Castle coming to Atlas Brew Works

This Wednesday night DC Heavy Metal is very proud to bring Castle to Atlas Brew Works for a night of shredding riffs and craft beer! Also on the bill is Faith In Jane and Witchkiss. You can check out the Facebook event page for this show here. I love booking at Atlas because they’ll have great beer on draft, the staff is totally into supporting metal, and of course Fred will be there with those tasty meaty and vegan tacos. I don’t book a ton of shows these days so when I go through the effort to do so I really try to get a solid line up. I think it is safe to say this line up is stacked! Here’s a little info on each of the bands so you can check them out before the show.

Castle is one of my favorite bands from the West Coast and I’m excited to bring them back to Washington DC. You may have seen the SF Bay Area based band at Maryland Doom Fest in 2018 and/or 2016, but this is their first DC show since they played the Pinch in 2015. They’ve got a killer new album, Deal Thy Fate, that came out in October and you can give it a listen/buy it here. They always put on a fun live show and I remember seeing how their high energy live show really woke up the audiences at both of their Maryland Doomfest appearances.

Castle – Evil Ways

Faith In Jane is is from Thurmont, Maryland, and they have been gaining a lot of fans due to their great live performances. Their psychedelic stoner jams will be a great fit on this bill. Be sure to listen to their album, Countryside, which they released in December.

Witchkiss is the opener from Hudson Valley, New York. They play a big, loud, atmospheric style of doom metal that will set the tone for the rest of the night. Be sure to check out their full lenght, The Austere Curtains of Our Eyes, released in March 2018 below.

Thanks for reading to the end of this shameless self promotion. I really am excited to see these bands live and I hope that if you can’t make it out Wednesday night that you at least take the time to check these great bands out.

Review of Exiler by Construct Of Lethe

Band: Construct of Lethe
Album: Exiler
Release Date: 20 June 2018
Record Label: Everlasting Spew Records
Buy on CD ($10) or digital ($5) from: Bandcamp

Cover of Exiler by Construct of Lethe

Finally getting this Construct of Lethe review up on the site that we’ve had sitting on the back burner for a bit. Vivek wrote this piece about one of the most brutal death metal bands to have ties to our area. As usual you can stream songs at the end of the post, and there’s even some studio footage of the drums being recorded for one of the songs too!

Construct of Lethe is a death metal band based in Woodbridge, Virginia. According to their Bandcamp page, this band is Tony Petrocelly’s band to combine and release music from his previous bands, which are Xaoc, Dead Syndicate, and Betheldeign. Since then, the band has taken its own path. Exiler is Construct of Lethe’s second album after Corpsegod (January 2016) and their only EP The Grand Machination (October 2016). Exiler is a powerhouse that does not let up and has a barrage of twists and turns to keep the listener engaged. Before I discuss the album, let’s talk about who Construct of Lethe are.

Construct of Lethe are composed of the members Tony Petrocelly, David Schmidt, and Patrick Bonvin. Tony Petrocelly handles the rhythm guitar and bass duties, Patrick Bonvin handles the lead guitar work, and the lineup is completed with David Schmidt on vocals. Construct of Lethe recruited Kévin Paradis, of the French death metal band Benighted, to be the session drummer on Exiler. Petrocelly handled all of the recording, mixing, and mastering of the album.

On Exiler, Construct of Lethe showcase punishing and suffocating death metal, while showing off technical prowess as well. Lyrically, it’s a well-developed anti-Christian rant, filled with plenty of Deicide and black metal influenced anti-christian lyrics. Throughout the album, the listener is treated to death metal that is relentless. There is also a slight technical prowess and melody that underlie much of the aggressive death metal attack. This is topped off with Schmidt’s excellent vocal delivery. His voice elevates the music. It’s very much in the vein of Immolation and Morbid Angel.

