Good Mourning/Black Friday

With Black Friday almost upon us I thought I’d put a little post up about a few deals some of you local metal heads might find interesting. I’m not a big fan of corporate consumerism and waiting in line at box stores, more power to you if that’s your thing but it’s not for me. This post will try to focus more on local and mail order stuff from places not quite as famous as those mega chain stores but who probably deserve your money even more. This is by no means a comprehensive list so feel free to add more in the comments section.

Record Store Day Black Friday

First up is Record Store Day which decided to have a second date this year that they’re calling Back To Black Friday (the regular RCD was back in April). That means most of the area’s local record stores (and stores around the country) will have exclusive items for sale this Friday, including a sick looking poster by John Baizley of Baroness (see it here). The Vienna Music Exchange and Shockwave Records will both be participating, though Black Mess will be closed all weekend. There will be exclusive releases by Metallica, Life Of Agony, Puscifer, Rush and more, the full list is located here.

Made In DC Holiday Marketplace

If you want to do some holiday shopping/browsing while you’re drinking some excellent beer then I highly recommend you swing by the DC Brau brewery this Saturday from noon to 4pm for the Made In DC Holiday Marketplace. The market will feature booths from artisans and businesses that are all from Washington DC. Even better, you’ll be able to sample various DC Brau beers for free while you’re there! The address of the brewery is 3178 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, DC 20018 (map). You can find more info on the Facebook event page here.

Don’t think I’ve forgotten about those of you who don’t even want to leave the house on Black Friday, I’ve got some great deals for you and even a few give aways you can enter in to win. I’m not above whoring my own site out so be sure to check out our free Megadeth/Fear Factory ticket give away here and enter to win to see these bands play on 12/4 at the Fillmore Silver Spring. The winner will be chosen at 5pm on Black Friday so be sure to enter before then.

Kylla Custom Rock Wear

Another contest that you can enter in absolutely for free is from Kylla Custom Rock Wear. This Virginia based company makes custom clothing for bands (and fans!) at reasonable prices and you’ve probably seen bands wearing their gear at concerts including Kreator, Children Of Bodom, Watain, Death Angel and they even made a camera bag for me (it rules). They just opened their Etsy shop (here) and you can check out some of their ready to wear stuff right now. On Saturday they’re picking a winner to get a free custom made for you hoodie or miniskirt and you can find out how to enter to win by going here.

Relapse Records Black Friday Sale

If you’re looking for music and band merch you’ll find a great selection at the Relapse Records online store which will have 20% off everything in their store (except pre-order items and grab bags) from midnight Thursday night/Friday morning to midnight Monday night/Tuesday morning. And don’t think they just have stuff from bands signed to their label, they have stuff from all kinds of metal bands from around the world.

Indie Merch Store Black Friday

Another online site with a great selection will be Indie Merch Store and starting Thursday night/Friday morning at midnight they’ll also be having a Black Friday sale with 20% off everything for the first 24 hours (that’s all day Black Friday) dropping to 15% off everything Saturday and 10% off everything Sunday. They have music and merch from all kinds of metal bands of various genres. You’ll have to use the discount code BLKFRDY13 at checkout to get the discount though.

Additionally, Metal Blade Records, whose online store is run by Indie Merch, will have several vinyl releases marked up to 40% off. This includes some great releases by bands like Slayer, Electric Wizard, Amon Amarth and Bolt Thrower. Check out the discounted items here and see if you can get the above Indie Merch Store code to work too, you might get a double sale on these items!

A389 Black Friday Sale

Baltimore based record label and distro A389 Recordings will be giving you 25% off your total purchase (before shipping) all day Black Friday when you use the code MITCHROEMER at check out. On Saturday and Sunday you can use the code TASTETHEBEAST to get 15% off your total (also before shipping). Browse their online store here.

Cvlt Nation Black Friday Sale

Underground metal webzine Cvlt Nation is giving you 50% off everything in their store on Friday, 40% on Saturday and 30% off on Sunday when you use the code BLACKFRIDAY. Check out their online store here.

Prosthetic Records Black Friday Sale

Record label Prosthetic Records is having a sale from Black Friday through Cyber Monday where everything in their online store is 25% off! Just use the code PRST66613 to get the discount at their store, which you can visit here.

Horror Pain Gore Death Black Friday Sale

Brutal record label and distro Horror Pain Gore Death Productions is including a free black metal CD with any purchase on Black Friday of $25 or more. You can check out their online store here.

The Omega Order Black Friday Sale

The Omega Order will give you 25% off all vinyl (except new arrivals) all day on Black Friday when you use the promo code FIRE. Check out their online metal music catalog here.

Misanthropy Clothing Black Friday Sale

Misanthropy Clothing is giving all orders 20% off when you use the code BLACKFRIDAY at check out. Check out their dark line of clothes online here, I particularly like the Mona Lisa in corpse paint one.

Season Of Mist Cyber Monday Sale

French record label Season Of Mist isn’t doing a Black Friday sale but this coming Monday, aka Cyber Monday, they’ll be marking all regularly priced items 15% off (this even counts for pre-orders). Check out their online store here.

Sargent House Black Friday Sale

Sargent House Productions has a sale from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. You’ll get 15% off all CDs and vinyl and 10% off all other items during this time. They have merch from bands like Boris, Deafheaven, Russian Circles, Red Fang and more. Check out their online store here.

Fates Warning at Empire

And don’t forget that prog metal pioneers Fates Warning are playing at Empire on Black Friday, along with the excellent local prog band Iris Divine. This show should be a lot of fun so get the details here and come out!

Cavern at the Pinch

If you’ve spent all your money there’s a free metal show at The Pinch in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington DC this Saturday night. There’s some great bands playing including some proggy shred from Cavern, chilling black metal from Myopic, epic sludge from At The Graves and only the finest in true American pork metal from SwampHög. The venue has some great beer on tap and a full menu too. And yeah the show is free but if you enjoy the bands be sure to donate a few bucks or buy some merch, trust me, they’re worth it. Get all the details on this show at the Facebook event page here.

Philip Anselmo to answer fans’ questions

Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Philip Anselmo, the famed vocalist for bands like Pantera, Down, Superjoint Ritual and others, is coming to the Fillmore Silver Spring on Sunday, August 18th with his new band, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals. And because “Music Media Is My Whore,” the first track off their debut full length Walk Through Exits Only, isn’t just a song title, Philip will be taking over the DCHeavyMetal.com Twitter account to answer fan questions! When Philip has finished dominating our Twitter account he’ll pick whichever question he thinks was the best and the person who asked it will win a pair of tickets to see his band play their original songs as well as some classics from his previous bands at the Fillmore Silver Spring!

So if you haven’t already, get a free Twitter account (here) and on Tuesday, August 13th at 5:30pm EST you can send questions to @MetalChris on Twitter with the hash tag #PhilipAtFillmoreSS. Philip will read your questions and answer them from the @MetalChris account. This won’t be on Facebook or any other social media site, this is an exclusive to the DCHeavyMetal.com Twitter account. If you just want to follow along, with or without a Twitter account, you can do that by going here, but you’ll need an account to be able to ask questions. I’m pretty excited for this exclusive opportunity to let my Twitter account become a mouth for war for Philip Anselmo so start brainstorming some questions for your chance to win those tickets!

