Deafheaven ticket give away

Deafheaven

San Francisco based atmospheric black metal band Deafheaven is touring this summer and they’ll be at the Rock And Roll Hotel this Sunday, June 30th and DCHeavyMetal.com is giving away a free pair of tickets to a lucky one of you readers. To enter leave a comment on this post telling me who your favorite black metal band from the US is. At 5pm EST this Friday, June 28th, 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 you can’t wait to see if you win then you can get tickets from Ticket Alternative right now for $12 here.

Deafheaven plays a rather hypnotic style of black metal that fans of Alcest, Wolves In The Throne Room and Krallice will enjoy, though they’ve put their own California style take on the sound. Their new album, Sunbather, takes the standard frozen wintery darkness commonly associated with black metal and does a full 180 with its imagery of summer heat, blinding sunlight and sunburnt skin. Give the album’s title track a listen on the YouTube video below. The song is 10 minutes long but it goes to a lot of different places in that time and is definitely worth the full listen. Also on this tour is Marriages. They’re based out of LA and not really a metal band but two of the members, Greg Burns and Emma Ruth Rundle, are both from Red Sparowes. The opener is a electonic/doom band from Baltimore named Curse. I’ve posted a song by each band below so give them a listen and tell me who your favorite USBM band is!

Torche ticket give away

Torche

Miami Florida’s Torche is bringing their thunder pop to the Rock And Roll Hotel on Saturday, June 15th and DCHeavyMetal.com is giving away a free pair of tickets to a lucky one of you readers. To enter just tell me which song you’d like to hear them play the most in a comment on this post. If you need help then just check out their discography on Metal Archives (here). At 5pm this Friday, June 7th, 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 you can’t wait to see if you win then you can get tickets from Ticket Alternative right now for $14 here.

Torche plays a sort of stoner metal and rock hyrbid that is full of great riffs, and they are really fun to watch live. This show should be a lot of fun! They’re playing with Canadian hardcore band KEN mode as well as the excellent Ohio based band Lo-Pan. Hell, even if you don’t win you should come out to this show, it’s going to be a lot of fun on a summer Saturday night! Now give a listen to these videos below by each of the bands playing and decide which Torche song you want to pick to enter!

Morbid Angel at the Howard Theatre

On Monday the 24th of September 2012 another heavy metal tour came to the Howard Theatre in Washington DC. This time the show was headlined by Morbid Angel, one of the most famous bands from the legendary Tampa, Florida death metal scene. The first band to play was VadimVon, a South Carolina based death metal band, however I wasn’t able to get there in time to see them. The first band I saw perform was Grave, one of the old school Swedish death metal bands. Before Swedish metal became associated with bands like At The Gates, In Flames and Soilwork there was a death metal scene there that rivaled the one Morbid Angel Tour Posterin Tampa at the time. It was led by bands like Entombed, Hypocrisy, Unleashed and Dismember. Grave is one of the few bands from that scene that is not only still around but has also stayed true to their sound. The only member of Grave that is left from those days is vocalist/guitarist Ola Lindgren and he showed the audience at the Howard Theatre that he’s still got it. The band put on a good show with a set list (photo of it here) that showed a pretty good history of the band, considering the time they had to play, as well as featuring a few songs of their latest album, Endless Procession of Souls. They got the pit really going on a few songs and hell, it was great to hear a set full of old school Swedish death metal! You just don’t get a chance to hear that very often any more. The next band up was another Swedish band, though this time of the black metal variety. Dark Funeral has gone through some line up changes since they last toured the US, most notably replacing their vocalist of 15 years, Emperor Magus Caligula. This was their first area appearance with the new vocalist, Nachtgarm, who is also the front man of the German black metal band Negator. While I wouldn’t say he was bad he certainly didn’t live up to the showmanship that Caligula had when on stage with the band. Dark Funeral has always been very apt at maintaining their image, everyone in the band comes out dressed like corpse painted orcs from Lord Of The Rings, complete with leather armor. Well, everyone except Nachtgarm that is, who was wearing one of those Shagrath style black metal dresses and looked more like he fit in a Behemoth video than with Dark Funeral on stage. Dark Funeral has never been the most original black metal band. Their sound is pretty typical of the genre and never really pushed any boundaries, though they do have a few rather stand out songs. The stage show has always helped to keep them from blending in with every other black metal band out there and I guess the new vocalist seemed to just detract from that. Again he wasn’t awful, he just didn’t seem to fit Dark Funeral that well. Perhaps after they record an album with him and he is performing some of his own material live he’ll have a better chemistry with them. Still, the band plays fast paced music and their closing song, My Funeral, got me pumped and ready for the headliner, Morbid Angel.

