DCHeavyMetal.com vs Inverted Umlaut

I was fortunate enough to be asked to guest co-host on the Inverted Umlaut pirate radio show/podcast last night for a special on heavy metal in the Washington DC area. DJ Young Padawan was really cool and let me pick the playlist too, which I’ve posted below. The show plays metal every Monday night from 9pm to 11pm on Radio CPR 97.5 FM on the radio dial if you’re in North West DC, or you can stream it from their website here (just click “listen live” on the right). If you missed the show last night don’t worry, they post every episode as a podcast the next day, and you can download the episode I was on by going here. Thanks to everyone who tuned in, I wish I could have played dozens more bands but I still think I got a good mix in the two hours I had. I tried to keep the playlist current and most of the songs are from the past year or two, some haven’t even been officially released yet. Check out the playlist below and feel free to click any of those bands’ names to find out more info on them, get more music from them, etc… Also, several of them are featured in my free local band downloads, which you can find version 1 here and version 2 here. Keep supporting our scene, there’s some great bands out there that are worth taking the time to check out.

Download the podcast here.

Playlist:

Oak – Saline

Pentagram – 8
Pig Destroyer – Loathsome
Animals As Leaders – CAFO

Deceased – The Traumatic
Loculus – Hacked Apart
Fierce Allegiance – Devil’s Knight
Magrudergrind – Incapacity Reigns/Stagnant/Heaviest Bombing

Balor’s Eye – Pissing Rainbows
Ilsa – Frosthrower
The Neologist – A Dress Rehearsal For A Funeral

Auroboros – Precarious
Division – Short Attention Span Society
Apothys – Venomcrest

King Giant – Burning Regrets
Wrnlrd – Moonlight Ride
Orgy Of The Damned – Feces Fiend
Gravewürm – Brought Before The Altar

Borracho – Concentric Circles
Hatred – Red Death

Wolfsschanze – Peering Through The Looking Glass Of Hatred

Second Wave Of Free Music

It’s been a little while since my last post but I’ve been working on a few things and this is the first one to get finished up. Today is tax day and if you’re like me you’ve waited until the last minute to pay the man, so I figured you all could use some stimulus or at least an early return, so I give you free heavy metal! I’ve scoured the web and talked to local bands to put together this, the second download pack of free music for you readers of DCHeavyMetal.com! It’s got 73 songs by 18 different bands totaling over 5 and a half hours of music. Put it on shuffle or play it straight thru, there’s lots of good stuff here from across the spectrum of metal sub-genres. You can download the zip file with all the songs in it here (wait for the timer to count down then click “regular download”), or you can download the songs only by the bands you want by reading about them below and picking which you want to get. Don’t forget about the Downloads section of DCHeavyMetal.com where you can download the first wave of music that I posted to the site (here). If you like any of these bands give em a “like” on Facebook or follow them on Twitter or go buy some of their merch. Many of them have upcoming concerts in the area soon so check my Upcoming Concerts calendar and be sure to see them live too. Now here’s a run down of the bands in the new download pack:

Absolute Vengeance is a band from the NoVA/DC area that falls somewhere between melodic death metal, thrash and deathcore. They have four songs available as a free download on their Facebook page here, but you’ll have to “like” them first to access that part of their page.
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Apothys is a blackened death metal band from Northern Virginia and they’re pretty great both live and on their studio recorded EP, Advent: Doom. They’re letting me give away the first track off of that release, titled Venomcrest and that can be downloaded here. Killer song, give em a listen and be sure to catch them live some time.
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Auroboros is based out of Arlington, Virginia and features Brian Blickle (he played guitar on the first Baroness album) as well as Rob Moore of Salome. Brian has let me put up five demo tracks he recorded, though he is playing all the instruments and vocals (except the drums) and Rob is not on these recordings. These songs are probably not the final versions of them, but they’re what he’s got to put out for now. You can download the songs here and pay what you want. That means you can get it free or you can give them a few dollars to help them pay for a proper recording too.
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Aurora Borealis is a black metal band from Waldorf, Maryland. They’re pretty good and being really cool by giving away their newest album, Timeline: The Beginning And End Of Everything, and are asking for a donation if you like it. You can download it (and donate some money if you’d like to) here.
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Billows is a doom metal band, formerly known as Old Crow. They are from the DC area and have a three song demo available as a name your price download which is available here. You can get it for free and if you like it I recommend giving them a few bucks to say thanks. They’re pretty good and have been playing a lot around the area lately too so keep an eye out to catch them live.
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Borracho is a sort of stoner/doom band with a bit of sludge and southwestern elements thrown in too. The name is a slang term for a drunkard in Spanish. They pride themselves in their heavy, repetitive riffs and they’re definitely good at writing them. Check out the three songs they’ve made available for free on their website here.
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Cassandra Syndrome is an operatic metal band with a female soprano singer (her name is Irene not Cassandra) and they are from Frederick, Maryland. They also use a Zendrum which is a weird midi based percussion instrument. I don’t generally cover bands out in Frederick but they play the area often enough that they are part of the local metal scene here. They’re kind of goth, kind of fantasy and mythology based, and cover themes of paganism and environmentalism too. They’ve got songs from their demo and their full length both available for free on their website, though I only included the material from the full length in the big download pack because it is newer. The songs from their demo can be downloaded here and the songs from their album are here.
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Deranged Theory is a death/thrash metal band from Northern Virginia. They’re very into things like video games and ancient warfare in the days of the Greeks and Romans. Their lead singer often wears gladiator gear on stage during their live shows. Pretty entertaining and the music is awesome too. They’ve let me post two of their songs as a free download and you can get those here.
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Dragon Wing Begonia is a black metal band from Chantilly, Virginia. They’ve let me put up a two song demo of their material and it’s worth giving a listen. You can download those songs here. They’re pretty young but they’re already decent at putting a song together.
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Gründle Hammer is a death metal band out of Takoma Park, Maryland. I ran into them at the Corpse Fortress and they were handing out demos, which I’ve posted here for you to give a listen to. It’s not studio recordings but a board recording of them playing live so the sound quality isn’t super awesome, but it’ll give you an idea of their sound. You can get it by going here.

The Neologist is a two person band, one living in the DC suburbs of Maryland and the other in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, but that’s still good enough for me to include here. They’ve put together a 12 track album they’re giving away for free and it’s pretty good. You can download it here.
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An Obscure Signal is a metalcore band based out of Rockville, Maryland. They’re starting to get more attention on the national scene and they’re holding a contest right now for fans to basically make a karaoke video of one of their songs from their debut EP, titled Creations. For the contest they’ve posted an instrumental version of the EP as a free download, which is available here. You can get the details on the contest if you’d like to enter here.
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Permafrost is black metal band from Alexandria, Virginia. These guys are pretty cool, they’re not only giving away their kick ass demo for free, but they’re the only band I’ve ever seen with recommendations (and links) written on the demo’s liner notes on OTHER local bands to check out. That’s really cool, we need more people like them in our area’s metal scene. Anyways, you can download their demo here.
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Prodigium is a deathcore band out of Manassas Virginia. They’ve posted a free song for download on their Facebook page and you can get that here. I don’t know a whole lot else about them, but hey free local metal is still free local metal!
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Sacrum is a sludgy doom band out of Washington DC. They’re really bassy and heavy as hell. They’re giving away their three track demo for free here, get it now and prepare to be crushed.
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To The Teeth is a metal band that’s sort of hard to define, genre wise. They’re definitely metal but they draw their influences from a lot of the different subgenres and it’s not that easy to pin down what they are exactly. They’ve got elements of death, hardcore, thrash and tech death too. Whatever it is they pull it all off rather well and you’d be wise to download their three song demo here.
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Wolfnuke is a blackened thrash metal band from Hagerstown, Maryland. I found out about these guys at one of the Metal Mondays at So Addictive Lounge and they really blew me away. They’re high energy and very polished, and while the songs aren’t super complex, they’re very aggressive and fun to hear. They’ve got some tunes available for free here and I really recommend seeing these guys live too as they really unleash it on stage.
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Yesterday’s Saints is a metal band from Washington DC that plays a very quick paced metal style with clean vocals. They also share a drummer with Loculus, Albert Born, who is also the current drummer in Pentagram. They’ve got a new EP coming out but they have allowed me to post two of the songs from it here as a free download that you can get here.
WebsiteFacebookTwitterMySpaceMerchConcerts