Looking For Album Reviewers

I’m way behind on several things on the DCHeavyMetal.com these days yet May 2013 had by far the most hits on DCHM of any month in the site’s history! That said, I’d like to get some more album reviews going and since I’m having trouble finding someone to write for me consistently I’m going to ask you all for some test submissions. I’m currently looking for 3 writers right now, so hopefully at least ONE of you will stick this time. I’d like someone who specializes in Death/Black/Grind/Thrash and someone who specializes in Prog/Power/Djent/Melodic and someone who specializes in Doom/Stoner/Sludge. There will probably be chances to write for other subgenres outside of your specialization too, but I’d like experts in each of those areas. If I like your stuff then I might ask you to do some writing on DCHM, particularly album reviews but who knows, things could evolve from there. This isn’t paid, though you’ll at least get some free metal albums out of it and you’ll get your writing in front of some eyeballs too. I’m not making money doing this, I just love fucking metal and I’m looking for other aspiring local metal writers who do as well. You’ve gotta be local, I don’t want people outside the area that this site covers to be writing on DCHM. In fact, most of the album reviews will be of local metal bands, from bigger acts like Darkest Hour and Pentagram to smaller locals. If this starts rolling we’ll start reviewing albums by national acts too. If you’re a local promoter or in a local band then you’re going to have conflict of interest issues and you’re not going to be eligible to write for DCHM. I’m not a super hardcore editor, you don’t have to like the same albums/bands I do. So if you’re interested email me at DCHeavyMetal@Gmail.com with some writing samples and tell me what area you’d specialize in as well as you favorite (inter)national and local bands of those genres. Got questions? Post em here and I’ll answer. If you’ve got a friend who might be interested, feel free to send them the link to this post.

Record Store Day 2013

Record Store Day 2013

Saturday, April 20th of 2013 is Record Store Day and that means that independent record stores around the country will be having all kinds of sales, extended hours, exclusive releases and in some cases special events at their locations as well. Not just vinyl will be on sale of course, there’s plenty of CDs and tapes too. There’s a good write up of what several of the DC area’s record stores are doing for Record Store Day in the City Paper and you can read that here. However in this post I wanted to focus on what the area’s three most “metal” record stores, Vienna Music Exchange, Shockwave Records and Black Mess, will be doing. In addition, the Sound Garden in Baltimore will have Clutch make an in store appearance where they’ll play some acoustic songs as well as sign autographs. I contacted each of these record stores and some gave me more info than others. Below is what info I’ve gathered on what each store is doing for RSD along with their addresses and links to their websites.

Vienna Music Exchange (websiteFacebook)
131 Church St NW, Vienna, VA 22124 (map)

For Record Store Day the Vienna Music Exchange will have extended hours, 11am to 7pm. This store is tiny but they’ve got a killer stock of metal, punk and other underground music. You can see a full list on their website here.

Shockwave Records (websiteFacebook)
7914 Harford Rd, Parkville, Maryland 21234 (map)

Shockwave is working hard to get the jump on other stores on Record Store Day by opening at mightnight Friday night/Saturday morning. They’ll be selling exclusive RSD merch from midnight until 2am Saturday morning and then closing only to reopen at 10am Saturday morning. You can see their list of RSD merch here

Black Mess Record Store Day

Black Mess (Facebook)
3853 Falls Rd, Baltimore, MD 21211 (map)

Black Mess specializes in extremely rare and underground metal and for Record Store Day they’ve really gone all out to bring their customers some rare and exclusive releases, some that no other store in the US will be selling for RSD. The store will be open from 12pm to 7pm Saturday, however from noon to 4pm all purchases over $100 will be 25% off and purchases of $50 or more will be 10% off. They’ll also be doing a raffle for a special exclusive gift. At about 8pm Black Mess will be vending their wares at the Sorcery show at Sergio’s Place in Silver Spring, Maryland. Details on that show are here. Black Mess has contacted many labels directly and managed to get some really amazing, limited edition test press releases. Many if not all of these items are not regularly available to the public and are limited to quantities of 10 to 20, of which Black Mess will probably only have 1 or 2 copies. These will not be available from Black Mess online, you have to buy them in person. The list of the rare and exclusive RSD merch at Black Mess follows below, I added links to the bands on the Metal Archives site so you can find more info on them if you’d like.

The following titles are hand numbered, colored vinyl and feature a silk screened one of a kind record sleeve:

Mystifier – 7 LP Box Set includes 7 LP’s, a shirt, A2 poster, sticker, booklet and individual jackets for each LP, comes in a box.
Anatomia – Dismal Slow Death Metal DBL LP
Pseudogod – Illusion of Salvation LP
Pseudogod – Triumphus Serpentis Magni LP
Rotting Christ – Triple 7″ Box Set
Demoncy – Joined in Darkness DBL LP
Root – The Revelation LP
Abigail – Black Metal Yakuza DBL LP
Faustcoven – Hellfire and Funeral Bells LP
Blasphemophagher – The 3rd Command of Absolute Chaos DBL LP
Knelt Rote – Tresspass LP

The following titles are hand numbered, on black vinyl:

Father Befouled/Demonic Rage – 7 inch
Corpsessed – Self Titled 7 inch
Uncanny – The Path of Flesh 7 inch
Profana/Obscure Infinity – 7 inch
Unconsecrated – Slave to the Grave 7 inch

Wodensthrone – Curse DBL LP
Desolate Shrine – The Sanctum of Human Darkness DBL LP
Mitochondrion – Archaeon DBL LP
Eternal Solstice – The Wish is Father to the Thought LP
Maveth – Coils of the Black Earth DBL LP
Horrendous – The Chills Up LP
Grave Ritual – Euphoric Hymns From the Altar of Death LP
Imprecation – Satanae Tenebris Infinita LP
Anguish – Through the Archdemon’s Head DBL LP
Adversarial – Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation
Father Befouled – Revulsion of Seraphic Grace LP
Lantern – Below LP

Clutch Record Store Day Exclusive Lithograph

The Sound Garden (websiteFacebook)
1616 Thames St, Baltimore, MD 21231 (map)

The Sound Garden doesn’t really specialize in heavy metal but they are one of Baltimore’s largest record stores. The reason I’m listing them here is because they’ll have Clutch in the store for Record Store Day. At 3pm Clutch will be performing 2 songs acoustically in the store and they’ll be hanging around until 5pm signing autographs. To my understanding you’re supposed to buy the new Clutch album Earth Rocker to be eligible for the autograph line, but they may let you buy other Clutch items as well instead. That killer Clutch image you see above will also be available at the store as a lithograph. Clutch’s show at Rams Head Live later that night is sold out, but you’ve still got a chance to catch them at the Sound Garden. I’ve heard that they often get long lines at the Sound Garden for RSD, sometimes taking over an hour to even get in, so I suggest showing up very early if you want to see the performance.


On the Record Store Day website they have a section that has many dozens of quotes about record stores from musicians of every genre. As an added bonus I’ve scoured through them and reposted the quotes from people metal heads might find interesting below, however you can read the lengthy full list of quotes here. I hope you go visit one of our local record stores on Saturday and if I haven’t convinced you to then maybe these musicians will!