Aside from this year’s headlining appearance at Maryland Deathfest, Morbid Angel hasn’t played in the area since their show at Jaxx/Empire in April 2006 when they were first touring again because David Vincent had rejoined the band. Since that show they have only put out one album, last year’s dreadful Illud Divinum Insanus which was not only critically panned but also stained Morbid Angel’s reputation among fans. I had just seen another one of the big names from the Tampa scene, Obituary, play at Empire two weeks earlier (my review of that show is here) and they put on a lackluster performance so I was hoping Morbid Angel wouldn’t follow suit. Morbid Angel didn’t disappoint. They put on a brutal show playing many of their older classics. Their set list (photo of it here) had a lot of songs from their album Covenant, with most of the other songs being spread throughout the David Vincent era of the band. They did play one song, Bil Ur-Sag, from the album Formulas Fatal To The Flesh, an album David Vincent was not on. I’ve never seen them play a song with him before that wasn’t from his time with the band, so that was pretty cool actually. Trey Azagthoth did his thing on the side of the stage cranking out classic riffs and wild solos with his trademark long hair obscuring his face the entire show. While Morbid Angel played two songs from their most recent album they were at least two of the more “metal” songs from it. Tim Yeung did a good job behind the kit and Destructhor, playing rhythm guitar (but still had some solos) did a fine job as well, but really the main focus on stage was David Vincent. Morbid Angel is definitely a better band with him fronting them. Between two songs he did mention how he hated DC as it represented everything he hated about the way the world is run, but assured the audience this wasn’t any fault of our own. Definitely not the usual audience ass kissing you hear a front man blabber about whatever town he is in. In all it was really fun to see one of the legendary bands of death metal put on a killer show. My main gripe was that they didn’t play much from either Blessed Are The Sick or Domination but did play my two favorite songs of theirs, Maze Of Torment and Chapel Of Ghouls, and I’ve posted the videos I shot at the show of each song below. Well I hope you enjoyed reading this, now check out the pictures and videos I shot of the bands playing. Be sure to get your ass out to some of the awesome upcoming metal shows going on in the area and help to support the scene you’re a part of!

Grave:

Grave at the Howard Theatre

Ola Lindgren of Grave

Ola Lindgren of Grave

Ola Lindgren of Grave

Ola Lindgren of Grave

Tobias Cristiansson of Grave

Mika Lagrén of Grave

Dark Funeral:

Nachtgarm of Dark Funeral

Chaq Mol of Dark Funeral

Nachtgarm of Dark Funeral

Lord Ahriman of Dark Funeral

Zornheym of Dark Funeral

Nachtgarm of Dark Funeral

Lord Ahriman of Dark Funeral

Nachtgarm of Dark Funeral

Morbid Angel:

David Vincent of Morbid Angel

Trey Azagthoth of Morbid Angel

David Vincent of Morbid Angel

David Vincent of Morbid Angel

David Vincent of Morbid Angel

Destructhor of Morbid Angel

David Vincent of Morbid Angel

Trey Azagthoth of Morbid Angel

David Vincent of Morbid Angel

Pallbearer ticket give away

If you like your doom metal with an extra dose of heavy and a heaping Pallbearer at the Rock & Roll Hotelside of gloom then you don’t want to miss Pallbearer coming to the Rock & Roll Hotel on Wednesday, September 12th, 2012. DCHeavyMetal.com is giving away a free pair of tickets to one lucky winner to catch this must see show and all you’ve got to do to enter is leave a comment at the end of this post telling me which metal band you’d like to see come to the Rock & Roll Hotel next! On Monday, September 10th at 5pm EST I’ll pick a winner at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to get the free pair of tickets to the show! Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. If I don’t hear from you in 24 hours then I’ll pick another winner to get the tickets. Don’t worry, I wont add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all your entries will be disqualified. If you simply can’t wait to see if you win the contest you can get tickets from Ticket Alternative here for $12.

Pallbearer’s debut album, Sorrow And Extinction, was released in February and has been making waves in the world of doom metal, and for Pallbearer Live album cover artgood reason! The Arkansas based band uses clean vocals on top of crushingly heavy riffs that will have you feeling the weight of that casket when you hear them play live. As an extra bonus, everyone in attendance can pick up a free copy of Pallbearer Live on 10″ vinyl provided by Scion A/V at the merch booth. The opening act on the Paths To Oblivion Tour is Royal Thunder, an Atlanta, Georgia based rock band. Samothrace was supposed to be on this tour but had to drop due to an “immediate illness in the family of a band member” according to this post. For this show their spot on the bill has been taken by Asthma Castle, a Baltimore based band that should fit perfectly with the two touring bands. Now crank up the song below, Devoid Of Redemption, while you enter the contest below. Good luck!