Well, that’s it. If you’d like your band to be featured in the next download pack (no idea when that will be posted) then just drop me an email at DCHeavyMetal@Gmail.com. Thanks for checking out some of the bands here in the DC area, we’ve got some great bands!

Review of Loculus gig at Jaxx

Ashburn, Virginia based Loculus headlined a local metal night with openers Above The Altar and Apothys at Jaxx on Saturday the 20th of November 2010 and it was pretty damn awesome. This was the release party show for Loculus’ new EP, Sinew, which they were giving away copies of for free to everyone in attendance. Not only that, but it was a great showing of the local death metal community. There was a great turn out for such a late show with no national headliner and hell, I’ve been to Jaxx plenty of times to see touring bands with far less people in attendance. I’d never been to one of these “late” shows at Jaxx before, where they have one concert going on earlier in the afternoon/evening and another later that night, and this one seemed a bit disorganized, though that was no fault of the bands involved. Apparently the earlier show got out late, and while the first band of the late show was supposed to go on at 10:30, they didn’t hit the stage until 11:30. I talked to a few members of the bands playing after I got there and they not only had no idea when their sets would start, they didn’t even know how long they would be allowed to play if at all! Though once the bands did start playing, the show really was worth the wait.

By the time Apothys hit the stage you could tell the crowd was starting to get restless. Originally the band Shotgun Surgery was supposed to play, but they had to cancel and were replaced on the bill by Apothys a week or two before the concert. Apothys always seems to put on a good show live and this time was no exception. They kept the crowd fired up the entire set and the band looked like they were having as much fun up there as anyone in attendance. I noticed that they didn’t play Of Writhing Eyes, a killer song which they have been closing shows with the last couple of times I have seen them. I wonder if that was due to time constraints because the show was running so late. I had just seen them the previous Monday at So Addictive (my review of that concert is here) and while that show was kind of cool for it’s lack of a stage so the band really mingled with the audience, it was nice to see them up on a proper stage with decent lighting again. Sadly the camera I shoot video with had its SD card take a shit and the video I took of them playing Terminus at this show has some error that makes the file unplayable. I didn’t know this until I got home that night and the card also lost one of the videos I shot of the headliner, Loculus. Sucks but what can ya do?

The next band to play, Above The Altar, is a death metal band from Loudon with a lot of thrashy elements and even a few breakdowns giving them a sort of ‘core element to their sound. I had never seen them play before, but they were a good addition to the night’s line up, putting a bit of variation (but not too much) between the two other more standard death metal bands in the line up. Their songs were pretty well put together though they didn’t really grab me too much. Maybe if I was familiar with some of their material beforehand I’d have been a bit more into it. Their lead singer, Toby Gomez, was pretty entertaining with his banter between songs and he helped to keep the mood light between the heavy songs. By the time they ended their set it was getting late though and I was wondering how much time the headliner would have to play.

The next band to hit the stage was Loclus and it was already after 1am when they started playing! They had a big, professional banner with their logo and some artwork up behind the stage that must have cost a bit of money to have made. It was pretty cool looking though. Their guitarist, Steve Miller, had given me their demo a few months back that I really enjoyed, but I still hadn’t had a chance to catch them live yet. I’m glad I made it to this one as they were really on fire. You can tell they had put a lot of work into getting this show together and when they hit the stage it really paid off! They took the stage and really played a no-nonsense very tight set. This was some fast, brutal death metal and Loculus really killed it on the stage here. They were well practiced and they executed their material very well (from what I could tell at least). The drums were pummeling, the guitars were furious and the vocals were out of control. They didn’t talk much between songs, I’d guess that was partially due to the fact that time was becoming an issue this night. However, they did pause at one point to tell everyone to pick up a free copy of the four song EP they were releasing. The mosh pit was going strong the whole set and I think everyone in the room could feel the intensity of their performance. The worst part was that it was so short, they only played five songs, though I think if it was any longer they’d have run out of time for the venue to be open.