In “Rot of Augury”, the opening and main riff is mid paced while having a punch to it. It paints an image of an army marching across the battlefield and has a similar vibe to something like Morbid Angel on Gateways to Annihilation. Around the two minute four second mark, “Rot of Augury” uses plenty of blast beats to transition into a more intense second riff. This transition works because of how it grabs and holds on to the listener and keeps the them hooked for the rest of the song. It also has a very good use of pinch harmonics to show off a dissonant riff. This speedy and dissonant riff is great because of how rough yet technical the riff is. The use of pinch harmonics in this riff are very engaging too, they are a cool little flash which keeps the listener attentive to the song. This moves into another fast and chromatic riff that is used as a segue into the lead. It sounds great as a transition into the lead. The lead has a slight melody which makes it good to hear. After this lead, the track goes into the breakdown, which serves as another transition into another lead. The use of a lead to finish the breakdown is smart, it continues the breakdown without giving the feeling of it dragging on. Once after the solo is finished, the song concludes with the main riff.

On the album’s third track, “The Clot,” the Immolation influence begins to peak. This track in particular is where Construct of Lethe show off their technical abilities at their best. From the intro alone, we are treated to a song that has all the anger, brutality, and greatness of something that came out of New York in the 90s. The main riff is a very blasting and harmonic riff, it sounds as if there is a nonstop jackhammer pounding away. It’s fast and right up in your face and has a very powerful kick to it. “The Clot” incorporates a slightly melodic riff as a way to contrast the machine gun-like roaring riff that was done before. The second lead on this track is supported by the intro riff which enhances the lead. It makes it very abstract and surreal. Lyrically, in contrast, this is where the Morbid Angel influence peaks. Especially the Gateways to Annihilation and Formulas Fatal to the Flesh Morbid Angel too. One example of this, “His wings are numbered hexakosioi hexekonta hex.” Another example of this:

“I undertake katabasis to descend to the Hetoimasia
Affliction amongst deities
Crawl from the desert with phulakterion bound to the limb
Regurgitate the schema: listen, hear, do unholiness Sanctify to me!”

Both of these examples show how creative and well developed these blasphemous lyrics are. It’s clear Construct of Lethe know their anti-Christian language and they have no problem spouting such lyrics, even if the listener has no clue what they mean. I looked up the meanings behind some of these and “hexakosioi hexekonta hex” is ancient Greek for 666. It takes the language used by orthodox Greek Christianity for blasphemy. It’s well thought out and delivered.

The vocals provided David Schmidt are excellent and have many demonic elements to them. It’s the perfect death metal vocal style for Exiler. Throughout the album, the vocals provided by David Schmidt, have a traditional, yet very gruff edge to them. There is also a strong “traditional” demonic sound to them. It makes the delivery of the blasphemous lyrics evil and it sounds like they are coming from hell. One example is the track “A Testimony of Ruin.” This is a slower track which helps to showcase the strength of his vocals. Schmidt’s vocals are guttural and have a strong bellow to them. Schmidt is able to inject a lot of energy into each word because of the slowness of the song, it makes the delivery of the lyrics a lot more harsh because the anger in his voice is channeled in full. On “Soubirous,” Schmidt’s vocals are at their most sinister. The listener hears how much of a vile and raspy growl Schmidt can produce which shows off his range as a result. This is occurring on the fastest track on the album. Schmidt’s vocals enhance the music of the track and makes the music even more evil. The vocals on “Soubirous” act as another instrument and really pack an unholy jab to the listener. While on this track we see the heights of David Schmidt’s vocals, on the track “Fugue State,” is where weaknesses are present. Mainly in the clean and spoken word parts of the track. I can understand why the sections where the spoken word vocals are used. That said, Schmidt’s normal voice for these lyrics makes them more comedic than sinister. His normal voice is funny to listen to after hearing all of the growling before. It has a cheesy feel to them and makes the lyrics seem amateur. I laughed at line “I come to the realization that I have in my hand, the head of Jesus fucking Christ.” I laughed even harder at the backing vocal of “Christ.” The clean, spoken word vocals occur for most of the song and bring the song down as a whole. However, this only occurs on “Fugue State” and do not appear on the rest of the album. It’s a hiccup at worst. For the most part, Schmidt’s vocals compliment the riffs and the music enhances Schmidt’s vocals. It is the symbiotic relationship between these two elements that shines very bright in Exiler.

Exiler is one of the best local releases I have heard in a while. It is a showcase in traditional and dissonant death metal, with a touch of technical prowess and hints of melody. Construct of Lethe take these musical elements and combine them with a sinister and bellowing vocal style that puts the tracks into overdrive. Combining all of this with sophisticated and blasphemous lyrical content make this record an ideal example of how death metal is done right. This is a great continuation of what was started on Corpsegod.

