Local metal head Danica Roem wins election!

We here at DCHeavyMetal.com are very proud of local metal head Danica Roem! Yesterday she was successfully elected to Virginia’s House Of Delegates to represent the state’s 13th district, which covers Manassas Park City and parts of Prince William County. Her historic win has garnered her headlines across the nation and world. While I’m totally psyched to see the first person from our area’s metal scene elected to office, the reason this grabbed headlines is the fact that Danica is transgender, and now the first ever transgender person elected to office in Virginia. I stopped by her victory party last night to join in the celebration (and make sure our area’s metal heads were representing!) and snapped the photo above. Danica gave a moving victory speech (embedded below) to the packed room and even gave a shout out to metal heads at the beginning! Though she ran on fixing traffic on Route 28 and paying teachers more, her win was important to many outside of her district as well.

It’s really awesome to see one of us making headlines and causing change in such a positive way. Arch Enemy frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz even made an Instagram post (here) about how she used to crash on Danica’s couch back in the day when she played Jaxx/Empire. Be sure to check out the party thrash band Danica fronts, Cab Ride Home, by streaming their 2017 album Crash The Gate below.

Changes at DCHM

DCHeavyMetal.com is turning 8 years old in September and there’s been a few changes around here. First up, you may have noticed this week that I’ve changed the way concert listings appear on the Upcoming Metal Concerts Calendar. Go check it out if you haven’t.

The calendar is by far the most popular part of DCHM and it has taken a hell of a lot of work to keep it updated over the years. Unfortunately it is a very time consuming project and it doesn’t take much to get backed up with each individual concert listing taking me a half an hour or more to create. Now I’ve made it so that I can get a listing up in around 5 minutes. How did I reduce the time it takes to create a concert listing? I simply don’t list much info about each show any more. I still use the concert poster/flyer artwork so you can quickly flip through the calendar at a glance, however now I only list a few things like the date, a link to the event page and a ticket link (if available). I don’t list or link the bands any more, nor the venue, price, etc… Most of that info tends to be on the artwork anyways, and the linked event page should have all that info and more as well.

The calendar has been behind most of the summer however this week alone I added around 40 listings. So the trade off is more listings, but with less info on each listing. This has me thinking that I might do something that people have been asking me about for some time, and that is listing shows in Frederick, Maryland. They aren’t on the calendar yet but if that’s something people still want I am seriously considering it moving forward.

Secondly, we’ve parted ways with one of our album review writers. That means if you’re interested in possibly writing some reviews of new releases by local metal bands on DCHM then now’s the time to send me some examples of your writing. A review or two of any metal album(s) of your choice will do, local or not. You can send your writing samples to DCHeavyMetal@Gmail.com for consideration. Be sure to let me know what your favorite metal subgenres are, and which ones you don’t like at all. You’ve got to be a local (live somewhere in the greater DC, Baltimore and Northern Virginia area) as this site is a local site first and foremost. We use Google Docs for easy editing online so please have a Google/Gmail account set up already, even if it isn’t your primary email.

Third, there are 2 new DCHM shirt designs ready to be printed. One is a fun Metallica parody and the other is “not a DCHM t-shirt” that the old school locals should get a kick out of. Details on how to order those will be released soon!

I’m actually really excited about DHCM as we head into our 8th year and I’ve got a ton of ideas about what to do with the time I’ll be freeing up from constantly working on the calendar. I won’t be working on DCHM any less, I’ll just be working on the calendar less. Next week we’ll be running a ticket give away for Exodus and Obituary at the Baltimore Soundstage on Sat 9/16. Be sure to check in next week and enter for your chance to win. I know this hasn’t been the most exciting post but there’s a lot of great stuff coming soon. Stay brutal everyone and thank you for your support!

Most Metal Moments of 2015

Happy New Year everyone! As we look forward to another great year of metal be sure to read about the most “metal” moments of 2015 in the words of 11 of the DMV area’s biggest metal heads.

Blake Harrison is the knob twister and hype man for Pig Destroyer and the bird brainiac behind Hatebeak
Favorite album of 2015: Qliphoth by Cloud Rat
So I’d been laid off most of 2015 and because of said “paid vacation” courtesy of the state of Maryland, I had more then enough time to see plenty of shows. Seeing Wake three times this summer was pretty awesome, I saw Maruta and ACxDC twice, but the thing that sticks out the most was Agoraphobic Nosebleed‘s live debut at Maryland Death Fest. Playing to a sold out club (you couldn’t stack another body in there), the excitement was high and from the first note the crowd exploded into a frenzy adding to the overall experience. Definitely one of my favorite bands absolutely slaying their first live performance.

Dominique Cytryn Promoter for Nova Metal Booking and editor/graphic designer for Hallowed Pages Zine
Favorite album of 2015: Songs from the North by Swallow The Sun
Most Metal Moment of 2015: This year has been very generous to me. I started booking and promoting shows earlier this year in April and so far it’s been a very interesting experience. At first I never thought I would ever end up putting together shows or doing much of anything at all this year, but the severe lack of music in the NoVA area really started to bug me. I love our scene and the people in it; I’ve met many wonderful friends and seen a lot of cool bands, but I’d say my defining moment was the last show of this year this December on the 12th. It seemed like everything was going wrong that night- two of the bands I had booked had decided to drop off (one of them the night of) and I was freaking out. Luckily all of the members of Croatoan just happened to be at the show and they offered to play a set. Everyone who played that night was truly amazing and despite what happened it was one of the best shows I have put on. I’m grateful for the wonderful people in our community and the talented musicians and artists that inhabit it. All the people that came out and the bands that did their job really made that show special.

Steve Jones is the brewer at Oliver Ales
Favorite album of 2015: Vænir by Monolord
Most Metal Moment of 2015: Its been a great year with Oliver Ales finally transitioning to the new brewery. Once again I’ve managed to brew several batches inspired by/named after the music that I listen to in the brewery. Shortly before we left the brewpub forever I got a message from Steve of the doom band Destroyer Of Light asking about the beer I’d made in tribute to fellow Texan rockers Mothership and Wo Fat. Seemed like an opportunity too good to pass on, especially as their tour with Godhunter was bringing them to Baltimore so after a few emails it was decided, I would brew “Destroyer of Light.” The best fucking beer name in my humble opinion! I made a black (and yeah, I’m talking BLACK) smoked ale. Destroyer of Light (the band) rolled into town, came and hung out at the Pratt Street Ale House and drank Destroyer of Light before heading up Charles Street to shred at the Depot. Beer! Metal! Metal Beer! Awesome evening, metal as fuck!

Steve Jones with Destroyer Of Light

Steve (2nd from left) with Destroyer Of Light

Kim Dylla runs the metal clothing business Kylla Custom Rock Wear
Favorite album of 2015: Exercises in Futility by Mgła
Most Metal Moment of 2015: My most metal moment of 2015 would have to be watching Demoncy and Tsjuder live at Maryland Deathfest this year. The MDF lineups just keeps getting better and better. I’m not sure how Evan and Ryan do it, but they manage to top themselves each year. This year I was lucky enough to host one of my favorite Norwegian black metal bands, Tsjuder, before the festival. If you haven’t heard their 2004 album Desert Northern Hell, you need to. Their new album Antiliv is equally heavy hitting, and to watch them deliver some of the best black metal out there live on the big stage at Rams Head Live was an incredible experience. Honorable mention goes to “Anti (Auntie) Christian” for managing to pull off the mad scientist hair with corpsepaint. Adding to that evening was watching Demoncy’s amazing performance prior to Tsjuder’s set. I have been following Demoncy’s music since the days when I listened to nothing but underground black metal demos, and their sound retains that cult and satanic intensity that originally drew me in. Ixithra’s stage presence really left a lasting impression on me as well.

Matthew “Buke” Buchan is co-hosts the WeAreMetalheads.com podcast
Favorite album of 2015: Sleep at the Edge of the Earth by Wilderun
Most Metal Moment of 2015: After 2014 where I had an extremely hard time trying to come up with a year-end list 2015 was full of amazing music and events top to bottom. In May I attended my first Maryland Deathfest that I now regret missing years prior where over two days I was able to see bands like Primordial, Blood Red Throne, Serpentine Path and Amorphis. But my highlight of the year was being lucky enough to be able to cover the GwarBQ for the Metal Heads podcast with Brewer Will and my cohost George Washburn. We arrived in Richmond around 9:30am and had our first interview with the band Troglodyte. For those who aren’t familiar think bigfoot lore meets Cannibal Corpse. Sounds bad ass I know! After Troglodyte I spent the rest of the day chugging back beers and interviewing members from Municipal Waste, Mutoid Man and Goatwhore. When I thought the day couldn’t get any better I rounded a corner and ran into Phil Anselmo. Phil, through his work in Pantera, is who I credit getting me into metal. So the 15 minutes I spent talking football with Phil was the thrill of a life time. George, Will, and I capped off a fun GWARBQ with an interview with Beefcake the Mighty if Gwar. It was the weirdest interview we had ever conducted but we laughed the whole way through it and I’m still not sure we got a question answered.

James “Balor” Barile plays guitar in the band Khaotika
Favorite album of 2015: Exercises in Futility by Mgła
Most Metal Moment of 2015: To me the most metal moment of 2015 was witnessing the return of Black Metal Militia tour to the Baltimore Soundstage and finally with fucking Mayhem! Due to visa issues they couldn’t enter the US for the last tour with Watain. This time the tour had Rotting Christ tagging along too. Seeing these three tyrants together back to back was one of the most surreal experiences I could’ve hoped for.

Renee “Lusty Corpse” Tapia runs LCnK Promotions which puts on local metal radio shows and metal events
Favorite album of 2015: Methods of Disposal by Bound By The Grave
Most Metal Moment of 2015: 2015, the year of the goat, was a very metal year. Insane concert line ups, wild mosh pits and I met many great friends who became family to me. But my most memorable metal moment happened to be a metal gathering my partner Kaos and I threw in an attempt to bring our metal community even closer. We had this idea to do the first DMV metal community gathering and we pulled this off in just two weeks. We saved up every penny to buy food and beer. The outcome of the party amazed us, way more people came then we expected! And they brought in more food and alcohol! We had metal heads of all ages come through and the love was so strong. Every one had a great time, the music was great, we had a mosh pit with a bonfire close by on one side and a deep ditch on the other, luckily no one got seriously hurt in this killer pit of doom. This party was in a residential area so cops did show, but did not complain that we made noise past noise curfew or had pyrotechnic bottle rockets shooting off our homemade stage. Can’t wait to do it again in 2016

Metal Party!

Renee (front row, 2nd from right) at the DMV metal gathering

Will Cook is a brewer for Fairwinds Brewing and co-host of the Brutality At The Brewery metal nights we hold there.
Favorite album of 2015: Psychic Warfare by Clutch
Most Metal Moment of 2015: When Gwar and Battlecross, two bands that I love, played the 9:30 Club in November a new friend Shannon got me on the guest list and then backstage to hang out with Battlecross. I’d met them years ago but I was pleasantly surprised they remembered hanging out at my previous brewery. The next day the band came to my new brewery and hung out for several hours drinking beer, eating mac n’ cheese pizza (yes that is a real thing), playing disk golf and corn hole (Gumby and I won!) and generating calamity. I have to say that the dudes in Battlecross, and their staff are the most down to Earth and humble metal guys. It was a great time and very metal.

Lauri Lindqvist is better known as DC Heavy Metal album reviewer Tal around here although you can read more of his writing on his blog In My Winter Castle.
Favorite album of 2015: Under the Red Cloud by Amorphis
Most Metal Moment of 2015: There were a lot of cool moments this year. I finally saw Nightwish live after being a fan for 12 years. I finally got to mosh to Ensiferum‘s “Into Battle.” I got a photo with Jonas Ekdahl of Evergrey which made my girlfriend squeal. But the most metal moment of all was when I got to take my seven-year-old daughter to see Russian folk metal band Arkona at the Metro Gallery in Baltimore. Arkona is my daughter’s favorite band after Hevisaurus and Sekengard, and one of my all-time favorite bands. Arkona’s vocalist Masha Scream is one of my metal idols. I was a little sad that I couldn’t mosh for her since I had to stick by my kid, but it was more than worth it. Unfortunately Arkona went on so late that my kid was exhausted by the time they came on – but she was rocking out in the first row to Helsott right before them, so I know I have a little folk metal fan in the making. She stayed awake long enough to pump her fist for Arkona’s first few songs, and then spent the rest of their set asleep on my shoulder – in the fifth row!

Yaniv Kaufmann is DC Heavy Metal album reviewer that goes by Buzzo Jr despite his hair being rather short these days.
Favorite album of 2015: Psychic Warfare by Clutch
Most Metal Moment of 2015: My most metal moment of 2015, and probably one of my most memorable moments of the year overall was definitely seeing Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s first ever live performance at Maryland Deathfest. I’m a major grindcore freak so I had been waiting for this moment ever since it was first announced that they would be headlining the Baltimore Soundstage at Deathfest. I also met up with Chris Penrod, the Chicken Man, beforehand and we decided to each drop a tab of acid. Funnily enough, the set began with an audio sample of Hunter S. Thompson describing his affinity for the chemical compound. The show was one of the craziest events I had been to in a while. The pit was absolutely insane, stage divers were flying left and right, and the multi-colored strobe lights combined with ANb’s music all made for one hell of a trip. Also, someone in the crowd had somehow managed to bring in a 5 foot tall inflatable dick that people were throwing all over the venue much to everyone’s amusement. It eventually ended up finding its way onstage; hitting Richard “Grindfather” Johnson in the face, and it was pretty entertaining to see Rich hold it up above his head and shout “Shove it up your ass!” before throwing it back into the crowd. Between having one of the most terrifying/exhilarating acid trips I can recall, and seeing one of my favorite bands play their first live set, I can say that this was hands down one of the most metal moments of the year for me.

Metal Chris is the guy that runs this website!
Favorite album of 2015: Shadows by Valkyrie
Most Metal Moment of 2015: I’ve gotten to do some pretty awesome stuff because of this website but this year getting to interview Tom G. Warrior of Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and Triptykon was particularly stand out. Most of the interviews I do on DC Heavy Metal are recorded over the phone but since Triptykon was in town I got to interview Tom in person. I met him at the hotel he was staying at the day after Triptykon played MDF and his manager had reserved the office that is usually for business meetings. The manager left us alone and I conducted the interview in a small, windowless 8×8 room with just a table, Tom, myself and my recorder between us. You can’t ask for better conditions to conduct an interview under. Tom was very forthcoming and answered any of my questions, nothing was off limits, and the chance to talk to him about everything from heavy metal to his relationship with HR Giger to the protests in Baltimore around that time resulted in one of my best interviews yet and is something that I’ll never forget.