“Buy real records in real shops, or I’ll come round your house and scream at your mother.”
Ian Gillan (Deep Purple)

“I’ll never forget how I got into metal, it was a small indie record store in my home town. They had all the stuff the big guys were to afraid to stock.”
Ben Orum (All Shall Perish)

“I have watched independent record stores evaporate all over America and Europe. That’s why I go into as many as I can and buy records whenever possible. If we lose the independent record store, we lose big. Every time you buy your records at one of these places, it’s a blow to the empire.”
Henry Rollins

“Growing up, I couldn’t wait to go my local indie record store and be able to get something that no big chain store had. Whether it be an import or some kind or a rare black light poster, indie stores were way cooler.”
Jeremy Spencer (Five Finger Death Punch)

“I still find it most rewarding to go to my local record shop where I can talk to people who know all about the music they’re representing, and where I can get answers to my questions without spending 45 minutes trying to find a link to customer service which would send me an auto-reply in three days.
Support your local record shop to keep [the] musical environment vivid!”
Mikko Siren (Apocalyptica)

“Small record stores are the back bone of the indie music industry. A place where small bands and small labels can get their music into the hands of new listeners without the corporate filtration systems of mass distributors. Without small record stores, my band and label would’ve never become what they are today. I can only hope that the digital age doesn’t cause a mass-extinction of these excellent and resourceful businesses run by music fans, for music fans.”
Blake Judd (Nachtmystium)

“It was in a tiny little record store back in the early sixties in my hometown of Hannover, West Germany, where I put the headphones on to listen to a rare song that was really hard to find in those days. “My Bonnie” by Tony Sheridan & the Beat Brothers (later known as The Beatles) rocked my heart and started a passion that never left me….. RECORD STORE DAY FOREVER…….Cheers,”
Klaus Meine (Scorpions)

“I love indie record stores! My first job was working at a record store. While touring, I still always hit my favorite record stores. What is not to love about record stores? To be surrounded by millions of records, some that you know and love and others that are hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. Record stores are also a great social outing. You can meet and talk to other people that share your love for the art of music. The excitement of strolling the aisles of a cool record store will always excite me. It’s best to do it without knowing what you are looking for. I can spend hours in my favorite record store. Record stores are my candy shops!!!!”
Mike Patton (Faith No More, Fantömas, Tomahawk)

“Independent record stores are a vital source of the ever-changing cool. They respond to the street faster than the chains can. They help us telegraph to each other what’s “now” and what’s not, what we should be telling our friends and neighbors about, and what’s about to take off, or, no longer hot. Musical trends are confirmed at the local independent record store, by you and me. Hanging out, listening to something you’ve never heard before, being enlightened by the staff, getting into something new, finding that old recording you’ve been searching for, having your local band’s newest offering stocked right next to major label stuff, it all happens at the local indie shop. Why would we want to do away with all that?”
Joe Satriani

“As a band, our love of records and actual CDs has never waned. There’s something spiritual about holding an album in your hands, and reading through the lyrics while you are losing yourself in the music. I will pass my collection of records down to my kids and grand kids someday so that they can experience the magic that just CAN’T be downloaded. Record Store Day is our turn to show our appreciation for the people that allow us to live our dreams through music. There is nothing more powerful than possessing a piece of art that your favorite band has worked so hard to push into the world. Lets keep these stores alive… see you on Record Store Day!”
Lzzy Hale (Halestorm)

“Independent record stores have always been the only place to find great music that is off the mainstream radar. I used to love heading down to our local spot to sift through the new imports or albums from some small label I had never heard of. In the days before the internet the only way to find out about new underground bands was either a cool neighbor an older brother or the local independent record store. Luckily I had both and it lead to a record collection I am still very proud of. I still love that feeling of walking into a great independent store and having no idea what I might find. It’s like a treasure hunt. hahaha”
Brian Fair (Shadows Fall)

“I grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which had no shortage of amazing record stores. The hours I spent wandering about one in particular, Encore Records, was all time well spent. Speaking with clerks and customers, being introduced to music I never knew existed, and sometimes just looking at record covers. I enjoyed every aspect of the record store ‘shopping’ experience. There’s a certain indescribable feeling that I was always left with; feeling motivated and like the world was so full of possibility. I love Newbury Comics! I remember the first time I entered the flagship store in Boston, right away I was struck by the beautiful aroma, it was the smell of music, books, and the people that love them!”
Andrew W.K.

“One of the most amazing places in the world is a record store called either Liberty Street Recordings or Encore Records. It’s located in the great town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Many of my friends worked there and I spent a lot of time there during high school. One time I went in, and this woman who I think owned the place was listening to Black Sabbath’s, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” very loudly. She was probably the same age as my Mom and looked like a librarian, and after the album side finished she said, “God, I just love what that man’s voice does to me.”
Andrew W.K.

“Independent record stores are one of the last surviving cornerstones of this business we call “The Music Industry.” Indie record stores represent everything that was and is music. To this day when you walk into an unknown store for the first time there is a certain musical mystique and warmth you can’t get at any corporate chain store. It feels like you’re about to discover music for the first time all over again. And just when you thought you knew everything there is to know about music or bands you always find one more album that blows your mind and for the life of you, you can’t figure out how this record ever slipped past your musical genius. Unlike today’s music world, indie stores have remained true to themselves, held on to their innocence, speak their own opinions and continue to believe that music will change the world.”
Sonny Sandoval (P.O.D.)

“It’s sad to see some of the developments in society, where everyday, more and more things conform toward a bland, non-diverse medium or “standard” if you will. The big, monetarily strong chain stores and companies are slowly burying the smaller, diverse (read: cool) indie ones!! No matter if it’s clothes, music or otherwise, this steady decline of uniqueness, diversity and “individual expression” is truly scary!!
In all honesty, how cool is it to have to go into a 100,000 Square ft, fluorescent lighted warehouse, where none of the ‘meek, perfect skin, fuckwhat’s – type employees’ know the first thing about any music outside of what’s on billboard’s top ten – only to find that the brand new Slayer album you so desire to own, is found on the “CD-pick-o-the-week” rack, right in between the spankingly fresh releases of Ms Aguilera and Dance Mania no. 987…!?!?… Honestly…
Support your local indie and underground stores! Seriously!! For the good of all!!”
Tomas Haake (Meshuggah)

Growing up a rock and metal fan on Long Island in the 70’s and 80’s was very different than it is today. There were no chain stores like Virgin and Tower and of course no internet mail order services like Amazon. The only way to pick up albums were to shop at your local “mom and pop” record stores…
In the late 70s, it was always easy to find the latest releases from my favorite bands… Led Zeppelin, The Who, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Queen, etc., were all readily available at any record store. But in the early 80’s, as I discovered more “underground” metal bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Accept, Mercyful Fate, Loudness and Raven (from reading my imported copies of Kerrang), there was no place in small town Long Beach, Long Island to find the latest records from these bands I was reading about. Then I discovered Slipped Disc Records in Valley Stream, Long Island. They not only carried the albums from these bands, but also the 12″ singles with bonus tracks, the t-shirts, the imported live videos and anything else that existed! When the American thrash scene was beginning to erupt around 1983, I could always count on Slipped Disc to carry anything I was looking for from bands like Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, Exodus, Testament, Flotsam & Jetsam, Death Angel and Nuclear Assault.
Taking the train there every Saturday was the highlight of my week! And on the day I received my drivers license, the very first place I drove to was Slipped Disc to pick up Metallica’s Ride The Lightning album which was released that VERY day! (The imported version of course!) Now in 2008, the world is a very different place… the aforementioned chains and online stores have made it very difficult for the mom and pop stores to compete. In fact, my beloved Slipped Disc just announced it will be closing its doors for good. So let’s hear it for people like Mike from Slipped Disc and all of the independent store owners that have helped shape the metal scene for the past 25 years. Without them, a lot of us may not have existed… or at least have been as metal as we are!
Mike Portnoy (Adrenaline Mob, Dream Theater)

Beer & Metal

I’m a big fan of metal (as you already know) and I’m a fan of beer as well so I thought this would be a fun post to put together. First off I’d like to say, if you’re under 21 then this post isn’t for you. If you’ve got issues with alcoholism and are trying to stay sober, this post is also not for you. There’s no shame in avoiding things that aren’t working for you in your life. And of course this post isn’t meant to encourage drunk driving of any kind, be safe out there if you’re drinking. Now those of you still here get comfortable, crack open a cold one and get ready to learn about beer and how it relates to metal in more ways than you may think.

