Stoner Playlist

Well it’s official, today, February 26th, they legalized the personal possession of marijuana (up to 2 ounces and 6 plants) in Washington DC by anyone age 21 or over. It’s still not legal on federal land, which includes all parks (including the zoo and the National Mall), Smithsonian museums, Congress, and even some roads like the Rock Creek Parkway, and you still can’t smoke it in public on the street or in a bar/restaurant, hell you’re not even allowed to buy it (it is legal to give it away to someone 21 or over though). But still, it’s now no longer a crime to possess or use pot in your own home in Washington DC. I think that makes, in Washington DC at least, 2-26 the new 4-20. So grab some munchies and check out this stoneriffic playlist of pot related metal songs I’ve thrown together to mark the occasion.

Black Sabbath – Sweet Leaf 1971 Master Of Reality

I’d be an idiot if I didn’t start this playlist off “Sweet Leaf,” the opening track from the original stoner metal album Master Of Reality. Pretty much every song on this list was influenced by this song in one way or another.

Cannabis Corpse – Skull Full Of Bong Hits 2009 The Weeding

Richmond’s Cannabis Corpse have made a career out of making pot themed parodies of famous death metal songs, mostly from Cannibal Corpse. I’m assuming they got real high and had some Weird Al Yankovic and death metal on shuffle together. This song parodies the Cannibal Corpse classic “A Skull Full Of Maggots.”

Electric Wizard – Satanic Rites Of Drugula 2007 Witchcult Today

Have you ever been so high you felt like Nosferatu waking from an ancient, undead slumber? Judging by this song I can tell you Electric Wizard sure as hell has.

Death – Cosmic Sea 1991 Human

Back in 1991 Death’s line up included Sean Reinert and Paul Masvidal (both of Cynic fame) and the Human album had some instant classic songs like “Suicide Machine” and “Flattening Of Emotions.” I remember when I first heard this instrumental track and thinking to myself “oh so the Death guys have been getting high as shit.” This song isn’t an ode to Mary Jane like most of the tracks on this list but compared to the rest of Death’s catalog it’s apparent that this is definitely their weed song.

Bongripper – Reefer Sutherland 2007 Hippie Killer

The Chicago based instrumental band Bongripper sure brings the heavy. They blew me away at Maryland Deathfest XVII and this hilariously titled song, “Reefer Sutherland,” is a great 16 minute long example of the band’s stoner doom metal sound.

Cephalic Carnage – Kill For Weed 2005 Anamolies

Cephalic Carnage is from Colorado and while that state already legalized pot that wasn’t the case when they wrote this brutal song back in 2005 about the need for legalizing pot.

Bongzilla – Amerijuanican 2005 Amerijuanican

Madison, Wisconsin’s Bongzilla’s namesake is pretty apt, they bring some big, heavy riffs with their sound that is as fuzzy as a smoke filled room.

Acid Witch – Stoned To The Grave 2010 Stoned

Acid Witch is one hell of a trippy band, they sound like they crawled out from some dank cave that they haven’t left since the 70s. This song recants the tale of how the Acid Witch met her untimely death.

Down – Hail The Leaf 1995 NOLA

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out exactly what leaf Phil Anselmo (of Pantera fame) is hailing in this track off the band’s debut album.

Kyuss – Gardenia 1994 Kyuss (Welcome To Sky Valley)

Back before Josh Homme went on to form a bunch of pop rock bands like Queens Of The Stone Age and Eagles Of Death Metal he was in a killer stoner band called Kyuss. These guys brought the riffs every time and Gardenia is a great track to showcase one of the greatest stoner bands that will probably never fully reunite.

Sleep – Dopesmoker 2003 Dopesmoker

A stoner metal playlist just isn’t complete without the legendary Dopesmoker, made famous for being an album consisting of just one song that clocks in at over an hour. There simply isn’t a better metal song to zone out to.

Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse ticket give away

Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse at the Fillmore Silver Spring

When two of the titans of death metal have a tour coming to our area you know we get excited here at DCHM. And when we get excited about a show we like to get as many people out to it as possible. So this week we’re giving away a free pair of tickets to see Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Monday, March 2nd, 2015. To enter: just leave a comment on this post telling me the name of your favorite death metal band. At 5pm EST this Friday, February 27th, a winner will be chosen at random (using from all valid entries to win the tickets. Be sure to enter using 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 within 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 for $35.50 here.

Last year Poland’s Behemoth put out one hell of a come back album with the release of The Satanist, quite an accomplishment considering, Nergal, the band’s mastermind, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010. After a successful bone marrow transplant he has recovered from cancer and is ready to bring his musical vision on The Satanist to stage for us. As if that wasn’t enough, the kings of gorey death metal, Cannibal Corpse, will be co-headlining this tour as they terrorize audiences (and stir up brutal mosh pits) with their songs about murder, zombies and violent torture. In addition to that we’ll also get the chance to see two up and coming death metal bands from Sweden as Aeon and Tribulation open up the show. That’s a ton of death metal for one bill, will you be able to survive? Be sure to check out these videos by each band below and tell me what your favorite death metal band is in the comments!

Behemoth – Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer

Cannibal Corpse – Kill Or Become

Aeon – Aeons Black

Tribulation – Apparitions

1349 ticket give away

1349 at Empire

When it is cold and snowy outside the time is right for some Norwegian black metal and as luck would have it Norway’s 1349 will be coming to Empire on Tuesday, February 24th to spread their unholy black metal gospel in our area. Inspired by the snow outside today we’re giving away a pair of tickets to this very show to one of you grim and frostbitten DCHM readers. To enter: just tell me the name of your favorite metal album to put on when it snows. At 5pm EST this Friday, February 20th, a winner will be chosen at random (using from all valid entries to win the tickets. Be sure to enter using 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 within 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 for $17 here.

1349, named after the year the black plague came to Scandinavia, has been around since the late 90’s bringing their aggressive black metal to fans worldwide. This tour is to support their latest full length, Massive Cauldron of Chaos, and will be our area’s first chance to hear them play some of the new material live. In addition we’ll get to see the spazz out brutality of Origin, a death metal band from Kansas. Lately they’ve been known to have their fans break out in massive pillow fights in the mosh pit during their sets. Also on the tour is Wolvhammer from Minneapolis, who plays some filthy blackened sludge metal. Local support for this show will be from Yesterday’s Saints, who just released their debut full length, Generation Of Vipers, and Cladonia Rangiferina, a black metal band with several Empire employees in their ranks. That’s a hell of a line up to chill you to the bone this February. Be sure to check out these awesome videos by bands playing the show as you leave a comment telling me what your favorite metal album to listen to when it snows is.

1349 – Sculptor Of Flesh

Origin – Absurdity Of What I Am

Wolvhammer – Writhe

Yesterday’s Saints – The Recruitment

Valentine’s Day Playlist

So since Valentine’s Day is upon us I thought I’d make a fun metal playlist to mark the occasion. However instead of finding a bunch of romantic songs and turning this into some ballad fest I decided I’d find some of the most absurd, disturbing and downright creepy “love” songs that could only come from the world of heavy metal. So whether you’re celebrating with your special someone, your favorite orgy group or just chilling by yourself spending the day swiping left you should be able to enjoy this not-so-romantic playlist.

Motörhead – Killed By Death 1984 Killed By Death

There’s nothing more romantic than Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister starting off a song with the lines “If you squeeze my lizard/I’ll put my snake on you.” It was a tough choice but I picked this one over another Motörhead classic, “Orgasmatron.” But we’re just getting started here, on to more fun!

Ozzy Osbourne – Mr. Tinkertrain 1991 No More Tears

I love me some Ozzy and while the Prince Of Darkness has quite a few songs about love “Mr. Tinkertrain,” the opening track off of No More Tears, uses a first person account of being a child predator as a metaphor for dating a younger woman. But wait, it’s just a metaphor so that magically makes it less creepy, right?

Gorgoroth – When Love Rages Wild In My Heart 2000 Incipit Satan

Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth seems to have taken the Kanye West approach when writing the lyrics to this song with its oddly romantic title. The line “and I think of me when love rages wild in my heart” shows the self adoration typical of famous rappers and Satanists alike.

