Cannibal Corpse Ticket Give Away

Cannibal Corpse is one of the most infamous death metal bands in history and this Saturday, the 1st of December, they will be playing at the Rock And Roll Hotel in Washington DC! Because this show is going to be absolutely brutal DCHeavyMetal.com is going to give away a free pair of Cannibal Corpse at the Rock & Roll Hoteltickets to one of you readers. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment at the end of this post telling me which Cannibal Corpse song is your favorite (you can see their discography here, just click on an album to see the songs on it). Cannibal Corpse is known for having some of the most gory, disgusting, violent and downright offensive song titles in all of metal so I hope to see some interesting entries! On Friday, November 30th at 5pm EST I’ll pick a winner at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win the free pair of tickets to the show. If I don’t hear from you in 24 hours then I’ll pick another winner to get the tickets. Please don’t enter if you cannot attend. Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all of your entries will be disqualified. If you simply can’t wait to see if you win the contest you can get tickets from Ticket Alternative for $20 here.

Cannibal Corpse originally formed in Buffalo, New York, but moved to Tampa, Florida to join in the growing death metal scene there. They’ve long been a center of controversy with their brutal lyrics and album covers, setting the bar of shock for countless death metal bands to strive to match. While metal fans tend to look at them, and death metal in general, as the musical equivalent of splatter horror films, politicians like Bob Dole and Joe Lieberman have tried to censor the band and in the 90s Germany and Australia both actually banned their albums from being sold. Despite this the band still continues on and their music has actually gotten faster and more brutal over the years, including on their latest release, Torture, which was released in March of this year. Also on this tour is Misery Index. The band was formed when several members of Dying Fetus left that band however only Jason Netherton remains from the Fetus days. The band has carved out its own sound since then and is one of the best live metal bands you’ll ever see, they absolutely destroy audiences live! Hour Of Penance is an Italian death metal band that is pretty similar in sound to Behemoth actually. Needless to say, they’re pretty damn brutal and should be a perfect opener for this show. You can listen to each of the bands playing in the videos I posted below while you decide which song you want to enter with. Keep it brutal everyone, cause this concert definitely will!

Cannibal Corpse – Encased In Concrete

Misery Index – The Spectator

Hour Of Penance – Sedition Through Scorn

Last Minute Earth Ticket Give Away

Earth at the Rock & Roll Hotel

Friday, November 9th, that’s TOMORROW, is Earth Day! Ok, not the real Earth Day where musicians fly around the world putting on lavish concerts in praise of their appearance of environmentalism. However you can see Earth play at the Rock & Roll Hotel with Eagle Twin and Stebmo. This is a special ticket contest for those of you who pay attention to this site regularly so it is only running for 24 hours and will end at midnight Thursday night/Friday morning. To enter just leave a comment below telling me why you want to see Earth. I’ll pick a winner at random (using Random.org) when the contest ends to win the pair of tickets. If you can’t make it to the concert then don’t enter! I want the winner to actually go to the show. Be sure to enter with an email address you check regularly so I’ll be able to contact you if you win. As always, I won’t add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all of your entries will be disqualified. If you can’t wait to find out if you’ve won (then you’re really damn impatient!) or if the contest is already over when see this, you can get tickets for $14 from Ticket Alternative here.

Earth is basically the father of drone bands like Sunn O))). They formed in Seattle in 1990 in the midst of the grunge movement, although they don’t play that style of music. In fact Dylan Carlson, Earth’s main songwriter, was the best man at Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love’s wedding. As bonus trivia, it is said that he gave the shotgun to Kurt Cobain that he later ended up killing himself with. Crazy. Anyways, Earth is instrumental, mellow, somewhat abstract ambient and pretty damn awesome. There aren’t any big metal shows this weekend so you’d be smart to come out to this one. Direct support comes from Eagle Twin, a doomy sludge band from Salt Lake City that should be a great warm up for Earth. The opening act, which goes on at 9pm, is Stembo, the solo project of Steve Moore. He is most known for being in the band Zombi but he has also worked with Sunn O))) in the past. In all that’s a pretty cool line up and I’m excited to give a chance to win some free tickets to this show to you regular readers of DCHM! Now check out these songs by each of the bands as you enter the contest below.