Most Metal Moments of 2014

Every year here on DCHM we put together a year end post but instead of making silly lists attempting to linearly “rank” art I like to ask a bunch of the people involved in the Washington DC, Baltimore and Northern Virginia area’s metal scene two questions: what was your most metal moment of 2014? and, what was your favorite album of the year? The answers are as varied and diverse as the people that make up our scene. This is one of my favorite posts every year and I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed putting it together. As we look forward to more incredible metal moments in 2015 take a few minutes to read about some of the best of 2014, and of course feel free to add your own in the comment section.

Kim Dylla runs the metal clothing business Kylla Custom Rock Wear but is probably best known now as Vulvatron, the new female member of GWAR.
Favorite album of 2014: Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry by Blut Aus Nord
Most metal moment of 2014: My most metal moment of 2014 would probably be breaking my rib on stage at the Baltimore Soundstage when GWAR played the last show of the GWAR Eternal Tour there on December 13th. It has been an insane honor for me to be a part of GWAR, a band that has meant a lot to me and are very close friends of mine, as well as this general area for many years. After a 52 date tour we got to close the adventure with this show in Baltimore and I was very excited because so many of my friends from the DC metal scene would be there. It was my first time performing in front of them in many years since the demise of my old band, and what a thrill to perform with GWAR! At the end of our set I battle Mr. Perfect and we defeat and dismember him. Some of his parts are soft and made of foam, others are structural stilts and made of hard fiberglass. I usually elbow drop and leg drop these parts for theatrical purposes, and let’s just say I aimed improperly with full force. I still had to sing one more song and somehow managed to power through it without much stage movement. When I finally went to the doctor and explained how I broke the rib I realized it was pretty fucking metal. Ironically he was a GWAR fan as well!

Kim Dylla performing as Vulvatron on Dec 13th in Baltimore

Aaron Deal is the bass player for one of Washington DC’s biggest metal bands, Darkest Hour.
Favorite album of 2014: Once More ‘Round the Sun by Mastodon
Most metal moment of 2014: I got lucky this year and got to play some of the biggest, best, and most metal venues in the DC area… Jiffy Lube Live, 9:30 Club, and Empire, in that order. I had never played Jiffy Lube Live before we did this summer on the Mayhem Fest tour, and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to play a venue with a name like that? But what made it especially metal for me personally was my bass. I got a couple of new basses from ESP during the tour, a sunburst one and a black one. I can’t really get into black guitars so I sent it off to a friend to have it repainted my favorite color, pink. When we got into town on August 3rd, the day of the Virginia show, I came home to pick up the bass from my house and played it that day and everyday since then. It has quickly become my favorite bass, but that show at Jiffy Lube Live was the first day I ever played it!

Chicken Man, aka Chris Penrod, is the guy you see at many of our area’s metal shows wearing a full body chicken suit while he crowd surfs and destroys the mosh pit.
Favorite album of 2014: Miserable by Bongripper
Most metal moment of 2014: My most metal moment of 2014 was seeing Eyehategod at the Pinch in DC on July 10th when Iron Reagan opened up for them. It was hot as ballsack with easily 200 people crammed in there. I knew it was metal as fuck when I went to crowd surf and as soon as I went up, I kicked the ceiling.

Sean Saley is the drummer for the legendary doom metal band Pentagram.
Favorite album of 2014: For Those Which Are Asleep by The Skull
Most metal moment of 2014: This is a tough one. One standout moment was how metal it got when all the punk kids came out. Pentagram played a show at American University in DC on to around 400 people on April 19th and, though it was a booze-free, all-ages show that was heavily promoted in the punk community, we could not have asked for a better reception and a crazier crowd. The front row was pushed halfway onto the (low sitting) stage, it was all beautifully intimate, and seldom have I ever seen heads bang harder. Truly a great show…
…But, honestly, I think my most metal moment for 2014 actually came very late in 2013. It was just so damned metal that the impression lasted well into ’14. My girl Annie and I headed to Baltimore in November to see Sweden’s In Solitude, who were opening for legendary black metal band Watain. After In Solitude’s set, Annie and I wandered over to the far end of the bar, an area that is separated from the backstage area by a heavy curtain. As we’re moving in to order drinks, a rank smell hits our noses like a brass knuckled fist. We looked at each other like, “What the fuck is that smell?” It, quite literally, smelled like everyone surrounding us simultaneously shit their pants. Just putrid. After a few minutes of wondering whether sewage was flowing from the bar taps, Watain took the stage and, mystery solved, as they brought two huge, ripe, well-past-their-expiration-date pig heads and splorched them down onto inverted crosses at either end of the stage- where they continued reeking up the whole place. After speaking with Sean “Pellet” Pelletier, US manager for In Solitude (and Pentagram), I learned that Watain had been carrying the two pig heads in their equipment trailer for two weeks and that show was the last night of the tour. He also told me that the smell helps them play better and enjoy the show more. Now that is fucking metal.

Blake Harrison is the knob twister and hype man for Pig Destroyer as well as the unofficial mayor of Baltimore.
Favorite album of 2014: Longhena by Gridlink
Most metal moment of 2014: My most metal moment this year was probably Gwar-B-Q and after the passing of Gwar vocalist Dave Brockie, we all knew this would be a special one. I picked up my beautiful traveling companion (whom I was courting) and we headed south, looking forward to the fun ahead. There happened to be an accident approximately every mile on 95 South, so weaving off and on between 95 and Route 1, we slowly picked our way towards Richmond. Finally, after 5 hours, we got to the Red Roof Inn that Pig Destroyer had stayed the previous year when we played, called some peeps and headed into Richmond proper to do some drinking and catching up. At Ipenema we ran into Rob and Frank from Metal Injection, Tony from Iron Regan/Municipal Waste/JRS (for all you old school heads), my buddy Mark and Jason from Suppression. After a couple more cocktails we piled in Mark’s car and headed to a house party where the main event was everyone drinking moonshine from a mason jar. After too much of this behavior, we called it a night and headed home to rest.
Arriving at Hadad’s Lake the next day, August 16th, I had one goal in mind: Meet Ice T. Nothing, I mean nothing, could deter me from that goal. I met up with friends, started hanging and drinking all the free beer we could, when a couple I had just met said “you want to meet Ice T? Come with me.” I had heard that Ice T was a Pig Destroyer fan, and after many failed attempts on security’s part to eject us, we photobomb-ed him and his crew and I said “Yo Ice, you ever heard of the band Pig Destroyer?” He looked up at me, and thought for a second and said “No, that’s a dope name though.” There was so much else going on that weekend, to list it all would be a boring read to most, but I got to see some killer bands, meet Tesco Vee and Dez Cadena, hung with Juan Garcia from Evil Dead, and other great friends, Travis, Jim, Tony, Jason, Rob, Ken, Jeanna, Ashley, Brett, Tannin, Dave (I still have the red mark where you slapped my chest… Fucker), Mark, Will, Rich, Alex, Andrew, and I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting, and last but not least Lindsey. What a great time, but fuck… Meeting Ice T? Now that’s metal.