I know a lot of you like metal bands that aren’t huge. I know this because I see you at metal shows around the area at smaller clubs, in Ethiopian restaurants, at house shows and other places that aren’t exactly the size of the Verizon Center or Jiffy Lube Live. I guess my point is, I know that you metal heads understand that good or even great music doesn’t Jester King Black Metal Beerhave to come from a giant band on a corporate record label with millions of dollars to spend on marketing. And judging by the fact you’re even reading this site, you have probably realized that great music, while it can, it doesn’t usually come from the biggest corporate bands at all. With this post I’d like to show you that the same is true for beer. Right now we’re in the middle of the “craft beer revolution,” a giant explosion of independent beer makers popping up all over the country that are making all kinds of great new beers and experimenting with new ingredient combinations and flavors. The beer snob in me is at metal shows, often with some really great underground bands playing, sees many if not most of you drinking the same old corporate swill and I’d like to take this time to help edjumakate you all on some of the awesome beers that are actually out there right now by using the similarities between the beer world and the metal world that you are (hopefully) already familiar with.

The current beer industry and music, metal in particular, are actually pretty similar in a lot of ways. In both cases you have a market that is dominated by giant corporations that have huge advertising budgets and the general public seems to buy whatever is advertised the most in the mainstream media. The mega brands like Budweiser, MGD, Coors, Heinekin and Corona are, in my world of beer/music comparisons, like the Katy Perrys, Justin Biebers, and Rihannas of the music world. And those “off brands” like PBR aren’t much different than Taylor Swift is to Katy Perry. In the case of both music and beer, these major names are all just mass produced light fluff with no real depth that often resort to using sexuality to sell a product which shouldn’t need to if it was actually good in the first place. And when scantily clad women aren’t enough the marketing teams for both will often resort to lame gimmicks to drum up sales. Examples of lame gimmicks in the beer world are things like the label on the can turningMiller Lite Vortex Bottle blue when its cold, a “vortex bottle” and using the term “frost brewed,” a term that means nothing since boiling is a part of the process of making any kind of beer. This lame crap is part of why the so called craft beer revolution has been going on the past few years now, gaining more steam with each passing year. Some would say this sudden growth in micro breweries was kicked off by Sam Adams, which is sort of the gateway beer to all the other craft beers. I think of them as being sort of like Metallica, they aren’t underground by any means, you can find Sam Adams in virtually any store that sells beer, but they also don’t dominate sales like the really big names I mentioned earlier. However, Metallica is the metal band that many a metal head heard first that then gets them into more metal. Sam Adams is like that for many beer drinkers as well due to their many style varieties and seasonal brews which are available in most grocery stores. People often start trying new kinds of Sam Adams beers which can lead to trying other smaller brands as well. If you’re reading this blog then it’s pretty likely that at some point you started looking more into metal bands and before long you realized there’s a ton of independent record labels out there with all kinds of different sub genres of not just metal but other styles of music as well. This is what the craft beer revolution is like, people waking up and realizing that there are tons of small breweries out there experimenting and putting out all kinds of new beers, things the major companies wouldn’t dare to try. You don’t have to listen to just the major label music any more, and you don’t have to just drink the mega corporate beer brands either!

Like the dozens of splintering sub-genres of metal, there’s all kinds of new types of beer coming out. India Pale Ales, also known as IPAs, are all the rage right now in the craft brew world. The beers are light (they are pale ales after all) DC Brau On The Wings Of Armageddonand bitter to differing degrees. This is because originally the beer that was being shipped by boat to British soldiers stationed in India were given loads of preservatives which left the beer tasting bitter. The soldiers grew accustomed to this bitter taste and when they came back home they wanted more of this beer, and so the Brits started brewing it at home too. Personally, I think IPAs are fine but the market seems to be getting saturated with them. It’s hard to find a brewery that doesn’t make one and I’m starting to get the sense that they all feel obliged to even if that isn’t what they want to specialize in just because IPAs are so popular right now. For my money though, I prefer my beer to be like my metal, dark and heavy! That’s why you’ll often see me drinking malty beers like stouts and porters. However, there are dozens of different styles of beer to choose from these days: fruity and crisp, bitter, chocolatey, smoked, oak and bourbon barrel aged variations, barley wines, ambers, and many more. Sometimes you’ll see “seasonal” beers being sold, which usually means they’re only made at certain times. An example of this is a pumpkin beer released in the autumn. There’s also “limited release” beers which are often just a one time batch and once they’re gone they’re gone for good never to be brewed again.

A trip to the beer aisle at one of the bigger Total Wine stores in the area is reminiscent of heading to Tower Records in the old days. The selection is almost overwhelming and the variety can’t be beat. You can find underground stuff, local brews and even a variety of exotic imports from not just Europe but the entire world. You can make your own six packs at Total Wine to sample whatever catches your eye. Like concert tickets, a higher price doesn’t always mean a better product and I often enjoy finding out which beers are the best tasting for the lowest price. Another great place to start trying new beer is the World Of Beer bar in Arlington, Virginia. They have 50 beers on tap, most of which rotate out regularly, and if that’s not enough for you they also have literally hundreds of different beers from all over the world kept cold in bottles. I was there once and some popped-collar, sandal wearing bro next to me asked the bartender for a Bud Light. The bartender just laughed at him and told him they don’t carry that. Now that’s my kind of bar! So if Total Wine is the Tower Records of beer, then what would be the Metal Archives? That would be Beer Advocate, a site that indexes and reviews almost every beer, plenty of which you’ve never even heard of. They also have user reviews and a very active user community. And if you’re Orkney Brewery Skull Splitter looking for some beers with a more “metal” image then check out the beers by Stone, such as Arrogant Bastard, which features a demon on the bottles (and some hilarious text on the back as well). Then there is Avery Brewing which offers a whole line of expensive but very delicious beers named after demons such as Samael and Mephistopheles. There’s also Skull Splitter Ale by Orkney Brewery which has a viking on the label and would definitely be more appropriate to drink than a shitty Natty Boh while blasting some Amon Amarth.

Of course there’s plenty of local breweries you can visit, take a tour and sample the beer fresh from the source. They often have “flights” of beers, which are really just small glasses for sampling several beers together. This can be very helpful in finding out which styles of beer you like best and they’re usually pretty cheap, similar to how a promotional playlist can let you check out several bands. If you find a beer you like you can buy a big 64oz jug called a growler usually for under $10. You can fill up a growler with beer at DC Brauthe brewery (for an additional cost) and bring the jug home, though you usually want to drink their contents in a day or two. Wash the growler and bring it back, or to another brewery, and fill it up again. Since they hold about a six pack’s worth of beer they’re also good for bringing to parties. For those of you who want to take things further and not just drink other people’s beer you can hit up places like the Local Home Brew Store (LHBS for short) in Falls Church, Virginia, where they sell equipment and supplies to brew your own beer at home. They’re pretty friendly there and will not only help you get started, but they’ll talk some metal with you too as they’ve got some metal heads running the place. I think of home brewing as the beer equivalent of starting your own garage band.

Something to look out for as you sample new micro brews are the faux craft beers, or crafty beers as they are sometimes called. These are brands like Shock Top, Blue Moon and Goose Island that are marketed and packaged to look like craft beers, but they are in fact owned by major corporations Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. The major brands have definitely noticed this trend toward craft beer and are trying to cash in on it as well by tricking the ignorant public into thinking that their strategically marketed beers with micro-brew styled packaging are actual micro brews. Check out the ridiculous Blue Moon commercial below that aims to make you think it is some small craft beer, when in fact they are mass produced in huge facilities by Miller! This would be like if Metallica put out a crappy album with some underground legend like Lou Reed in an attempt to prove their underground credibility. Oh wait…

Now I’d like to focus a bit on the local beer scene, where beer and metal are as closely intertwined as anywhere else I can think of. If you’re looking for the beer drinker’s equivalent of DCHeavyMetal.com then you should really check out DCBeer.com as they cover the area’s local beer scene like no one else. This week the 30th annual Craft Brewers Conference is in DC (they pick a different city every year) and because of that there are tons of events going on all over the area right now where you can try rare and exotic craft brews. DCBeer.com has made a great list of these special events here.