Torche, LTW and DOC ticket give away

Ok check this out, Torche, the ridiculously great live band from Miami is coming back to the Rock & Roll Hotel on Wednesday, October 10th to make your head explode with excitement! Ok, maybe not explode but I’ll be damned if they aren’t going to try. This wouldn’t be DCHeavyMetal.com if I didn’t want to see some of you out at this show so starting now you can leave a comment on this post telling me why you think this show will be awesome! It can be because of a song you like, the aluminum necked guitars they use, or even because, as the show’s poster illustrates, Torche is the shit! One winner will be selected at 5pm EST on Tuesday, October 9th to win a free pair of tickets to this show. Be sure to use an email address you check regularly so I can contact you when you win. Even if you don’t win I won’t add you to any spam lists or anything so there’s no strings attached. Don’t enter more than once or all of your entries will be disqualified, however you are allowed to have a friend also enter and you both agree to go with each other if one of you wins. Please don’t enter if you can’t make it out on a Wednesday night, I want the winner to be able to actually go (as if there was something more awesome to be doing on a Wednesday night). If you simply can’t wait to see if you win you can get tickets from Ticket Alternative for $12 here.

But wait, there’s more! Not only is Torche playing but two of the best local grind acts are as well. WTF are grind bands doing playing with Torche you might ask? They’re simply getting your brain prepared to handle Torche so that your head doesn’t actually explode! Because of this fact you’ll want to get to the show early (first band starts at 8pm) to be sure you can see both the Disciples Of Christ (D.O.C. for short) and LTW (which stands for Lions, Tigers and Whales). Despite the name, DOC isn’t some group of churchies. The brutalicious band features the drummer from Magrudergrind, Chris Moore, behind the kit and LTW is well, just a nightmare mind fuck to see live really. Add to all this the fact that Torche is coming to DC for the first time since releasing their new album, Harmonicraft, back in April and this concert will be the area’s first chance to hear these kick ass new tunes live. Hell, even former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee likes Torche (proof here) and that guy is, well, I’ll keep the politics off of this site… Still not convinced, then check out these videos by Torche and enter below!

Pallbearer ticket give away

If you like your doom metal with an extra dose of heavy and a heaping Pallbearer at the Rock & Roll Hotelside of gloom then you don’t want to miss Pallbearer coming to the Rock & Roll Hotel on Wednesday, September 12th, 2012. DCHeavyMetal.com is giving away a free pair of tickets to one lucky winner to catch this must see show and all you’ve got to do to enter is leave a comment at the end of this post telling me which metal band you’d like to see come to the Rock & Roll Hotel next! On Monday, September 10th at 5pm EST I’ll pick a winner at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to get the free pair of tickets to the show! Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. If I don’t hear from you in 24 hours then I’ll pick another winner to get the tickets. Don’t worry, I wont add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all your entries will be disqualified. If you simply can’t wait to see if you win the contest you can get tickets from Ticket Alternative here for $12.

Pallbearer’s debut album, Sorrow And Extinction, was released in February and has been making waves in the world of doom metal, and for Pallbearer Live album cover artgood reason! The Arkansas based band uses clean vocals on top of crushingly heavy riffs that will have you feeling the weight of that casket when you hear them play live. As an extra bonus, everyone in attendance can pick up a free copy of Pallbearer Live on 10″ vinyl provided by Scion A/V at the merch booth. The opening act on the Paths To Oblivion Tour is Royal Thunder, an Atlanta, Georgia based rock band. Samothrace was supposed to be on this tour but had to drop due to an “immediate illness in the family of a band member” according to this post. For this show their spot on the bill has been taken by Asthma Castle, a Baltimore based band that should fit perfectly with the two touring bands. Now crank up the song below, Devoid Of Redemption, while you enter the contest below. Good luck!

Reviews of three Swedish concerts in one week

So this past week I saw three Swedish bands headline concerts in a row. I saw In Flames play on Saturday 14 January 2012, Graveyard play on Monday the 16th and Ghost play on Thursday the 19th. This was total coincidence as these bands aren’t label mates or anything like that, they just all happened to hit the area at once. So which of these bands kicked the most ass during this mini-Swedish invasion? Read on and you’ll find out.

