Katatonia and The Ocean ticket give away

Katatonia at the Black Cat

Katatonia is coming all the way from Sweden to play the Black Cat on Wednesday, November 9th, and they’re bringing The Ocean Collective and Cellar Darling with them! Even better, DCHM is giving away a pair of tickets to this very show! All you need to do to enter: is just tell me your favorite band to listen to when you want to get into the Halloween mood. Then on Halloween, Monday October 31st, at 5pm Eastern the winner will be selected from all valid entries using Random.org. Be sure to use a valid email you check regularly when you enter 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 the selected winner hasn’t written me back within 24 hours another winner will be selected. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can purchase tickets here.

This show is going to be the first night of the North American tour and Katatonia has a new album coming out in January titled Sky Void of Stars. Hopefully we’ll get to hear some of these new tunes on the tour (and be sure to check their music embedded video below for one of the new songs). Also along on the tour is the German band The Ocean Collective. Their proggy post-metal sound is a perfect compliment to Katatonia, and you should also check out their video embedded below for a song they did that features Katatonia’s vocalist Jonas Renkse. Cellar Darling is an up and coming Swiss band with progressive leanings and all three of the band’s members are former members of Eluveitie. Anyways, go check out the music videos by all three of these great bands and leave a comment telling me what your favorite band to get you into the Halloween mood is!

Katatonia – Atrium

The Ocean – Jurassic | Cretaceous (feat. Jonas Renkse)

Cellar Darling – Avalanche

Paradise Lost ticket give away

Paradise Lost at Baltimore Soundstage

The legendary Paradise Lost is coming to Baltimore Soundstage on Tuesday, October 2nd, along with Sólstafir and The Atlas Moth. Their dark style of doom metal is perfect for this season where the weather starts to turn so we’re giving away a pair of tickets to this show to a lucky one of you DCHM readers. To enter: leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite metal band to listen to in the Autumn months. Then on Friday, September 28th at 5pm EST the contest will close and a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries. The winner will get two free tickets the show! Be sure to enter using an email address 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, I hate spam too. 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 Ticket Master for $27.50 here.

Paradise Lost formed in Halifax, England, in the late 80’s and is one of the Peaceville Three, along with Anathema and My Dying Bride, who all formed a much darker take to doom metal in the early 90s while all signed to Peaceville Records. In fact it was Paradise Lost’s sophomore album, Gothic, that the genre of gothic metal gets its name from. They’ve influenced countless bands yet somehow Paradise Lost, who still features all their original members aside from the drummer, manage to put out solid material. This isn’t an old band that just plays their old classics, they still put out solid material, including their 2017 album Medusa, which was #1 on Decibel Magazine’s top 40 albums of 2017. In addition to the rare chance to see Paradise Lost in the US the tour has some excellent support acts. Sólstafir from Iceland blends post rock with viking metal, adds a pinch of country western and a heavy dose of melancholy. The opening band is The Atlas Moth, a post metal band from Chicago that has been getting better and better with every album. Now check out these videos of the bands below and leave a comment letting me know what your favorite metal band to listen to in the Autumn is.

Paradise Lost – Blood And Chaos

Sólstafir – Silfur-Refur

The Atlas Moth – Holes In The Desert

Maryland Deathfest X Recap

Maryland Deathfest is the area’s biggest metal event every year and while it has taken me a few weeks to get through the mountain of photos and videos I shot at Maryland Deathfest X but I’m finally done! There’s so much stuff that I’ve actually broken this post up into several posts, this one and then one for each of the four days. You can see all of my MDF X photos and videos, including things that aren’t posted here, by going here for photos and here for my videos on YouTube. Also, I came across a site run from Las Vegas called Total Fucking Mayhem (check it out here) and they’ve got some quality video footage, sometimes much better than mine, that they’re are allowing me to use in this post as well. They also have some from bands I didn’t see so check out their YouTube page for those videos here.

Keep in mind I didn’t get a press pass for the fest so all the footage I shot was from the audience, moshers and crowd surfers going overhead just like everyone else. I did a lot of waiting to get up front for specific bands so I could get some good shots, but even so there are some I simply couldn’t get up close for since I still haven’t figured out how to be in two places at once. Also, I was pretty much stationary so I had to shoot whoever was on the side of the stage I was most of the time. Some bands I took more time to shoot for whatever reason, usually because they are a personal favorite of mine, and for some bands I don’t really love any of my shots of but hey when you shoot this many bands at once some are going to be much better than others.

I had a lot of fun at this years Maryland Deathfest, it was great meeting some fans of the site and handing out stickers, meeting people from all over and talking metal with them, and of course getting to see some rare and just plain kick ass performances. If you’d like to read the whole post you’re awesome and please start here, but if you’d just like to skip ahead to any one day you can do so below, or you can even just click on a band’s name below to read my paragraph about them and see my photos and videos of them as well.

Day 1: Thursday
Dying Fetus

Day 2: Friday
Napalm Death

Day 3: Saturday
Looking For An Answer
Dragged Into Sunlight
October 31
Morbid Saint
Morbid Angel

Day 4: Sunday
Coke Bust
Church Of Misery
Pentagram Chile
Saint Vitus
Electric Wizard
Mortuary Drape

Marilyn Manson ticket give away

Marilyn Manson at the Fillmore in Silver Spring

The king of goth shock rock, Marilyn Manson, is coming to the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland on Tuesday the 1st of May! Support on this show will be by The Pretty Reckless. DCHeavyMetal.com is giving away a free pair of tickets to one lucky reader and all you’ve got to do is post a comment below telling me which song you’d like to hear Marilyn Manson play the most. I’ll pick one lucky winner at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries at 5pm EST on Friday 2 March 2012. Be sure that when you post you use a valid email you check regularly because I’ll need to contact you if you win. And don’t worry, I won’t add you to any annoying email lists or sell your address info or anything annoying like that. I hate spam too! You can only enter once, multiple entries will be disqualified. However, you can get your friends to all enter and have them bring you along if they win.

This will be Marilyn Manson’s first tour to support his upcoming album, Born Villain, which is coming out in May. So I’d imagine you’ll be able to hear some of those songs before the album is even out, pretty sweet! The album is a concept album and Marilyn Manson himself described it as a “suicide death metal” style of music, whatever that means. The opening act is The Pretty Reckless, a goth band fronted by Taylor Momsen who you may recognize as having played Jenny Humphrey on the TV show Gossip Girls. The band has been getting decent reviews and now they’re opening for the entire Marilyn Manson tour as well. If the contest is over when you read this, or you just can’t wait to get tickets, you can buy them online for $58.50 from Live Nation here. Check out this latest Marilyn Manson video, directed by Shia LaBeouf (the guy from the Transformers movies) of all people, below. It’s a trailer for a documentary about the making of the album that Shia shot, but it does have music in it too. Under that is a music video by The Pretty Reckless. And under that, leave a comment to enter!

Review of Katatonia gig at Jaxx

On Thursday the 7th of October 2010 I headed over to Jaxx to catch Swallow The Sun, Orphaned Land and headliner Katatonia play the final show of the 26 date Night Over North America 2010 Tour. Katatonia is a sort of doomy dark metal band from Sweden that, at least in recent years, uses clean vocals exclusively. Swallow The Sun is a band from Finland that actually fits on this bill rather well, though they do use mostly harsh vocals. Musically their sounds are pretty similar and I’m sure their fan bases has a lot of cross over. Orphaned Land is sort of the odd ball on this tour. They are an Israeli metal band with a traditional hebrew and arabic folk elements and themes. There were also a couple local openers, but I didn’t get there in time to see them. The place was pretty full, always nice to see a good turn out at Jaxx.

To start off, Swallow The Sun and Orphaned Land switched places in the evening’s band line up order, so Swallow The Sun played first. I’m not sure if this meant they had a shorter set though. I think this was probably a better order than if Orphaned Land played first, mostly because I think Swallow The Sun and Katatonia have similar sounds and putting the other band in the middle keeps the sound from getting stale. Swallow The Sun played a good set though, including my favorite songs of theirs, Falling World and Swallow (Horror Part 1). Before playing the song New Moon, which I’d always wondered if it was about those stupid Twilight books and movies, vocalist Mikko Kotamäki said that the song was in fact about them, but implied it was making fun of them. He said that “Vampires used to suck blood but now they suck cock.” When they played their song The Justice Of Suffering, Katatonia’s singer Jonas Renske came out after a couple minutes and sang parts of the song live. As a side note, I noticed he had a Bloodbath shirt on but when he came out with his band later he had switched to an Autopsy shirt. Anyways, Swallow The Sun was pretty good, and for a slower band than much of what I’m used to seeing live, they never had me feeling bored at all. Really they were a perfect opener for setting the tone for the rest of the evening.

The next band to play was Orphaned Land. Though I’d heard of them before from that Global Metal documentary, I wasn’t really familiar with much of their music. They certainly didn’t sound the same as the other two bands on this tour, and that’s fine. These guys have a more traditional approach to heavy metal, maybe you could call them thrash or very soft melodic death metal, but the real part that stands out is all the hebrew and arabic stylings. They certainly aren’t as fast or brutal as a band like Melechesh but they’re still definitely a heavy metal band with distinct middle eastern influences. Their set was pretty entertaining to watch, though a lot of it was kinda hokey audience participation stuff like getting everyone to wave their hands or hop in place like they were at a ska show. A few times members of I guess other bands or the crew came out on stage doing goofy shit. One time they came out wearing towels on their head mocking turbans and one guy had a green sock that was supposed to be a snake while another guy was the snake charmer with a horn thing made of tin foil. This sort of thing became a recurring theme throughout the evening, I suppose because it was the final show of the tour. That’s fine for the Orphan Land stuff that’s kind of goofy and upbeat anyways, but the distractions and interruptions got kind of annoying after a while during Katatonia’s set. Orphaned Land’s vocalist, Kobi Farhi, was wearing some white get up that looked like a baptismal frock or something. He was also barefoot the entire set which I found quite brave. It made me think of all the times I’ve seen stuff like Glen Benton spit on that same stage. At one point he said that in case the audience was wondering, he was in fact Jesus Christ and that he loves heavy metal. He then said “Mayhem is a great band” which I found to be quite an awesome statement from these guys, but I think Mayhem might be a bit heavy for many in the audience at this gig. The band was missing a couple members, most notably Shlomit Levi, the woman who does the female vocals on their records. They did play her parts from recordings a couple times during intros of songs, and I think Kobi sang the rest of her parts himself. Their upbeat middle eastern folk metal seemed to be quite a hit with the audience and you could tell that some people were here just to see them. In all, even though the set was corny and at times just goofy, it was still rather entertaining.

The final act of the night was the headliner, Katatonia. I hadn’t seen them since September 2007 and while their new album wasn’t my favorite of theirs, it did have a couple new songs I enjoyed. The first thing I noticed about their set was that one of the guitarists was new, as well as the bass player. Not the end of the world I suppose, but different. I hadn’t kept up with the line up changes apparently. The next thing I noticed was the sound was shit! I could barely hear the vocals over the instruments in the mix, and for many bands that’s ok but Katatonia is one of those bands where the vocals and lyrics add a lot to the music. Now I was close to the front and in the center, not always the best place for sound quality at a place like Jaxx where the speakers face straight out, but still, the audio was crap and I could see the bass player was having problems with his instrument which actually happened the last time they played Jaxx also. They did play for almost two hours though and the sound had gotten a bit better by the end of it, though the vocals volume was still low in the mix from where I was standing (check out the videos below to hear what I mean). Katatonia has a lot of I guess “sing along” type songs and people in the audience didn’t hold back, particularly on some of their more famous songs. For some reason they never play a favorite of mine, Deliberation, and always play the monotonously repetitive Soil’s Song every set, I’ll never understand that choice. They didn’t play much older material and the setlist focused mainly on their newest album, Night Is The New Day, with a few other songs thrown in from the previous two albums. This was certainly not a show for fans of their older, harsher material, but then, I think everyone knew that going in. They certainly have a catchier sound these days, too heavy to be rock, and too melancholy to be stoner or doom, it’s their own distinct sound, and it’s well polished too. Jonas has a great voice and his lyrics are always very personal, though sometimes you’d be fooled by a song’s atmosphere as to what the song is actually about. For example, Leaders sounds like a song about a break up or something at first but it seems to actually be a song about the traps of the record industry. Speaking of Leaders, that was their final song of the night and while I really do enjoy it, apparently members of all the other bands and crew on the tour decided to come out on stage shooting silly string and throwing balloons and even taping gay porn to one of the guitars while the band played. Kinda ruined the mood though they’d been doing similar stuff all night. I’ve got video of this song below also, so you can see what I’m talking about. There were some cool moments too, like when the drummer for Swallow The Sun, Kai Hahto, came out to play drums on Teargas, and their vocalist also came out to sing with Jonas on that song. And while the on stage antics were a bit distracting for some songs, and certainly taking away from the serious tone of a lot of the music, it was still kinda funny seeing a couple guys doing a Jewish dance in the middle of Ghost Of The Sun. At one point the band had everyone in the audience turn to the mixing board and sing Happy Birthday to the tour manager. At the end of the set Katatonia did the typical planned encore thing, which made the new guitarist decide to take his shirt off showing his “sodomizer” stomach tattoo, haha.

In all the show was a lot of fun, and you could tell the bands were having maybe more fun than the fans for this one! I can’t wait to see them again, though I hope next time they play a set with a more ‘best hits’ style setlist with material from their entire history. Oh and there was that wasted guy that wanted to start a fight with me. Of all the crazy metal shows I go to, it’s the bands ya least expect that people seem to want to fight. I mean really, Katatonia gets you violent? And no I did not fight him, call me a pussy if you want but I don’t hit. Anyways, he left the front of the crowd and I never saw him again so no big deal really. Enough about that, now go check out the videos I shot below!