We’re pretty damn lucky in this area because we’ve got not one but two local breweries in the DC area that have metal heads working there, that I know of at least. DC Brau is based in North East Washington, DC and they often put out beers with names that sound like they could be metal song titles, such as On The Wings Of Armageddon and Embers Of The Deceased. DC Brau is the first beer brewery inside the District since 1956. Port City Brewery in Alexandria, Virginia doesn’t really have many metal sounding beer names but they do brew a lot of their beer while listening to metal bands. Port City’s assistant brewer Will often writes on the big fermenting tanks Port City Maniacalwhat he was listening to when brewing the beer and I’ve seen bands like Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation and Nile on them in the past. On Sunday, April 7th, Port City will be holding a third metal night at the brewery, and I’ll be there co-hosting the event and giving away tickets to upcoming metal shows in the area like Anthrax, Death and Ghost. If you’re beer drinking age then come down and sample some of their craft brews, hang out with fellow metal heads and listen to some heavy metal all night. More details on that event are posted here. I kind of think of DC Brau and Port City as the area’s local “metal” breweries, however there are plenty of other breweries around the area including Chocolate City Beer and Three Stars Brewing in DC, Devils Backbone, Star Hill and Blue Mountain Brewery in Virginia, Flying Dog, Union Craft Brewing and Heavy Seas in Maryland, and even Dogfish Head in Delaware. There’s also several brewpubs popping up in the area like Lost Rhino and Mad Fox, both in Northern Virginia, Brewer’s Art in Baltimore and Blue Jacket which will be opening up in DC this summer.

You’ve all probably seen photos floating around on the net of various metal bands with their own branded beers. Iron Maiden has one, Motörhead has one, Amon Amarth has one, Ozzy Osbourne has one, hell even Queensrÿche guitarist Michael Wilton has brewed a beer with his nickname, Whip Ale. The local metal bands have gotten in on this trend as well. New Belgium, the makers of Fat Tire Ale, put out an official Clutch Dark Sour Ale in 2011. Port City will be putting out a beer for local stoner metal band Borracho soon, and I hear word that DC Brau is working on one for Darkest Hour. Indiana based 3 Floyds Brewery is Three Floyds Permanent Funeral Pale Alemaking a Pig Destroyer beer called the Permanent Funeral Pale Ale and as part of the previously mentioned Craft Brewers Conference being in town they’re having a beer release party for it! Locals Pig Destroyer and Darkest Hour will both be playing the release party on the Black Cat’s main stage this Friday (details here) and they’ll have plenty of Permanent Funeral Pale Ale on hand to drink too! In fact, as a special reward to those of you who have read this entire article (I know it hasn’t been my shortest) I’d like to offer you the chance to win a free pair of tickets to the Permanent Funeral release show. Just leave a comment on this post letting me know of a beer you think I should try (I’m always looking for new beers to try out) and at 5pm EST Thursday, March 28th, 2013 I’ll pick one of you at random (using Random.org) to get a pair of tickets to this beer release show. Be sure you use an email you check regularly when you enter so I can contact you because I’ll need a quick response to make sure I have your name for the tickets. Please don’t enter if you cannot attend. Thanks for reading everyone and I hope I’ve convinced a few of you to try out some new and/or local beers. Stop drinking the corporate crap that is everywhere, I know you metal heads can do better!

2012 Recap, 2013 Preview

2012 has been a hell of a year here at DCHeavyMetal.com, in the area’s metal scene, and in the world of metal overall. As usual around this time of year, I like to make a post with a wrap up of the things that have gone on throughout the year, or at least those that I can remember. This year has been DCHeavyMetal.com’s best year by far for site traffic and numbers, and that is all thanks to you who keep reading this site and telling your friends about it. DCHM requires a lot of my time, and I don’t get paid for this, so if you want to donate some beer/camera gear money to me you can do so via Paypal (even if you don’t have a Paypal account) by going here.

In 2013 I’m planning on overhauling the venues page to have totally updated and more detailed info, and have it look more like the upcoming concert calendar. And be sure to check out more upcoming album reviews from DCHM’s new album reviewer, Sniper Dan. I’ve already got my 4-day all inclusive ticket to Maryland Deathfest, so keep an eye out for me there in May. Of course this year the Washington Post Express Night Out asked my opinion on the 2012 installment of MDF here back in May. In February 2012 the Washington City Paper wrote an article about me here. I had some of my photos appear in places besides DCHM this year too, including my photos of Ghost, Mastodon and Opeth at the Fillmore in the DCist here and my shots of Slayer, Motorhead and Anthrax from this year’s Mayhem Fest at Jiffy Lube Live in the Vinyl District here. However, nothing was as awesome as seeing one of my photos of Cannibal Corpse on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC during their coverage of the RNC in Tampa. You can see that at 4:52 into the video clip posted here. I seriously doubt there are many heavy metal concert photographers that can list political news channel MSNBC in their publishing credits!

In 2012 a lot of local metal bands put out albums, too many for me to really even list (and I’m sure I’d accidentally leave someone off the list!) but even cooler there were 12 local metal bands that put out music videos this year! I’m not talking shitty live footage on an iPhone videos, I mean real music videos. I’ve put all 12 of them together here. 2012 also saw the legendary local doom metal band Pentagram part with their guitarist, Victor Griffin. Their last US show with him was fittingly at the Fillmore in Silver Spring in September which I reviewed here. Back in January of 2012 the Springfield, Virginia venue Jaxx changed ownership and is now officially known as Empire. Unfortunately the Red Palace on H Street is shutting down on January 1st of 2013. I think the most bizarre local story, and one that certainly seems like it is straight out of The Wire, is the one about how Baltimore’s venue Sonar was shut down. In the Summer of 2012 the club’s principal owner, Daniel McIn­tosh, was arrested (and convicted in early November) on drug distribution charges stemming from allegations that he was selling massive amounts of marijuana through the venue. He’s now awaiting sentencing in April with a mandatory 10 year minimum sentence. You can get all the details on this crazy situation here. Don’t worry though, the new owners of the venue, which has apparently been renamed Paparazzi Club, will still be hosting Maryland Deathfest there. No word yet on if they’ll be hosting any other metal shows though. The Howard Theatre, which re-opened in April after millions of dollars in renovations, hosted its first four metal shows ever this year, and the U Street Music Hall, a venue that normally houses DJs and dance parties, hosted its first metal show this year as well when Onslaught and M-Pire Of Evil played there.

