Another Mega Sized Concert Recap

Well, I haven’t posted any concert reviews lately, but as usual I’ve still been going to lots of concerts. Things have slowed down a bit here in late December concert wise but this is normal since bands don’t usually like touring during the holidays. I’ve been to some great shows since my first mega sized concert recap. I’ve set each show as a separate paragraph so if you don’t care about a particular gig you can easily skip to the next one. And of course all the band names will link you to a place you can stream that band’s music. Click on any picture to see more of my photos of that band as well. Now, on to the awesomeness that is going to see metal shows in the DC area.

On Saturday the 12th of November 2011 I headed out to the Velvet Lounge on U Street in the District. Warchild was headlining a show and I had heard they were good live, though I hadn’t gotten a chance to see them yet. I got there right when their set was starting and the upstairs of the Velvet Lounge was absolutely packed! I’ve never seen it that full before and it’s cool so many people came out to see a local metal band play there. Warchild is a thrash metal act who likes to party hard. Everyone in the band was shirtless and sporting lots of tattoos. The vocalist, also from the 80s throwback rock band Rattler, told everyone in attendance to not hold back and stage dive and crowd surf as much as they wanted. The audience complied and people were even hanging from the fan in the middle of the room, just going nuts. They brought some people on stage to pound beers in a beer bong and even had two guys race to see who could smash the a can of beer open on their head and then drink it the fastest. And you thought Municipal Waste was a party thrash band, this show was crazy. They played a solid thrash set and ended it with a kick ass cover, with plenty of crowd participation, of Metallica‘s old school classic The Four Horsemen. Such a great show, I can’t wait to see them live again. Highly recommended!
Warchild

Beer Eating Contest

The following Thursday, the 18th of November, I went to the Black Cat in Washington DC to see Fu Manchu play. The opening act was the Austin, Texas based three piece Honky. Somewhere between hellbilly and stoner, they were a pretty solid opener. Their bass player is JD Pinkus who is better known for having played in the Butthole Surfers. They had some hilarious song titles and subjects, which you’d expect more from a humorous grind band. My favorite was their song about masturbating at work called Gittin’ It. They were fun and obviously didn’t take themselves too seriously and they made for a good opener for Fu Manchu. On the final song of Honky’s set Fu Manchu guitar player Bob Balch came out to play a tune with the band. Fu Manchu is one of the main influences in stoner rock and metal, and most of their songs deal with modes of transportation like souped up cars and skateboarding. They had played the upstairs main stage at the Black Cat in September of 2010 but this concert was in the smaller back stage downstairs. The place was pretty crowded when Fu Manchu hit the stage, but the crowd wasn’t too rowdy. They started the set off with a few of their 90s classics before launching into this tour’s main draw, performing their entire 1996 album In Search Of… straight through. They walked off stage for the encore thing and came back to play a couple more songs, finally ending the set with King Of The Road which was still stuck in my head as I drove home. King of the road says you move too slow!
Honky with Bob Balch

Scott Hill of Fu Manchu

On Tuesday the 29th of November I found myself at the Cellar Door in Annandale, Virginia to see the Chapel Hill, North Carolina based band Black Skies play. There were four bands playing that night but I only caught two of them. The first band that I saw was Admiral Browning, a Frederick, Maryland band that was formerly an instrumental band with four members. To my surprise, at this show they had vocals and only three members. A bit of a change, and although I have a fondness for instrumental metal bands, the vocals fit in to place with the rest of the music. They were entertaining but the main reason I came to this show was to see Black Skies again. I saw them play back in September and they blew me away. This show was no less exciting. Even in the tight basement of the Cellar Door they just burst with energy. They’re the only band I’ve seen someone play a guitar solo with their teeth in a basement, and I’ve seen them do it twice now! I ended up buying a poster and it came with a free download of their debut album, On The Wings Of Time. This is a band worth checking out and I can’t wait to see them play in the area again.
Admiral Browning

Michelle Temple of Black Skies

Skip ahead to Sunday the 11th of December and I was at Jaxx to see the notorious Norwegian black metal band Mayhem again. I had seen them on the first show of their tour in Baltimore on November 2nd, but now they were back in the area playing the final show of their tour. The set list was the same as the first show, however vocalist Attila Csihar had a different costume on (he is known for having a wide range of stage costumes). This time he did not have any fake blood, and he held a skull in his left hand for the entire set. The audience seemed much more dead than the crazy pits that happened in Baltimore a month before, and the band didn’t seem to get into the show as much either. Being the final show of the tour they were probably a bit worn out. The audio mix at Jaxx wasn’t as good either. Overall I wouldn’t say the show was bad, it just wasn’t great, and the Baltimore show definitely felt more like a real Mayhem show. The fog machine was on thick all night though, and camera conditions weren’t optimal, however I still got a few decent shots and Mayhem even posted one of my photos from this show on their Facebook wall.