It was a great show, and while it wasn’t the first for Loculus it had a sort of debut feeling to it. If you were there and didn’t get a copy of Sinew for some reason, the band has said you can bring your ticket stub to their next concert (date and venue still to be determined as of this post’s writing) and they’ll give you a copy. It was great to see so many people come crawling out of the woodwork to a late gig for local death metal acts. It sort of reminded me of that first State Theatre metal show (my review of that is here) back in August where it was also cool to see how many people came out in support. These kinds of concerts, plus the Blood & Fire Fest, various weekly and monthly metal gigs starting at venues around the area, and the willingness of more and more local venues to host metal concerts are showing this scene really start to come together! I’m glad so many people came out, and glad Loculus not only set this show up, but really killed it Saturday night when everyone was watching to show people this isn’t all just hype. Metal in the greater DC area is on the rise! Now check out the videos from the night that my SD card didn’t corrupt below, and be sure to check back later in the week for my review of Sunday night’s Dying Fetus and Cannibal Corpse as well as the re-opening (finally) of the Downloads page on the site that will have free mp3 downloads of over 20 different local metal bands of various sub-genres.

Review of Metal Monday at So Addictive

So Addictive Lounge is a small venue out in Herndon, Virginia that’s been having a weekly Metal Monday showcasing mostly local metal bands. As such, I’ve heard a lot about this place since most of the local bands I try to follow seem to play there sooner or later. This evening, Monday the 15th of November 2010, they were having a free show so I figured I’d head out and catch the bands playing and finally get to check out the venue. So Addictive isn’t a very large venue, it’s really more of a bar with a small stage set up. The stage wasn’t large enough for anything besides the drum kits, so for all the bands playing everyone but the drummer was on the floor with the audience. It’s kind of cool because the audience is right there with the band while they play. The room got very dark, but that wasn’t bad considering the bands playing this night. The beer selection wasn’t good for a bar though, they had nothing on tap and their bottles were almost all yellow beers (they did have Guiness and Yeungling, but when I ordered one of the latter, it tasted so skunky I didn’t bother getting another). Also, this was the night the Washington Redskins were embarrassed by the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football to the tune of 59 to 28, so the metal was a good way to become distracted from that disaster on the TVs in the bar.

The first band up was a band called Frank Palkoski, or Palkoski, or the Seventh Gate (or all of those?). I’m not really sure what they prefer to go by really but that’s not a big deal. I thought they were going to be a black metal band judging by their logo on the flyer and the other bands playing, but they were actually a three piece grind band more similar in sound to Pig Destroyer than any of the other bands playing that night. They cranked the fog machine up and really let loose with the intensity. They started the show off like a blaring alarm clock on a morning you don’t want to wake up, if that alarm clock was an air raid siren. Their sporadic bursts of raw energy were broken up by some cool guitar riffs and drum beats, often suddenly interrupted with screams of anger. It was entertaining and a good way to start off the show. They had some burned CDs of their material they were giving out in clear plastic Ziploc bags they’d placed on the floor in front of the mic stands and I made sure to pick one up. They also threw a couple of shirts to random people in the audience, which was cool.

The next band up was Archael, who I’d also never seen before. They are a standard black metal band heavily influenced by the early 90s Norwegian scene and they had some catchy riffs. The singer got a bit rowdy and jumped in the crowd a bit to mosh I guess, which was fine until he came over to the side and pushed me holding my camera. I put the camera away and grabbed a beer after that, I’m not trying to damage my gear. Regardless, they did have a lot of energy and the lead guitarist was getting people as excited about the music as the vocalist was. They’ve got their sound down pretty well, though they could use a bit more variation in the songs. They were good songs, but you can tell they are still growing as a band and I think once they change up the formula a bit they’ll have a really interesting set to play. I’d like to see which direction these guys go as they stray more from their influences and form a more distinct sound for themselves in the future, as they really do know how play some fast and brutal black metal.