Megadeth – Wake Up Dead 1986 Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?

I’ve always said that if you want romance then look to Megadeth. This song is about vocalist Dave Mustaine trying to sneak back into bed at 4am without waking his woman because he’s been out drinking and fooling around with another woman. The title refers to what he’s in for if he is caught.

Behemoth – I Got Erection (Turbonegro cover) 2008 (unreleased)

Polish blackened death metal band Behemoth has some pretty brutal songs but for a couple years they’d close out their show with this bizarre cover of the Turbonegro song “I Got Erection.” They even played it at Empire once. This video is pretty funny when the entire audience starts singing “erection” in the chorus. This song is the aural equivalent of a dick pick, and that gives it a place on this playlist.

Deicide – Heaven Shall Burn 2004 Scars Of The Crucifix

Glen Benton of Deicide has written many songs in homage to Satan (including one actually called “Homage To Satan”) but the 30 second mark of this song lets us know how he really feels about the man in red downstairs when he growls “Conquering churches and slaughtering lambs / Doing it all for my love of Satan… I love you Satan, my lord.” Not exactly Lord Byron but hey, do you know of a more direct love letter to the Devil?

Macabre – You’re Dying To Be With Me 2003 Murder Metal

The Chicago based trio Macabre has a unique sound and all of their songs are about actual criminal events, usually about specific serial killers. This song is about Dennis Nilsen, the man called the “British Jeffrey Dahmer” because he killed at least 12 young boys and kept their corpses around after their deaths to keep him company, as in, he would have long conversations with their dead bodies.

Belphegor – Bondage Goat Zombie 2008 Bondage Goat Zombie

Well I couldn’t ignore all the hype about the bondage themed movie (based on the book) 50 Shades Of Grey coming out this weekend and what better band to represent the more kinky side of things than the bondage (and Satan) obsessed Austrian band Belphegor. Somehow I doubt the movie will have any goat zombies tied up, but there’s always room to expand in a sequel, right?

Slayer – 213 1994 Divine Intervention

The Slayer song 213 is a love song written from the perspective of Jeffrey Dahmer, whose apartment number in Milwaukee where he murdered 12 of his victims was 213. The lyrics to this one are totally gross and I still have my old Slayer shirt that has the line “death loves final embrace” on the back of it stuffed somewhere in my closet.

Cannibal Corpse – Necropedophile 1992 Tomb Of The Mutilated

I could have made an entire playlist of sexually violent death metal songs but I decided I would keep it narrowed down to the one with the most disturbing lyrics I’ve ever seen. “Necropedophile” is a first person tale of someone who cannot stop having sex with the corpses of children. You can read the lyrics here if you dare, they’re truly disturbing, even for death metal, but I figure if I’m going to pick just one brutal death metal song it’s gotta be this one.

Carpathian Forest – Theme From Nekromantik 2000 Strange Old Brew

Norway’s Carpathian Forest have a bizarre sense of humor but this piano cover of the theme song to the German film Nekromantik seems fitting here. The movie is about a man who cleans bodies from car accidents on the Autobahn and one day he decides to take a corpse home to have a three way with it and his girlfriend. Things get even more weird when she starts falling for the corpse and out of love with him, and this creepy tune is the background to all of it.

Well that does it for this special Valentine’s Day playlist, now go kill yourself.

Review of Generation Of Vipers by Yesterday’s Saints

Band: Yesterday’s Saints
Album: Generation Of Vipers
Release Date: 3 February 2015
Buy digital ($10) or CD ($15) on Bandcamp: Here

Cover of Generation Of Vipers by Yesterday's Saints

Northern Virginia based Yesterday’s Saints have been hard at work crafting their highly anticipated debut album and today it is finally released! I won’t get too into the album here, I’ll leave that to DCHM writer Tal’s review below. You can read more of Tal’s writing on his blog In My Winter Castle but first be sure to read about Generation Of Vipers and be sure to check out the video at the bottom of the review too.

