Devin Townsend ticket give away

The Devin Townsend Project at the Fillmore Silver Spring

In case you didn’t know, DCHeavyMetal.com turns 7 years old this weekend. To celebrate we’ll be doing a bunch of give aways throughout September. It just so happens that the Devin Townsend Project is playing the Fillmore Silver Spring on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 and we are giving a pair of tickets away to the show! To enter: just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite Devin Townsend song is. It can be from any of his eponymous projects, Strapping Young Lad, even Casualties Of Cool is fair game. Then on Monday, Sept 12th at 12pm EST the contest will close and I’ll pick a winner 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. Please don’t enter if you can’t go, this contest ends so close to the show time that I might not have time to pick another winner if you can’t go. 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 $25 here.

I suppose guitar virtuoso Devin Townsend can be called a legend of progressive metal, though really his music is more “out there” than what is typically considered prog. The brand new DTP album, Transcendence came out today (Fri, Sept 9th) and this tour will be our first chance to hear Heavy Devy play some of those songs live. Also on the bill is the North Carolina based progressive Between The Buried And Me. BTBAM seems like a perfect support band for Devin Townsend, I’m surprised I haven’t seen them tour together before. The opening act is Fallujah, a proggy deathcore band that is actually from San Francisco, not Afghanistan. Check out these videos of the bands below and let me know your favorite Devin Townsend song!

Devin Townsend Project – Failure

Between The Buried And Me – The Coma Machine

Fallujah – Abandon

Megadeth ticket give away

Megadeth at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Another week in April means another ticket give away on DCHM! This week we’re giving away tickets to see the one and only Megadeth at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Thursday, May 5th! It’s going to be a Cinco De Mayo party like no other so we are giving away a free pair of tickets to one of you lucky DCHM readers to this very show. To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite Megadeth song. The contest will close this Friday, April 29th, 2016 and I’ll pick a winner 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 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 Live Nation for $45 here.

Megadeth needs no introduction, the legendary band has been led by Dave Mustaine since his departure from Metallica in the early 80’s and they’ve been cranking out thrash metal with legendary hooks and crazy solos ever since. The band has just released their 15th studio album, titled Dystopia, and this will be the first time they play any of those new songs in our area. Additionally, this show will be Megadeth’s first show in our area with Lamb Of God drummer Chris Adler behind the kit. The opener for this show is the up and coming Wilson, a hard rock band from Detroit. Be sure to check out these videos below and leave a comment telling me what your favorite Megadeth song is!

Megadeth – The Threat Is Real

Megadeth – Symphony Of Destruction

Wilson – Better Off (Strictly Doods)

Amon Amarth ticket give away

Amon Amarth at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Amon Amarth is bringing their warship to the Fillmore Silver Spring on Thursday, April 21st of 2016! Since we want to get as many of you viking metal fans out to this one as possible we’ll be giving away a free pair of tickets to this very show! To enter: just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite Swedish metal band is. At 5pm EST on Friday, April 15th, 2016, the contest will end I’ll pick a winner 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 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 Live Nation for just $27.50 here.

Amon Amarth are a Swedish band know for their brutal yet catchy death metal songs about viking history and lore. They always put on a highly entertaining show and with their latest album, Jomsviking, just released last month we’ll be getting to hear some new songs too! Also on board are fellow Swedes Entombed A.D. who are basically the remnants of Entombed but had to add the A.D. since there’s a legal dispute over the name. Regardless they’re still going to bring that death n’ roll they’re so famous for. The opener is Exmortus, a melodic death/thrash band from California that’s up and coming right now. Be sure to check out these videos of all three bands below and then leave a comment telling me who your favorite band from Sweden is!

Amon Amarth – At Dawn’s First Light

Entombed A.D. – The Winner Has Lost

Exmortus – Metal Is King

Review of Slayer at the Fillmore Silver Spring

On Saturday, March 5th, the Fillmore in Silver Spring hosted a sold out show headlined by the masters of demonic thrash, Slayer. This bill was pretty stacked as the two support bands, Bay Area thrashers Testament and UK based melodic death band Carcass, have both headlined the Fillmore in the past. The line to get in wrapped around the building early and the place was already pretty packed before the first band took the stage.

Carcass started things off with a short set, they only played for 40 minutes, but managed to get through 10 songs in that time. The band didn’t talk much between songs and really made the most of their time. Their set consisted of songs from Heartwork (2), Necroticism (3) and their latest album, Surgical Steel (4) plus “Genital Grinder” from Reek Of Putrefaction. Their set was short but sweet and the band kept it tight, you really weren’t going to see a better set from these guys in just 40 minutes and I wondered how Testament would look by comparison going on after such a great set by Carcass.