Mayhem

The following Thursday, the 15th of December, I found myself at the Black Cat once again, this time to see the killer line up of The Body, Zoroaster and Black Cobra. The first band to play was The Body, a two man doom band from Rhode Island (though I hear they are relocating). They set their gear up in the middle of the flood of the Black Cat’s back stage area and just played there on the ground, with the audience around them. They were very loud, a theme that would recur throughout the night. After they played Zoroaster took the stage. They’re a psychedelic sludge metal band from Atlanta, Georgia. They have a really trippy vibe while being heavy as well. They had a bunch of lasers shooting around not just the stage but the entire room and it looked pretty cool. Midway through my favorite song of theirs, Odyssey, the power abruptly cut out and the lights came back on for a few minutes before the band finished their set. Then came the headliner, Los Angeles, California based Black Cobra. They’re a sludge metal duo and their latest album, Invernal, is heavy as all hell. They ended up playing every song off of it, though not in order, as well as some of their older songs mixed in. A truly crushing set, it’s amazing how much heavy just two people can make. Take note all you folk bands with like a dozen members, these three bands on this tour had just seven total members between them, and they kicked major ass. Sometimes less really is more.
The Body

Zoroaster

Black Cobra

The next night, Friday the 16th of December, I went to the Velvet Lounge to catch a show I spent a good deal of effort promoting here on DCHM. Borracho was headlining an album release show, the official launch of their LP Splitting Sky. However, there were other bands who played before them. First was a band from Glen Echo, Maryland called Rezin. The guys seemed nice and all but I have to say they weren’t very good. Most of the crowd who had assembled had left by the time their set was over, and honestly I can’t really blame them. The band was very monotonous and they just didn’t do it for me, or apparently that many other in attendance. They didn’t seem to fit with the two other acts on this bill either. However, the next band to play, Kingsnake from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was simply outstanding on stage. They played a style of stoner that was almost southern, though rather dark as well. They had fine tuned their songs and obviously put a lot of effort into practicing them as well. It was a great performance by a band I didn’t really know anything about going in. After they played I got up on stage and swore at the audience about giving out free shit, and then Borracho started their set. The guys were on point this night, really putting on a great show. I’ve seen them a few times this year and this was definitely my favorite of their performances. Before I’d always seen them open for someone so it was great getting to see them play a full length set live for once. Also, it was a good turn out for the second metal show in a row at the Velvet Lounge, which is awesome. Hopefully they’ll continue to let us metal heads take over their spot on U Street more often on the weekends.
Rezin

Kingsnake

Borracho

On Saturday the 17th of December I went to my third metal show in as many days, this time to see locals Ilsa and Midnight Eye play with two Harrisonburg, Virginia bands, Earthling and Orthrus. They were playing at a small Ethiopian bar, named Asefu’s, that is just a few doors down from DC9 and the U Street corridor. I got there as Midnight Eye was setting up though I really only saw their first song. However, it was a brand new song and it was pretty sweet! I went a few doors down to eat dinner (I was starving) and came back while Orthrus was playing. The thin venue was packed and so I watched the show from the doorway and didn’t take any pictures (the band wasn’t facing my direction anyways). Regardless, they were pretty awesome. They play a sort of catchy black/thrash with death metal style deep vocals. Next up was Earthling, a band I had seen before at the now defunct Corpse Fortress back in March. They were just as fun to see live and I had forgotten how catchy I their tunes are. The final band of the night was DC’s own masters of doom/death metal, Ilsa. They have a dirty and crushing sound, very raw and primal and yet still very listenable. Some of their songs slow almost to a halt but the intensity never wanes. Ilsa is always fun to see live and this show was no different. However, at the end of their set they also played a new song for the first time, titled Man Made Monsters. Lucky for you who missed it, I’ve posted video of both Midnight Eye’s new song and Ilsa’s new song below. You might not be able to see much but you can at least hear them well enough.
Earthling

