Metal Night V at the Pinch

Metal Night V

Hopefully a bunch of you already know about the next metal night I’m doing with the awesome brewers over at Port City Brewery (Facebook event page here). It’s this Saturday, December 14th and we’ll be playing metal tunes all night as usual but this time we’re changing things up a bit and moving it to the Pinch in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington DC (address and map here). There’s a few reasons for this change of venue, the main one is that we can now run much later than the 9pm curfew we had at the actual brewery in Alexandria (that was due to parking restrictions). Another reason is by moving it into the city it’s now Metro accessible, that means you can get there and leave from the Columbia Heights Metro Station which is just 1/2 mile south of the Pinch on the same street. There’s also plenty of street parking around the venue and don’t worry, Columbia Heights is a really nice neighborhood so you don’t have to worry about your car. The venue is a full service bar and restaurant so you can get food there and let me tell you it’s great food! I highly recommend the waffle fries with duck and BBQ sauce. In addition to all of this the venue also has a small stage downstairs and the guys in Borracho are going to play a special set for us this evening. This isn’t really a concert though, there’s no other bands playing, but we thought it would be cool since Port City has brewed a small batch of the Borracho Smokin’ Brown Ale just for this event! There will be many of your favorite Port City beers available all night too. In addition to all of that I’ll be there giving away prizes throughout the night, including concert tickets to the following upcoming metal shows: Amon Amarth/Enslaved, Children Of Bodom/Death Angel, Carcass/The Black Dahlia Murder, Darkest Hour/Pig Destroyer, Morbid Saint, Iced Earth, Between The Buried And Me/Deafheaven, Metal Church, Chimaira, Mobile Deathcamp and more! The doors open at 6pm and the event runs all night but the ticket give aways will be at intervals between 8pm and midnight, and Borracho will play during that time as well.

And as usual we’ll be playing a metal set list all night (well, except when Borracho is playing) and Will wants your song requests! Send him your favorite metal songs of 2013, favorite local bands, or just your favorite metal songs in general by emailing him at will@portcitybrewing.com or send them to him via Twitter at @PCBCBrewMetal. Don’t wait til the day of cause he’ll be busy setting things up and he might not have time to get to it before everything starts.

So to summarize, send in your metal song requests and show up at the Pinch this Saturday any time from 6pm til last call (which is 2:30am in DC on Fridays and Saturdays). Enter to win some tickets and enjoy some great beers with other metal heads breaking only for a free show by Borracho. What’s not to love? Now to get you in the mood, check out this killer Borracho video.

Listen To Nightmonger by Midnight Eye

Local metal band Midnight Eye is releasing their EP Nightmonger and they kick off their tour supporting it with a free show this Thursday, August 8th, at The Pinch in the Columbia Heights neighborhood in Washington DC (details here). Stream the EP above, pick it up on Bandcamp here and be sure to come out Thursday to watch these guitar wizards pull this stuff off live. And while you’re listening to Nightmonger, check out the review of it below by new DCHM writer Tal (you can find more of her writing on her regular blog here).

Band: Midnight Eye
Album: Nightmonger
Release Date: 8 August 2013
Buy From Bandcamp for $4: Here

Cover of Nightmonger by Midnight Eye

Midnight Eye further develops their distinctive sound with their 3-song EP Nightmonger. The new release keeps the energetic heavy metal/thrash groundwork that they laid in their first album, Sign, but also takes a few steps further in the progressive direction, with unusual vocals as well as widely varying guitar passages. But these guys have the guitar chops to tackle all the different styles they want to pursue, and piece them together fairly cohesively.

Rocking NWOBHM riffs just on the verge of thrashy form the base of their sound, occasionally taking off into a full-out frenzy-inducing thrash whirlwind. Along with shreddy guitar solos, there’s also a lot more noodling compared to the first album and even a low-tempo acoustic passage in the second song, “Chaos.” The change of pace when the acoustic segment begins is a little jarring, but it doesn’t utterly destroy the energy of the song. The bass and drums soon come back in to give the instrumental some thrash kick, and after the lead guitars meander for a bit, they finish the song with a speeded up version of the main riff, giving it a satisfying conclusion. Missing from the EP are the doomy segments that haunted a couple songs from the first album, but the third song, “Outsider,” features some buzzsaw black metal riffs instead. The end of this song, which really picks up the black metal sound with insistent drums and sweeping tremolo riffs, is one of my favorite moments on the EP.

