New Metal Embassy episode details the history of metal in China

May is AAPI Heritage Month so who better to interview on the Metal Embassy podcast than Kaiser Kuo? He is a founding member of the first heavy metal band in China, Tang Dynasty (唐朝), as well as his later band Spring and Autumn (春秋), both of which blend Chinese music traditions with heavy metal. In this episode Metal Chris talks with Kaiser about the early days of heavy metal in China and his instrumental role in bringing heavy metal to the country in the late 1980s. Since I usually try to keep my episodes at about half an hour in length I made a shorter and longer version of this particular episode, both of which can be streamed below. First is the longer version with an extra ~12 minutes of interview with Kaiser, and below that you can stream the shorter version that clocks in around 35 minutes. And if that still isn’t enough, you can listen to the first time I interviewed him, on The Bridge with John St. Augustine podcast, back in November here. You can also follow the Metal Embassy podcast in most podcast apps (listed/linked here).

Longer version:

Shorter version:

DCHM gets a podcast: Metal Embassy

With the shutdown of concerts it has been pretty quiet here on DCHM. So with my spare time I’ve decided to try making a podcast for DCHM since there just aren’t enough of those right now. I’m calling the podcast Metal Embassy since I’m still based out of DC but will be changing things up a bit on the podcast and focusing on metal bands from around the world. Each episode will feature an interview with a member from a metal band but unlike the regular interviews here on DCHM I won’t be transcribing them. I’ll play a tune by the band and hopefully expose people to some new music out there as well as explore some of the stories that aren’t being covered very much in the metal press here in the US. I’m still working on getting Metal Embassy registered with all the podcast apps like Apple, Google, Spotify and such, and I’ve got three episodes ready to go but for now you can stream the first episode from the podcast at the end of this post or go to the Metal Embassy page on Podbean (here) where it is being hosted. You can also download it and all future episodes from the Podbean link.

Anyways, this first episode features an interview with Kris Lesiński, the guitarist and cover artist for the Star Wars themed instrumental stoner/doom band Bantha Rider. They’re based in Poland and we have a nice little convo about Star Wars, metal, and the metal scene in Poland. Give it a listen and feel free to give me some feedback as I’m still figuring it all out.

Metal Embassy – 001 – Bantha Rider (Poland)

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:

Bandcamp event recommendations

On Friday, May 1st, Bandcamp has decided to not take their cut from all sales of music and merch on their platform in an effort to help support the many bands that are struggling right now due to coronavirus shut downs. Bands can’t tour nor can’t properly record so there’s been a big financial slow down for them, and many of them bought lots of merch to sell on tours and at festivals that just aren’t happening now. Anything you buy on Bandcamp will go straight to the artists without Bandcamp’s usual cut so if you’ve been meaning to buy something from a band, go ahead and do it May 1st. I’ve put together this lengthy list of suggestions completely made up of new material from around the world, country and even locals too, for those of you looking for some great new tunes to buy on Friday (or whenever really).

UlcerateStare Into Death And Be Still
Tech death from New Zealand

GlooshTimewheel
Atmospheric black metal from Siberia

Yuri GagarinThe Outskirts of Reality
Instrumental stoner metal from Sweden

Creative WasteCondemned
Grindcore from Saudi Arabia

Oranssi PazuzuMestarin kynsi
Psychedelic black metal from Finland

Black CurseEndless Wound
Death metal from Denver featuring members of Spectral Voice, Khemmis and Blood Incantation

Borracho with Jake Starr EP
Stoner metal from DC

Seasick GladiatorThe Hanged Man
Instrumental stoner/doom from Washington DC

dirt eaterStorm King Mountain
Stoner/sludge metal from Northern Virginia

ImmiserationAlienation of Humanity
Death metal from Baltimore

Ripped To ShredsLuan
Death metal from San Jose

Reeking AuraBeneath the Canopy of Compost
Death metal from NY/NJ

Live BurialUnending Futility (Name Your Price)
Death/thrash from England

UltharProvidence Pre-Order
Black/death metal from the Bay Area

WakeDevouring Ruin
Crusty black/death from Calgary

Internal RotGrieving Birth
Grindcore from Australia

WvrmColony Collapse
Grindcore from South Carolina

CalligramThe Eye Is The First Circle
Crusty black metal from London

Spectral Lore & Mare Cognitum split Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine
Black metal from Greece & Oregon, respectively

Путь (Pathway) – Холодная весна (Cold Spring) (Name Your Price)
Black metal with an accordian from Russia
This song was written about, and recorded during, COVID quarantine

VelniasScion of Aether
Cascadian style black metal from Colorado

erranterrant
Black/post metal solo debut from Rae Amitay, vocalist of Immortal Bird

Behold The ArctopusHapeleptic Overtrove Pre-Order
Instrumental tech/prog from New York City

Rotting KingdomA Deeper Shade Of Sorrow
Death/doom from Kentucky

Paradise LostObsidian Pre-Order
Gothic doom metal from Halifax, England

KhemmisDoomed Heavy Metal
2 covers, 1 original and 3 live tracks recorded Dec 28/29 of 2018 at Larimer Lounge in Denver
Doom metal from Denver

Inter ArmaLive at Club Congress (Name Your Price)
Recorded on 8/24/17 in Tuscon, Arizona
Post metal from Richmond

Orange GoblinRough & Ready, Live & Loud
Captured live at various shows between 2016 and 2019
Stoner doom metal from London

PelicanLive at the Grog Shop
Recorded 9/15/19 in Cleveland
Instrumental post-metal from Chicago

PanopticonLive Migration Pre-Order
Recorded 7/29/18 at Migration Fest in Pittsburgh
Appalachian black metal from Minnesota

Last but not least DC’s own No/Más is re-posting their debut EP for this one day only, then they’re taking it back down so if you want it get it on Friday! Details from the band here.

Zealot R.I.P. beer release show

Extinction Of Brew

Just a quick post today but I wanted to remind everyone that this Saturday, November 23rd, at Haydee’s in Mt. Pleasant, there’s a killer show with Zealot R.I.P. (featuring members of Pig Destroyer and Darkest Hour), the Loud Boyz (wild party punk rock) and Neolithic (death/grind from Baltimore). That’s a great local metal show for sure but what makes this one special is that Champion Brewing will be releasing their Extinction Of Brew lager, the official beer for Zealot R.I.P.! That’s the tentacley can art up above, and you can see the show flyer below. More info is available at the show’s Facebook event page here.

The venue is a Mexican restaurant on Mt. Pleasant Street, basically just across the street from The Raven bar. It’s walking distance from the Columbia Heights metro station. And remember that the vocalist for Neolithic is Evan Harting, one of the guys that runs Maryland Deathfest. Be sure to get there early so you can ask him why your band wasn’t invited to play Maryland Deathfest, I hear he loves that. But seriously, this is a great line up from top to bottom and it’s always cool when a local metal band gets their own beer. Be sure to stream some tunes to check the bands out at the bottom of this post.

Zealot RIP beer release show

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.