Drums recording for Rot Of Augury

Horrendous to play first metal show at Adroit Theory Brewery

Horrendous at Adroit Theory

Adroit Theory brewery in Purcellville, Virginia, is hosting their first metal show ever on Saturday, January 26th! Pennsylvania based death metal band Horrendous is one of the hottest underground metal bands around right now and they’re set to headline this first metal show at Adroit Theory with support from Outer Heaven and Foehammer. And because we’re so excited about this show DCHM is going to give away a pair of tickets to one of you lucky DCHM readers! To enter: just leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite metal album of all time. Then at 5pm EST this Tuesday, January 22nd, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win the tickets to this show. Be sure to use a valid email you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 24 hours another winner will be chosen at random. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets here.

This show is part of Adroit Theory’s 5th anniversary celebration, known as Dawn Of A Dark Day Fest V. The fest starts at 1pm with 48+ Adroit Theory beers on tap, including variants of some of their best big stouts like Dia De Los Muertos, Death Of Cthulhu and Black As Your Soul (B/A/Y/S), plus another 45+ guest beers from other breweries. You’ll need a ticket to the beer fest part which you can get here (make sure you switch it to the regular ticket for $40, not the VIP, unless you REALLY want the VIP). The metal show will start at 6pm and anyone with a ticket to the beer fest portion of the event will be allowed into the show for free. Please note that the tickets we are giving away are just for the metal show, you won’t have access to the earlier beer fest portion of the event unless you buy a ticket to that. If you’re interested in other metal shows going on at area breweries be sure to check DCHM’s <a href="https://dcheavymetal.com/upcoming-concerts/&quot; upcoming metal concert calendar as Oliver Brewing in Baltimore has a show coming up and of course there are many on the schedule for Atlas Brew Works in NE DC. Now, a bit about the bands…

Horrendous released their debut album, The Chills in 2012 to much fanfare in the underground but their 2014 album, Ecdysis, was their true breakout. It was reviewed very highly in many metal publications and by fans alike and the band started showing up on tours with some big names. In September 2018 they released another modern classic of riff based death metal when Idol showed that this band can still bring the riffs along with the super fun live show they’ve been perfecting from heavy touring. Support band Outer Heaven is also a death metal band from Pennsylvania and they’ve been gaining popularity for putting on some truly brutal shows around the region. Their 2018 full length Realms of Eternal Decay is a pummeling album of demonic death metal. The opening band, Foehammer, is a Northern Virginia based doom metal band that is very slow, very loud and ultra heavy! Their slow, churning riffs carry the weight of oceans and drown the listener in their fuzzy wall of sound. Now leave a comment telling me what your favorite metal album of all time is and check out videos of the bands playing Adroit Theory’s first ever metal show below!

Horrendous – Soothsayer

Outer Heaven – Into Hellfire

Foehammer – The Seer

Gwar ticket give away

Gwar at the 9:30 Club

While much of the holiday season seems to revolve around materialism I’d like to remind you what is really important about this time of year: GOING TO SEE GWAR!!!! That’s right, our alien scumdog overlords are blessing us with a performance at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, December 29th! To get you all in the holiday spirit, we’re giving away the ultimate holiday gift to one of you lucky DCHM readers: a free pair of tickets to this very show! To enter: just leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite song to drown out all that annoying holiday music they’re playing everywhere right now. Then at 5pm EST this Tuesday, December 18th, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win the tickets. Be sure to use a valid email you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 24 hours another winner will be chosen at random. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets from Ticket Fly here.

Nothing gets you more in the holiday spirit than getting covered in blood and other bodily fluids at a Gwar concert! I expect to see everyone on Santa’s naughty list at this show. And get there early because no matter your denomination you’ll enjoy the crossover thrash of support band Iron Reagan. And everyone is getting their stockings stuffed with the dirty speed-rock of Detroit’s Against The Grain when they open the show. Now check out these videos of the bands below and leave a comment saying what your favorite song is to drown out holiday music (seriously, I need some good suggestions).