At risk of understating it, Generation of Vipers is much grander than your average death metal album. The album is built on a death metal base – rumbling bass, jackhammer guitars, low growled vocals – but it makes many flights of fancy outside the usual confines of that genre, including soaring clean vocals, furious thrash or power metal guitars at times, and spacey and doomy passages.

This reflects and develops the grandiose theme of the album – the story of Satan and the origins of humanity and the universe. Satan is of course commonplace in metal music, but this album tells his story in the vein of Milton or Dante – grand in scope, postulating about the origins of the universe and mankind, and tragic in its focus, from Satan’s fall from heaven to the ongoing corrupt nature of man. It’s not so much heretical and subversive as philosophical and poetic.

The album starts off in medias res (in the middle of the story) with the battle between Satan and the archangel Michael. The hammering opening of the first track, “Fall of the Ancients,” sets the tone for the thundering and brutal death metal base of this album, but we quickly hear what else is in store, as the song shifts to a more groovy and melodic vibe, but without losing the brutality. Combined with the low growls, it’s rather reminiscent of Dethklok. But then the vocals change, too, to soaring clean vocals as Matt Rice sings, “To trouble holy rests heaven casts thee out/
Of god you were made be free,” and then more aggressive vocals with a touch of harshness before going back to low growls. I’m guessing the low, demonic vocals portray Satan, while the more aggressive clean parts are the angel Michael. It’s a pretty cool song in terms of narrative; and the guitars, at turns pounding, furious and epic, and the contrasting vocals forcefully depict the battle.

The second song, “Origen Adamantius,” brings us to the chronological start of the story, with Satan deciding to challenge God. This song features one of the more unusual elements of the album – medieval-sounding chants in Latin (“Ego aeutem venio ad te,” meaning “I am coming for you,” and “Domine Agnus Dei,” meaning “Lamb of God”). Religious music and sounds (such as church bells) aren’t unknown in metal music (“For Whom the Bell Tolls,” anyone?), but in this case rather than being used ironically or to create a somber mood, they add to the theatricality of the song and album. This song also has its Dethklok moments, especially with lyrics like, “First raise an army, to help me seize/ the throne of God so easy to see/ violence, warfare, powerful machines.”

Then we have “The Recruitment,” which as one might guess, tells of Satan recruiting angels to fight with him against God. As a fan of the melodic and epic, of course I’m drawn to those parts of the album, and my favorite part on the whole album is actually the chorus to “The Recruitment”: “On the eve of destruction, follow me to battle/ as gods we will reign, high in the North.” The way the clean vocals soar above the drums and guitars truly elevate the song to epic levels. The vocals here make the song for me – especially the contrast between those clean vocals and the growls and thundering guitars.

After that, there’s a change of pace with the nostalgic piano and strings interlude “A Priori” (meaning “As it was before”) and the doomy “Sangreale,” which tells of Eve being seduced by Satan to father Cain. The slowdown is very sudden after the raging energy of “The Recruitment”; it feels like we suddenly skipped over a part of the story. We did – that part was told in the first song – but it still feels like a reprise or segue is necessary here. “Sangreale” is notable for the vocal tone which is different from the entire rest of the album (think Matt Barlow, formerly of Iced Earth, if he were to sing doom vocals). Although slower, the heavy parts are still driving and headbangable.

This is followed by two songs about Cain (in Christian mythology, supposedly the first-born son of Adam and Eve and the murderer of his younger brother, Abel), which are dominated by clean vocals and have a power metal feel even in some of the guitar parts. Song number 6, “Cain’s Agony,” features frequent changes in style and tempo, from the pounding, racing beginning, to a suddenly slower, almost spacy section, to churning guitars with blast drumming and twisted shrieks, and then furious riffs with grandiose clean vocals, before more shrieks and then growls. It has plenty of fast and groovy headbangable moments.

After that the album branches out to cover the plight of humanity as a whole, which the album postulates are descendants of Cain and thereby of Satan. I find this part of the album less gripping than the first part which dealt specifically with the story of Satan and then Cain. There is still a proliferation of grandiose clean vocals and demonic growls, groovy headbangable riffs and death metal thunder, which makes for enjoyable listening, but it doesn’t have the epic pull of the first half of the album.