As far as national stories in the world of metal, I’ll try to recap them here. I think the biggest story in the metal press this year was probably about Randy Blythe, the lead vocalist for the Richmond based band Lamb Of God. While the band was touring Europe he was arrested upon entry of the Czech Republic for an incident involving a fan that jumped on stage at their concert there in 2010 and then died after being kicked off the stage. He was incarcerated from June 27th to August 2nd, when he was released on bond. He is currently getting ready for his trial which will begin on February 4th. Nergal, frontman of the Polish blackened death metal band Behemoth, is facing blasphemy charges in his homeland for comments made about the Catholic Church and the bible, details of that are posted here. Kyuss Lives also found themselves in court, eventually being forced to stop using their name. They have no renamed themselves Vista Chino and you can read the details of that here. Black Sabbath announced that their long awaited full length album with Ozzy Osbourne back on vocals would be delayed while guitarist Tony Iommi battles with lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. He seems to be doing better now so hopefully the album will be out in 2013 with a full US tour as well. Unfortunately, it looks like the band’s original drummer, Bill Ward, will not be participating. This year saw metal record label Roadrunner Records deal with severe cutbacks after being acquired by the Warner Music Group. The label’s offices in the UK, Canada and The Netherlands were all completely closed and the label’s founder, Cees Wessels, stepped down as CEO. The label Hydra Head Records announced here that it will be shutting down as well. The always outspoken Peter Dolving posted a very informative rant on Facebook here about why he left The Haunted a second time this year. Definitely worth the read to all fans of The Haunted and At The Gates. Cattle Decapitation dropped off the Autumn Apocalypse Tour after their vocalist Travis Ryan was punched by Chris Barnes, vocalist of the headlining act Six Feet Under. Details on that are posted here. Long time Suffocation drummer Mike Smith left the legendary death metal band back in February, more details on that here. Nightwish also had a line up change, though theirs was mid-tour after their vocalist, Anette Olzon, wrote a post on her blog that the band didn’t like. Details on that split are here. I think the scariest moment of 2012 was when the tour bus carrying the band Baroness fell 30 feet off a bridge in the UK. There were several injuries but luckily nobody was killed. The details of that are posted here.

Well that last paragraph lists a lot of grim shit that happened this year, but there were some more upbeat events as well. Anthrax’s cover of the Joe Jackson song “Got The Time” was used to wake up the Mars rover Curiosity one day this year, making it the first metal ever song played on Mars! Details on that are posted here. The Anti-Defamation League wrote the band Hatebreed a letter of apology after one of the league’s directors wrote an article for CNN’s website listing Hatebreed as a “white power” racist band. It’s not every day you get defamed by the Anti-Defimation League! Details on that are posted here. There were two super gross metal videos that came out this year, one by Rwake for their song “It Was Beautiful But Now It’s Sour” which is posted here. The other is by Cattle Decapitation for their song “Forced Gender Reassignment Surgery” which is posted here. Gwar revealed their new guitarist this year, Pustulus Maximus here and they are currently working on a new album. We also saw a new album by Soundgarden, King Animal, their first in 16 years. There was also the much anticipated new Wintersun album Time I, the follow up to the band’s highly regarded self titled debut that was eight years in the making. Local grind act Pig Destroyer put out Book Burner, their first full length since 2007. Former Nevermore guitarist Jeff Loomis put out a solo album this year, Plains Of Oblivion, that was well regarded by fans. God Seed, the remnants of the version of the black metal band Gorgoroth that included King Ov Hell and Gaahl, FINALLY put out their first album this year, I Begin. And after the return of guitarist Jon Levasseur, Cryptopsy put out a self titled album this year that *gasp* wasn’t some sellout bullshit like their last one. Oh and we must not forget that Broken Hope has reformed and said they will be recording a new album. Convulse also reformed and is putting out their first new material in 18 years, which you can hear some of here. I’m sure there’s more but this is what I remember. Now on to the only award I’ll be issuing for 2012…

This year there were a lot of people competing for the coveted Lars Ulrich Award (that I just made up) for being the biggest asshole in metal. Dave Mustaine of Megadeth made so many uninformed and sometimes even bigoted comments in the press this year that I’m not even sure where to begin. How about when he blamed President Obama for supposedly staging the shootings at the Aurora, Colorado Batman movie and the Sikh temple in Wisconsin to pass gun control laws (here). Or maybe when he said he is against gay marriage and supports Rick Santorum for President here. Or perhaps when he said starving women in Africa should “put a plug in it” here. Then there was the outburst by Queensryche vocalist Geoff Tate just minutes before playing their show in São Paulo, Brazil on April 14th. He punched and spit on several band members while they were on stage just before the curtain was drawn to start the show. He kicked over drums and other equipment and delayed the show considerably, and when they finally did start playing he continued to spit on the other band members, in front of all the fans, during the show. You can read all about it here. And of course there was Mitch Lucker, the vocalist for Suicide Silence who, after his wife begged him not to leave the house and drive drunk Halloween night, proceeded to kill himself while riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle drunk at night, leaving his five year old daughter without a father. More details on that here and here. Still, I think the biggest asshole in metal award for 2012 has to go to Ronnie Radke. Sure he’s had his troubles in the past, including being kicked out of his band Escape The Fate in 2008 after being sentenced to two and a half years in prison. He is back with a new band, Falling In Reverse, but he still can’t seem to stay out of trouble. In August he was arrested for beating his girlfriend and then in October he became so furious with the audience at his own concert at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey (If I told them once I told them a hundred times to put Falling In Reverse first and puppet show last!) that he threw several microphone stands into the crowd, injuring two audience members. You can read more about it here. Injuring your own fans, on purpose, definitely takes being an asshole to another level.

Thanks for reading all of this! I know that was a big sea of text up there so I’m going to leave you with a few of my favorite photos that I shot at concerts in 2012 to give your eyes a break. You can also check out my post where I asked 17 of the area’s metal heads what their most metal moments of 2012 were here. If you can think of something I should have mentioned in this post but failed to, feel free to mention it in the comments at the end of the post. Stay metal everyone and let’s make 2013 the best year for metal in the Washington DC, Baltimore and Northern Virginia area ever!

Amber Valentine of Jucifer
January 21st at the Black Cat in Washington, DC

“Dixie” Dave Collins of Hail!Hornet
February 7th at the Black Cat in Washington, DC

Andy Laux of Warbringer
March 13th at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC

Mantas (ex-Venom) of M-Pire Of Evil
April 8th at U Street Music Hall in Washington, DC

Murat Dirlik of Caltrop
April 19th at Fat Tuesdays in Fairfax, Virginia

Papa Emeritus II of Ghost
May 9th at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland

Dragged Into Sunlight
May 26th at Maryland Deathfest at Sonar in Baltimore, Maryland

Nag of Tsjuder
May 26th at Maryland Deathfest at Sonar in Baltimore, Maryland

Peter Hyde of Whitehorse
June 15th at Golden West Cafe in Baltimore, Maryland

John Haughm of Agalloch
July 28th at Empire in Springfield, Virginia

Scott Ian of Anthrax
July 29th at Mayhem Fest at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia

N. Palmirotto of Hull
August 25th at the Cellar Door in Annandale, Virginia

Accept
September 5th at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC

Primordial
September 12th at Empire in Springfield, Virginia

Vektor
September 16th at RAS Hall in Washington, DC

Lord Ahriman of Dark Funeral
September 24th at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC

Kirk Windstein of Down
September 30th at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland

Coady Willis of Big Business
October 3rd at DC9 in Washington, DC

Scott Hull of Pig Destroyer
October 19th at the Ottobar in Baltimore, Maryland

Simone Simons of Epica
October 23rd at the Howard Theatre in Washington DC

Barney Greenway of Napalm Death
October 26th at Empire in Springfield, Virginia

Jeanne Sagan of All That Remains
November 2nd at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland

Adversarius of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult
November 18th at El Caracol Bar in Silver Spring, Maryland

Michael Shrives of Biipiigwan
November 30th at Casa Fiesta in Washington, DC

Corpsegrinder of Cannibal Corpse
December 1st at the Rock & Roll Hotel in Washington, DC

David Davidson of Revocation
December 7th at Empire in Springfield, Virginia

Black Table
December 15th at the Cellar Door in Annandale, Virginia

Mlny Parsonz of Royal Thunder
December 17th at DC9 in Washington, DC

Most Metal Moments of 2012

2012 is coming to a close and I thought it would be fun to reflect on some of the cool shit that’s gone on in the DC/Baltimore/Northern Virgina area’s metal scene this year. Rather than try to compile a list myself I decided to ask a bunch of people involved in our area’s metal scene in one way or another to do it for me! I asked some musicians and fellow music writers and a bunch of other people too, from record store owners to beer brewers to concert promoters. Each person was asked two questions: What was your favorite metal album of the year? And what was your most “metal” moment of the year? The answers I received were as diverse as the people I asked and I suggest reading all of them if you’ve got the time.