Ilsa

Well that wraps up another mega sized concert recap. I have a couple more shows to see before the year is done. You might be wondering why I didn’t cover the Mastodon show at the 9:30 Club in late November, and that’s because I’m not a Mastodon fan. I wanted to see Obscura and Abysmal Dawn play on December 7th but the weather was horrible that night and I didn’t want to drive to Baltimore in it as I knew traffic would be bad (Kyuss played the same night in Balti as well). Also, my camera’s lens was damaged during this time period and I had to wait a few weeks for it to be fixed (wasn’t cheap either!). And no, it wasn’t damaged at a show. Next week I plan on posting a big recap of 2011, from the local scene to the biggest metal stories of the year and it will include a preview of 2012 as well. Until then be sure to check the upcoming metal concert calendar and remember, support the scene you’re a part of!

Borracho CD release show!

Tonight is going to be a big night for the DC based stoner act Borracho, they’re finally having their big CD release show at the Velvet Lounge. You may recall that I gave away a few copies of their new album, Splitting Sky, in a post back in June and tonight, Friday the 16th of December, they’re finally having the big release show for it. They’ll be headlining the show with support by Philadelphia based Kingsnake and Rezin, a band from the DC suburbs of Maryland. Click any of the bands’ names if you’d like to hear them. There’s also going to be a DJ playing doom, stoner and sludge metal between the live bands. If that wasn’t cool enough, I’ll be the MC of the night and I’ll be introducing the bands and making a general ass of myself. Since it’s the holiday season you can expect some freebies to be given out at random (or possibly attached to a ridiculous contest or something). This show is just bursting at the seams with awesome, so head on down to the Velvet Lounge tonight. It’s at 915 U Street NW, Washington, DC 2001 (click to see it on a map) and is about 1 block away from the 9:30 Club. This is a late show, so don’t give me that crap about having to work late. The doors open at 9pm and the first band hits the stage at 10 so it’ll be raging for a while. $8 gets you in the door, however it is ages 21+ only.

While I’m in the middle of this shameless self promotion post, I might as well let you guys all know that at tonight’s show I’ll be selling DCHeavyMetal.com t-shirts with the new design by Joshua Brettell, drummer of local doom/death band Ilsa! The image is below, featuring the DCHM mascot Honest Abe in King Diamond style corpse paint and the logo in a wavy font similar to that on the cover of the Black Sabbath album Master Of Reality. Supplies are limited so get em while ya can, I can’t really reserve any for anyone but I will have sizes S thru XXL at the show, and they’re just $12!

Well if I haven’t given you enough reasons to come out to the show I don’t know what the hell will convince you. I’m sure this is going to be a fun show for everyone so let’s all have a blast and show DC that people will come out to metal shows inside the district. If you pay any attention to DCHM’s Facebook or Twitter accounts you’ve probably seen me talking up this concert so sorry if you’re tired of seeing this everywhere, however I’m really excited about tonight and I would be even if I didn’t have any part in it. Oh and one more thing, you can get free cabs tonight from the Sober Ride program to get you home even after the Metro closes. Call 1-800-200-TAXI (8294) or go here for more info. I hope to see some of you out there tonight! Now check out this rifftastic Borracho song, Concentric Circles.

Mega Sized Metal Concert Recap

Recently I’ve not been able to write as many concert reviews as I’d like to. I’m considering doing some shorter ones in the future. Believe it or not, my average concert review takes me 10-14 hours to put together. I have been going to a hell of a lot of shows and that just makes things back up a bunch and it can be hard to even get through just sorting through all my concert photos. However, I’ve been to some great shows since my last concert review, the Cavalara Conspiracy show review I posted back on October 14th, and I thought I’d just post a few pictures, videos and notes from those shows to give you an idea of what has been going on with live metal in this area from my point of view. Each paragraph below is about a different concert so you can skip ones ya don’t care about and move to ones you find more interesting easily. You can click any of the pictures below to see more of my photographs of the same band, and I’ve added some of my videos from the shows that I shot them at in this post as well, though as always I’ve got more on my YouTube page here.

