Saint Vitus ticket give away

Saint Vitus

Many years ago Scott “Wino” Weinrich was told, by Ian MacKaye (of Minor Threat and Fugazi fame), of a doom metal band out in LA called Saint Vitus. Wino ended up moving from the DC area to California to become the front man for Saint Vitus and doom metal history was made by this perfect matching. Now Wino and Saint Vitus are coming back to the area to play a show at Empire on Sunday, October 20th and we’ve got a free pair of tickets to give one of you lucky readers! To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me what song you’d like to hear Saint Vitus play live the most at this show. You can see their discography here if you need some help. At 5pm EST this Friday, October 11th, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) 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 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 Amped & Alive for $17 here.

Along with Saint Vitus on this tour there will be psychedelic sludge band Zoroaster performing as well as a high energy set by punk/metal/rock band The Hookers. Local support will be from DC’s stoner riff masters Borracho. In all that’s a damn solid line up! Now check out these songs below by the bands playing and tell me what song you want to hear Saint Vitus play live.

Gorguts ticket give away

Gorguts

The French Canadian death metal band Gorguts is coming to Empire (formerly Jaxx) in Springfield, Virginia on Thursday, September 5th! They haven’t played the area since reforming and one of you lucky readers will win a free pair of tickets to the show. To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me which old school metal band you hope reforms to make a come back next and at 5pm EST this Friday, August 30th, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) 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 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 Amped & Alive for $16 here.

In the 90s Gorguts put out some excellent technical, yet very brutal, death metal albums but ended up going on hiatus in the new millennium. They reformed to play a set at Maryland Deathfest in 2010 which was awesome but lacked any new material. Well the new Gorguts album Colored Sands is coming out and I can tell you that having heard an advance copy already, it’s sick. This isn’t a recreation of past glories, this is a modern evolution of the classic Gorguts sound and there’s even some surprises in there too. If getting to see Gorguts play their classic songs plus some of their killer new material live wasn’t great enough there’s also direct support coming from Richmond’s Inter Arma. They released their first album on Relapse earlier this year and have been putting on some outstanding live performances in support of it. Seriously, catch these guys live and you’ll become a fan. There will also be sets by March To Victory from Pennsylvania and locals Acid Deth Kvlt. Now check out these awesome new songs by Gorguts and Inter Arma as you decide which old school metal band you wish would come back next!

Pentagram ticket give away

Pentagram

Pentagram is one of the oldest doom metal bands not only from the DC area but in the history of metal and they’re playing at Empire (formerly Jaxx) in Springfield, Virginia on Saturday, August 3rd! DCHM is psyched to give away a pair of tickets to see these guys rock the stage the night after Black Sabbath plays to be the second half of an old school doom metal weekend. To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me what song you’d like to hear Pentagram play live the most at this show. You can see their discography here if you need some help. At 5pm EST this Friday, July 26th, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) 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 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 Amped & Alive for $20 here.

Along with Pentagram there will also be a performance by locals A Sound Of Thunder. I have a pretty good feeling they’ll be busting out some of their more Sabbathy stuff for this show and they’ve been known to cover some obscure Black Sabbath tunes too. Sons Of Eddie will be playing Iron Maiden cover songs at this show as well. And you’ll want to get there early to make sure you catch Virgina based Dirt Merchant‘s fuzzy guitars and Despite Charm who are coming down from Baltimore to play. Now check out some of these cool songs by Pentagram and A Sound Of Thunder below and tell me what song you want to hear Pentagram play live!

Recap of January 2013 Concerts

Welcome to part two of this three part series attempting to catch up on my concert reviews of all the shows I’ve been going to this winter. For this installment I’ll be covering all the metal shows I went to in January. You can read part one, which covers late November and December 2012, by clicking here. And remember, if you’d like to see more of any of the bands in the photos below, just click the image.

The first concert I went to in 2013 was when I saw Swaath on Sunday, January 6th at a new venue in Baltimore called Club K. The venue seems to normally host DJ dance nights. It is attached to a small Korean restaurant and while the space isn’t fancy, it doesn’t even have a stage, it works fine for the DIY punk, hardcore and metal shows they have started to book there. The walls are painted with neon patterns and random zebra images and there are four TVs hanging from the center of the room in the shape of a square that are tuned to some Korean TV channel. There’s a dance party style spinning ball that projects different color lights hanging from that and it never seems to turn off. The beer at the bar is pretty cheap, but nothing a beer snob would want to drink. It’s basically a dive bar mixed with an Asian dance club. Anyways, I drove up to Baltimore to Swaath play. They’re a new sludge band that is from Portland, Maine, but they weren’t the first band of the night. That was Baltimore locals Barbelith. They’re a black metal band and while they didn’t have a bass player and could be a bit tighter they had some cool songs and were pretty good overall. The second band was some hardcore band from Philadelphia named Congenital Death. I wasn’t very interested in them as I’m not much of a hardcore fan, While there are some exceptions they just weren’t unique enough for me to really get into. After they played it was time for Swaath and they didn’t disappoint. They play a sort of atmospheric sludge metal with some stoner and doom aspects thrown in too. I really enjoyed their set and it was def worth the drive up. The final band of the night was another Baltimore local, Ophidian. They weren’t bad though going on after such a strong set can be tough. Plus being a local and going on after the touring band meant a lot of people left after Swaath played. I hope I get to see them in a better setting next time.