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 Metal Album Of 2012: Koloss by Meshuggah
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: Arriving at the Pig Destroyer record release show in Baltimore in semi-dapper attire, I was invited backstage to go over details on Kat Katz (from Agoraphobic Nosebleed) and mine’s guest vocal slots in the Pig Destroyer set. The question as to whether I should wear my blazer on stage came up, with two voting for and two against.
When JR Hayes [vocalist of Pig Destroyer] introduced me onstage, I came on with the blazer to keep the opposition guessing, and slipped out of it. Scott Hull [guitarist of Pig Destroyer] immediately seized the moment and insisted on wearing it during the song I was singing. In other words, he stole my thunder.
When Napalm Death came around with Municipal Waste, Exhumed and Vektor, I wore the same blazer to the tour stop at Empire in Springfield, Virginia. I ran into Barney Greenway [vocalist of Napalm Death] soon after getting into the club, and, as a man of taste, he complimented me on it.
That blazer is metal!

Josh Schwartz is the lead guitarist of the Northern Virginia based power metal band A Sound Of Thunder and will gladly debate anyone about what is or isn’t considered heavy metal!
Favorite Metal Album Of 2012: Stalingrad by Accept
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: In September my band, A Sound Of Thunder, gathered a bunch of fans and friends at Omega Studios in Rockville, Maryland to record gang vocals for our new album and EP. We brought the “Thunder-Choir” into the main recording room (the big one that they use for orchestras) and arranged them in a big circle, with everyone facing inward. Everyone was set up with headphones and mics. When we got to the gang vocals for our song “Queen of Hell”, our producer Kevin Gutierrez called over our lead singer, Nina Osegueda, and had her stand in the center of the circle. He then directed everyone to summon their inner demon voices, and we proceeded to record the whole group chanting “hail, queen of hell” over and over again. If someone had walked into the building at that moment, they would have thought they’d discovered a coven.

Chris Penrod is better known to DC and Baltimore’s metal concert going regulars as the Chicken Man. Any time a brutal band comes through the area you’ll find him wearing his full body chicken costume while he’s tearing it up in the mosh pit and crowd surfing.
Favorite Metal Album Of 2012: Reign Supreme by Dying Fetus
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: I’d have to say my most metal moment of 2012 was at Maryland Deathfest during Suffocation’s set. The crowd was in a complete and utter frenzy, Frank Mullen [vocalist of Suffocation] was on his A-game, and the icing on the cake was nailing that hardcore dancer in the center of his face with my left fist.

Chicken Man at Maryland Deathfest X in May 2012

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 Metal Album Of 2012: Phantom Antichrist by Kreator
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: During a weekend blitz in mid-November, I actually had a continuous slew of metal moments that started with area metal-heads converging on my brewery during Metal Night to drink beer and listen to heavy metal. That night I met dozens of cool like-minded metal heads and beer lovers including band members of Yesterday’s Saints and A Sound of Thunder. The one and only Metal Chris helped me pull-off this event by giving away tickets to local metal shows and merch from the mighty King Giant! That night was an awesome sight and sound to behold! The very next day I went to see Sylosis, Hatebreed, and Lamb of God play at the Fillmore in Silver Spring. Before the show, I got to meet fucking Hatebreed! To top it all off, my great friend Steve—fellow Jarhead and rabid metal head—drove all the way down from Connecticut to join the chaos all weekend!
The most un-metal moment of 2012: When some asshole walked off with the seven-string guitar belonging to Yesterday’s Saints guitarist Witt Black. They had to cancel the show.

Evan Harting is the co-founder and co-organizer of the annual Maryland Deathfest held in Baltimore over Memorial Day Weekend every year. MDF has become the biggest underground metal festival in the US and draws bands and fans from all over the world.
Favorite Metal Album Of 2012: Effigies Of Evil by Hooded Menace
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: My good friend Dave Tedder died this year, and it crushed many people in the metal community. He wasn’t in a band or anything, but he was loved for being one of the most genuine, kind-hearted, and selfless people in metal, among many other great qualities. I’d have to say that the most metal moment for me was when people from all over the country converged onto Baltimore for his service, which consisted of only long-haired, bearded and metal-patch covered vest wearing folks. The service ended with everyone’s horns in the air and yelling “Hail Dave Tedder”, followed by a marching band leading to a nearby music venue, where metal bands played and people gathered to celebrate the life of our fallen friend. It was great to see everyone come together like that.

Todd Ingram, aka TI, plays guitar in the Northern Virginia based southern metal band King Giant. They’re playing at Empire on Sat, Jan 26th (details here) and you’ll be there if you like good times!
Favorite Metal Album Of 2012: The Hunt by Grand Magus
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: September 30th at The Fillmore Silver Spring – It was Pentagram’s last tour of the US with original guitarist Victor Griffin. The crowd was electric and Pentagram was delivering a hot set full of favorites. They launched into “Relentless” and during the intro [Pentagram’s vocalist] Bobby Liebling seemed to be stumbling around and then started to unbutton his pants. I was thinking, “Oh no… this could all go horribly wrong right now.” But much to everyone’s surprise, Bobby delivered his Magic Mike moment and ripped down his pants to reveal what I can only describe as red pajama bottoms with Flying Eyeball graphics on them. It was hilarious. The crowd responded with a roar of approval. It was the epitome of a great Pentagram show, the band rocking out and Bobby bringing his own quirky, decidedly unserious sense of humor to DOOM Metal.

Bobby Liebling drops trou at the Fillmore in September 2012

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, Dragonforce, Dimmu Borgir and more! She can even make you custom clothing to wear on stage or to just bring out your inner rock star.
Favorite Metal Album Of 2012: With Hearts Toward None by Mgła
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: Alexi Laiho [of Children Of Bodom] and I got locked into Harborplace Mall in Baltimore 15 minutes before he was supposed to go on stage at Ram’s Head Live. Alexi is a dear friend and client of mine, and we went to Hooters for dinner before the show. It took forever to get our food and we lost track of time, realizing shortly after we received our entrees that he was supposed to play in just a few minutes! We threw some money on the table and ran through the mall to the opposite end near where I had parked. The mall was undergoing renovations and we got all the way to the other side to realize the door we had come in was locked. We frantically ran up and down the hallways and every exit door we found was locked. We finally had to go back to Hooters and have someone let us out the staff exit onto the balcony. At this point there were 5 minutes remaining until show time. We ran to my car, and I was driving so fast that I failed to notice that the street I had pulled down by the back of the club was one way. A car was coming straight at us, and of course it was a cop car! I fishtailed up into a driveway across from the buses, assuring everyone watching that I had taken good care of their star. Whoops! Luckily the Baltimore cops have better things to worry about than people driving recklessly the wrong way down one way streets.

Toby Gomez is the man behind the Monthly Metal at Balls Bluff concert series showcasing local, regional and national metal bands each and every month at Balls Bluff Tavern in Leesburg, Virginia.
Favorite Metal Album Of 2012: Dark Roots Of Earth by Testament
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: In August my mother broke her hip and I, being her only full time “care giver,” was scheduled to be out of the country during her recovery. My band at the time, at least one member, didn’t share my zeal for never selling tickets and loving to play shit bars and small audiences and I was getting some really shitty emails. My most metal moment was choosing my mother, family, and the girlfriend that was helping me to be a nurse and a father over a band that I was not good enough for (not my opinion). My most metal moment was picking Monthly Metal at Ball’s Bluff and the scene that I love over part of a band that thought they were too good for it. My most metal moment was standing by what I have always said I believed in and cared about, kicking three years of lyric writing and performing to the curb. All that and taking my daughter to her second Iron Maiden show.

