Darkest Hour benefit for the Black Cat

When the COVID-19 pandemic came to town in March it shut down all of the area’s live shows, including metal shows. However at 7pm this Saturday, September 26th, Darkest Hour will be streaming a performance that was just recorded at the Black Cat! The show itself won’t be live because there are many guest performers involved who had to be recorded playing from their own locations since it isn’t safe to fly them in right now. However there will be a live chat during the stream where fans can interact with the band and guest musicians in real time as everyone watches the stream. The audio has also been professionally mixed and mastered so the sound quality will be closer in quality to a live album than a regular livestream. On top of all that, everyone that buys a ticket will get an invite to the virtual afterparty on Zoom with Darkest Hour members and some of special guests after the performance ends!

Tickets to watch the stream (which includes access to the Zoom afterparty) are available from Veeps.com (here) for $10 or at the same link you can buy a bundle that comes with an exclusive shirt (shown below) made just for this performance for $35.

I spoke with Darkest Hour guitarist and founding member Mike Schleibaum and he told me that this event ties in with the band’s 25th anniversary (which was on Wednesday, 9/23). Along with some of the band’s most popular songs, the setlist will include some of their oldest songs performed with guest appearances by former band members. Other performing guests include Doc Coyle (Bad Wolves, God Forbid), Mark Heylmun (Suicide Silence), Buz McGrath (Unearth), Fella Di Cicco (Dreamshade) and more! Mike Schleibaum went on to say, “all of the Darkest Hour parts were shot on the Black Cat stage with multiple cameras.” When pressed about exactly how much of the ticket price went to the venue, Mike said, “100% of ticket sales go to the Black Cat. So when you buy a $10 ticket they get all of the $10. There’s also going to be a donation feature while the performance is streaming so people watching can also donate that way.”

This isn’t a live stream but it sounds like they’ve really upped the production value for this using multiple cameras, top notch sound quality and out of area guest musicians to make this closer to something you’d see on a band’s live DVD release. And while I’ve watch several band live streams they do kind of all seem like you’re just watching a rehearsal with poor sound quality. This event sounds like a great way to do something bigger for the fans, celebrate the band’s 25th anniversary, and donate to one of Washington DC’s live music institutions. If you can’t watch it when it starts or you just want to replay the show, a ticket purchase will grant you access to it for 24 hours. You can check the event’s Facebook page here for info and once again you can get tickets here.

The Veeps stream layout with the chat shown on the right

Here’s some videos Darkest Hour put out that you can get even more info from:

Heavy Metal Zoom Backgrounds

I’ve struggled with things to write about on DCHM lately. The concert calendar is basically a big page of NO right now, and things I had planned on doing, like upcoming ticket give aways and interviews, have all been put on hold indefinitely. I’m still working full time though, and in my spare time I, like I’m sure many of you, have been joining some Zoom calls to talk with friends, have virtual happy hours and just stay in contact with people I can’t be around. I like how you can set your own custom virtual backgrounds in Zoom. I made a few “metal” backgrounds that you can right click and save and then set as your background in Zoom if you’d like. Hopefully you enjoy using some of them and if you’ve got other suggestions let me know and I’ll see what I can do (obviously rectangular backgrounds look better than things like square album covers). I plan on posting more here so check back in the future for new backgrounds!

Black Sabbath s/t album cover by Marcus Keef

Morbid Angel – Altars of Madness album cover detail by Dan Seagrave

Helvete basement black metal graffiti

Sleep – Dopesmoker album cover Southern Lord reissue by Arik Roper

Pig Destroyer – Book Burner album cover by Chris Taylor

Bolt Thrower – War Master album cover by Pete Knifton

Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper album cover by Mariusz Lewandowski

Mayhem graffiti bench

Obituary – Cause of Death album cover by Michael Whelan

Demolition Hammer – Epidemic of Violence album cover by Michael Whelan

Candlemass – Nightfall album cover by Thomas Cole

Generic fire background This is fine.

Megadeth – Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? album cover by Ed Repka

Iron Maiden – Seventh Son of a Seventh Son album cover by Derek Riggs

Blood Incantation – Interdimensional Extinction album cover by Bruce Pennington

Minor Threat – Salad Days cover Not really metal but I thought it would be fun.

Dragged Into Sunlight – Hatred For Mankind album cover by Justin Bartlett

Kyuss – Welcome To Sky Valley album cover by Alex Solca

Opeth – Morningrise album cover by Tuija Lindström

Black Sabbath Heaven And Hell album cover by Lynn Curlee

Death – Scream Bloody Gore album cover by Ed Repka