Saturday the 14th saw me heading up to Baltimore for the first big metal show of the year in this area, In Flames playing at Rams Head Live! In Flames is probably the most famous of the Gothenburg, Sweden based melodic death metal bands from the 90s (other acts include At The Gates and Dark Tranquillity, among others). In Flames is also sort of like Metallica in that their first few albums grabbed them a devoted fan base that was then completely turned off to the band when they changed their sound and found commercial success. Their 2002 release Reroute To Remain is akin to Metallica’s self-titled album (or the “black album” as most people call it) in that it greatly expanded their fan base but completely alienated most older fans with the simplified songs and flashy production. The band has been very successful though, and the reason they are playing Rams Head Live instead of smaller venues like Sonar or Empire (formerly Jaxx) is due to that change in sound. In 2010 the band’s founder, Jesper Strömblad, left In Flames which now has no original members. This didn’t deter them as the summer of 2011 saw them release their first album without Jesper, Sounds Of A Playground Fading, the album which this tour was promoting.

The audience at the show was a bit rowdy; they are the kind of band that draws metal heads as well as non-metal heads to see them. This often means that some people in attendance see the show as “the rare concert I go to that I can get crazy at cause it’s a metal show” which is cool to a certain extent but I wasn’t loving that as In Flames started their first song, Sounds Of A Playground Fading, and I was hit in the back of the head with a drink someone had thrown from the balcony. Got my camera wet and if I wasn’t so focused on getting some decent shots of the band I’d have been much more pissed about that. I saw drinks being thrown throughout the show, so it wasn’t just me either. Anyways, their set list was heavy on material from the new album, the first three songs were the first three tracks off of it. People who are fans of only their pre-Reroute To Remain material didn’t miss much, the only songs they played from before that were Swim from Clayman and The Hive from Whoracle (I shot video of them playing both of these songs, as well as The Quiet Place, that you can watch at the end of this post). I’ve also posted a photo of the entire set list here. The sound mix at the venue wasn’t great. The volume was very low for a metal show and the bass seemed to drown out a lot. It’s like the guy mixing it thought all metal bands want to sound like Korn or something, haha. Seriously though, the guitars, and particularly the keyboards, were hard to pick out of the mix at times because the bass drown them out. The stage lighting was really awesome though! The band was heavily backlit with lots of big lights and enshrouded in a lot of fog which had a cool looking effect. The band’s performance was alright. Nothing too wild or phenomenal really but not bad. Vocalist Anders Fridén made sure to high five and fist bump most of the crowd surfers though he does this thing where he bends over and screams into the mic like ten times per song. It was fine at first but after a while you’re sort of thinking, c’mon man get another move or two. Between two songs he made a comment about how it is hard making money on music sales now and he was glad so many people came out to the show to support the band. The band did well and seemed to enjoy performing, and the new guitarist, Niclas Engelin, especially had a lot of energy up there almost like he was trying to be sure he won fans over to his replacement of Jesper. I sure think he did! They ended their set with Take This Life and they did not play an encore. Overall it was a decent show, for fans of the modern In Flames at least. Old school fans who are bitter would not have liked much about the show but that isn’t really a surprise. You got what you thought you were getting at this show, there were no big surprises, and that seemed to be good enough for most people in attendance.

Two nights later I found myself at DC9 to see the Swedish rock band Graveyard play. Between songs they said the show was sold out though I’m not sure if that’s true or not. It was pretty crowded so it might have been. The opening act was supposed to be Daniel Davies, the son of Dave Davies who is famous for being in the Kinks, but he canceled at the last minute and was replaced by a band called Black Cowgirl. I didn’t get to the show in time to see them though, but I did catch some of the set by the other support band, Radio Moscow. They were a bluesy rock band with some interesting guitar work. Just a few days prior a video went around on the internet (here) of the guitar player and vocalist, Parker Griggs, throwing his guitar into the drum kit in the middle of a song. The drummer got up and threw the guitar right back at Parker and it hit him in the face so hard he needed stitches. This was on the same tour that was in DC this night, and while both the drummer and bass player had been quickly replaced, you could still easily see the cut on Parker’s forehead. Their set wasn’t bad, a good opening act really. There was a delay at one point in their set when one of the amps blew. It took several minutes to find another one and get it up on the stage. They played some more afterwards though and while I enjoyed them I was ready for the headliner.