Barbelith:

Swaath:

Ophidian:

Two nights later, Tuesday the 8th, I headed over to the Black Cat in Washington DC to check out Jucifer on the venue’s smaller back stage. I missed local openers LTW but I’m sure I’ll catch them again as they open a lot of shows these days. Jucifer is a duo made up of husband and wife Edgar Livengood and Amber Valentine. They tour around the country in their RV with no permanent address. They’re basically always on tour. They’re known for having extremely loud shows due to the wall of speakers they bring with them, which were stacked to the ceiling at the Black Cat this night. I’ve seen them play before but this set went on longer than usual, lasting around 90 minutes! Their fuzzy set went through hazy highs and rumbling lows and even had some quiet parts. You get sucked in early and after a while you just find yourself absorbed into their show as though you’re staring into the obelisk in A Space Odyssey. As a side note, I actually met my girlfriend for the first time at a Jucifer show at the Black Cat a few years back and while that wasn’t a date or something, we sort of see their annual early January shows as something of an anniversary. Because of that I decided to relax a bit at this show and I didn’t bring my camera, so I don’t have any photos of Jucifer from this show, however I’ve posted a shot I took of them at a previous show below.

Jucifer:

The following weekend I saw a DIY show at The Lab in Alexandria, Virginia on Saturday the 12th. The Lab is basically a rec room for some church but it has a nice stage and it holds a decent amount of people. I missed the opening band but to my understanding they aren’t a metal band at all but play some sort of electronic loops and such. The first band I caught was Grethor, a Northern Virginia based melodic death metal band. I had seen their drummer, Anthony Rouse, play with the now defunct Orgy Of The Damned. They had some cool songs but you could tell their frontman, Marcus Lawrence, was pretty new to this as he didn’t engage the audience much spoke in almost a whisper between songs. Still, that’s something that can be worked on. The next band to play was Cammo Shorts, a grind band from Manassas, Virginia that doesn’t have a drummer. The three piece was pretty damn entertaining with lots of funny song titles such as My Cammo Shorts, Your Girlfriend’s Floor and LSD Cures Cancer. They covered the Pantera song Good Friends And A Bottle Of Pills which was probably the catchiest song of their set. They were good though a real drummer instead of just programmed beats from a laptop would probably fill their sound out more. Still, they were my second favorite of the five bands I saw that night. The next band to play was Acrid, a three piece death/grind band from Hagerstown, Maryland. While they had an actual drummer these guys lacked a bass player and honestly I think it really made their sound suffer. I’d heard their music online and I actually thought that sounded a lot better than they did live. Maybe it was just an off night? I dunno. The fourth band I saw that night, tentatively named Lucid Dream (until the band members agree on something better, apparently) was more of a rock band than anything. I liked what I heard but unfortunately their set was marred with several technical difficulties, including one of their amp heads crapping out. They asked if anybody in one of the other bands had one they could borrow, but apparently everyone from the other bands was outside. This lead to an increased delay as they looked to find someone that could help them. They finally played another song then abruptly ended their disjointed set. The final band of the night, and the main reason I came out to this show, was Fortress, a doom metal band from Hagerstown, Maryland. Let me just say that these guys were very fucking impressive live. Absolutely epic, crushing, heavy doom. Very loud, very intense, at times very slow but they knew just when to pick up the pace to keep it from getting boring. They put one one of the best performances I’ve seen from a DMV area metal band in quite some time. I was literally blown away and I know I wasn’t the only person in attendance who thought so. I cannot stress this enough: if you ever get the chance, GO SEE THIS BAND PLAY LIVE!