Christmas caroling with GWAR

Iron Reagan – Fuck The Neighbors

Against The Grain – Cheated Death

Ministry ticket give away

Ministry at Fillmore Silver Spring

Al Jourgensen is bringing Ministry to the Fillmore Silver Spring on Wednesday, December 5th, for a night of industrial metal! We’re so excited about this show that we are going to give away a pair of tickets to this show. To enter: just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite metal album of 2018 is. Then on Monday, December 3rd at 5pm EST the contest will close and a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries. The winner will get two free tickets the show! Be sure to enter using an email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that, I hate spam too. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 24 hours another winner will be chosen at random. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets from Live Nation here.

Ministry has been an innovator of the industrial metal subgenre for decades. On the band’s latest album, “AmeriKKKant,” Al Jourgensen voices his frustration with Trump’s America. Performing as Ministry’s direct support will be French synthwave artist Carpenter Brut. The opening band is an up and coming melodic thrash band from New Zealand, Alien Weaponry. Now check out these videos below of the bands playing and leave me a comment telling me what your favorite metal album of 2018 is!

Ministry – Victims of a Clown

Carpenter Brut – Turbo Killer

Alien Weaponry – Kai Tangata

Behemoth ticket give away

Behemoth at Fillmore Silver Spring

Poland’s masters of the dark arts, Behemoth, return to the Fillmore Silver Spring on Friday, November 2nd, with a killer line up that includes At The Gates and Wolves In The Throne Room. We’re so excited about this show here at DCHM that we’re going to give away a free pair of tickets to one of you lucky readers. To enter: just leave a comment on this post telling me which of the three bands playing you’re most excited to see. On Wednesday, October 17th at 5pm EST the contest will close and a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries. The winner will get two free tickets the show! Be sure to enter using an email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that, I hate spam too. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 24 hours another winner will be chosen at random. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets from Live Nation for $29.50 here.

Behemoth just released a new album, I Loved You at Your Darkest, on Nuclear Blast Records this month. Now, after a successful summer performing as one of the support acts for Slayer’s farewell tour in North America, they’re returning to the US for a proper headlining tour. At The Gates is one of the most important bands from the famous Swedish Gothenburg death metal scene. They will probably always be most remembered for their masterpiece album Slaughter of the Soul but they also put out a new album this year, To Drink from the Night Itself. The opening band is probably the most influential US black metal band, Wolves In The Throne Room. They’re from Washington state and are one of the bands that helped make atmospheric black metal popular with a wider audience. Now go check out the videos below by these bands and leave a comment telling me which one you’re most excited to see at the Fillmore Silver Spring on November 2nd!

Behemoth – Wolves ov Siberia

At The Gates – To Drink From The Night Itself

Wolves In The Throne Room – Born From The Serpent’s Eye

Paradise Lost ticket give away

Paradise Lost at Baltimore Soundstage

The legendary Paradise Lost is coming to Baltimore Soundstage on Tuesday, October 2nd, along with Sólstafir and The Atlas Moth. Their dark style of doom metal is perfect for this season where the weather starts to turn so we’re giving away a pair of tickets to this show to a lucky one of you DCHM readers. To enter: leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite metal band to listen to in the Autumn months. Then on Friday, September 28th at 5pm EST the contest will close and a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries. The winner will get two free tickets the show! Be sure to enter using an email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that, I hate spam too. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 24 hours another winner will be chosen at random. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets from Ticket Master for $27.50 here.

Paradise Lost formed in Halifax, England, in the late 80’s and is one of the Peaceville Three, along with Anathema and My Dying Bride, who all formed a much darker take to doom metal in the early 90s while all signed to Peaceville Records. In fact it was Paradise Lost’s sophomore album, Gothic, that the genre of gothic metal gets its name from. They’ve influenced countless bands yet somehow Paradise Lost, who still features all their original members aside from the drummer, manage to put out solid material. This isn’t an old band that just plays their old classics, they still put out solid material, including their 2017 album Medusa, which was #1 on Decibel Magazine’s top 40 albums of 2017. In addition to the rare chance to see Paradise Lost in the US the tour has some excellent support acts. Sólstafir from Iceland blends post rock with viking metal, adds a pinch of country western and a heavy dose of melancholy. The opening band is The Atlas Moth, a post metal band from Chicago that has been getting better and better with every album. Now check out these videos of the bands below and leave a comment letting me know what your favorite metal band to listen to in the Autumn is.

Paradise Lost – Blood And Chaos

Sólstafir – Silfur-Refur

The Atlas Moth – Holes In The Desert