Bobbie Dickerson is the promoter for Black Rose Metal Heart Promotions and co-founder of the Flight of the Valkyries metal festival.
Favorite album of 2014: Karma Sown by Iris Divine
Most metal moment of 2014: It feels like 2014 has been one incredible metal moment after the next. I dubbed the Iced Earth, Sabaton, ReVamp, and A Sound Of Thunder show at Empire on April 21st the “Holy Shit Everyone Is Here” show. The bar was packed with literally everyone from our local scene and I was constantly running into friends every time I turned around. Every band on the bill was incredible! Plus I got the opportunity to rock out watching Iced Earth from the green room upstairs overlooking the whole bar. May 30th brought one of the best attended shows I put on this year, the Face Melting Friday: Drink Your Face Off edition with Sekengard, Dogs & Day Drinkers, Testosteroso, Cab Ride Home and Ralph wasn’t just a show, it was a full on party! On October 14th I brought Betrayer F.T.M. (from Colombia) to Baltimore. Despite it being a Tuesday night (notoriously the worst night of the week for shows), the turnout was really good and the camaraderie among Betrayer F.T.M., Visceral Violation, Metanium and Gateway To Hell made the night all the more memorable! The guys from Betrayer were having such a great time, they signed the door to the Sidebar in silver sharpie before departing. Finally winning tickets to and meeting Devin Townsend at Ram’s in December was a huge metal fangirl moment for me and definitely a highlight for 2014. That man is just amazing! Too many great memories this year to pick just one!

Steve Jones is the brewer at Baltimore’s Oliver Brewery which makes, among other tasty beers, the officially licensed beers for the doom band The Sword including Winter’s Wolves and Sea Of Spears.
Favorite album of 2014: The Conjuring by Wo Fat
Most metal moment of 2014: 2014 was a great year… I got to see some great gigs including childhood heroes such as Judas Priest, Kiss and Raven. Hooked up with the amazing Wo Fat and brewed The Black Code and Noche del Chupacabra in their honor and of course continued our relationship with The Sword. If I had to choose one “event” it’d be the sold out show by The Sword at the Rock and Roll Hotel on February 21st which we jointly “sponsored” with our friends at DC Brau. The Sword were the band that got me back into metal when I caught them live at Ottobar in 2006. Nothing gives me as big of a thrill as having “Winter’s Wolves” pouring at a Sword show. I got to the venue early to set up and got to hang with the band and watch the soundcheck. The whole pre-show vibe was great, so many of my friends were meeting up before the gig. The show was an ass kicker… I was down in front sweating my ass off and seriously, nothing beats having a pint of Winter’s Wolves in hand when the first chord of that song rips your face off! Magic!

Steve Jones (right) with Kyle Shutt of The Sword

Richard Johnson, aka The Grindfather, is the main man of the Northern Virginia based grindcore band Drugs Of Faith and he also runs the ‘zine turned blog Disposable Underground.
Favorite album of 2014: Longhena by Gridlink
Most metal moment of 2014: I’ll go with the experience of folks appreciating a Godflesh cover my band did for a tribute compilation. This was before the new Godflesh full-length album (which has appeared on several best-of-2014 lists) hit the shelves, but the song we picked was off the last record Godflesh did before they broke up, Hymns. We only played it live twice, once in Baltimore, MD, and once in Richmond, VA. A person at each gig came up to me after we played and said, “Cool Godflesh cover.” It’s a cliché, but that made rehearsing the song and playing it live worth it. Although the boys in Godflesh distance themselves from being categorized as metal, I’ll call this my most “metal”
moment of 2014!

Matt Rice is the frontman of the local metal band Yesterday’s Saints.
Favorite album of 2014: The Satanist by Behemoth
Most metal moment of 2014: Mayhem Fest seems to be an annual staple for me and this year the band my friend Andrew Grevey plays bass in, Wretched, was on the tour. I was talking to Andrew on my way to Mayhem Fest’s Jiffy Lube Live stop on August 3rd and he asked me to help them set up the official after party that Wretched was responsible for throwing that night. I went into scramble mode to help them get a Karaoke DJ for the “White Trash Karaoke Party” and with literally minutes to spare I secured “Super Dave” from Manassas to come do it. The party went on as a great success and despite bearing witness to Lonestar of Darkest Hour singing “Mr. Roboto” cross-dressed up as a drunk and pregnant trailer hooker was quite a spectacle, the most metal moment came as the party was winding down. I was talking to George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, vocalist of Cannibal Corpse, about singing Karaoke. I had been given heads up that George likes singing Hank Williams III songs and I tried to get Super Dave to bring some for George to belt out. George told me that would have been great but he also would have enjoyed doing some John Denver too. Then George began to sing, with a clean baritone voice, a John Denver song to the few of us still there. He really has a nice, clear, powerful (yeah imagine that) voice. That was pretty amazing and my most metal moment of the year: Corpsegrinder singing a John Denver song.

Lauri Lindqvist is better known as DCHM album reviewer Tal around here although you can read more of his writing on his blog In My Winter Castle.
Favorite album of 2014: Hymns for the Broken by Evergrey
Most metal moment of 2014: This year, I came out as trans, started using a different name, and asked people to start calling me “he” instead of “she.” One of the first places where I transitioned socially was within the metal scene, because that was one of the places where I felt most at home and most comfortable in my masculinity, and also because as a trans guy with waist length hair, it’s pretty much the only place I can pass easily.
On October 7th I went to see Within Temptation at Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore. I was there with another trans person who was soon to become very important in my life. I had considered WT’s 2014 album, Hydra, a transition soundtrack of sorts because so many of the songs spoke to the fears and triumphs of someone taking the risk of really being their true self, and so headbanging to those songs in a live setting with a transgendered friend at my side was incredibly meaningful. But then, Sharon den Adel (WT’s vocalist) made the night, when in introducing “Stand My Ground,” she came out in support of LGBT rights. She talked about how things are changing in the world and then said that people should be whoever they want to be, “gay or straight or whatever you are, whatever religion…” It gives me chills even now thinking about it – it was such an empowering moment. It may well have been the first time a major international band took a stand on the stage in support of LGBT rights – it was certainly the first time I heard such a thing. Not only that but as vague as “whatever you are” is, it is also open-ended and inclusive. The variety of sexual orientations and gender identities only starts at gay, straight, and trans – there are infinite variations, and I like to think that Sharon’s words were intended to include and support all of us, whatever we may be, however we may identify.
Maybe best of all, the place broke out in wild cheers at her words. It was so amazing to know that the metal scene – here, and in international bands like WT – has got my back, and those of all my LGBT friends and family.
Hydra was tied with the album above as my pick for album of the year, and I could just as well have told the story that goes with Hymns for the Broken as my most metal moment. But I decided WT’s story was a bit better, and that the other album that spoke deeply to me and got me through some tough times should be honored as my favorite album of the year.

Metal Chris is, well, me! I’m the main writer, editor, calendar updater and dark beer drinker of this very website, DCHeavyMetal.com
Favorite album of 2014: The Living Ever Mourn by Nightfell
Most metal moment of 2014: I’m not one to get star struck too often but when the opportunity arose to interview original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward for DCHeavyMetal.com I’ll admit I was taken aback a bit. Not only did Black Sabbath birth heavy metal but they’re also my favorite band. On May 9th and 10th Bill Ward came to Annapolis, Maryland to exhibit an art project he was involved with, one that incorporated his drumming but in a visual medium. In addition to being a metal head I’m also a big fan of artwork so this was the perfect opportunity for me to land the interview to help promote the project to the area’s metal heads. I did a ton of prep work, carefully crafted tons of questions, recorded the interview and did a massive amount of editing to remove all the ums and stutters we both made. In the end it all paid off, the interview was my best to date and it was picked up by several major heavy metal news outlets like Blabbermouth and Loudwire. All of that was great and all but the best part was getting to meet Bill Ward at the art exhibit and somehow convince him to wear a DCHeavyMetal.com shirt, the one that parodies the Black Sabbath Vol. 4 album cover. Not only was this my most metal moment of 2014, but probably the most metal moment of my life! I’m not sure how I’m ever going to top that one!