Grethor:

Cammo Shorts:

Acrid:

Lucid Dream:

Fortress:

I didn’t get to another metal show until 12 days later, on Tuesday the 24th of January. That night I went to DC9 in the U Street corridor of Washington DC and saw the so called super group Corrections House play. The band is Scott Kelly of Neurosis fame on guitar, Bruce Lamont of Chicago’s jazz influenced metal band Yakuza, Sanford Parker who plays keyboards in Nachtmystium, and Mike IX Williams of Eyehategod is the frontman. The opening act was Tone, a DC based instrumental rock band. They not really very metal but they’re not bad if you like instrumental bands. Corrections House has a sort of weird live set up and the band doesn’t just come out and start playing. Instead each member gets a segment to do a bit of solo material, and various other members come in and duck out at various points. They also all wear the same black button down shirts with the Corrections House logo embroidered on the sleeves. Their entire set was about 80 minutes long, although the first 20 minutes were just Sanford Parker looping drum beats and playing samples. A such, I didn’t particularly enjoy the start of the set. It did get better when Bruce Lamont came in with his sax though that only lasted five minutes or so before Mike IX Williams started reading some of his poetry. The high point of the show was definitely when the entire band was performing together. Their sound had a very improvy feel to it but they all seemed to work pretty well together for the most part. Corrections House was unpolished though and Mike IX Williams had to read the lyrics because I guess he hadn’t memorized them yet. About an hour into the set Scott Kelly broke a guitar string and ended up borrowing one from someone in Tone. I didn’t know what I was getting into with this show, and it did take a bit to start rolling, however once they all got in synch together I thought the show was really entertaining and I certainly don’t regret going. I’m curious how they will sound in the studio if they ever record anything.

Corrections House:

Corrections House:

Corrections House:

Two nights later, on Saturday, January 26th, I was at Empire (formerly Jaxx) in Springfield, Virginia for the long awaited return of local southern metal masters King Giant. Due to an injury in the band they hadn’t played since early 2012. They had a show scheduled in November to be a return to the stage but due to another injury to someone else in the band that date was pushed back until this night in January. King Giant always draws well, and this night wasn’t any different, though I know the fact that Graveyard was playing at the Black Cat the same night had to have affected the attendance at both shows somewhat. I’d have liked to have seen both but since I saw Graveyard at DC9 last year and I always like to support locals I decided to go to see King Giant. When I got there Richmond’s Fire Faithful was setting up. They’re a southern/stoner band but I wasn’t very impressed with their show. The crowd was still pretty thin when they hit the stage and perhaps that had something to do with it but they didn’t have much energy on stage at all. Their songs weren’t interesting enough be able to pull me in while hearing them the first time so some stage presence really would have helped. I liked the vocalist’s Windhand shirt though. Next up was Kingsnake from Philadelphia. I had seen them about a year prior at the Velvet Lounge and so I decided to hang back a bit and I didn’t get photos of them this time. Kingsnake is a very solid blue-collar metal band with some cool licks. Aside from their coincidentally similar names, they’re actually really a great opening act for King Giant as they have a very similar style without sounding redundant. Finally King Giant made the stage. There was a lot of fog this time and I was glad to finally see them playing live again. The place was pretty crowded by this point and you could tell all the members of King Giant were having fun playing in front of so many friends and family. At one point a bunch of people in the crowd all came out with fake handlebar mustachios in parody of King Giant’s bass player Floyd Walters and his iconic ‘stache. It really was a fun show and although King Giant’s sophomore album, Dismal Hollow, came out in early 2012 the songs from it still sounded pretty fresh since they hadn’t been played in a while. The show was a great welcome back to the stage for these guys. If you’re a fan of southern sounding bands like Down, Clutch and Alabama Thunderpussy then do yourself a favor and check this band out. They’ve got some great riffs you’ll get stuck in your head and songs that will stand the test of time. This isn’t some throwback band, they’re doing their thing and doing it damn well. King Giant is certainly one of the DC area’s best local metal bands and if you’re in this area and you’re sleeping on them then you’re fucking up big time.

Fire Faithful:

King Giant:

The sixth and final metal show that I went to in January 2013 was on the the last day of the month, Thursday the 31st. I traveled up to Baltimore to see Enslaved play at the Ottobar. When I got there the band Royal Thunder was playing, who, as stated in my previous post, I had just seen at DC9 the month prior. However this time they were missing their second guitarist and their sound was a bit thin because of it. Still, they put on a decent show and I thought they were a good prelude to the band I wanted to see the most this night, Pallbearer. Pallbearer is the hottest band in doom metal right now. Their debut album, Sorrow And Extinction, was released in February 2012 and is nothing short of excellent. The Arkansas based quartet plays some very downtuned, very slow songs with clean vocals. Unlike the clean vocals you hear from power metal bands that soar over the songs (think Dio and Iron Maiden), vocalist Brett Campbell has a very solemn and pain filled tone to his voice. These songs are often very slow and they take some patience to absorb, but there’s a reason that their album ended up in the top spot on many critics’ year end lists for 2012. This night they were very loud, even for a metal band. So loud that they were actually vibrating my camera’s lens enough to make it lose focus while I was trying to shoot them! The singer seemed to be having trouble hearing himself though and that made his voice sound a bit off. The audience was rewarded with a brand new song at the end of their set however and it crushed! I hear this song will be on an upcoming split from the band. After they played it was time for Enslaved, one of the old second wave black metal bands from Norway that has now turned into a progressive metal band. Personally, I liked the band the most when they were in that sort of transitional phase between being a black metal band and a prog band. They were unique then. They were this second wave band that actually learned how to play and wrote unique songs that were a blend of black and prog metals. Now they’re basically a progressive metal band and while they don’t write bad songs they just aren’t as interesting to me anymore. There’s other prog bands out there that are more interesting to me I guess. Enslaved’s live show was alright but having seen the set list I knew they’d play for about two hours, which was a bit long for me. Their set was plagued by technical difficulties which drained my patience and about an hour or so in I decided to start the long drive home. Unfortunately I got stuck in construction traffic which closed 95 South for a good 45 minutes so I should have just stayed longer! Oh well, I’m sure I’ll see Enslaved again, hopefully a bit closer to home if it’s on a week night.

Pallbearer:

Enslaved:

Well, thanks for reading this big recap of the metal shows I saw in January 2013. I hope to have my post covering February 2013 up next week, then I should be about caught up. Stay metal everyone and remember to support the scene you’re a part of!

Nile ticket give away

Nile at Empire

South Carolina’s masters of death metal, Nile, are playing on Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 at Empire in Springfield, Virginia. On this tour Nile will be playing two full sets of songs spanning the band’s entire history to celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band. This show is not to be missed so DCHeavyMetal.com is going to give away a pair of tickets to one of you lucky readers. To enter, just leave a comment on this post telling me which song from Nile’s entire discography (see it here) you want them to play the most! What will you pick? Maybe Lashed To The Slave Stick or Black Seeds Of Vengeance or Unas Slayer Of The Gods? That song with the really long title that starts with the word Papyrus? Nile has so many classic songs to choose from! On Friday, March 1st at 5pm EST I’ll pick one lucky winner from all valid entries at random (using Random.org) to win the pair of tickets. Please don’t enter if you cannot attend, I want to make sure the winner gets to see this killer show. Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you do win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 24 hours another winner will be chosen. If you enter more than once then all of your entries will be disqualified. If the contest is over when you read this or you simply can’t wait to find out if you won the tickets you can buy tickets from Amped & Alive for $17 here.

Nile has bee playing their technical style of death metal, led by guitar virtuoso Karl Sanders, for 20 years now. In that time neither the band’s aggressiveness nor obsession with ancient Egypt have waned. You may remember Amon Amarth similarly performed two sets like this in 2011, however, they spent one of their sets playing their newest album straight through. Nile will not be doing that and instead will be playing a double set retrospective of their career. Nile has also made it clear that they want to support local musicians on this tour so they will have local bands playing each of these shows that will be different in each city. For the show at Empire we get Cannabis Corpse, a Richmond based death metal band with weed themed songs that parody famous death metal songs by bands like Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel and Deicide. The band features Land-Phil Hall of Municipal Waste fame on bass and vocals. There will also be sets by locals Mikhail and Acid Deth Kvlt (you can give them a listen by clicking on their names). Well check out these recent videos by Nile and Cannabis Corpse below and leave a comment with what song you want to hear Nile play the most in their retrospective set!

Big Ass Recap Of Winter 2012 Concerts

Well it’s been a while since I’ve written a concert review on here. I’ve admittedly been a bit hesitant due to issues surrounding my last one. I didn’t stop going to see metal shows and in this post I hope to start getting caught up on these concert reviews. In fact, this is going to be part one of a three part series of mega concert recap posts that should have me kicking it into high gear. This one will review metal shows I went to in late November through the end of December of 2012. Part two will cover January 2013 and part three will cover February 2013. Concert reviews are fucking back baby! And of course you can click on any of the pictures below to see more of my photos from that band. Now, on to the recaps…

We’ll start with the High On Fire show all the way back on Black Friday, the 23rd of November at the Rock & Roll Hotel in Washington DC. The first band I saw that night was Primate, a grind band featuring Bill Kelliher of Mastodon on guitar and Kevin Sharp of Brutal Truth on vocals. They were ok as far as grind goes. The highlight of their set for me was their cover of Black Flag‘s Gimme Gimme Gimme. Next up was the death/black metal band Goatwhore from New Orleans. They’ve got some mosh friendly riffs and all but they’re pretty damn generic and I can’t think of one thing about their sound that is unique or distinctive. They’re an OK opener I guess but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see them. Headliner High On Fire, led by Matt Pike of Sleep fame, came out ready to play and just tore the place up. The show became a sweaty mosh pit and their dirty sludge tunes sounded killer this night. They ended their set with my favorite song, Snakes For The Divine. That song has such a catchy opening riff! This show was a great metal way to spend Black Friday.

Primate:

Goatwhore:

High On Fire:

A week later, on Friday, November 30th, I found myself at Casa Fiesta in Washington DC for a bit of a mish mash of a show. There were a couple of local hardcore bands opening that I didn’t see. The first band I got to see was Biipiigwan, a sort of blackened sludge band from Ottawa in Ontario, Canada. They were good and created an interesting yet energetic atmosphere. Next up was Sofy Major, a noise metal/hardcore band all the way from France. I really enjoyed their set. It was energetic and dirty and I thought the songs had a lot of variation. The last band to play that night was Midnight Eye, a local metal band with clean vocals, though the guitar wizardry is the true highlight of this band. They write some damn catchy riffs and combine it with some very proficient guitar playing. I heard some of their new material live for the first time at this show and it blew me away! I can’t wait to hear studio recordings of the new songs.

Biipiigwan:

Sofy Major:

Midnight Eye:

The next night, Saturday, December 1st, I was back at the Rock & Roll Hotel in Washington DC’s H Street corridor. The first band I caught that night was Hour Of Penance. They’re basically Italy’s version of Behemoth. If you like Behemoth you’ll probably like them too. Not the most original band, but they were a pretty good opener for the brutal line up this show had. The next band to play was Maryland’s own Misery Index. Since they’re a local band I’ve seen them a ton of times, though unfortunately this was the worst performance I’ve seen from them. Misery Index’s frontman and bass player, Jason Netherton, was not on the tour because he had been working on something for his PhD. That absence caused Mark Kloeppel to take over on bass and handle most of the vocal duties as well. This really thinned out the band’s sound and while they gave it a good go, it just wasn’t up to par with crushing shows I’m used to from Misery Index. Headliner Cannibal Corpse never disappoints and while I’ve seen them too many times to count over the years I never get tired of the insanity of their live show. Their lead singer, Corpsegrinder, is basically the living embodiment of Nathan Explosion, vocalist of the fictitious band Dethklok on the Cartoon Network tv show Metalocalypse. Quite the charmer, he dedicated the song Priests Of Sodom to all the women in attendance who “take it up the ass.” Corpsegrinder always gets the moshing going and even called upon the Chicken Man to lead the pit at one point. And the pit was rough for this show, just like it should be at a death metal concert! At one point I saw some kid, maybe 10 years old, stumbling around the mosh pit looking for a hat he had dropped. I pulled him out of the pit and alerted security, nobody seemed to know where his parents were. The kid didn’t even have ear plugs. Parent Of The Year award goes to somebody for that night. Anyways, the show was great, they played a few newer songs but kept the set to mostly songs from throughout their history, ending with the usual Hammer Smashed Face and Stripped Raped And Strangled.

Hour Of Penance:

Misery Index:

Cannibal Corpse:

The following Thursday, the 6th of December, I drove up to Baltimore to see Vomitor and Negative Plane play at Golden West Cafe in Baltimore. It should be noted that Golden West Cafe has a good beer selection for beer snobs as well as some great food (with many vegetarian options) and their kitchen is open late. The first band to play was Extermination Angel, a thrash/death metal band from Baltimore. I had seen them before but it had been a while. They never wowed me in the past but apparently they’ve been practicing a lot because they really sounded better than I remember them being. I was impressed, and it’s always nice to see local acts improving over time like that. The next band to play was Negative Plane, a black metal band from New York City that has something of a surf rock vibe to their guitar riffs. They were really good live. Their unique sounding riffage kept them interesting throughout their entire set and I think I enjoyed them more than the headliner. Not that Vomitor was bad. They are from Brisbane in Queensland, Australia and have been a force in the obscure underground death metal scene for years. I felt very lucky to get a chance to see them play live. Their set was brutal and gross (as you’d expect from a band named Vomitor) but their songs don’t have a whole hell of a lot of variation and after a while you kind of knew what you were going to get from each song. Still, they really got the crowd going and they were definitely worth the drive up to Baltimore.

Negative Plane:

Vomitor:

The next night, Friday, December 7th, a day that will live in infamy, I headed over to Empire (formerly Jaxx) in Springfield, Virginia to catch The Faceless. When I got there the Haarp Machine was playing and it only took me about 10 seconds to realize this was not something I could sit through. I headed to the back “Alchemy Room” at the venue and waited for Revocation to play. They were worth the wait, as always. Boston based Revocation is such a damn good band live. Their songs are fun and jam packed with catchy riffs. They’re pretty fun to photograph as well because of all the goofy faces and poses various band members make while they play. The Faceless was the final band to play. They’re a pretty talented band that made a name for themselves with their very catchy tech death sound however they seem to be moving into a more progressive style, particularly on their latest album, Autotheism. They’re pretty complex and can take a few listens to fully digest what they’re doing. They’re a talented band and their songs are pretty deep, but I still think Revocation was the better live show.

Revocation:

The Faceless:

On the following night, Saturday, December 8th (third show in three nights for those who are counting) I headed out to The Lab in Alexandria. The Lab is a rec room for some church that is across the street. As such, there’s no food and definitely no booze there. Regardless, it is a decent sized space with a nice big stage. This night I went to see a DIY death metal show with all local bands. I missed the first band, Shotgun Surgery, but I am glad I caught the second. Annandale’s Gradius is a death/grind band that has been getting pretty good. The band is really starting to get tight and you can tell it is from a lot of practice. The next band to play was Short Bus Pile Up. They’re a gore obsessed death metal band with song titles like Urethral Myiasis, Fecal Matters, Gagging On Dick and Ball-Peen Beating. Their sound is as brutal as you would expect it to be. They came up from Fredericksburg, Virginia to play this show and they definitely brought it. In fact, for the third show in three nights, I again thought the direct support band was better than the final band to play that night. Visceral Disgorge headlined this show. They’re a death metal band from Baltimore that is along the lines of Aborted and Dying Fetus. That kind of slamcore death metal isn’t really my favorite style of metal as I feel it’s been really overdone at this point, but they weren’t bad at it. They did get the pit raging and people seemed to really enjoy it. Apparently two of the members of the band are leaving so hopefully they’ll find replacements and keep the band moving forward. In all it was a pretty killer DIY death metal show.

Gradius:

Short Bus Pile Up:

Visceral Disgorge:

It wasn’t until the following Saturday that I went to my next metal show. This time it was a DIY house show at the Cellar Door in Annandale, Virginia. The place is tiny but I’ve seen some killer bands there so I can’t complain. A black metal band from New York/New Jersey named Black Table was coming down to play the basement at the Cellar Door. When I arrived I found out that two bands from Louisiana were added to the show at the last minute. Sweet, bonus metal! The first band I saw was Mailbomber. They’re a two piece sludge from upstate Louisiana and they were alright. A good start to the show but not the high point of the night. The next band to play was Solid Giant, a sort of stoner/doom band from New Orleans. They were more polished than the previous band and I really liked them. I hope they come around to a place with a better sound system some time, I’d really like to hear them on a proper stage. The next band to play was Black Table. They have a woman who does vocals as well as play guitar however I thought their drummer stole the show. He was really punching it and putting some real force behind those songs. They were a good show and definitely worth coming out to see. Gradius played at the end of the show but since it was getting late and I had just seen them the weekend before, on a real stage no less, I took off just a couple songs into their set.

Mailbomber:

Solid Giant:

Black Table:

Two days later, on Monday, December 17th, I was at DC9 in Washington DC’s U Street Corridor to see Royal Thunder. They’re a female fronted quartet from Atlanta that sort of straddles the line between rock and metal. I had seen them in October at the Pig Destroyer album release show in Baltimore, but they seemed an awkward fit on that bill. However this setting was much better for them and they really killed it that night. Their sound is sometimes dirty, sometimes bluesy, sometimes catchy, and always pretty damn fun to listen to. Also, I have a funny story about this show. A friend of mine, who doesn’t go to a lot of concerts, was at the show with me and had her jacket tied around her waist. While the band was mid-song we were standing in front of the merch table, which Royal Thunder always has decorated with tea candles. At one point I looked over at my friend and saw a stream of black smoke raising up behind her and I quickly realized she was on fire! I quickly alerted her to the situation and helped put her out. She wasn’t hurt but the jacket was ruined. Hilarious!