Testament followed with a set that wasn’t quite as energetic as the one Carcass played but the audience still went nuts for it. Vocalist Chuck Billy was doing his best air guitar throughout the set while Alex Skolnick showed off his impressive actual guitar skills. Testament’s set consisted of just eight songs with a focus on their best hits from the 80s and 90s. They are always entertaining live and Testament can still shred but I still think of the three bands that played they were the least compelling. Testament’s set was also 40 minutes and when they finished a big curtain went up in front of the stage while Slayer set up.

Finally the curtain fell and Slayer launched into “Repentless,” the first of five songs they would perform off their newest album of the same name. I know the current Slayer line up has its doubters but I’m not one of them after having seen both the original line up and the current one several times now. The band is still very tight and intense live and this night was no exception. Paul Bostaph really punches it behind the kit and Gary Holt is always very animated on stage; you can tell he’s having a blast up there. He brought out that crazy looking guitar that is painted using several pints of his own blood too (see photo below). When Slayer played the Fillmore Silver Spring last, in November 2013, their set list was a sort of “best hits” while Saturday’s show certainly had more of Slayer’s material from the past decade in there. That said, they played for an hour and 45 minutes so there was plenty of time to get many of those classic older Slayer tunes. The final four songs they played are pretty hard for any metal band to match, “South Of Heaven,” “Raining Blood,” “Black Magic” and “Angel Of Death.” Some people were hoping for an encore after that but seriously, what more could you ask for? Slayer might be older and have a different line up now but they really haven’t lost a step or any of that demonic intensity they’re known for and this show just proved it, once again.

Below are my shots of the bands that night, you can click on any one of them to see it full sized or click here to see the entire set (including photos of the set lists).

Carcass:

Carcass at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Carcass at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Carcass at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Carcass at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Testament:

Testament at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Testament at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Testament at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Testament at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Slayer:

Slayer at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Slayer at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Slayer at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Slayer at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Slayer at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Slayer at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Review of Ghost at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Ghost at the Fillmore Silver Spring

On Tuesday, September 22nd of 2015, Ghost kicked off the first show of their US tour when they played the Fillmore Silver Spring, coincidentally the same day that the pope arrived in Washington DC. The mysterious Swedish band is always a spectacle to see live with their elaborate unholy church theme. While their catchy songs are on the lighter side of the metal spectrum, their live show has always been the main attraction for this band.

The only opening act at this show was Purson, a London based psychedelic rock band. I only caught the end of their set (there was a huge line to get into the show) but I wasn’t too impressed by what I did hear. The music was fairly standard for the style and not really that interesting to me. Vocalist/guitarist Rosalie Cunningham was wearing an extremely low cut, skin tight catsuit that certainly got her lots of attention for anything but her music. I couldn’t help feeling like I’d just seen the same shtick when Lucifer opened for High On Fire and Pallbearer at the Baltimore Soundstage last month.

Ghost is known for their stage set up which resembles the inside of a cathedral complete with an imitation stained glass backdrop. The band is anonymous so they all wear masks to hide their identities, a gimmick that has led to much speculation about who the band members actually are. The instruments in Ghost are all played by the “Nameless Ghouls” who were wearing metallic masks with devil horns and no mouths. The vocals are handled by Papa Emeritus III, an unholy pope with a skull painted mask on his face, long papal robes with upside crosses adorning them, and even a mitre (what most people call a “pope hat”) with the band’s logo emblazoned on it.

Ghost played for about an hour and a half, but that time went by pretty quick since they are so entertaining. They played eight songs off their newest album, Meliora (see the entire set list here). The songs have kitschy but fun openly satanic lyrics for the most part, and the entire audience sang along for most of the entire show. The music itself isn’t anything revolutionary, it’s fairly simple and straightforward but they do have some cool riffs in there and Ghost is really catchy overall.

The performance can best be described as broken up into two halves, the first half had five songs from the first album Ghost album, Opus Eponymous, and was the typical unholy church mass you might expect. For some reason they started the show off with the song “Spirit,” the rather lackluster first track off of Meliora. An odd choice since just two songs later they played “Ritual,” a song which has one of the best openings to get a crowd into a show that a band could hope for. Even the second song they played, “From The Pinnacle To The Pit,” would have been a better opener. There was also a short drum solo in the first half of the set, which was ok I guess but to a metal head that has seen some absolutely incredible live drum solos over the years it wasn’t anything that wowed me. If you have seen Ghost prior to this tour then you probably knew what you were getting for the first half of the show.