As I’ve mentioned, this album reminds me of Dethklok in a number of ways, which I think bears talking more about. Yesterday’s Saints is perhaps a tad more in the direction of traditional death metal than Dethklok, but they both share a mix of traditional death metal thunder and demonic low growled vocals with more epic-sounding melodic flair. The rolling rhythm of the vocal lines and the brutal directness of the lyrics in some places of the album is also very reminiscent of Nathan Explosion’s handiwork. With Dethklok, this comes off as friendly mockery of metal’s obsession with being “brutal.” With this Yesterday’s Saints album, it adds to the album’s theatricality. Even the death metal parts are a rarified version of the genre itself. The brutality is as much an act as the grandiosity.

That doesn’t mean the album isn’t a solid chunk of death metal, though. If you’re looking for something to pummel your eardrums with the fury of hell, this album will probably satisfy you – as long as you can tolerate a lot of clean vocals and some other epic flights. It doesn’t quite reach the heights of the epic and melodic metal music that I usually listen to, but there’s enough raise it out of just straightforward death metal.

Tackling the epic tale of the Prince of Darkness and the origins of humanity and the universe is a monumental task. Through a mix of brutality and grandeur, Yesterday’s Saints manages to convey the demonic, rebellious, seductive and destructive aspects of the figure of Satan, the myth that purports to explain these traits in humanity itself. I’m less convinced by the story of the universe, but I’m still willing to headbang along to it.

The Recruitment:

Local metal studio releases in 2015

If 2014 showed me anything it’s that our area’s metal scene is very much alive and well. I’m often hearing a lot about what releases local bands have coming out so I’ve put together this post with updates on many of the DMV’s local bands and what they’re planning on releasing in 2015. I can’t say it’s all inclusive so if you know about more local releases feel free to leave info in the comment section. It’s an exciting time to be a metal head in the DMV area right now so let me tell you why…

For starters, two area bands have already released albums this year. Snakefeast and Periphery. On January 6th Baltimore based Snakefeast released The Pythoness on local label Grimoire Records. Their sound is an interesting combination of sludge metal with black metal and jazz elements and the inclusion of a cello and saxophone certainly gives them a unique sound. You can stream the album (or buy it for just $5) on Bandcamp right here.

Locals Periphery pretty much wrote the book on the djent style of prog metal. Juggernaut, released on January 27th, is the band’s most ambitious release to date. It’s a double album, one disc named Alpha and the other Omega. While it may not be the beginning and the end of metal releases in our area it does show the band returning to form after their bizarre release of Clear last year where each song was written by a different band member and unsurprisingly lacked cohesion. The band is on Sumerian Records so don’t be surprised if they turn up on some big tours Sumerian is involved with this summer like Mayhem Fest or Summer Slaughter. Check out the music video below for the song “Alpha.”

On February 3rd, that’s tomorrow to those of you reading this post when it’s fresh, Northern Virginia based Yesterday’s Saints will release their debut full length, Generation Of Vipers. The 11 track concept album is lyrically written like an opera with different acts and tells the tale of the Devil himself. You can give it a listen on Soundcloud here and you can order the album on Bandcamp here and we’ll be posting a review of it tomorrow as well.

Generation Of Vipers by Yesterday's Saints

The Vomiting Dinosaurs are a kind of goofy death/grind band from Winchester, Virginia and they’ve got a full length coming out on Grimoire Records on February 10th. The album is titled Worship The Porcelain God and you can listen to a couple tracks from it on Bandcamp here.

Worship The Porcelain God by The Vomiting Dinosaurs

Doom legends Pentagram are finishing up their next full length to be put out on Peaceville this summer, according to this Facebook post. With Victor Griffin back in the band anything is possible, and their previous album, 2011’s Last Rites, was really well put together so let’s hope they can keep the creativity going on this one.