That’s me (right) with Bill Ward of Black Sabbath

DC’s 99 best metal show posters of the past 5 years

September is the 5th anniversary of DCHeavyMetal.com and I wanted to make a post looking back at the past five years of metal in the area. I figure that since I run the upcoming metal concert calendar that I’ve probably got the best collection of metal concert poster and flyer art of anyone in the DC area, so I’ve waded through the thousands of images I’ve acquired over the years to put together the below gallery, what I’m calling DC’s 99 best metal show posters (and flyers) of the past 5 years. They’re not in any particular order, you can decide for yourself which are your favorites. All of the images are for specific dates that happened in the DC, Baltimore and Northern Virginia area, so nothing with a list of tour dates on it. I tried to credit the artists when I could find out who they were, but if you know any I missed let me know and I’ll update it. There have been a ton of great metal shows in our area in the past five years and I hope this gallery helps remind you of some of them. Click on any of the thumbnails below to open the slideshow viewer (you’ll have to manually switch to the next image). Keep it heavy everyone, and remember to support the scene you’re a part of!

Five Year Anniversary – The Secret Origin Of DCHM

With all the news around Ray Rice and his wife Janay this week, stemming from the release of security camera footage showing him beating her unconscious, I thought I kind of had to say something. I’m a football fan but even if you’re not you have probably heard about this and to say the least it is pretty sickening. DCHeavyMetal.com turned five years old today. Most people don’t know this but DCHeavyMetal.com was actually born out of domestic violence.

At the time I started this blog I was in a horrible relationship with a violent woman who I loved with all my heart. We lived together with her son, and I did my best to raise him as if he was my own. If you’ve ever seen me in person then you probably know I’m a pretty big guy, and it may seem unlikely that a woman was beating me. My size and strength didn’t matter though because I don’t hit people, ever. Not if I’m angry, not if they’re attacking me, not if they have done something to “deserve it” (whatever that means), not even to defend myself. I don’t believe in hitting people for any reason and even before I met this woman I had always thought that people who are violent are just not smart enough to solve their problems with their brains. And that’s how it happened to me, she knew this about me and used it against me. The abuse wasn’t just physical of course, she told me every day that I was worthless, that I was ugly, that I was lucky she even bothered with a loser like me because no other woman would, that I would never amount to anything, that my friends didn’t actually like me they just put up with me. She had told me she had been abused by her father growing up, and abused by her child’s father, and I thought, regardless of what she said to me, what she did to me, that I could tough it out. I told her that I would be the one that wouldn’t abandon her like the other men in her life had. I would show her that good men do exist, and we don’t hit women or children, and we don’t give up on the people we love, or our families. It ended up putting a burden on myself that trapped me in an awful relationship. If I were to walk away then I was giving up on her, I was breaking my promises and I was just like those other men that had failed her in her life. Unlike most abusers, she never did say she was sorry for it or that she loved me and it would never happen again. I don’t think she ever was sorry for anything she did to me and to this day she probably thinks I deserved it. I guess there’s a part of me that still believes that too, even though I know now that I shouldn’t feel that way.

She would get into these rages where she would just lose control, all logic was gone and she would cut me with her nails, grab the steering wheel while I was driving to try to make me cause an accident, throw things at me, destroy possessions I cared about like old family photos. I remember one time sitting on the floor with my back on a wall as she kicked me in the head repeatedly, I didn’t even bother to lift my arms to defend myself by this point. It didn’t matter, I just had to wait it out until she was tired of hitting me and resisting would just make it take longer. But I’ll never forget seeing her four year old son standing right next to her, about eye level with me, as she kicked me again and again. That hurt me more than any blow to my head, seeing the little boy I used to always sing to sleep in my arms when he was just a year and a half old look at me like that. I still didn’t leave her though, I guess I wasn’t strong enough. And as the abuse got worse and worse it became harder to conceal from others. Once she ripped out a clump of my hair, a big fist full of it, and it freaked me out really bad. I went to the bathroom to look at myself in the mirror and see which part of my head the hair came from and that’s when I realized I had cuts all over my face from her nails, and blood was running down my face, dripping off the tip of my nose. I’d often just go numb when she would hit me, so I hadn’t even realized my face had gashes crisscrossing it until I saw them. I’m not a perfect person by any means, but I knew I didn’t deserve this. For over a week while the cuts on my face healed I canceled all plans I had with anyone, I didn’t go out anywhere but to work, and even then I tried my best to make sure I was turned around on the phone or something so people couldn’t see my face when they needed to speak with me. If I had a job that required more interaction with people I probably would have just quit it.

At this point I told a friend about what was going on, one I only knew online and had never met in person. They don’t talk to me any more (again, I’m not perfect) but they did convince me to call a help line. There are very few resources for men when it comes to getting help from a violent partner. Just try using Google to find an abuse group for men in this area, as far as I know there isn’t one. All of the abuse help services are pretty much run by women for women. The questionnaires they have you fill out are worded like “when did he hit you last” and “did he ever insert an object into your vagina” and while I know they’re trying to help mostly women, as a man it made me feel like I shouldn’t even be there. Even when getting help I didn’t belong. I guess I hadn’t realized how rare it is for a man to both be a victim of domestic abuse and to ask for help dealing with it. I spoke to a couple different female counselors about what had been happening to me briefly but when they alerted child protective services (they were legally required to because I admitted that her child had witnessed her violence toward me) I felt awful. Here I was just trying to get myself help and I had betrayed her. I didn’t go back to the clinic, but I did speak to someone there who said they would tell the child services people that when they arrived they should pretend that I had no idea they were coming (they will do this to prevent people being beaten as retaliation). The night before the “surprise” visit to our home I couldn’t sleep. I was so worried about how this would work, and I’d never tried to pass off a lie like this before. I laid in bed all night but never actually slept because of my nerves. They showed up an hour late too, and I’ll tell you I was extremely stressed in that time, yet still pretending to be asleep. When they finally did show up I acted surprised, but the incompetence of the child services people showed immediately when the first thing they said was “sorry we’re late.” Somehow she didn’t hear this, or didn’t understand, and I just played dumb, but I realized these people were not exactly slick. They made it sound like a neighbor had complained and that’s why they were here, though the details they described, quoted from me before, made her suspicious from the start since they were too detailed. They didn’t take her child away, and in fact they said they would check back up with us in a week or two. Months passed and not a word, I guess they forgot about us. At some point I admitted to her that I was the reason they had come. That I had gone to a counselor for abuse and they had been required to inform child protection. I didn’t like having a secret from her like that and so I just told her. She was not happy but I assured her I wasn’t still seeing the counselor, and I wasn’t trying to have her son taken from her. Although I had seen this vegetarian “animal lover” beat our dog she never did anything to physically harm her son.