On Friday, October 14th, 2011, I drove up to see Wabringer and Landmine Marathon at Sonar in Baltimore. This was Warbringer’s first headlining tour and while they are one of my favorite bands of the modern wave of thrash metal, I really wanted to see Landmine Marathon play. I’d never seen them before but had heard they were good live. Their vocalist, Grace Perry, was on the cover of the always controversial Hottest Chicks In Metal issue of Revolver magazine in 2009, but I didn’t care about any of that. She was absolutely ferocious on stage, really a sight to behold regardless of her gender or hotness or whatever. At one point she told the audience they better start moshing harder or she’d jump off the stage and kick everyone’s asses, and you believed it when she said it. Warbringer was fun live as usual, they played Living In A Whirlwind so I was happy. This was also the first time I’d seen them play anything from their newest album, Worlds Torn Asunder. Vocalist John Kevill did a stage dive into the audience at the end of the show. Lazarus A.D. played between those two bands but I don’t really care for them so I took that time to drink a couple Lancaster Milk Stouts in the other room. They’re delicious and Sonar has em in bottles at the bar, highly recommended when you’re thirsty at Sonar!
Grace Perry of Landmine Marathon

Warbringer

The next night, Saturday the 15th of October 2011, I found myself back at Sonar to see a black metal band from Singapore, Impiety. However, as a late addition to the bill I got to see a band I’ve been wanting to see for years, Ohio’s black/speed metal act Midnight. They came out in the executioner’s hoods that they’re known for and just shredded the place. They’re a fierce three piece and their sound reminds me of something of a cross between Motörhead and Darkthrone. After their awesome set Impiety hit the stage drenched in pig blood, and man did it stink like something awful. The pit was fierce for their entire set and the band never let up either. It was really a great show I’m glad I didn’t miss it. Considering where they’re from, who knows if you’ll ever be able to see them play around here again.
Midnight

Impiety

On Monday the 17th of October 2011 I found myself at Jaxx in Springfield, Virginia to check out local power metal band A Sound Of Thunder play support for the Swedish power metal band Sabaton for the final show of their tour. The audience was thin this evening, Dream Theater was playing at the Warner Theatre the same night and I’m sure that had an effect on the turn out. However A Sound Of Thunder put on a solid set and kept the audience’s attention. They were a good warm up act for Sabaton. I’d never seen Sabaton before, and honestly I’m not that familiar with their music, but I’ll tell you they were entertaining as hell to watch live. You could just tell that the band was having a lot of fun playing for the audience and even though the turn out wasn’t huge the people who were there really gave a lot of energy back to the band. They played a prank on their new temporary bass player when the rest of the band started playing a song they hadn’t taught him to play. It was a really fun experience from a band I didn’t really know what to expect from.
Nina Osegueda of A Sound Of Thunder

Sabaton

Skip ahead to Friday the 21st of October and I was at a kick ass Deceased show at Comet Ping Pong in Washington, DC. The opening acts were two I really enjoy, DC’s own stoner band Borracho and Richmond’s doomy/sludge band Windhand. Borracho went on first and they didn’t start until after 10pm. They put on a good show and the audience that came to see Deceased, different than the normal stoner band crowd, seemed to be into it. Next up came Windhand. This band is HEAVY and this set was no different than usual. Finally Deceased hit the stage well after midnight. Deceased has a lot of ties to the DC area, originally based out of Northern Virginia they are the kind of band that draws people out of the woodwork when they play in the area. It was good to see such a big crowd for them. They didn’t have a bass player, which made their sound a bit tinny and took some getting used to. King Fowley used to play drums but now was just doing the lead vocals, and he was having a lot of fun with the audience and even came out into the crowd a couple times. I got home really late that night, but it was worth it!
Borracho

Windhand

Deceased

Sunday the 23rd of October, 2011, I went on a road trip up to Philadelphia to catch a band I’d been wanting to see for several years, Kvelertak, play at Johnny Brenda’s. When I got there the Georgian psychedelic sludge metal group Zoroaster was playing and I saw them do a couple songs. Skeletonwitch, a thrash band from Ohio, was after them and they put on an energetic show, they’re definitely a better live band than when I saw them in April 2010. Not that they were bad then, but they’ve definitely got their live show down better now and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them doing a headlining tour sometime soon. Finally Kvelertak, the Norwegian punk/metal band I drove all that way to see, was up and they put on a hell of a wild show. There was a lot of stage diving and beer drinking and the show just had a crazy amount of energy going on. It was definitely worth the 6 and a half hours of driving there and back that night, so much fun! Hopefully they won’t skip the DC area on their next tour. Also, I met two other people, who didn’t know each other, who had both come up from the DC area for this show. That was kind of cool.
Skeletonwitch