One Inch Giant at DC9

Last night I saw the Gothenburg, Sweden based stoner band One Inch Giant perform in Washington DC at DC9 between two great local acts, Borracho and Auroboros. The turn out wasn’t great but the bands still all put on solid performances. Borracho and One Inch Giant are both heading up to the Stoner Hands Of Doom festival this weekend in Connecticut and this was one of their warm up shows as they hit the road for the big fest. Borracho’s vocalist, Noah Greenberg, is out of the area for a while but they’ve still been playing as a three piece and their set is mostly instrumental, but I love instrumental bands so that’s not a bad thing to me. Plus their killer riffs are what you should be focused on anyways! One Inch Giant was fun, their singer even did a motorcycle dance during one tune and their bass player had a Suffocation shirt on. Not something you usually see guys in stoner bands wearing but that was pretty sick. I’ll keep this post short but you can check out my photos from last night below. You might recognize the first band, Auroboros, from my last post as they played with Hull last weekend as well. Now check out these shots and get out to some metal shows to support the scene you’re a part of!

Auroboros:

Auroboros at DC9

Jake Smith of Auroboros at DC9

Auroboros at DC9

Brian Blickle of Auroboros at DC9

One Inch Giant:

Filip Åstrand of One Inch Giant at DC9

One Inch Giant at DC9

Filip Åstrand of One Inch Giant at DC9

Filip Åstrand of One Inch Giant at DC9

Filip Åstrand of One Inch Giant at DC9

Gabriel Lugo Méndez of One Inch Giant at DC9

Gabriel Lugo Méndez of One Inch Giant at DC9

Filip Åstrand of One Inch Giant at DC9

Axel Berglund of One Inch Giant at DC9

Axel Berglund of One Inch Giant at DC9

Gabriel Ek of One Inch Giant at DC9

Gabriel Ek of One Inch Giant at DC9

Borracho:

Tim Martin of Borracho at DC9

Steve Fisher of Borracho at DC9

Steve Fisher of Borracho at DC9

Mario Trubiano of Borracho at DC9

Borracho at DC9

Hull at the Cellar Door

Last night I got to see the New York City based sludge metal band Hull play in the cramped basement of the Cellar Door in Annandale, Virginia. The show was epic, possibly the best show I’ve ever seen in a basement! The space there is very small and the bands are always right on top of the crowd, sometimes even IN the crowd. I heard someone ask one of Hull’s band members when the last time they played a room that small was and he answered that they never had. Local support for this show was Auroboros and Akris. DIY shows are great and we’re lucky to have some venues like this in our area to put these kinds of shows on. I felt lucky to be in attendance. I’m not going to do a full review of this show but I did take some photos of the last two bands that you can see in this post. Unfortunately I didn’t get close enough to shoot any of Akris. The photos are unedited with Photoshop or anything like that, you see them just as they came out of my camera, and you can click on any of them to see them larger. Stay metal everyone and until next time remember, support the scene you’re a part of!

Auroboros:

Auroboros at the Cellar Door

Auroboros at the Cellar Door

Tommy Parry of Auroboros at the Cellar Door

Rob Moore of Auroboros at the Cellar Door

Brian Blickle of Auroboros at the Cellar Door

Auroboros at the Cellar Door

Hull:

N. Palmirotto of Hull at the Cellar Door

S. B. Dunn of Hull at the Cellar Door

N. Palmirotto of Hull at the Cellar Door

N. Palmirotto of Hull at the Cellar Door

C. Laietta V of Hull at the Cellar Door

Hull at the Cellar Door

S. B. Dunn of Hull at the Cellar Door

S. B. Dunn of Hull at the Cellar Door

S. B. Dunn of Hull at the Cellar Door

Hull at the Cellar Door

Hull at the Cellar Door

S. B. Dunn of Hull at the Cellar Door

N. Palmirotto of Hull at the Cellar Door

Heritage Hunter Tour At The Fillmore Silver Spring Concert Review

Wednesday the 9th of May 2012 was a rainy day in the Washington, DC area, perfect weather for a mid-week, indoor concert. The Heritage Hunter Heritage Hunter TourTour brought the impressive line up of Opeth, Mastodon and Ghost to the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland, that night and I finally got a chance to check out this venue. The venue itself has some pretty cool art and design on the walls, the collage of upcoming (and past) concert posters around the main floor’s elevator was pretty cool looking, and the paintings in the stairways were trippy to say the least. The venue is laid out similar to the 9:30 Club with a second floor that is cut out so you can view the stage from that level. This was my biggest problem with the venue however, as the lines of sight on the second floor were not good at all unless you were on the rail, and even then they weren’t great. They had some concrete ledge/steps sort of like at the 9:30 Club, however they are so far back that you cannot watch the show from there at all, and I’m over six feet tall so it isn’t like I’m just too short. This was one of the few poor design choices I found at the venue and luckily this show wasn’t sold out because that would leave a lot of people wishing they could see. There is a VIP section with seats and tables on the second floor as well, and these ring the second floor’s edge, though they certainly block the view for regular ticket holders. I guess that’s an option if you Fillmore Artwant to be sure you get a good view, however something seems just wrong to me about paying extra so you can sit down to watch a metal show. They had several working bars around the place, even the basement bathrooms and coat check, with no view of the stage upstairs, had a fully stocked bar. The venue’s sound wasn’t bad at all and the stage lights were really great, particularly during the first two sets. They have a food menu (see it here) which even has multiple vegetarian options. The bar’s prices aren’t any better than at the 9:30 Club. Alcohol prices weren’t posted anywhere, I’d assume to get people to not realize how much they’re spending until they get the bill at the end of the night. To give you an idea of their prices, I saw a bottle of Heineken poured into a cup for $7 before tip. Anyways, enough about the venue, let’s get to the bands.

The mysterious band Ghost was the opening act for the night. Their last stop in the area was a sold out show at the Rock & Roll Hotel on January 19th and the lead vocalist, Papa Emeritus, sounded very poor then and Papa Emeritus of Ghostcouldn’t hit his high notes. This wasn’t a problem at the Fillmore show at all and the band performed very well. Ghost is a very dramatic band on stage with Papa Emeritus making all kinds of poses that, as a photographer, are totally fun to shoot. Ghost’s theatrics also made them well suited to the bigger stage and the excellent lighting rig the Fillmore provides. Ghost really put on a great show and the 30 minute set seemed to fit them well as they played most of Opus Eponymous, their debut album and only release, in that time.

The second band to play that night was Mastodon, who is probably the biggest band from Georgia centralized sludge metal scene. They were Troy Sanders of Mastodonco-headlining this tour with Opeth, apparently alternating which band headlined each night and this night we had Opeth playing last. I’ll be honest with you here and admit I’ve never been a huge fan of Mastodon, though on this night it seemed like their set’s focus on their latest album, The Hunter, didn’t go over that great with most of the audience either. They played the 9:30 Club back on November 27th to promote this album already, so you’d think they could have changed up their set list a bit by now. Midway through their set it just seemed like more of the same and you could tell people were waiting to hear the classic songs that made them fall in love with the band. When they finally started playing some of their older material the crowd really got into the show, but by then they were wrapping up their set. Kind of a downer to end that way but at least they weren’t the last band playing that night.

The final band to perform was the Swedish progressive metal band Opeth. Well, they are certainly starting to lean further away from being a true “metal” band though they do still put on a good show. Their set list wasn’t much Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opethdifferent from the one they played at Rams Head Live in Baltimore back on November 1st, although this time there was no legendary Bloodbath performance to end the night. They did play a shorter set this time as well, only about an hour and fifteen minutes long, though honestly that was probably a good amount. Opeth’s set list also weighed heavy on their latest album, Heritage, which is a bit controversial among fans because it only has clean vocal singing with no guttural growling. This takes an element away from their songs, and thus the live show, as one of Opeth’s strengths has always been the seamless weaving of the lighter and heavier aspects of progressive metal. In fact, I’d say their manipulation of dynamic contrast is a large part of the band’s overall appeal and one of the things that makes their sound unique. Even so, Opeth writes very good songs and it’s not like they simply suck now, it just seems like something is missing. This was really notable when they played Demon Of The Fall, one of the few older songs they performed, which I thought was their best song of the night. That was the Opeth I wanted to see. Those days seem to be coming to a close and at the end of their set I still just wanted to hear them play Bleak.

In all the show was a lot of fun for me. I thought all the bands were relying too heavily on their latest output (I suppose Ghost can get a pass since they only have one release) especially considering they had all played the area to promote those albums. I’m not saying the bands shouldn’t play new material, but throw your fans a few bones here! At the end of the show I saw a curious thing, the staff at the Fillmore was handing out tickets, for free, to see the Saints & Sinners Tour with Emmure as well as tickets to see Meshuggah, Baroness and Decapitated, both of which will be at the Fillmore later this month. Perhaps they aren’t selling that well, I don’t know, but that was kind of cool. During Opeth’s last song I headed outside to hand out flyers for DCHeavyMetal.com. Several people tried to speak to me but in the flood of people walking by, and with my hands full of flyers, I simply didn’t have time to to talk. I didn’t want to come off as “too cool” or something and usually I love chatting with fans of the site so the next time you see me be sure to say hi.A Nameless Ghoul of Ghost Also, if you like the photos I shot in this review you can see the rest of my photos from this show, including shots of the set lists, on my Flickr page here (some of my photos were also used in a review of the show written by Catherine Lewis for DCist here). Until next time, stay metal everyone and support the scene you’re a part of!