The next band to play, Apothys, I’ve seen a few times now, and I will see them play again next weekend at Jaxx. That’s not a bad thing at all since they’re really fun to watch live. I won’t get too into the details here as I’ll probably cover them more in the next review (and I’ve already reviewed their set at the Blood & Fire Festival here). This set was pretty fun though, it was cool to see the band interact with the audience due to the lack of a proper stage. I mean just look at this shot of guitarist Eddie Misery leading the crowd members at headbanging, while standing in the audience and playing guitar! They played their own style of blackened death metal very well and the crowd really got into the show. Their final song, Of Writhing Eyes, seemed to really get everyone going nuts. It was another great performance by the leaders of Northern Virginia’s death metal scene.

The final band of the night was Immortal Decay, another band I’ve seen a few times now. By this point it was getting pretty late and there weren’t as many people there. That’s a shame because these guys are really starting to come into their own as a band. The room was very dark when they played, and the band didn’t screw around talking between songs too much. They played a cover of Satyricon‘s classic Mother North which everyone seemed to enjoy (how can you like black metal and not?). Their vocalist, Viktor Osorio, kept it interesting, even rolling around on the ground a bit (careful with those spikes!). The set seemed short though and sort of abruptly ended, maybe due to time constraints at the venue as it was well after 1am by the time they finished. They were fun as usual, and you can catch them opening for Watain at Sonar in Baltimore on Nov 30th (more details on my upcoming concerts calendar page) if you want to see them in action. If you can, buy a ticket from the band members as they have them for sale without service fees.

In all the show was a lot of fun. Not a bad way to spend a rainy night in Northern Virginia, even though Herndon is a bit of a drive for me. It’s nice to see more of these local metal nights popping up around the area, and I hope to attend more in the future, just wish I could bring my own beer to this venue! I’ve got videos posted below, but since it was so dark for most of the sets, and my camera doesn’t adjust to low lighting well, they’re mostly just good for getting a chance to listen to the bands yourself. Enjoy!

Review of Blood And Fire Festival at KC’s

On Saturday the 10th of July, 2010 I headed down to Fredericksburg to a gathering of bands from Washington DC and Northern Virginia. This was the first Blood And Fire Festival and was held at KC’s Music Alley. The doors opened at 2pm but there was no way I was going to get down to Fredericksburg that early. I got there a little after 6pm and found the parking lot packed. I’d never been to KC’s before so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I hadn’t counted on the lot being completely full. I did find a spot eventually, and made my way inside. Orgy Of The Damned was on the stage when I went inside. I had met their drummer back in May at Maryland Deathfest and I’m glad I got there in time to check them out. They were a group of pretty young guys with a lot of youthful excitement and seemed to really be enjoying themselves on the stage. They had some technical difficulties (an unfortunate theme for the night really) and someone mentioned to me that their vocalist had been sick, but they made the best of it. During one of the breaks to fix equipment they played an impromptu cover of Napalm Death‘s one second song You Suffer, that was pretty entertaining. I thought it was kind of funny when the singer got a member of the audience to sing into the mic “I’m a fieces fiend”, haha. They also played a cover of Belphegor‘s ridiculously titled song Bondage Goat Zombie when they were told they had time for one more song.

The next band I saw was a black metal band from Leesburg, Virginia called Immortal Decay. Their bass player was in full corpse paint, and they had some deer antlers on the mic stand. Their singer had a lot of fun poses to watch, and the band had a lot of energy on stage. It was during their set I realized just how shitty the sound set up was at this venue. For most of their set I was standing in the middle very close to the front of the stage. From there you couldn’t hear the vocals at all. I didn’t shoot any video of these guys because I thought the mic was just out and didn’t want to make a shitty recording. At the end of their set I moved around a bit and realized that if you moved to the sides of the stage near the speakers you could hear the microphones much better. By the time I figured that out their set was almost over. I did enjoy their set though, and even if I couldn’t hear the vocalist he was putting on a good show. While most bands would try to get the audience moshing by spinning their hand or just telling the crowd to, this guy actually jumped off the stage and ran into the mosh pit, mid song! Now that is getting the audience into the show, haha! One of their guitarists, who was rather tall, was also helping with the showmanship. Between him and the vocalist it was hard to keep your eyes away from the stage. Their sound was certainly black metal, heavily distorted guitars making a wall of sound with rather aggressive riffs and fast paced drumming. They were pretty entertaining and I wouldn’t mind having some of their mp3s on my iPod. UPDATE: Immortal Decay posted a video of them playing the song Rotting Altar at the Blood And Fire Festival on their YouTube page here.