Kvelertak

On Thursday the 27th of October I went to see a Sepultura cover band made up of members of various local bands, namely Disciples Of Christ (D.O.C.), Drugs Of Faith, Magrudergrind and Mind As Prison. This was at a small Ethiopian restaurant and bar called Asefu’s just a couple doors down from DC9 in Washington DC. Local guitar shredders Midnight Eye opened the set up and they were awesome as usual. They played a cover of Megadeth‘s classic Rust In Peace that was pretty slick as well. Local band Auroboros was next to play. They’re a great live band, with ex-members of Baroness and Salome in the group you know it’s just a matter of time until they really take off. During their set the drummer got caught in the fake spider webbing while playing, he even lost a stick to it, haha! The Sepultura all stars played next and while their set was mired with some technical difficulties at first, it was a lot of fun. I was a huge Sepultura fan in high school so it was cool hearing them play some of those old classics. They only played about four or five songs though, I wished it had lasted another hour! The final band of the night was Inter Arma from Richmond. Sadly a lot of people left after the cover band played but they played a powerful set regardless, I’m glad I stuck around to watch them.
Midnight Eye

Auroboros

Sepultura cover band

Inter Arma

I had another stop at Jaxx on Sunday the 30th of October 2011 to see Decapitated play. There were a lot of other bands playing this night, however I only saw the final three bands. Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse came out in their tuxedos and really got the mosh pit going, including a few guys in drag for Halloween that were in there. Next up was the California based tech death band Decrepit Birth. I really like this band a lot. They remind me of the band Death a lot, but with a more modern sound. Their vocalist, Bill Robinson, is a bit of a head trip but he really got the audience into the show. At one point he held up a copy of their latest CD and told the audience anyone could have it if they took it from him. This caused a wave of people to climb over the railing onto the stage and Bill kept pushing them back to stage dive onto the audience. Then came the headliners, the Polish death metal band Decapitated. This band had a tragic bus accident on October 29th 2007 while on tour. Their drummer was killed in the wreck and the vocalist was critically injured. Decapitated broke up for a little while, though guitarist Vogg decided to get them back together, with all other members of the band being new, and put out a new album back in July titled Carnival Is Forever. However, this band just isn’t the same, it was almost sad seeing them play. Spheres Of Madness, their closing song and most famous, just wasn’t the same, it was almost like seeing a cover band play it. Combined with their short set, they only played for about 45-50 minutes, they were a let down. I’m glad I got to see them a few times before their accident. Also of note, this was their final show of the tour and on the return flight their airplane had to make an emergency landing with no landing gear. The story with video of the landing is posted here. The band is fine but damn, maybe they should start walking when touring.
Fleshgod Apocalypse

Decrepit Birth

Decapitated

On Tuesday the 1st of November, 2011 I went up to Baltimore to see Opeth play at Rams Head Live. Their set was a rather laid back performance, even by Opeth’s standards. Their new album, Heritage, has no harsh vocals on it, and this tour was certainly to promote that album. The show was fun, and being that it was the last show of the tour the guys were kind of goofing off a bit. They let the audience in a short singalong to the chorus of Harvest at one point, and had a few pranks going on stage throughout the night. However the highlight of the evening was the encore. Members of the opening act that I didn’t get there in time to see, Katatonia, joined Mike Åkerfeldt and Martin Axenrot of Opeth to reform the Swedish death metal super group Bloodbath! They played two songs, Soul Evisceration and Eaten, in a very rare public performance by Bloodbath. Mike hinted that they might be back together for real, though he didn’t say if that meant a new album, tour or if it was even definite. Their short and brutal encore set was quite a contrast to the Opeth show that had gone on just before it. This was the only concert of the tour that Bloodbath made an appearance at, and I felt very lucky to be in attendance. Definitely one of my concert highlights of the year! You can see video footage of Bloodbath’s performance (not shot by me) posted here.
Opeth

