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!

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)