While the guitars have immediate appeal, the vocals take some getting used to. The tone of the mid-range clean vocals, which dominate Sign, is unusual, although it sounds sort of like a mid-range take on early King Diamond. Nightmonger showcases a lot more of Simon Callahan’s ability to generate King Diamond-like shrieks and high-pitched notes, especially in the second song, “Chaos.” I’m still not quite sure if their attempt to combine the shrieks and clean vocals works in that song, but I do prefer the high-pitched vocals to the mid-range ones overall.

I enjoyed staring at the simple and yet intricate cover design for a while. It reflects the band’s carefully executed complexity, and hints at the black metal touches in their music. The depth of their lyrics also matches the complexity of the band’s sound. I enjoy lyrics that are a bit poetic, rather than obvious and straightforward. While the chorus of the first song is pretty direct – “people cling to these very truths:/they love their nation/before other nations/they love their friends/not others” – the verses are more subtle. This song is apparently based on the Chinese philosophical text Zhuangzi, which espouses harmony with the natural way of things, so the nature images in the verses are a fitting touch. The ending of the song – “sound the alarm/tell everyone/there’s no purpose/to anything at all” – at first seems like an abrupt break with the theme of waxing and waning concern for others. Chinese philosophical anecdotes often end with a lesson, though, and looking at it that way, the lesson in the last verse is that human attachments are so changeable that there’s really no purpose in pursuing them. The other two songs, while not as cryptic, are also nicely constructed, using images and metaphors to propel their message of distrust of those in power. I particularly like the phrase, “outsiders,/from shades of grey/are made in the/gears of the world,” from the third song, “Outsider.” It reflects a penetrating awareness of how otherness is constructed and used by the majority.

I’m enjoying the EP more with each listen, and looking forward to hearing the band play it live. Midnight Eye is holding a release party this Thursday, supported by Exar Kun and Thrain, so don’t miss the chance to see these stellar guitarists live. I’ll be there pushing people around when the thrashy parts take off!

Free Borracho show at the Pinch

Borracho at the Pinch

This Saturday, the 18th of May 2013, DC’s own stoner metal riff masters Borracho will be headlining a free concert at the Pinch in Columbia Heights! And this isn’t just any show, it’s also a beer release show! The awesome folks over at Port City Brewery, based in Alexandria, Virginia, have worked with the guys in Borracho to make the band their own signature beer! The Borracho Smokin’ Brown Ale is, as the name suggests, a smoked brown ale. The ale was made with an alcohol percentage of 6.66%, which is fitting for a metal band whose name translates from Spanish to mean a drunk or lush. The supply of this beer is extremely limited and won’t be sold in any stores. In fact it may be gone by the end of the night, so be sure to get out to this show if you want to try it. In addition to the beer being on draft at the show, there will also be lots of free prizes given out to people who attend. I’ll have a pair of tickets to see Kylesa at the Rock & Roll Hotel on June 19th up for grabs and there will be other prizes as well including merch from Borracho and Port City and also a growler (a 60 oz jug) full of the Borracho Smokin’ Brown Ale that one winner will get to take home! The growler is being provided by D’vines, an excellent beer/liquor/wine store also in Columbia Heights that even fills beer growlers on site.

So here’s some details about the show. Doors open at 8pm and it’s all ages. Obviously you’ve gotta be 21 with an ID to drink. The venue is called The Pinch (address and map here) and it’s in Columbia Heights, which is a pretty nice neighborhood in Washington DC. There’s street parking but unlike some of the hotter areas in DC, like U St and H St, the parking is pretty ample even on a Saturday night and since it’s a good area you don’t have to worry about your car. The Pinch is also metro accessible, you can take the yellow or green line to the Columbia Heights stop and the venue is about half a mile north on 14th Street from the station’s exit (see it on a map here). The Pinch has a pretty normal bar/restaurant upstairs but the show will be taking place in the downstairs level since that’s where the stage is. The stairs down are right by the front door, you can’t miss them. There’s also another bar downstairs so you won’t have to keep going back and forth all night.

There are going to be four stoner metal bands playing this free show and, in addition to Borracho headlining, there will be sets by Cortez from Boston, Wasted Theory from Delaware and the new project of Dave Sherman (of Earthride and Spirit Caravan fame) named Weed Is Weed from Maryland. You can check out any of those bands by clicking their names of course, and be sure to watch the awesome Borracho videos that I’ve embedded below. You can also get more info on the Facebook event page for this show here.