Bloodbath

The next night, Wenesday the 2nd of November, found me in Baltimore again for the first show of tour by the infamous Norwegian black metal band Mayhem. When I got there the show was running a bit behind schedule though and I saw the end of Abigail Williams‘ set. Then the polish blackened death metal band Hate performed. They were pretty good if not overly original, sort of like a Behemoth junior. I have to say their guitarist had some of the worst corpse paint I’ve ever seen though. Then the Norwegian melodic black metal band Keep Of Kalessin played. I watched a couple of their songs but soon found myself in the next room drinking Lancaster Milk Stouts again. Keep has gone down hill in my book over the years, now they seem to be a sort of singalongy kind of band and they’ve lost the bite I enjoyed of their older material. Finally Mayhem was up next, their first area appearance since they played at Maryland Deathfest in 2009. Vocalist Attila Csihar came out looking like some sort of satanic vampire and it was awesome! He’s known for his wild stage costumes but this was just over the top. The band played a kick ass set heavily loaded with material from their classic albums De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas and Deathcrush and it got the place going crazy. There were tons of fights, even a woman got thrown out of the show for being to crazy in the pit, it was intense! I got some bruises but it was worth it to get some awesome shots of one of metal most notorious bands.
Hate

Keep Of Kalessin

Mayhem

On Sunday November 6th, 2011 I was at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland to watch Death Angel, Testament and Anthrax play there. However there was a problem with the photo passes that night and rather than risk leaving my camera in my car where it could be stolen, I had to head home after I already had my tickets in hand. Very frustrating let me tell you. I still haven’t been inside the new venue, I hope they get things straightened out next time. I really wanted to have some photographs up for you guys from that show, and have a nice big concert to end this long recap on but sadly, no dice. I might do more of these long recaps in the future, if you people like or don’t like them let me know. I’ve got a lot more metal shows to go to coming up and this might be a good way to try to cover more of them, starting with Torche tonight at DC9. Also, I should have some shirts with my new t-shirt design on them for sale very soon so keep your eyes peeled for that. They have new Abe Lincoln artwork drawn by DC based metal band Ilsa‘s drummer Joshua Brettell and they look awesome! Thanks for reading DCHeavyMetal.com, stay brutal everyone!

DC Metal Spotlight On Metal Underground

I was asked to write a guest post for one of my favorite metal news websites, MetalUnderground.com, and it went live on the site today. They have a weekly column called Unearthing The Metal Underground where each post explores a different area’s underground metal scene. They asked me to write the one about underground metal in Washington DC and let me pick three bands to go into detail about. I chose to write about Ilsa, Midnight Eye and Borracho for this post, however if the post gets a decent response they said they might let me write another about Northern Virginia or Baltimore or even another DC post. So feel free to leave a comment there or share it with people on Facebook or something if you enjoy it and maybe I’ll get to help expose more of our kick ass local acts to a national audience! You can read the post on Metal Underground here:

http://www.metalunderground.com/news/details.cfm?newsid=72050

Also of note, I had one of my recent videos of Clutch playing a new song at the Red Palace posted on Blabbermouth.net on Saturday, you can check out that post here:

http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=163735

And one more thing, and it’s totally unrelated and is really just shameless promotion hardly related to my site, but some good friends of mine have been in a non-metal rock band for years and I have finally convinced them to play a live gig. I got them booked at the Velvet Lounge this Wednesday, the 28th of September and I certainly recommend checking them out. They hit the stage at 9pm, and are playing with the Megaphone Barons and Electric Grandmother (bands I admittedly don’t know much about). Again, they’re not metal but they are a damn good band, and they have three guitar players! You can check out the event’s Facebook page here but even if you can’t go feel free to check out the Garage Hoppers on Facebook here. Ok, I think that’s enough blatant non-metal promotion for one post. Stay metal everyone and support the scene you’re a part of!

Three ticket give aways!

That’s right, in celebration of DCHeavyMetal.com entering its third year of existence, I’ve decided to hold a mega contest giving away a pair of tickets to three different upcoming metal shows! There will be three different winners, not one person getting all three. Just leave a comment at the bottom of this post telling me which of the three concerts you’d like to go to and I’ll use Random.org to pick three winners, one for each concert, on Monday the 19th of September 2011 at 6pm EST to win tickets. You can only win for one concert but you can enter to win for all three or whichever ones you’d like. Be sure to use a valid email address when you enter so I can tell you that you have won, though it doesn’t have to be visible in the post itself. Don’t worry I won’t add you to any email lists or anything annoying like that. Read below to see what the three metal concerts are, and choose wisely!

