Carcass ticket give away

Carcass at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Carcass is a band that started as vegetarian grindcore and evolved over the years into one of the pioneers of melodic death metal. They broke up in 1995 only to return recently with last year’s release of Surgical Steel and now, on Sunday, April 13th they’ll be playing songs spanning the entire history of the band at the Fillmore Silver Spring as they headline the 2014 line up of the Decibel Magazine Tour. We here at DCHM are pretty damn excited about this tour and so we’re going to give away a free pair of tickets to this show to one of you lucky readers. To enter: leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite Carcass album is. If you need help you can find their discography listed here. If you’re not a huge Carcass fan but more into one of the other bands on the tour, then tell me what you favorite album by one of them is instead. At 5pm EST this Friday, April 4th, a winner will be chosen at random (using from all valid entries to receive two 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 right now for $26.50 from Live Nation here.

Not only are death metal legends Carcass playing this show but a ton of other great bands as well. The Black Dahlia Murder is from Michigan and the melodic death metal band’s 2013 release Everdark might be their best album yet. Canadian techdeath masters Gorguts have also reunited and they’ll be destroying eardrums at this show as well. Gorguts may be the most brutal band to ever grace the stage at the Fillmore Silver Spring! Baltimore’s death/thrash upstarts Noisem are really starting to take off and they’ll be on the entire tour, not just our date, and for good reason: their high energy live show slays audiences! And for this date of the tour only straight edge hardcore band Coke Bust will be opening the show. Now that’s what I call a killer line up! Be sure to check out these killer tunes by all the bands playing the show and tell me what your favorite Carcass album is in the comments!

Carcass – Captive Bolt Pistol

The Black Dahlia Murder – Goat Of Departure

Gorguts – Forgotten Arrows

Noisem – Split From The Inside Out

Coke Bust – Lines In The Sand

Metal Show Of The Week: Obliteration

Who? Obliteration
When? Thursday, March 20th
Where? Metro Gallery (map) in Baltimore
How much? $14 cash at the door or $14.50 from Mission Tix

This week’s pick for Metal Show Of The Week goes to a gig up in Baltimore but if you’re down in DC or NoVA it’s definitely worth driving up for, even on a week night, and I’ll explain why. The headliner is a death metal band from Norway called Obliteration. They’re playing a string of shows while they’re in the US for SXSW and the Metro Gallery in Baltimore is going to be their only stop in our area. The chance to catch these guys live in the US is pretty rare, you might never get to see them on this side of the ocean ever again. And while Obliteration is from Norway they’re straight up death metal, not black metal, and not the breakdown laden slam-core style of death metal that has become so popular of late. No, Obliteration has an old school sound that isn’t far off from early recordings by bands like Darkthrone and Sepultura. Their raw, aggressive sound is surprisingly clean on their third album, Black Death Horizon, which was released by Relapse Records late last year. You can stream the entire album on Bandcamp here or just scroll down to the end of this post to check out the second track, “Goat Skull Crown.”

There’s more than just a rare chance to see a killer Norwegian death metal band in their prime at this show though. Also playing will be Northless, a heavy sludge band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin that has a dark, foreboding sound not far off from bands like Rwake and Czar. They aren’t on tour with Obliteration, we’re just lucky that they’re both playing Baltimore the same night and their shows were combined. And let’s not forget the killer locals on this show including DC’s Ilsa, a crusty death/doom band that is heavy as fuck and always leaves the audience floored by the end of their sets. Baltimore’s own Cemetery Piss brings their blackened thrash to the stage as well and the opening band will be Putrisect, a death metal band from Baltimore. This is one hell of an all ages bill for under $15 at a venue with good sound and a solid beer selection too. Still not convinced? Then jam out to the following tunes by the bands playing and get ready to head out to the Metro Gallery this Thursday!

Obliteration – Goat Skull Crown:

Northless – Communion:

Ilsa – Frostthrower:

Cemetery Piss – Such The Vulture’s Love

Review of Tales Of Ruin by Cavern

Band: Cavern
Album: Tales Of Ruin
Release Date: 4 March 2014
Record Label: Grimoire Records
Buy digital ($3) or cassette ($5) from Bandcamp: Here

Cover of Tales Of Ruin by Cavern

We’re back with another review of a release by a band on Grimoire Records, this time it’s the new EP by the Maryland three piece Cavern. Their sound is hard to categorize so I suggest giving them a listen by streaming the song at the end of the post or listing to the entire EP here while you read this review. And be sure to check out more of Tal’s writing on her blog here.

One of the cool things about reviewing albums is that I end up listening to things I would probably not seek out on my own – such as Cavern’s EP Tales Of Ruin. I’m usually more in the mood for atmosphere and melody or heavy, headbangable riffage, and didn’t expect to find either on an album with strong stoner vibes. While the album is dominated by a sludgy stoner sound, it’s not just that; there’s a lot going on that’s not covered by that label. (The same is also true of Cavern’s self-titled debut, released in April 2013.)

Tales Of Ruin starts out with a leisurely rhythm and melody, but the pace picks up about a minute into the first song, and the guitars charge into energetic riffs. Sometimes the band even races into hammering black metal-like segments or plays rocking classic metal riffs, though even these segments are thick with doom sound. Whether fast or moderate, their guitar riffs are pretty infectious – this is music you won’t be able to help bobbing your head along to. There are a few parts where the band slows down or gets downright spacey, but most of the album holds my attention with energetic and catchy guitar work.

In the first song, “The Pathway | The Void,” Cavern mixes it up constantly. Though they’ll repeat the same riff for several measures, the tempo and riffs change often. I love the moments where they launch into classic heavy metal riffs for a few seconds. The second song, “Colours,” is groovy, but the guitar riffs are rather repetitive. There are some intense moments, though, when the drums thunder or the guitars gallop into headbangable riffs. There’s a truly plodding part near the end of the song, but it’s relieved by a lovely sorrowful melodic lead. The third song, “Stretcher,” takes a while to build up with a churning intro, but once it gets going it has a nice momentum, helped along by the forceful, deep vocals. I enjoyed the bridge near the end, thick and heavy, atmospheric in a way different from the cold, dark sound of say, atmospheric black metal. After that, there’s over a minute of spacey distortion at the end of the song, which is a cool effect at first, but goes a little too long.

The vocals seem rather distant at the start of the album, nearly buried among the instruments. They come closer to the fore later, but are still a bit low in the mix. In the first two songs, the vocals are mostly an angry shout – not angry in a punk way, but more despairing. In the third song, the vocals are a gravelly baritone, which I find more fitting with the thick, heavy sound of the band’s music.

The last song is a cover of “Grounds For Divorce” by Seattle stoner/sludge band Big Business (who shares two members with The Melvins). This cover song is the most energetic song on the EP, with zooming guitars (that literally sound like a vacuum cleaner at times) and lively vocals. I can’t help headbanging to its insistent pace. Cavern’s take is a little thicker and sludgier than the original, with lower and gravellier vocals. The rest of the album sounds good, but this song sounds great – it’s the catchiest and most intense song on the album.

Despite not being a fan of stoner metal in general, I found myself enjoying this album, especially the guitars. The guitars were more energetic than I expected, even a bit catchy. I felt like the shouted vocals didn’t do much for the songs, though; especially when they were quite low in the mix, they just sounded like background noise. The gravelly vocals contributed more to the heavy sludgy feeling. With more vocals like that along with the catchy guitars, this EP might actually have converted me to their distinctive sound. The guitars at least should satisfy those who are already fans of sludgy stoner music.