Royal Thunder:

The following night, Tuesday, December 18th, I went to Empire in Springfield, Virginia to see Battlecross play on the final night of their tour. The tour was supposed to have Abiotic on it also but they had dropped off at some point due to mechanical problems with their touring van. I missed the first local opener, Animas, but I did get there in time to see locals Yesterday’s Saints put on another good performance. They’re sort of a melodic death metal band with vocals that alternate between clean and harsh. Also, their drummer makes some of the funniest faces while he’s playing. They’ve got some really catchy songs they’ve been playing for a while but I’m definitely ready to hear their new studio material, it should be out soon I think. Battlecross is a thrash metal band from Detroit who has a lot of youthful energy on stage. They were pretty fun to watch, even with the crowd being pretty thin for this show they still put their all into their performance. You could tell these guys were having fun playing together. They’re signed to Metal Blade and I could see them on a tour in the future with some other up and coming thrash acts like Sylosis and Holy Grail.

Battlecross:

As you have seen above, at this point I’d been to a lot of smaller shows and by the time Xmas rolled around I was ready for a bigger show. So on Wednesday, December 26th I went back to Washington DC’s U Street Corridor to see Clutch play at the 9:30 Club. The show was sold out but I got there early to be sure I could see the legendary Wino perform his solo set. Yep, that Wino, the guy who fronts Saint Vitus and has been in a ton of other important doom bands. This show was different though, just him with an acoustic guitar and a microphone. His solo stuff is nothing fancy but it is personal music that is often very heavy in subject matter. I really like his album Adrift and it was great to see him play some of those songs live. Dave Sherman, a local musician who was in Spirit Caravan with Wino came out and performed a song with him to end the set. The next band to play was Saviours, from Oakland, California. I didn’t like them at all and I found their music to be extremely generic. Each song seemed like a rip off of another greater band’s style. One song sounded like The Sword, one like Motörhead, one like Black Sabbath, and so on. The crowd seemed to like it though. The next band to play was Mondo Generator, a band led by Nick Oliveri who is most noted for playing bass in Queens Of The Stone Age and Kyuss. They were alright however like most of the spin-off bands from Kyuss, it makes you wish you were actually listening to Kyuss. The place was packed by the time Clutch hit the stage. This was the first show of the tour to support their upcoming album, Earthrocker. As such they came out of the gate fired up and the audience loved it. They played several songs from the upcoming album and they blended in to the set list (see it here) seamlessly with the older classics they played. I particularly enjoyed hearing the new song DC Sound Attack being played to a full house in DC. In all it was a great show and I’m hoping for a similar experience at their show in Baltimore with Orange Goblin in April.

Wino:

Saviours:

Mondo Generator:

Clutch:

The final metal show for me of 2012 was seeing Black Clouds and Warchild play at the Rock & Roll Hotel on H Street in Washington DC. Black Clouds played first, they’re a mostly instrumental three piece from DC. They’re an atmospheric and very dark band that is more rock than metal really. They have a cool light show setup and they’re the kind of band that sucks you in early keeps you entertained the whole show. Their final song has a recorded spoken word part that is read by Neil Fallon, frontman of Clutch, that ends up with him repeating “everything is not going to be ok” over and over like a broken record. Next up was DC’s wildest metal band, Warchild. These guys sound like Kill ‘Em All era Metallica and party harder than Municipal Waste. Their catchy riffs get the pit going early and their vocalist, Rory Sheridan, came out on stage in a full Santa costume. These guys can’t keep their clothes on though and soon enough the entire band was showing off their extensive tattoo work on their upper bodies. Santa had gifts for those in attendance and pulled people out of the audience to open individually gift wrapped beers that were immediately chugged on stage. Warchild is always a great band to see live and I don’t hesitate calling them the most fun of any local metal band to see live. I highly recommend going out of your way to see these guys play if you ever get the chance.

Black Clouds:

Warchild:

Well, that’s it for part one of my big ass recap of this winter’s metal concerts. Well, at least the ones I’ve been to. I hope you enjoyed reading this and I’m excited to get back into writing about all the great metal shows that happen in this area. Be sure to check back next week for a new ticket give away and hopefully part two of this winter concert recap series. Stay metal everyone and remember, support the scene that you’re a part of!

Municipal Waste and Napalm Death at Empire

Friday the 26th of October 2012 was one hell of a fun night. Municipal Waste and Napalm Death were kicking off their co-headlining tour with Exhumed and Vektor at Empire (formerly Jaxx) in Springfield, Virginia that night Poster for Municipal Waste and Napalm Death at Empireand you just knew a line up like that was going to result in an awesome night. Apparently a lot of you had the same idea as the place was pretty packed. It was probably the best turn out I’ve seen at Empire since the new management took over back in January.