Choice One

On Wednesday the 21st of September the West Virginia based Karma To Burn is coming to the Rock & Roll Hotel. Karma To Burn is an excellent sludgy stoner band and they play a lot of instrumental songs, though some have vocals. To make this show even better, DC’s own Borracho will be opening. They are an excellent stoner act that you should be sure to check out if you haven’t already. Borracho recently put out their first LP titled Splitting Sky and this show would be a great chance to save on shipping and pick it up after seeing them play live. Local act King Giant was supposed to play this show but due to an injury to one of the band members they have had to cancel their appearance at this concert. If you don’t win or you just can’t wait, you can get tickets to this show here for $10.

Choice Two

On Friday the 23rd of September the brand new 2,000 person capacity Fillmore in Silver Spring will host its first ever metal concert! British metalcore band Bring Me The Horizon headlines a night of some of the best core bands coming from the UK and Australia such as Parkway Drive, Architects, While She Sleeps and Deez Nuts. And come on, if you win you can spend all week telling people you won tickets to see Deez Nuts. The Fillmore will have just opened on September 15th so this will be the first chance to destroy the place with some insane mosh pits! If you don’t win or you just can’t wait, you can get tickets to this show here for $23.

Choice Three

Kyuss Lives! is the name of the reformed version of legendary stoner band Kyuss featuring all the original members of the band except Josh Homme (he’s busy playing with super group Them Crooked Vultures these days). So now the band has Bruno Fevery on guitar but what’s really exciting is that they have been working on a new album and, assuming they play some of that on this tour, this show will be the first chance this area is going to have to hear new Kyuss material in over 15 years! To make things even better Texas based doom masters The Sword and Atlanta’s Monstro are opening. This show is on Saturday the 24th of September at the 9:30 Club and you know it’s going to be awesome. If you don’t win or you just can’t wait, you can get tickets to this show here for $30.

Get a free copy of Splitting Sky the new Borracho CD

Borracho is a term for a drunkard in Spanish, but it’s also the name of a kick ass metal band based in Washington DC. They are releasing their new album, Splitting Sky, today and since they’re great guys they’re letting me give away 15 copies of it to the readers of DCHeavyMetal.com! All you’ve got to do to enter in the contest is tell me in the comments below a local band you’d like to see play with Borracho at their CD release show. They’re looking for suggestions so help em out! The contest will end when I have a total of 30 valid entries OR at 6pm EST on Friday 8 July 2011, which ever is first. If the contest doesn’t get 30 entries then less free copies will be given away (I’ll try to keep it so at least half of the entries are winners). Help spread the word so we can get to 30 quickly and more people can get a copy. You can use this short link: http://wp.me/pDCET-Wh When the contest is over I’ll chose, at random from all valid entries, 10 people to get a free digital download of Splitting Sky, and then 4 more to win physical copies of the CD and one grand prize winner to get a physical copy of the CD that is autographed by all four of the members of Borracho as well as a sweet Borracho t-shirt. Be sure to use a valid email address when you make your comments below so I can contact you when you win. The guys gave me an advance copy of their new album and here’s my take on what you can expect from it.

The Splitting Sky album is a heavy mix of stoner rock and doom metal with southwestern influences. Borracho has put a lot of work into getting their songs to sound just right and it shows, from the song writing to the production they’ve done a great job here. There’s lots of crunchy riffs that aren’t just heavy but are also infectiously catchy and memorable. The vocal style is raspy and blue collar, somewhere between Lemmy and James Hetfield, though not over the top so as to detract from the instruments. The rhythm section keeps these songs moving forward even when they slow way down. It’s not all super slow though, for example Concentric Circles picks up the pace quite nicely early on in the album. The album is a very solid 8 tracks long, all but two are longer than 6 minutes which lets the songs really progress well, even when the tempo slows down. The epic 11 minute song Grab The Reins is a great example of this, with a lead in riff that sounds like it would fit nicely on Black Sabbath’s Master Of Reality. Borracho is based inside Washington DC and along with bands like Pentagram, King Giant, and (the now defunct) Salome, they’re helping to remind everyone that this area is still a city for excellent heavy stoner and doom. You can download Splitting Sky right now in a variety of ways, iTunes here, Amazon here, or get a physical copy of the album on CD Baby here. If all that isn’t convincing enough to make you a Borracho fan, check out this song below, titled Bloodsucker, which is track three on Splitting Sky.

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