The second half of the show was a bit different than the first, and caused some controversy among the band’s older fans. There were still plenty of songs from Meliora in this part of the set, but no more tunes from the debut were played. Several from the second album, Infestissumam, were performed in the second half of the show though. The really defining thing that separated the first and second halves of the show was when Papa Emeritus III changed costume. He ditched the robes and mitre and came out in a much more form fitting jacket that looked like something a naval commander in the days of wooden ships might wear. I can understand the idea of trying to update and evolve the character of Papa Emeritus to keep it from getting stale, but I think the execution here was a miss. An evil twist on a more traditionally religious costume might have gone over better and kept with the unholy church theme. Papa’s voice also seemed to have more trouble in the second half of the show, he missed a few notes here and there, though he tended to recover quite well. There was a cool section that featured two songs being played acoustically. I rather enjoyed this as I had to miss their recent acoustic performance at the Sound Garden in Baltimore. At one point the Nameless Ghoul on keyboard duty stepped into the spotlight for a brief keytar solo, which was a bit ridiculous yet seemed to fit right in with the campy Ghost performance. There was an encore which featured several songs, including “Ghuleh/Zombie Queen,” a highlight of the show, and even “If You Have Ghosts” a track off their covers album. The 19th and final song of the set was “Monstrance Clock,” a catchy song that had the entire audience singing along to the chorus.

In all the show was a lot of fun. The first half was a more traditional Ghost show while the second half was a more modern take, even if didn’t quite hit the mark at times. Still, it’s good to see the band trying new things to stay fresh and relevant in a time where music fans have such short attention spans. Ghost is still a great band to get the uninitiated into metal concerts because they’re just so much fun live and that’s something both new and old metal fans can agree on.

The following photos were all shot by Metal Nick at the show, the first of hopefully many collaborations between Metal Nick and Metal Chris!

Purson:

Purson at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Purson at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Purson at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Purson at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Purson at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Ghost:

Ghost at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Ghost at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Ghost at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Ghost at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Ghost at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Ghost at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Ghost at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Ghost ticket give away

Ghost at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Papa Emeritus and his band of Nameless Ghouls will be playing at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Tuesday, September 22nd as Ghost returns to the DC area. This week we’re giving away a pair of tickets to this show to get you as excited about this show as we are! To enter: leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite Ghost song is. If you need help you can find their discography listed here. At 5pm EST this Friday, September 4th, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) 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 $33 from Live Nation here.

The anonymous Swedes of Ghost have their true identities shrouded in mystery but one thing is for sure, they know how to put on a killer live show. From their costumes, stage backdrops and lighting to their super catchy riffs and chorus lines Ghost is quite the musical spectacle to behold. They’ll also be playing with Purson, a psychedelic band from London, who should be great at setting the stage for Ghost. Now check out these killer tunes by Ghost and Purson and tell me what your favorite Ghost song is in the comments!

Ghost – Cirice

Ghost – Year Zero

Purson – The Contract

Testament and Exodus ticket give away

Testament and Exodus at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Thrash metal fans cannot miss the Dark Roots Of Thrash II Tour when it brings both Testament and Exodus to the Fillmore Silver Spring on Tuesday, April 28th of 2015! We’re so psyched that we want to get as many people out to this show as possible so this week we’re giving away a free pair of tickets to one of you lucky DCHM readers. To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite thrash metal band is. You can go old school Bay Area like Testament and Exodus themselves, or Big Four like Anthrax and Slayer, or maybe new school like Municipal Waste and Warbringer or even go with a crossover band for you DRI and Power Trip fans! At 5pm EST this Friday, April 24th, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) 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.

On this tour Testament will be playing a set mostly consisting of material from their first three albums, The Legacy, The New Order and Practice What You Preach, so fans of the band’s classic older material are in for a hell of a show. And you may have heard that Exodus has brought back Steve Souza to front the band so you can expect to hear songs from their new album with him, Blood In Blood Out, as well as classic older material from when he was with the band in the 80s and 90s. The opening act for this show is going to be Shattered Sun, a Texas based band that is having their debut full length album, Hope Within Hatred, released this very week on Victory Records. Now to get you in the headbanging, crowd surfing, mosh pit shoving mood check out these videos by each band below and tell me what your favorite thrash metal band is in the comments!

Testament – Rise Up

Exodus – Blood In, Blood Out

Shattered Sun – Hope Within Hatred