When I caught her cheating on me it wasn’t even a real shock, I guess I figured that I deserved that too. She was on several dating sites that her best friend, who was single, had told her to use and she would actually go on dates behind my back while I watched her kid for her, thinking she was going to a movie with her friend or something. Then she had some other boyfriend in England that she’d fly out to meet in other cities without telling me. Her mother died of cancer while I was with her and she told me she cheated on me to help cope with that. All the while I was going deeper and deeper in debt because she couldn’t hold a job long before being fired, the bills were all in my name anyways since she had horrid credit to begin with. It was during this dark time that I started DCHeavyMetal.com. I was in a painful, lonely place and I needed something creative that I could focus on, mostly so I wouldn’t have to think about how shitty my own life was. Even if nobody were to end up reading the site it was still an outlet for me, something positive I could work on. Much to my surprise people did start reading it. I cannot describe how much it meant to me to have people say positive things to me about it. Thanking me for running it, enjoying the things I wrote and the photos I shot. When every day you are told you are worthless and pathetic and that nobody likes you, you start to believe it. The people reading this site and encouraging me made a world of difference in my life, and made me remember that I do have worth.

One night she had another violent episode (all because I wanted to watch a Wizards game that night and she wanted to watch something on Netflix) and she cut my face up pretty badly again. By this time I had learned to just leave the house for a while and not come back until late at night when she was sleeping. Except this time she had a plan to prevent me from leaving like that, she called the cops. She told them that I had shoved her son down and choked her and that she cut me up to defend herself, and that I was trying to leave the scene of the crime. She had once tried to become an actress and I guess she fooled them well enough because I soon found myself handcuffed in the back of a police car as I was hauled off to jail not only for a crime that I didn’t commit, but a crime that I was actually the victim of. I never slept in that house again. Everyone that walks away from abuse has a point where they won’t take it any more and this was mine. I had been cheated on, driven into debt, beaten and humiliated, but I wasn’t going to prison for her. At this point all my friends found out what had been going on. My secret shame that I had fought so hard to hide was no longer a secret. I had to tell them, I needed their help with things like finding a lawyer and a place to sleep, getting my things out of the town house I had lived in with her (and let me tell you suddenly moving without packing anything ahead of time fucking sucks).

This was probably the lowest point of my life. Nobody wants to lose their family and live out of a suit case. I felt a lot of shame and guilt for things like abandoning her and her son. I felt like I had failed as a man because I couldn’t hold my family together. She was constantly playing mind games with me, sending me text messages telling me my friends were awful one day and then asking me out on a date the next. I couldn’t sleep unless I was completely wasted and so I started drinking a lot, every night. I ate horribly, when I remembered to, and I constantly worried about my impending trial. Not everything was doom and gloom though. The website was doing better and better despite all this and I met a new woman who was really good to me when I really needed someone. After my charges were eventually dropped I decided that I had lost too much from that awful relationship already and I would not allow myself to be depressed any more, I wanted my life back. I started going to a shit load of concerts (long time readers may remember my Metal Marathon around this time where I went to 11 shows in 9 consecutive days) not just because going to tons of metal shows makes me happy, but because I actually could. She continued to contact me for almost a year before she realized I wasn’t going to write her back. The last communication she ever had with me was a text message saying her son was crying for me. I knew then it was just manipulative but even now it still messes with my head a bit.

Things are a lot better for me now though, I’ve come a long way in the past five years (and so has DCHM). This site has let me meet more great people than I ever imagined (especially since I never imagined I’d meet anyone because of it when I started it). I used to hate going to concerts alone but now I don’t think I can go to a show without knowing some of the people there. I’ve learned about the area’s local metal bands, and become friends with many of them as well as other writers in the area, the folks working at venues, the DIY bookers, promoters and of course the other metal fans in the area that come out and support the local scene. There’s a great community of metal heads in this area and I’m thankful to be a part of it. I still struggle with the debt she left me in, unfortunately running a local metal site doesn’t earn me any money, but I’m so much better off now regardless. I mean c’mon, I got to interview Bill Ward of Black Sabbath this year, I can’t complain about that! And of course I’ve made something here that I can be proud of, and that many of you still tell me regularly that you enjoy. A lot has changed for me in the last five years, and I have DCHeavyMetal.com and you fans of the site to thank for a good part of that.

I’d like to say that if anyone reading this, and I really mean anyone whether I know you or not, is having issues at home with violence you can always reach out to me here at DCHM. I won’t judge you for your situation or for staying and I know as well as anyone what just having someone to talk to can do to make a positive difference. You can email me at DCHeavyMetal@Gmail.com or contact me through any other forms of social media. I’m not a shrink but I can listen, and I can put you in contact with professionals that can do a lot more than that too. We’ve got a great metal community in this area and just like when someone gets knocked down in a mosh pit, we’ve got to help pull each other up.

This has been a heavy post, probably not what anyone was expecting for a five year anniversary post here. The timing of the release of the Ray Rice video brought back a lot of painful memories for me, and perhaps this is how I’m dealing with that. I promise the next few posts will be more fun and exciting. We’ve got another album review ready to post in the next few days, and I’ve been working very hard on a special post showing the 99 best metal concert posters and flyers of the past 5 years from the area. Things have been a bit slow on the site lately too, particularly the calendar, but I’m working to get things back into high gear here in the fall. There’s no big DCHM show at the Fillmore this year but I do have a few special things planned for this month and beyond, including a new t-shirt design. Thanks to new and old fans alike for keeping the area’s metal scene alive, this site wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you all!

Most Metal Moments of 2013

2013 has had a lot of great moments this year so again I thought I’d ask a small sample of the various people, personalities and characters from around our area’s metal scene about theirs. I asked everyone two questions, what is your favorite album of the year? and what was your most “metal” moment of 2013? Feel free to leave a comment with your own answers to these questions, you readers of this site are part of the scene too!

Grant Dickie is better known around these parts at Grimy Grant and you’ve hopefully read some of his album reviews on this very site. You can check out his posts here. Also be sure to add him on Twitter at @jgrantd if you haven’t already.
Favorite album of 2013: Soma by Windhand
Most metal moment of 2013: When I started to really get into metal a few years ago, it was because I listened to Ilsa. One day I noticed a curiously named band called Bolt Thrower on Ilsa’s MySpace page in their “influenced by” section. Learning more about Bolt Thrower I found out that they’re a band based off of the table-top game Warhammer 40k. This piqued my nerdness and enticed me to get more into the band. Years later, they’re one of my main go-to bands and when I found out they were playing at Maryland Deathfest on May 23rd I nearly tore my shirt off and yelled out in my cubicle chair. Karl Willets and his merry band played onstage for only about 50 minutes due to some logistical problems with the Maryland Deathfest, according to their official band page. Still, when the fog erupted onstage and those four recognizable and epic figures emerged, when I somehow managed to squeeze near the front row, when I saw Willet’s sweat, it was just as good as any amount of time that they could have played. During the first chords of “World Eater” I completely flipped out, went raging in the pit, and then did a first-ever crowd surf – things a respectable adult would never do. Then again, Bolt Thrower brings out the most valiant and rocking in all of us.

Milla Lindqvist is the other album reviewer on DCHeavyMetal.com though she’s known as Tal on the site (see her posts here). She also runs a blog called In My Winter Castle where she reviews concerts she attends and other things.
Favorite album of 2013: Pelagial by The Ocean
Most metal moment of 2013: I really love the Russian folk/pagan metal band Arkona, and I’m kind of crazy about their vocalist, Masha Scream, with her long blond hair and just slightly Asiatic features, her outfits of furs over a traditional Russian tunic, her beautiful clean vocals and most of all her vicious growls. So it was pretty amazing getting to see Arkona play a headline set at Cafe 611 in Frederick, Maryland on October 28 – not just because I got to see Masha up close and to headbang and push people around to over an hour of Arkona’s music, but also because some other fans mistook me for Masha – not once, but twice. I could hardly believe it when a guy came up to me between two of the openers and asked, “Are you Masha?” It was probably the best compliment I’ve ever gotten – certainly the most metal one!

