edge a perfect party album but also teeters on the side of being forgettable. Volture’s main issue is the same as Municipal Waste, Cannabis Corpse, and the other bands under the RVA punk and metal scene: they are consistent, keep their songs simplistic yet fun, and can be taken for granted as just another party band. On the Edge tries to raise the bar a bit in songs such as “Deep Dweller,” where Bauer paints a world of living underground in a post-apocalyptic Earth and surviving on the basics. That’s an interesting twist on the “band of brothers” theme that the album depicts in songs such as “On the Edge” and “Brethren of the Coast” and I like that it’s included as the last track on the album. The song before “Deep Dweller,” “Rock you Hard,” is the most light-hearted song on the album, something that reminds me of Manowar’s “Kings of Metal,” since both boast their respective band’s prowess and skill to their own fans. Volture’s version is overwhelmingly positive and traditional, referring mostly to the power and volume of their music rather than being brutal or overly technical. On the Edge is a great example of a classic metal album keeping it positive, powerful, and most importantly – timeless.

Ride the Nite:

Brethren of the Coast:

Metal Night V at the Pinch

Metal Night V

Hopefully a bunch of you already know about the next metal night I’m doing with the awesome brewers over at Port City Brewery (Facebook event page here). It’s this Saturday, December 14th and we’ll be playing metal tunes all night as usual but this time we’re changing things up a bit and moving it to the Pinch in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington DC (address and map here). There’s a few reasons for this change of venue, the main one is that we can now run much later than the 9pm curfew we had at the actual brewery in Alexandria (that was due to parking restrictions). Another reason is by moving it into the city it’s now Metro accessible, that means you can get there and leave from the Columbia Heights Metro Station which is just 1/2 mile south of the Pinch on the same street. There’s also plenty of street parking around the venue and don’t worry, Columbia Heights is a really nice neighborhood so you don’t have to worry about your car. The venue is a full service bar and restaurant so you can get food there and let me tell you it’s great food! I highly recommend the waffle fries with duck and BBQ sauce. In addition to all of this the venue also has a small stage downstairs and the guys in Borracho are going to play a special set for us this evening. This isn’t really a concert though, there’s no other bands playing, but we thought it would be cool since Port City has brewed a small batch of the Borracho Smokin’ Brown Ale just for this event! There will be many of your favorite Port City beers available all night too. In addition to all of that I’ll be there giving away prizes throughout the night, including concert tickets to the following upcoming metal shows: Amon Amarth/Enslaved, Children Of Bodom/Death Angel, Carcass/The Black Dahlia Murder, Darkest Hour/Pig Destroyer, Morbid Saint, Iced Earth, Between The Buried And Me/Deafheaven, Metal Church, Chimaira, Mobile Deathcamp and more! The doors open at 6pm and the event runs all night but the ticket give aways will be at intervals between 8pm and midnight, and Borracho will play during that time as well.

And as usual we’ll be playing a metal set list all night (well, except when Borracho is playing) and Will wants your song requests! Send him your favorite metal songs of 2013, favorite local bands, or just your favorite metal songs in general by emailing him at or send them to him via Twitter at @PCBCBrewMetal. Don’t wait til the day of cause he’ll be busy setting things up and he might not have time to get to it before everything starts.

So to summarize, send in your metal song requests and show up at the Pinch this Saturday any time from 6pm til last call (which is 2:30am in DC on Fridays and Saturdays). Enter to win some tickets and enjoy some great beers with other metal heads breaking only for a free show by Borracho. What’s not to love? Now to get you in the mood, check out this killer Borracho video.

New DCHM shirts!

Can’t figure out what to get your favorite local metal head for the holidays? Looking for something you can wear to any metal show you go to regardless of genre of the bands playing? We’ve got you covered here at DCHM! The Richard Nixon Vol 4 design and our brand new design, The True DCHM, are ready to be preordered and shipped in time for Xmas arrival if you get your order in by Sunday, December 15th. We will still accept orders after that through December but no guaranteed shipping on orders after the 15th. Get either shirt in men’s S-XL or women’s (girly cut) S-XL for $15 each including shipping! 2XL will cost an additional $1. If you’d like a larger size or different style shirt, say a long sleeve or tank top, send me an email at and we can work out the cost for that, though I cannot guarantee Xmas shipping on special orders (I’ll try my best though!). These are quality shirts and while I’m trying my best to keep the cost down for you, they aren’t cheap materials, I want them to last! The men’s shirts are all Gildan brand (a lot of bands use these) and the women’s shirts are Bella.

To pay with Paypal go here and send money to:

You don’t have to have an existing Paypal account to use it to pay and you can use a credit card. Be sure to include a note in the message section with whatever address you want the item(s) shipped to and what size you want. If for some reason you don’t send the note properly, just email me from the same email address you made your payment from with the size and shipping info. If you don’t send me the right amount I’m just going to refund your purchase and you’ll have to try again. If you are opposed to Paypal I have started using Square now which will also accept credit cards so just email me and we can find a way for you to pay using that.

I hope you all like these designs as much as I do. If you’re not sure of the references, the yellow one is a parody of the album cover of Black Sabbath Vol. 4 (see the original here) but with Richard Nixon in place of Ozzy. The blue shirt is a parody of the classic Mayhem album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (see the original here) but with the Capitol Building instead of the old church in blue. Order soon because I’m not going to order many of these shirts above the preorder numbers, maybe not any extra of the Mayhem design.

That’s me in the blue shirt and yes I really did go to see the National Christmas Tree in corpse paint. Both of the shirt designs were my idea but since my graphic design skills aren’t as good as my ideas I got RJ Mahoney to actually create them for me. The photos in this post were all shot by Louie Palu and you can see more of his work here. He’s a great photographer and this is probably the most ridiculous thing he’s had to photograph. The black metal style corpse paint makeup in these photos was done by Jessie Campbell, a local freelance make up artist (and metal head) who you can hire for your next photo shoot here. She’s also the model in the girly Nixon shirt. The shirts themselves are printed by MiNDJACKET Designs who can print your band’s shirts too.

If you have any questions about any of this feel free to send me an email at

Goblin ticket give away

Goblin at the 9:30 Club

OK so Goblin isn’t exactly a metal band, but since the Italian progressive group has been recording horror movie soundtracks since the 70s I figured there’s a good amount of cross over here and some of you metal heads might want to check these guys out when they play the 9:30 Club on Friday, December 13th. Please note that this is an early show (the venue has another unrelated concert starting at 10pm the same night) and doors will open at 6pm and I’d expect it to be over at about 9pm. We’re pretty excited about this rare chance to see Goblin live so is giving away a pair of tickets this show to one of you lucky readers. To enter leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite horror movie is. This Friday, December 6th at 5pm EST a winner will be chosen at random (using from all valid entries to win the tickets. 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 Ticket Fly right now for $25 here.

Goblin is famous for composing music for underground horror classics like Suspiria, George Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead, Deep Red, Profondo Rosso and many more! If you’re not familiar with the band I highly recommend you check out this beginner’s guide to Goblin here, and of course check out a few of the songs I’ve got streaming at the end of this post. In 40 years the band has never come to North America, until now, and who knows if they’ll ever tour here again so fans of horror movie soundtracks will not want to miss this rare chance to see Goblin play live. And be sure to get there in time to catch the opening act Zombi. Now check out these classic Goblin tunes and tell me what you favorite horror movie is in the comments!