Graveyard, also from Gothenburg but not related to the melodic death metal scene there, is a throwback hard rock/metal band that sounds right out of the 70s, however they’re a newer band and have only put out two albums. In the spring of 2011 their sophomore album, Hisingen Blues, was released to much critical acclaim in the underground music press. Honestly it took me a few listens to really get into it, but it grew on me and I was excited that they were finally coming to the States to support the album. I’m glad I gave the album an extra chance because seeing these songs played live was simply awesome! The band was really on point this night and put on a great show. If you were there that night you didn’t just see a good band play some good songs, you got a rare chance to see a good band really coming into their own as they hit their stride. They stepped up to the plate and really hit it out of the park, even with Joakim Nilsson having problems with the strings on his guitars. He swapped them out quickly and didn’t take much away from the set by doing so. Since the band only has two albums they played most of both of them. As most tight bands do, they played their songs with quicker tempos even faster live really tearing through songs like Buying Truth and RSS. That’s not to say their slower songs didn’t stand out as well. Their performance on Uncomfortably Numb, a personal favorite of mine, was executed perfectly coming across with a lot of power for such a personal song in a room of so many people. Satan’s Finest also sounded great and got quite a reaction from the audience. Graveyard stopped at the end of their set but the crowd didn’t budge so they played a three song encore, finally ending their 80 minute set with the song Hisingen Blues. I’m sure there will be more good things coming from these guys and I’m betting they will be playing a larger venue next time they play the area. They’d be great on a tour with someone like The Sword. This was simply a great show and one of the best I’ve been to lately. It was a hell of a way to spend a Monday night!

Three days after Graveyard played it was time to head to the Rock & Roll Hotel to see Ghost, from Linköping, Sweden, play there on Thursday the 19th of January 2012. This show was definitely sold out as they had a big sign on the door saying so. The band was not allowing any cameras to be used, not even on phones, which, as a photographer, I find to be really annoying. There was a bit of a snafu with the label getting me my photo pass and while some of the venue’s staff knew I was OK’d to shoot there some of them didn’t and they told me part way thru to stop shooting, even though they let me in with my big camera. Whatever, miscommunication happens sometimes and I did still get a shot that I liked. I arrived in the middle of the set by one of the openers, Blood Ceremony. They’re a female fronted doom band from Toronto that some people were really getting into at the show. Vocalist Alia O’Brien busted out a flute during some songs and really it just wasn’t my thing, though I was never a Jethro Tull fan and they were definitely a big influence on Blood Ceremony. Ghost hit the stage around 10:30pm, which seemed a bit early to me for a show in DC. The band of course came out in full costumes including masks hiding their faces. Their main gimmick is that nobody really knows who is in the band Ghost as they always hide their identities and mask their voices in interviews. The lead vocalist, who goes by Papa Emeritus, comes out on stage wearing a mask with skull face paint and an elaborate evil cardinal costume. It’s all a bit over the top but whatever, they have some catchy tunes that are a bit of a throwback to old psychedelic bands and definitely Mercyful Fate as well. However even on the record Papa’s vocals are not nearly as high pitched as King Diamond. This night was no exception either, Papa was not hitting his high notes, he wasn’t even trying to. Instead he’d just replace them with a similar, but lower pitch, note which leads me to believe he was either sick or his voice wasn’t doing so well singing every night on tour. I had seen Ghost perform at Maryland Deathfest back in May and he was hitting his notes then, so I know he can do it. I guess this just wasn’t his night. The sound mix at the venue didn’t help much either, the keyboards were non-existent in the mix throughout most of the set and the vocals needed to be turned up several times as well. I could see one of the roadies giving signals to the guy at the sound board (I was standing in the part of the crowd directly between them) and they were having a lot of communication problems as well. At one point you jarringly heard the keyboards get pushed up to the mix way too high, it was almost like they didn’t sound check before the show and were just trying to figure it out as the show went on. Ghost stuck it out and instead of throwing a tantrum on stage they kept playing. They only have one album out so they don’t have a lot of material. They did perform their haunting rendition of Here Comes The Sun by the Beatles, a Japanese bonus track that they did not play at Deathfest. Towards the end of their set the sound did get better. Their closing song, Ritual, sounded pretty good actually, aside from Papa’s weak vocals. Luckily Ghost is the kind of band people love to sing along with and it helped cover some of the faults with his voice. Also, during the same song they brought out communion wafers and I guess wine or something and maybe five or so people in the front row ate them from Papa Emeritus’ hands. That was pretty corny and not as awesome as when Lord Worm would feed people live worms from the stage during Cryptopsy shows. Anyways, I was hoping Ghost might play some new material as I have heard the band has been working on a second album before they started this short 13 date tour. They didn’t play anything new and the set only lasted about 45 minutes, intros and all. That was rather short for a headlining band and left me feeling like it was a bit of a cash grab but what can ya do, they ran out of songs. The venue kept the lights down for a minute or two then suddenly turned them back on with house music over the speakers to end the night in a rather anticlimactic way. This show could have been a lot better, and the no photo policy forcing the venue’s bouncers to constantly be pushing through the sold out crowd, jarring your attention to let them pass every time you started to actually get lost in the show, didn’t help at all. They will be opening on a tour with Opeth and Mastodon in May that will hopefully come through this area and I really hope they put on the kind of performance I know they are capable of then. The metal fans in DC deserve it!