Simon Callahan books DIY metal shows in Washington DC and manages to get some great underground bands from around the country to play with top local metal talent through his Metal Squad Party Force. He also plays guitar and sings in the local band Midnight Eye.
Favorite album of 2013: Sky Burial by Inter Arma
Most metal moment of 2013: This year had a bunch of memorable metal moments, but some of the most memorable were probably: Midnight Eye’s release show on August 8th at The Pinch where we managed to fry both of our guitar amps the first night of the tour. And booking Absu there November 14th was one of the biggest, craziest shows I’ve ever booked in DC. And of course, the DC Heavy Metal 4th Anniversary show at the Fillmore Silver Spring on September 26th was fantastic. Years ago the first DC shows I played or booked involved Earthling at the now-defunct Corpse Fortress, just a few blocks away from the Fillmore. So getting to drink DC Brau while backstage with Earthling at DC’s biggest venue was a nice highlight and poetic touch to my time here.

Downfall Of Gaia performing at The Lab
Photo of Downfall Of Gaia performing at The Lab by Metal Chris.

Justin Woodward, aka Hollow Lung, plays guitar and does vocals for the local metal band Permafrost and also books DIY shows through his Hybrid Hearing Productions.
Favorite Album Of 2013: Valonielu by Oranssi Pazuzu
Most Metal Moment Of 2013: Four years ago Permafrost played a show with a band called Empier from New York. They became our first out of state friends. Soon after they became Black Table. Our styles were now more similar and we had a strong connection. This year I started booking shows at The Lab in Alexandria and I was presented with an amazing opportunity. Riff Lifter Booking and Black Table contacted me to book the German black metal band Downfall Of Gaia with Black Table for a Virginia date on their US tour. Stepping back and seeing a full room of all new faces while watching a band from half way across the world that I also love was my most metal moment. Being able to orchestrate shows with amazing bands is very surreal. Booking has been such an awesome experience and has made my life more fulfilling. Thank you everyone. Stay Metal.

Mary Spiro runs the blog Metallomusikum, is a Baltimore metal music contributor at Examiner.com and she runs the Black Metal Baltimore Facebook group. In addition to all that, she’s a staple at metal shows in Baltimore.
Favorite album of 2013: Valonielu by Oranssi Pazuzu
Most metal moment of 2013: One of my most metal moments of 2013 began on Halloween night when I sludged it up in my viking costume with Black Tusk and Inter Arma at The Sidebar Tavern in Baltimore. The next night I was thrashing with Death Angel and 3 Inches Of Blood at Mojo 13 in Wilmington, Delaware. That Saturday, I enjoyed some post-this and some post-that at Washington’s DC9 with Pelican and Coliseum. I concluded my show marathon on Sunday, where I celebrated a black and death metal “ritual” with Watain, In Solitude and Tribulation at Baltimore Soundstage. A stretch of shows like that, each one different from the last, represents the diversity of my musical interests. It also proves that I don’t have to travel more than 100 miles from home to find that diversity. I love living here!

James Healy is the vocalist and guitar player in local black metal band Thrain and now, after working for a local music shop for years, he has started Old Town Lutherie doing guitar repair and tweaks for many of the area’s metal musicians. If you want a real pro who is a metal head to make your guitar sound great, he’s the best guy to talk to in this area.
Favorite album of 2013: Vermis by Ulcerate
Most metal moment of 2013: This is a pretty tough one! 2013 as a whole has definitely been the best year in metal for me personally. It’s hard to choose just one “metal moment” as there were so many awesome moments to choose from! Well I’d have to say first that watching the D.C. scene grow bigger than I’ve ever seen it is a mighty contender that overshadows any one event. But, in the spirit of this write up the most metal moment I experienced was having the opportunity to share the stage with one my all time favorite bands, Battlemaster, on December 7th at The Lab. I’ve been a huge fan of those guys for what seems like a lifetime and D.C. always shows them a warm welcome! Here’s to an even better 2014!!

Adam Jarvis is a great drummer and he’s a busy one too. He’s currently a member of Misery Index, Pig Destroyer, Fulgora and Asthma Castle and he’s also worked with many other bands.
Favorite album of 2013: …Like Clockwork by Queens Of The Stone Age
Most metal moment of 2013: I’d have to say this year’s Maryland Deathfest was the most metal thing that happened this year. Not the obvious awesomeness of bands and friends united in the slums of Baltimore for a great weekend of boozin and blast beats. But this moment has to do with some events that happened that weekend. Down headlined on Saturday night and my other sludgy southern fried band Asthma Castle opened the fest that day. We ended up acquiring a massive bottle of Jameson. I filled up my flask and kept it in my care package for Phil Anselmo which also had some records from my other bands Fulgora, Misery Index, and Pig Destroyer. I handed the bag off to Jimmy Bower when I was super wasted and it still had the flask in the bag. This wasn’t just any plain Jane flask: it was a flask that my high school girlfriend gave me!! It had my name engraved on the front of it and “I Love You” engraved on the back!!!! So I brought it up when I ran into Phil at Hellfest in France, that I accidentally gave him my flask, and he just looked at me weird and then we just kept on drinkin!! That flask is now gone hopefully sitting in Phil’s room with my name on it and I love you!!!

Adam Jarvis of Pig Destroyer performing at Gwar-B-Q
Photo of Adam Jarvis of Pig Destroyer performing at Gwar-B-Q by Josh Sisk. Click it for the larger version.

Josh Sisk is a photographer who shoots all kinds of bands around the Baltimore and DC area, including tons of metal bands. You can see some of his work here. He’s also the heavy metal columnist for the Baltimore City Paper.
Favorite album of 2013: Return To Annihilation by Locrian
Most metal moment of 2013: Early in Pig Destroyer‘s set at the Gwar-B-Q in Richmond on August 17th, there was a palpable moment where the crowd and the band suddenly locked into sync together before turning it up SEVERAL notches. Everyone started screaming, mobbing the stage, knocking into the band, each other. Band members fell down, everyone fell down. Suddenly people started hauling themselves up into the rafters of the gazebo-like outdoor structure they were playing in, hanging upside down, stomping their feet along with Adam Jarvis’ breakneck drumbeats, making the “building” shake and causing a fine mist of white particles – I assume birdshit? – to rain down on the band and everyone. The security tried in vain to get the kids to come down, but pretty much failed, overwhelmed. The band, feeding off the crowd, ripped through the rest of their set in rare form. A highlight of a great day, and something that made a big fest feel, just for a second, like a grimey, intimate warehouse show.

Chris Penrod is better known as the Chicken Man and if you go to many metal concerts in the area you’re sure to spot him sooner or later tearing it up in the mosh put in his bright yellow chicken suit. The more brutal the band playing, the more likely you’ll find him there.
Favorite album of 2013: Passages Into Deformity by Defeated Sanity
Most metal moment of 2013: I’d have to say the my most metal moment of 2013 is a draw between Pig Destroyer‘s set at Gwar-B-Q. When everyone was hanging off of the ceiling rafters in that little gazebo. I thought that thing was gonna fucking collapse. Or at Dying Fetus at Empire on November 2nd. I wound up taking a hard fist to my nose and I’d have to say, that was the most blood that has ever poured out of my face at once. This year was very metal.

Richard Johnson aka The Grindfather, is the main man of the Northern Virginia based grindcore band Drugs Of Faith and he also runs the ‘zine turned blog Disposable Underground.
Favorite album of 2013: Surgical Steel by Carcass
Most metal moment of 2013: Dave Witte asking me to play a song with his band Brain Tentacles (along with his musical partner Bruce Lamont) for the D.C. date of their tour on November 4th. A string of musicians played with the band, each sitting in on a different date of the tour, but I was just honored to be asked. Having borrowed Taryn from Drugs Of Faith‘s bass, I got down to the Black Cat in DC, and using his saxophone, Bruce showed me the riff I was to play. What I didn’t know was that Agata from Melt-Banana (Brain Tentacles was opening for them) was going to improvise on guitar as well for the song. So not only was I performing on stage with Dave and Bruce, two awesome musicians themselves, but with the guitarist from Melt-Banana as well, for me it was a show to remember!

Mark Osegueda of Death Angel performing at Empire
Photo of Mark Osegueda of Death Angel performing at Empire by Metal Chris.

Kim Dylla runs Kylla Custom Rock Wear where she creates custom clothing that you have probably seen worn on stage by members of bands such as Slipknot, Machine Head, Watain, Death Angel, Children Of Bodom, Kreator and more! She can even make you custom clothing to wear on stage or to just bring out your inner rock star.
Favorite Album Of 2013: IV: An Arrow In Heart by Aosoth
Most Metal Moment Of 2013: I’ve been making custom stage clothes for bands with my company Kylla Custom Rock Wear full time for about two years now and I’d have to say the most metal moment of 2013 for me would be seeing two of my favorite bands, Kreator and Death Angel, wear my pieces on live on stage in the same night, October 30th. Somehow the Kreator/Overkill tour date at the Baltimore Soundstage and the Death Angel concert at Empire in Springfield were booked on the same night, and my assistant and I were determined to go to both. Kreator purchased a whole stage wardrobe from us and when it arrived, Kreator guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö told me that for the first time they felt like a “real band,” which was quite a compliment coming from the thrash legends I had been listening to for my entire adult life. My assistant Laurie and I met with them about some new wardrobe pieces and went on a very Baltimore adventure with Kreator’s Mille Petrozza to a vegan restaurant. Our cab driver was right out of Grand Theft Auto. We had to leave the show early in the set and speed down to Springfield to catch Death Angel’s set. Unfortunately we walked in after the first few songs had been played. Death Angel vocalist Mark Osegueda got on the microphone as I walked in to tell me how much he loved the vest I made that he wears on stage. Being a die hard old school thrash fan (in addition to my true love of black metal), nights like this really blow my mind, and I feel so privileged that through the clothing company I get to actually be a contributing part of the music that I love and give back to metal.

Mario Trubiano is the drummer for the local stoner metal band Borracho. If you like fat riffs then check these guys out!
Favorite album of 2013: Earth Rocker by Clutch
Most metal moment of 2013: Earlier this year, we (my band Borracho) met and became friends with Port City brewer Will Cook and before long we were talking about collaborating on a beer. From that first conversation, through several pilot batches, and after many beers together at tastings at the brewery, we finalized and approved the recipe for Borracho Smokin’ Brown Ale. The beer debuted in super-limited quantities at a party we threw at The Pinch in Columbia Heights on May 18th. We organized a killer show with our buds Wasted Theory from Delaware, Weed is Weed from Maryland, and Cortez from Boston to mark the occasion. The beer sold out, the bands threw down, and it was a drunken good time for all involved. Metal through and through.

Will Cook is assistant brewer at the Alexandria based craft brewery Port City Brewing Company and is the man behind the occasional Metal Night events held there. Follow him on Twitter at @PCBCBrewMetal.
Favorite album of 2013: Earth Rocker by Clutch
Most metal moment of 2013: Apparently my submission for 2013 Most Metal Moment was the same as Mario Trubiano’s from Borracho. We even picked the same favorite album of 2013. Our virtual mind meld is now my favorite metal Moment of 2013! And oh, fucking Slayer and Gojira played at the Fillmore Silver Spring on November 19th, my birthday! It was awesome: “Chop” gave me a ride, folks bought me DC Brau beers, my old ass survived the pit, and a good friend crossed the brutal circle pit to deliver me a much needed glass of water – without spilling a drop. Bad ass! Most unmetal moment of 2013: Constantly missing great shows because I have to wake up at 4am to brew beer.

Jo Gonzales runs Black Mess Records in Baltimore, a record store specializing in extremely underground heavy metal from around the world. They’ve also got patches and other merch that you just can’t find anywhere else in the area.
Favorite album of 2013: Satanae Tenebris Infinita by Imprecation
Most Metal Moment Of 2013: The most metal moment in 2013 was December 13th when I choked on the fumes of burning flesh at the Satan’s Unholy Abomination Fest II in Hyattsville, Maryland. The perpetrator was the vocalist for a great new sickening black metal band Ritual Decay. He was burning his beard and his hand badly, it was pretty fucking disgusting. I felt like someone had burned hot peppers in a pan, the way it was macing the whole crowd was really unbearable. Their music was solid and original as well!!! I’ve seen a lot of crazy shit at shows but that was a first for me choking on burnt flesh and burnt beard smoke… I felt bad for the venue!!!

Nina Osegueda performing with A Sound Of Thunder at Metal Quest II
Photo of Nina Osegueda performing with A Sound Of Thunder at Metal Quest II by Sako Tumi. Click it for the larger version.

Nina Osegueda is the lead singer for the local band A Sound Of Thunder and she also sets up some metal shows from time to time. Some would call her the Queen Of Hell.
Favorite Album Of 2013: Valkyrja by Týr
Most Metal Moment Of 2013: My dream has always been to put on a show with as many “nerd” themed bands as I could find. I was able to pull it off in 2012, so I wanted to do it again in 2013 during Otakon. Growing up, I used to be an otaku [Editor’s note: fan of Japanese culture, particularly their comics and cartoons]. I cosplayed and would go to conventions well into my twenties, but having joined a band after college I no longer had the time. I decided that this would be the year I fixed that. I scheduled the show for August 10th at the Sidebar (which I later realized was within walking distance of the convention center), and planned a Nathan Explosion of Deathklock costume. The bands were: Burning Shadows, Aries, Cassandra Syndrome, A Sound Of Thunder and Dethlehem. It went off without a hitch. The bands came, but more importantly, the people came. More people than we could really fit into the place, to be honest! The Sidebar is such a tiny spot, but it has such great character. People came from the convention (I had passed out flyers with the help of some friends), and people even came in costume. Imagine a bar full of costumed nerds rocking out to metal songs about dragons. This was my dream, and I was able to make it happen! It doesn’t get much more metal than that.

Metal Chris is me! I’m the guy who runs this whole DCHM thing!
Favorite album of 2013: Soma by Windhand
Most Metal Moment Of 2013: So many great metal moments for me this year, Phil Anselmo taking over my Twitter account to directly answer fan questions, Pig Destroyer‘s beer release show, the return of Black Sabbath with Ozzy, Maryland Deathfest and Gwar-B-Q were all super fun and of course getting to interview Kerry King of Slayer was something I’ll never forget. My favorite moment of all had to be the DCHM 4th Anniversary show on September 26th at the Fillmore Silver Spring with Vektor, Earthing, Borracho, Midnight Eye and Asthma Castle. Seeing so many of you fans of the site come out and support the bands and this site was just incredible! This wasn’t just a show with the DCHM name slapped on it either. It was a lot of work to put together but it was a success and the venue was so pleased that they want to do another DCHM show in 2014 and I can’t wait to do it all again!