Mark Hensch is a Washington Times digital editor and freelance reporter writing about heavy metal, MMA and D.C. nightlife. Check him out at MMADieHards.com and ThrashPit.com.
Favorite Metal Album Of 2012: Book Burner by Pig Destroyer
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: My most metal moment in 2012 was seeing Pig Destroyer play a record-release show in October. Taking place in their hometown of Baltimore, the crowd was rabid, the energy furious. As far as sets go, it violently summarized an extraordinary career in grind metal. Every song, old or new, was played with mastery of craft. Watching the band cast their magic was like seeing Michael Jordan race towards a slam dunk. It was at that level. As a long-time fan, it was a memorable experience witnessing heavy metal history firsthand.

Pig Destroyer at the Ottobar in October 2012

Pat Trainor runs the Arlington based metal record label and distro Australopithecus Records.
Favorite Metal Album Of 2012: Sickness Will Pass by Stoneburner
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: A few friends and I went up to Baltimore in September to see The Atlas Moth and Altar of Plagues [play upstairs] at the Ottobar. After the show we were hanging out front talking to The Atlas Moth guys when they realized the short bus they tour in was blocked in by a van belonging to the shitty power metal band playing downstairs. Altar of Plagues had 20 minutes to get to the bus station to catch a bus up to NY where they were flying out of. Next thing I know there are two drunk (and remarkably tall) members of an Irish black metal band in the back of my car and we’re having a discussion on gun violence in America while I’m navigating through Baltimore to the bus station!

Josh Sisk is a photographer who shoots all kinds of bands around the Baltimore and DC area, including tons metal bands. You can see some of his work here. He’s also recently become the heavy metal columnist for the Baltimore City Paper.
Favorite Metal Album Of 2012: Vanitas by Anaal Nathrakh
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: It’s hard to pin this one down… Seeing Sunn O))) play in an opera house at the stroke of midnight in Raleigh? Watching a kid crowd-surf while eating a slice of pizza at A389 Fest [at Sonar]? Slipping in blood while taking photos of Ghoul? No… the most metal moment for me in 2012 had to be at the end of Maryland Deathfest, under the overpass. I had stepped out to see what things were like out there, ran into a guy who was bare from the waist up and covered in cuts. I asked if he was okay, he said “I’m okay but I think my car is dead.” I looked over and realized that his car looked like the Hulk had jumped up and down on it. The whole cab was smashed in, smooshed down like a huge weight had been dropped on it, glass everywhere… and I was like “Shit, man, who did that to your car?!” and dude looked up at me (he was getting medical attention by this point) and said “Who did that to my car? I DID!”

Hannah Clancy-Thompson works as a promotions/new media assistant at Relapse Records. She also works with various unsigned local metal bands through her Baltimore based management company Break Open Management.
Favorite Metal Album Of 2012: Autotheism by The Faceless
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: One of my favorite metal moments was at Maryland Deathfest this year: As usual, the weather was gloriously hot… So hot that you had to alternate Gatorade between beers to survive. I was helping out the sales team at Relapse Records’ merchandise booth, drenched in sweat. Finally, Electric Wizard came on stage around 9:30 pm and we could relax and watch their set. Wouldn’t you know it but that was the moment for the heavens to open and pour with rain. “Cover the vinyl” we yelled as we ran back to the tent drenched again, but at least the merch was saved.

Brandon Skall is one of the two co-founders of DC Brau, the first beer brewery actually inside Washington DC since 1956. They make some great craft beers and often have some pretty metal beer names and bottle label artwork.
Favorite Metal Album Of 2012: Timing Of The Void by Eagle Claw
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: We were sponsoring the recent The Sword/Eagle Claw/Gypsyhawk show at Rock & Roll Hotel. I had not heard of Eagle Claw before the show. I was standing up front with John Solly from Solly’s U Street Tavern. Eagle Claw took the stage and proceed to play an incredible seven minute long opener of just killer instrumental madness. Then the second tune… no vox. As they started the third song I leaned over to Solly and said, “I think were about to get a whole set of instrumental metal!” We did. It ruled. Oh yeah and also when I puked all over Rory from Warchild at Ice Co. That was pretty metal too.

Lars Gotrich writes about heavy metal, and some less heavy genres of music, for NPR. You can check out his full list of 2012’s top metal albums on NPR by going here.
Favorite Metal Album Of 2012: Sorrow And Extinction by Pallbearer
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: Jucifer at the Black Cat on January 20th – What is it that compels Jucifer to tour with a literal wall of amps like they do? It’s both empowering and limiting at once, with a volume and intensity like no other, but what band wants to to ride along for that set-up? In the end, it’s Jucifer’s passion that gets the best of them, spreading the distorted sludge gospel. But on the Friday night that D.C. literally froze over, the nomadic duo played to a small, yet devoted crowd at the Black Cat. I don’t remember what was going on in my life, but I NEEDED THIS SHOW. My entire being and thus my entire body raged to every downbeat, literally slamming my torso to the stage. At one moment, Amber Valentine and I locked eyes/spirits/hair. My body was in pain for a week.

Jucifer at the Black Cat in January 2012

Rockin Ruby is the managing editor at Underground Web World, a website that focuses on underground culture such as metal music, biker culture, science fiction art, photography and tattoo art.
Favorite Metal Album Of 2012: As Above, So Below by Angel Witch
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: So you want to know my most metal moment of 2012? Well I must say this was definitely a tough one to choose because there were many awesome events this year. I’m going to have to narrow it down and say my most metal moment was from Maryland Deathfest. This year’s lineup of bands were the best I’ve ever experienced, mainly because I’m a huge fan of the metal classics. Seeing bands like Hellbastard, Artillery, Morgoth, Morbid Angel, Morbid Saint, Anvil and October 31 on the bill (which were the main bands I wanted to see) really made the year for me. The highlight of the festival was being able to meet [vocalist] Pat Lind from Morbid Saint right after his performance. After 20+ years, they still kick ass! I thought I would never see this band live. Seeing [Morbid Saint’s album] Spectrum Of Death played live in its entirety was a dream come true.

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 Metal Album Of 2012: The Doom Skeptron by Desecresy
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: Hmmm that’s a tough one there were so many!!! I mean Maryland Deathfest had an array of fantastically ridiculous as well as crucial not to be missed metal moments… I mean Pentagram from Chile slayed as well as well as Bethlehem and of course Sargeist!!! But what destroyed all else was seeing Imprecation from Texas play with Mortem from Peru at El Caracol in Silver Spring!!! That was truly the most metal moment of 2012 for me!!! Thanks to Chris of DCHM and keep an eye out for some releases due out in 2013 on Black Mess Productions!!! WE also have a few killer shows in the works for 2013!!!

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 his band Midnight Eye.
Favorite Metal Album Of 2012: Eremita by Ihsahn
Most Metal Moment Of 2012: I saw and played a bunch of great shows the past year, but the most metal moments for me were probably: getting to do sound and fog for Sunn O))) when they played the Black Cat; falling off of the couch while hanging out with Nashgul after their show at Ras Hall (and asking them impressively annoying drunk questions, like whether they understand sarcasm or listen to Judas Priest); and playing at JR’s in Philly, with Rubbish, a.k.a. “the worst band in Philadelphia.” Oh, and my band also drove to play a Richmond show in a hybrid while eating sushi, so I guess that kind of negates everything metal I mentioned here.