Some new local heavy metal releases

Just thought I’d make a round up of some great recent (nothing before January 2022) and upcoming local releases to check out. If you’re in a band I missed feel free to email me at DCHeavyMetal@Gmail.com and I’ll add your release too!

The first one isn’t even an album but local politician (elected delegate of Virgina’s 13th district) and metal head Danica Roem made these awesome metal style campaign shirts as a fund raiser for her campaign. Order soon (here) as they won’t be available very long.

Weed Coughin is, as you might expect, a stoner band, though they’ve got some grimy sludge aspects to their sound as well. The Frederick, Maryland based band released their debut album, Other Worldly, on January 31st.

The Dregs play sludge/doom and released a 2 song EP titled Nightshade on February 25th.

A Sound of Thunder released a new music video on February 25th for their song, Theme from Shadowman, which is an official tie-in to the Valiant Comics character Shadowman. You can purchase the single here. They’ve also got a new album out in May and you can find more info on that later in this post.

Haunted Shores is an instrumental side project of Periphery guitarists Mark Holcomb and Misha Mansoor that is a lot more intense than their djent main band. They released their first album since 2011, titled Void, on March 11th but it isn’t on Bandcamp so you’ll have to check this link for the different places to buy it.

Kontusion is a new two piece death metal band featuring DC’s own Chris Moore on drums (Repulsion, D.O.C., ex-Magrudergrind) along with Mark Bronzino (Iron Reagan, Mammoth Grinder) and if the first track they’ve released is any indication, their debut EP (out March 25th) is going to rip!

Day of Departure is a DC based progressive band and they are set to release their self titled debut full length on March 25th.

Darkest Hour plays hardcore infused melodic death metal and they are releasing a 2 song EP with both tracks being not just re-mastered versions of older songs but entirely re-recorded versions of those songs. It’s out on April 1st, which is a Bandcamp Friday.

False Church plays intense metallic hardcore and their debut album, Dystopian Dissent, is being released by Horror Pain Gore Death Productions on April 22nd (preorders are available now though).

No/Más is an exciting grind band from DC and they’re releasing their debut album on Closed Casket Activities on April 29th. You can pre-order (including vinyl) here and listen to their new track “Exile” below.

Iris Divine is a progressive metal band from Northern Virginia and they currently have a Kickstarter campaign running for their upcoming third album, Mercurial. They already have most of the recording process completed they’re just looking for funding to get everything out to fans, which is expected to be in May. They’ve already met their funding goal but you can still pledge through April 6th to get your copy through the Kickstarter campaign here.

A Sound of Thunder has a new album, The Krimson Kult, out on May 20th, that was inspired by events that took place during the pandemic.

Black Lung from Baltimore plays psychedelic doom and they’ve got a new full length album, titled Dark Waves coming out on Heavy Psych Sounds on May 27th.

Stellar Death is a proggy instrumental metal band with spacey sci-fi flourishes. Their new EP Sentient (Chapter 1) will be out on June 10th via Bravemusic.

Yatra from Ocean City plays some heavy sludge along the lines of High on Fire and Lord Dying. They announced that their new full length album, Born into Chaos will be out June 10th on Prosthetic Records but you can already listen to a track and pre-order it now.

Zealot RIP ticket and prize pack give away!

Zealot R.I.P. at DC Brau

It has been some time since our last ticket give away on DCHM so I’m very excited to be giving away a pair of tickets to the Zealot R.I.P. show on September 22nd at DC Brau brewery with Loud Boyz and Asthma Castle (and a special secret guest band!). Along with the pair of tickets to the show the winner will also receive a Zealot R.I.P. t-shirt and a physical copy of the Zealot R.I.P. debut album The Extinction of You which is released this Friday, Sept 10th (purchase it here). The winner will pick these items up at the show, and a digital download code will also be included with the physical copy of the album. To enter: just leave a comment on this post telling me what the last local show you went to was (anywhere in the DMV and it can be recent or before the pandemic) and on Thursday, Sept 9th 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.

Zealot R.I.P. is made up of members of Pig Destroyer, Darkest Hour and Frodus and after much delay due to the ongoing pandemic, they’re finally releasing their debut full length album, The Extinction of You! This show at DC Brau will be an epic release show for the album! Support is provided by party rockers Loud Boyz, who always put on a wild live show, and Baltimore’s Asthma Castle, a sludge/stoner metal band featuring Adam Jarvis (of Pig Destroyer and Misery Index) on drums. I’m not allowed to mention who the surprise guest band is for contractual reasons but let me tell you it’s going to be big and you don’t want to miss their set.

This show is ages 18+ and please be aware that Covid protocols will be in place for this event and upon entry everyone will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result from the previous 72 hours.

Now check out these videos from the bands below and let me know in the comments what the last local concert you went to was.

Zealot R.I.P. – Ambush Predator

Loud Boyz – Party In The U.S.A.

Asthma Castle – Mount Crushmore

Local picks for Bandcamp Friday

I just thought that I’d throw together a list of some recent local metal releases for Bandcamp Friday (or whenever you’re reading this).