After they finished playing I went to the bar area for a bit. The entire venue is divided down the middle, one side with the stage area and the other had the bar and pool tables, as well as a foosball table and a lonely Tekken Tag arcade game. This created a bit of a problem, since you really couldn’t drink while watching the bands. I asked the bartender about this, and she said that apparently the guy checking the door was just looking to see if people were over 18 and not if they were over 21, so they didn’t have a way of knowing if people underage were drinking or not if they allowed people to bring their alcohol into the stage area. They had pretty cheap beer, I’d forgotten how cheap it is to drink the farther away you get from the city. They had $1.50 PBR drafts, and $2 Corona bottles, can’t find that anywhere inside the belt loop. Since I wanted to eat, drink, and talk to people a bit, I had to miss a few of the bands because of the set up though.

Anyways, the next band I watched was Apothys. They’re probably the most popular death metal band in Northern Virginia these days, and for good reason. They put on a good show and play some cool tunes too. I certainly got into the show when they played their song Venomcrest. They moved around on stage quite a bit, and kept the audience excited with their guitar solos and general stage presence. They had the largest size crowd of the night, partly because they’re fun to watch, but also because when their set ended, everyone under 18 was kicked out of the venue. I don’t know if Fredericksburg has a curfew or if the Virginia ABC has a law about it or maybe it was just the venue’s decision. Regardless, the bands who played after certainly had a smaller crowd to play for, and since the place was divided, this meant just as many people were left hanging out in the bar area, including me! I found myself talking to various locals, fans, band members, girlfriends, and pretty much anyone in my vicinity. I got the bartender to put one of my bumper stickers on the edge of the shelf holding up the TVs over the bar, which was pretty cool, and I handed out a bunch more of my stickers to people. It’s always cool when people recognize me from the site too, especially since you can’t really see my face on there since I’ve got corpse paint on. After a couple more bands played it was time to check out the final act of the night, Hatred.

Hatred has been playing the DC area since the early 90s. They’re a sort of old school thrashy death metal band. They were pretty fun to watch, as usual. Most of the people in the bar area moved out to see them play too, which was cool. It was nice to see people had stuck around to watch them. They played songs from most of their back catalog, not just stuff from their 2009 album Burning Paradise. At one point during the set they switched bass players, I’m not sure what happened there but that was kind of strange. The second guy sure had a lot more stage presence, as evidenced in the videos I posted below. They played a rather long set and the people there were chanting for them to come back after the last song was played. I don’t know if it was scheduled or not, the set list didn’t mention it, but they came back to play a final song that ended around 1am. That wrapped up the first Blood & Fire Festival, which I have to say was a pretty fun experience. I don’t know if anyone ever claimed the ticket raffle prizes (the winning ticket numbers were 55 and 57) and I didn’t even know there was a raffle until Apothys announced they were picking the winners on stage. They did have some of the coolest concert tickets I’ve ever seen, much nicer than the generic blue & white from Ticketmaster. They were black and red with flames and shit, pretty metal. There were certainly sound problems throughout the event, and the curfew thing was strange, but in all it was nice to see a bunch of local bands take some initiative and get together like this. I know Apothys had a big hand in organizing it, I’m hoping they put another one together in the future, just maybe not as far away as Fredericksburg next time. With that, I leave you with the videos I shot at the concert, the first is Orgy Of The Damned, the next two are Apothys and the rest are Hatred. Enjoy!