Well, that’s the three Swedish concerts I saw last week. Graveyard was certainly my favorite performance of the three Swedish bands but I’m glad I got to see all three of them play. Thanks for reading another long concert review post. As always you can see more of my concert photography on my Flickr page here or you can jump to the set of In Flames pics here or Graveyard pics here. Now check out the three videos of In Flames that I posted below. I didn’t shoot video at the other shows because the lighting was too poor, well that and Ghost had that crazy photo policy so I wasn’t going to push it. Stay metal DC and go out to a heavy concert!

Ghost and Graveyard ticket give aways

Ghost and Graveyard isn’t some crappy Dungeons & Dragons knock off, they’re the names of two awesome Swedish bands that are coming to DC next week! Graveyard is playing DC9 on Monday the 16th of January and Ghost is playing the Rock & Roll Hotel on Thursday the 19th of January. To celebrate this mini Swedish invasion DCHeavyMetal.com is giving away a pair of tickets to each concert! All you have to do to win is leave a comment at the bottom of this post naming which band you’d like to see most. You can choose both bands if you’d like, however you can only win a pair of tickets to one of them. At 5pm EST this Saturday, the 14th of January I’ll pick two winners, one for each concert, at random using Random.org. The winners will each get a free pair of tickets to the concert they chose. Be sure you use a valid email address you check regularly when you enter so I can contact you when you win, however the address does not need to be in the post itself. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any annoying email lists to spam you. Please note that the Graveyard show is ages 18+ only so if you are under 18 please don’t enter for that show because winning tickets here still won’t get you in the door. If you didn’t win or simply don’t want to wait, you can buy tickets to see Graveyard for $10 each here or to see Ghost for $15 each here. Both bands have a sort of throwback sound to their music, and they both kick ass, so I couldn’t hold a contest for just one of them! Keep reading for more info on both of these great concerts and remember you can click any of the band names and it will link to a site that streams their music so you can check them out.

Graveyard has caused quite a buzz in the underground rock world with their second album, Hisingen Blues. The album came out in the spring of 2011 but this is their first US tour supporting it. It’s full of catchy riffs and hooks and it should be pretty awesome getting to see some of these songs played live. They are also playing with Radio Moscow, a psychedelic blues band from Iowa and Daniel Davies who is the son of Dave Davies of the Kinks. This is his solo band but he has also been a member of Year Long Desaster and Karma To Burn. If you’re still not convinced to see this show, check out this video to hear the title track off of Graveyard’s second album:

Ghost is a mysterious band that took the underground metal world by storm when they released their first album, Opus Eponymous, in early 2011. They have a clean vocal delivery, something between Blue Oyster Cult and King Diamond, and they play a fairly simple, yet very catchy, style of music. The band members have never made public their true identities and always wear masks on stage with their singer, Papa Emeritus, in a full on evil pope costume. They are said to be working on a new album so maybe we’ll be lucky enough to hear some new material at this show. Ghost has only ever played two concerts in the US before this tour, one of which was their performance last year at Maryland Deathfest, and they had to drop off a tour with Enslaved and Alcest that came to Jaxx in September due to visa issues. Now they’re headlining this US tour and they’ve brought two good bands with them. Blood Ceremony is Toronto based doom band with a female vocalist who also plays flute in the band. The opening act is Ancient VVisdom (the W is really two letter V’s) from Austin, Texas and they play a very dark style of rock. Listen to the Ghost song Ritual if you haven’t heard them before (or even if you have!):