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 (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
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.