BorrachoPound Of Flesh
Release date: 6 August 2021
It’s hard to believe that it has been 5 years since DC’s best stoner metal band has released a full length but Pound of Flesh is finally here!


So Be ItLet The End Begin
Release date: 6 August 2021
So Be It is a death/thrash band based out of Silver Spring that is dropping their second full length today for Bandcamp Friday. Cathy riffs abound on these mosh pit friendly songs.


GrishkaDeath Throes Radio Vol 1. – Grishka Live Set
Release date: 6 August 2021
Grishka is a new extreme metal band that actually formed during the pandemic era of no concerts. They did live perform on a Death Throes Radio livestream event back in April and the audio from their entire 17 minute set is now up on Bandcamp. Be sure to check out their debut album (here) if you haven’t yet!


Misery IndexCoffin Up the Nails
Release date: 20 July 2021
This release by death/grind band Misery Index isn’t a proper album but a collection of covers and demo versions of other songs scattered among b-sides and such of previous releases. The Bolt Thrower and Sepultura covers are worth the price of admission alone though!


Spiral GraveLegacy of the Anointed
Release date: 16 July 2021
When Iron Man founding member Al Morris passed away in 2018 the remaining members of his band regrouped with Willy Rivera of Lord to form Spiral Grave. This is the doom band’s debut full length and while it has a freshness to it you still get that classic Maryland doom metal sound too.


Blunt Horse / Grilth – split
Release date: 16 July 2021
Blunt Horse is a proggy sludge band from DC and this split with Grilth (who are from upstate New York) includes three tracks of the band showing their wide range but always keeping it weird.


UnendlichParadox of a Broken World
Release date: 9 July 2021
Unendlich is a local one man black metal band that plays in a more aggressive style of the genre. This fourth full length album is the band’s first since the pandemic took hold in early 2020 and it was worth the wait!


Honey Spreader / Reeking Cross – split
Release date: 2 July 2021
Honey Spreader is a harsh noise duo consisting of Blake Harrison (Pig Destroyer, Zealot R.I.P.) and Alex Cha. This split with Reeking Cross, who is a more powerviolence/grind style band, is short but brutal and I think the Honey Spreader song titled “Cement Mixer of Emotion” sums up this release pretty well.

Bonus tracks! Here’s a couple of upcoming releases by local bands that you can preorder on Bandcamp right now.


Zealot R.I.P.The Extinction of You
Release date: 10 September 2021
Guitarist Mick Schleibaum (Darkest Hour), Blake Harrison (Pig Destroyer) and Jason Hamacher (Frodus) make up the core of Zealot R.I.P. which has a sound somewhere between DC hardcore and Entombed. This is their debut EP and it is sure to be a rager!


Full of HellGarden of Burning Apparitions
Release date: 1 October 2021
Ocean City based grind band Full of Hell have been getting more and more experimental with each release while keeping the heavy on full blast. I can’t wait to hear the rest of this upcoming release this fall.

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:

Battlecross to headline benefit show at Atlas Brew Works

Bring A Guitar To The Bar Fundraiser

In September 2016 our area’s metal scene was shocked to find out about the sudden passing of Witt Black, guitarist for local metal band Yesterday’s Saints. The Witt Black Music Foundation was formed in August 2017 by his bandmates and siblings in memory of Witt, and this show is a fundraiser for his namesake’s charity. You’re encouraged to bring a gently used guitar to donate, or donate money as well, to the third annual Bring A Guitar To The Bar fundraiser at Atlas Brew Works this Saturday, October 12th. All ticket proceeds will go to the charity as well, which gives guitar lessons to at-risk kids who might not otherwise be able to afford lessons or an instrument. Students that complete the first round of lessons get to keep their guitar. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization so you can get a tax credit for your donation as well. If you can’t make the event you can still donate a guitar to the foundation here or you can simply make a monetary donation here.

This isn’t just a charity event though, it’s also a metal show! Battlecross is a melodic death metal band from Detroit and they’re coming down to play this benefit show. Not only that but they’ll be auctioning off guitarist Hiran Deraniyagala’s Jeff Hanneman ESP JH-600 Eclipse guitar with proceeds going to the foundation! You can see Deraniyagala playing it in the band’s video for “Never Coming Back” at the end of this post, he’s the guitarist on the right. Also performing at the benefit will be Eyes Of The Nile, a local Iron Maiden tribute band fronted by Iris Divine vocalist Navid Rashid. Local metal band Gloom will be returning to Atlas for the benefit as well. They are one of the bands that played the first metal show ever at Atlas Brew Works back in December of 2016! Virginia based metal band No Tomorrow will be kicking things off for this show as well. All in all, this is a great line up at a great event at a great brewery for a great cause! More details about the event can be found on the Facebook event page here.