Baltimore’s Noisem might be young, I don’t think any of them are even old enough to drink yet, but they’re really taking off. They’re a throwback to the early 90s death/thrash sound, have some fun riffs and they put on a good show. So far they haven’t released anything really groundbreaking musically but that may or may not change on their upcoming release this year, which they begin recording in February. Noisem has garnered a lot of attention since they’ve been the opening act on the last two Carcass US tours and their vocalist, Tyler Carnes, was on the cover of the April 2014 Decibel issue (along with members of Carcass and Gorguts). Noisem is signed to A389 Records in Baltimore and the band has to know everyone is wondering what they’ll put out on this next release now that everyone is watching.

Valkyrie from Harrisonburg, Virgina, has signed a deal with Relapse Records and will be putting out a full length album on the label some time this spring. The band features members of Baroness and Earthling but has a sound all their own so don’t sleep on this one.

Dave Sherman (of Spirit Caravan and Earthride fame) and his 420 friendly band Weed Is Weed will have a five song EP released later this year titled The Bong Remains The Same.

Local southern metal band King Giant had several injuries to members of the band after the release of their last album, Dismal Hollow, back in 2012. The band is looking to make a big come back this summer with the release of their third full length which was recorded and mixed by J. Robbins (who has worked with bands such as Clutch, The Sword and Wino in the past).

Northern Virginia based A Sound Of Thunder must live in a recording studio (you jealous Wintersun?) since they’ve put out at least a full length every year since 2011. 2015 will be no different and we can expect another full length of original material in late spring/summer from them. ASoT is also working on an EP release due out late this year that will consist entirely of covers of songs the members of the band love.

Sludge/doom band The Osedax has been a bit quiet since two members recently left the band however a lot has been going on behind the scenes. The band’s original drummer, Kevin Grevey, has returned to the band, which is now a three piece, and they’ve recorded a new album, titled Titan’s Lament, which will be out on Dullest Records in the spring.

Titan's Lament by The Osedax

DC based death metal band Genocide Pact (featuring two members of local grind band D.O.C.) will have a full length out in the first half of 2015 on A389 Recordings.

DC based stoner band Borracho is going to be releasing a split LP with a band outside of the DMV area in May or June. It will have three new original Borracho songs on it, which you can hear live previews of at their upcoming shows at the Velvet Lounge (2/19) and the Pinch (3/20). UPDATE: Ripple Music, the label putting out the split, has released more details (here) and announced that the other band on the split will be Atlanta’s Volume IV (not a Black Sabbath cover band, they write originals). I’ve added the cover here too.

cover of the Borrocho & Volume IV split

The crusty death/doom band Ilsa is going to put out a new full length on A389 in March, they’ve been playing some of the new material live at their recent shows and it has sounded awesome so far. This will be their second album on A389 Recordings and their first with new guitarist Tim (who was in a band with several Ilsa members years ago).

Grethor is a local death metal band whose name means Hell in the fictitious Klingon language from Star Trek. We reviewed their last EP back in 2013 (here) but now they’re looking to release a new EP titled Cloaked In Decay in the spring.

Black metal band Dispellment has finished recording their debut album (according to this post on Facebook) though there currently is no release date while they search for a label for a proper release. Apparently a three song demo of material from the album will be available sometime soon though.

Wings Denied, a proggy band in the vein of Periphery, was formed by friends attending American University. Their vocalist, Luka Kerecin, was in the US on a student visa that has now expired but they are working on getting him back over here to record another album with him some time this year.

Stoner band Caustic Casanova has signed with Retro Futurist records, a label run by members of the band Kylesa. They’ve got a not-yet-named full length in the works that should be released in the late spring or early summer.

Doom band Foehammer has their debut album, which is self titled, coming out on April 7th on Grimoire Records (vinyl via Australopithecus records). The three piece will be going on tour this summer to support the recording, and you can hear a preview track from it right here.

Foehammer s/t

Baltimore based stoner band Sixty Watt Shaman will go into the studio to record some time in the first half of 2015. This will be the band’s first recorded material since reforming, and will be their first release since 2002!

Death metal band Gloom is hitting the studio in February and they’ve got a new guitar player in the band now too. I’m not sure when the new release is expected exactly but they definitely have something in the works.