There were a couple of local openers to start the show off but I didn’t get there until Vektor was just beginning their set. They play a futuristic tech-thrash that is pretty damn fun to watch live. Their songs are long but they go all over the place so you never feel bored listening to them. The crowd surfers were already starting during their set. I had seen Vektor headline a show in mid September (ready my review of that show here) and while they didn’t play as long of a set, it was still cool seeing them on a proper stage. Also, guitarist David DiSanto was playing a new guitar this time. After Vektor played it was time for Exhumed to unleash their gory death metal on the crowd. They were as fast and brutal as ever and they’re the kind of band you can tell is having a lot of fun on stage. They had their crazy chainsaw surgeon guy come out on stage a few times with his real chain saw that he was waving over the audience and they even had blood splatter onto some of the people up close when he pulled out a decapitated head. Exhumed opened their set with several songs off their latest album, All Guts, No Glory, but started playing older songs midway through their set. They ended their set with their classic The Matter Of Splatter which really had people going nuts in the pit. Two bands in and this show was already kicking some serious ass!

Napalm Death was the next band to take the stage. They’re one of the fathers of grindcore and have consistently put out good material since they formed 31 years ago (although none of the current members have been in the band prior to 1987). In addition to that they’re also known for being one of the best live bands in extreme metal. As they opened their set they showed that their age was not slowing them down a bit. I had seen them in May at Maryland Deathfest X but this time the audience was much closer up to the band and the setting was definitely more in your face. Hell, I even saw a guy in a banana costume stage dive during their set (photo of that below). Napalm Death’s vocalist, Barney Greenway, was as spastic as ever on stage, pacing back and forth between bursts of vocal rage and showing that he’s still one of the most ferocious live vocalists in metal. Their set contained mostly material from the past 10 years or so but they did sprinkle in some key tracks from older albums throughout the set. For some reason the band played their infamous Guinness World Record holding one second track You Suffer two times during their set, that was a new one. I didn’t love their latest release, Utilitarian, because a Napalm Death album with clean vocal parts just doesn’t sound right to me. Even so, when they played The Wolf I Feed, a song from that album, it still fit in well with the rest of the songs they played despite the clean back up singing. Napalm Death played a thoroughly brutal set from start to finish and the audience seemed to love every minute of it, myself included.

The final band of the night was Richmond, Virginia’s Municipal Waste. They’re a party thrash metal band and they’re known for having a totally wild live show. Most of the band’s songs revolve around binge drinking and partying and they readily encourage stage divers. However if you stay on stage too long you’ll get an atomic wedgie, which vocalist Tony Foresta explained by making an example of one lingering stage diver during the show. They got the crowd going from the start with their songs Headbanger Face Rip and Mind Eraser. Tony said that since the band had toured so much lately they wanted to change up the set list some. This included playing A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Destroyer) for the first time ever live as well as playing the first song Municipal Waste ever wrote, Thrashin’s My Business… And Business Is Good. You can see the full set list here. The band was a bit sloppy but it didn’t matter, they’re more about having fun than playing perfectly. Guitarist Ryan Waste was sporting a new custom guitar that had a body shaped like a big M and W. At one point Tony mentioned that he didn’t like most modern thrash bands, but that he definitely approved of Vektor. An odd opinion since Municipal Waste is one of the biggest modern thrash bands. The shred-fest went on for over an hour and the mosh pit went crazy all night. Crowd surfers and stage divers were a constant presence and I’m sure a lot of people were nursing bruises afterwards, but they were well worth it to be in the middle of all the fun. As usual, you can see my photos of the bands I was there for below. I didn’t get shots of all of the band members throughout the night because it was hard to move around the wild audience that close to the stage and I was not trying to damage my camera with all the crowd surfers over head either. I have some video footage of Municipal Waste as well but due to complications from Hurricane Sandy I haven’t been able to upload those yet. I hope to add them to the end of this post in a day or two. It was great to see such a good turn out for a metal show at Empire and I hope to see more of you out at metal shows soon to help support the scene you’re a part of!

Vektor:

Vektor at Empire

David DiSanto of Vektor

Frank Chin of Vektor

Erik Nelson of Vektor

Exhumed:

Bud Burke of Exhumed

Matt Harvey of Exhumed

Bud Burke of Exhumed

Exhumed chainsaw guy

Matt Harvey of Exhumed

Napalm Death:

Mitch Harris of Napalm Death

Barney Greenway of Napalm Death

Barney Greenway of Napalm Death

Napalm Death at Empire

Barney Greenway of Napalm Death

Barney Greenway of Napalm Death

Municipal Waste:

Tony Foresta of Municipal Waste

Tony Foresta of Municipal Waste

Tony Foresta of Municipal Waste

Ryan Waste of Municipal Waste

Tony Foresta of Municipal Waste

Ryan Waste of Municipal Waste

Tony Foresta of Municipal Waste