Review of Damnatio Memoriae by Grethor

Band: Grethor
Album: Damnatio Memoriae
Release Date: 26 January 2018
Record Label: Edgewood Arsenal Records
Buy on CD ($10) or vinyl ($19) or digital ($10) from: Bandcamp

Cover of Damnatio Memoriae by Grethor

We’re a bit behind on getting some of our local album reviews posted here on DCHM but we’re working to get back up to speed. This one is about an album released by Grethor back in January, but it’s still worth noting in case you missed it. Vivek wrote this detailed piece about it and as always you can stream a few songs at the end of this post to give it a listen.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed the hell out of Star Trek. When I found out there is a local blackened death metal band named Grethor, the klingon word for hell, it grabbed my interest. Albeit, its spelled differently than the actual name, Gre’thor. In late January, Grethor released their debut full-length album, Damnatio Memoriae. Grethor are composed of four members. Marcus Lawrence handles the vocals and wrote all of the lyrics. Brian Frost is on the guitar and Tony Petrocelly handles both guitar and bass duties as well. The lineup for this album is completed with Anthony Rouse on drums. On Damnatio Memoriae, Grethor showcase a variety of complex and simple death metal riffs with varied drum patterns and a strong blend of black metal mixed in as well. Lyrically this album is also varied, there are social issues discussed as well as plain fantasy stories thrown in.

Throughout the album the listener is treated to a variety of riffs that have strong influences from Obscura-era Gorguts and Altars of Madness-era Morbid Angel. Some examples of this include the tracks “The Last Manifesto,” “Enantiodromia,” and “From this Rot so Shall We Be Remade.” There is also an interesting black metal influence throughout the album. Think Deathspell Omega, very avant-garde and using weird elements. Some examples would be in several sections of songs, such as, “The Imminent Unknown” and “Requiem for a Strawman.” While this can go very wrong, Grethor keep all of these factors cohesive. They make sure none of these elements outweigh each other. One track where this is highlighted very well would be the third track, “The Last Manifesto.” In this track, it begins with a complex and blasting intro riff. The song transitions into the main riff, which is a simple, mid-paced, and slightly melodic black metal riff. This is a nice contrast between the more death metal riffs that are present throughout most of the album. Rouse speeds the drums up by using a skank-beat and then everything else gets faster, before transitioning into a more death metal oriented riff. This is a nice transition into the first guitar solo. The solo in this song is simple and effective, it fits the purpose of this part of the song and does not try to do more. The solo isn’t too long or too complicated. The song has a quick breakdown, which transitions to the main riff again, but this time, the main riff is played even faster. The main riff develops more of a melody which, to my surprise, enhances the song and gives it a stronger punch for the listener. Eventually, another solo begins and this time it’s accompanied with complex blasting. This solo is complex and shows off that Luc Lemay influence. It’s a great solo too, it’s complex without being overbearing and is not too fast. The listener can absorb all of the notes from the solo and experience it as opposed to just hearing it. It’s a great way to close a great song. Lyrically, this song is also a rallying cry against many of the common injustices and hypocritical rhetoric that is relevant in society.

Marcus Lawrence, uses plenty of descriptive language to get his message across. It’s simple descriptive language too, which makes his point easier to understand. One example would be in the song: “Embracing Oblivion,” the lyrics “Besieged by a pointless devotion. To one’s own ethnicity. When there is nothing special about you. You must feign authenticity. You value nothing beyond. Your empty desire for validation.” showcase this. In that, they provide a criticism of nationalism and show how such an ideology is flawed. As I mentioned earlier, the lyrical content of the album discusses social issues and other topics. Throughout the album, whenever a political or social topic is discussed, the lyrical delivery of said topics is an interesting blend. It is straightforward, for the most part. It is very descriptive and understandable, while being cerebral as well. It gets me to see another person’s perspective on things. Lawrence also keeps the language in the lyrics broad enough, so that you understand his perspective and it doesn’t become preachy. Both the music and vocals feed off of each other and give the tracks have a strong punch to them. Lawrence’s vocals are a more traditional black metal snarl and shriek. However, there are times when the Lawrence’s vocals become too snarl-like. In that, his vocals are so snarl-like that they sound like an elderly cat screaming at their owner. One example where this happens would be in the song “Tongue of Argent.” These snarls appear at the 1 minute and 17 second mark. When these particular snarl-like vocals appear, they sound so saturated to the point where it is nauseating. Whenever they appear, the overbearing snarls can bring down the section of the song that they are in. They bring down the whole momentum of the song and as a result, it weakens the song as a whole. However, this only happens about two or three times throughout the album, I mentioned one of those times, the other times where this happens are in the tracks, “The Last Manifesto” and “Weaponized Madness.”

Damnatio Memoriae is the most complex local release I have heard in a very long time. It is technical, avant-garde, simplistic, and has hints of melody at times. Despite all of these complications present, Grethor manage to juggle them in a proficient manner. Grethor manages to balance each of these elements giving them the right amount of attention. There is a strong blend of cohesion between the black metal and the death metal elements on this album. Grethor manage to combine these parts along with some direct and thoughtful lyrics, which makes for a very complete and fulfilled album. There are a lot of great moments on this album and I can see Damnatio Memoriae, opening many, many doors for Grethor. It’s a great debut album from a focused band.

The Last Manifesto: