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

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

Onslaught and M-Pire Of Evil Concert Review

On Easter Sunday, the 8th of April, I headed over to the U Street Music Hall in Washington DC to see Onslaught and M-Pire Of Evil play the final show of their 2012 North American tour. This tour was the first time either Onslaught and M-Pire Of Evil at U St Music Hallband had ever been to the US and this show was the first heavy metal show ever at the venue which has only been open for about two years. The U St Music Hall is usually home to techno DJs and dance music but recently the 9:30 Club, which is only a few blocks away, has started booking some shows for them on off nights. Normally the U Street Music Hall does not allow photography at their shows but apparently when the 9:30 Club books them those rules don’t apply, so even though they have no photos signs literally painted on the walls, it was ok this night. This was an early show, the venue wanted it to be over by 10pm for some reason, and when I arrived it was still daylight out. There were no local openers and the crowd was pretty thin, I’d figure due to that and a few other factors. For one it was not a venue metal heads generally know about, secondly it was a holiday and third neither of these UK based bands are particularly huge in the US.

The first band to play was the awfully named M-Pire Of Evil, formerly known as Prime Evil. You may remember that Prime Evil was the name of the legendary first wave black metal band Venom‘s 1989 album and this is no coincidence. Two members of M-Pire Of Evil were in Venom on that Demolition Man of M-Pire Of Evilalbum, bass player/vocalist Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan and Venom’s original guitar player, Jeffrey “Mantas” Dunn. The band was touring with a relative unknown behind the drum kit in Marc Jackson but he did fine. M-Pire Of Evil was actually pretty damn good live, their set list (photo of it here) was very heavy on Venom covers from the era that both Mantas and Demolition Man were in the band together, and they only played three songs from their band’s debut album, Hell To The Holy. That’s ok, I think most of the people who had gotten there in time to see them were just hoping to hear classic Venom covers and when they played the only non-Demoltion Man era Venom song of their set, Black Metal, the crowd was singing along with them. Their set was fun, though short, and they ended after playing for only about 45 minutes. I would definitely recommend seeing these guys again, especially if you’re into hearing some old Venom classics played live in much the same way Heaven And Hell played Black Sabbath classics.

The headliner of this tour was Onslaught, a British thrash metal band from the 80s that never really developed a big following in the US. They are most known for their classic 1986 thrash album The Force though after breaking up in 1991 they dropped off of most people’s radars. Well they reunited in 2005 and put out two albums of new material in 2007 and 2011. The only two members left from the old days are vocalist Sy Keeler and guitar player Nige Rockett, though Nige now only plays rhythm guitar despite having done all of the band’s leads before the split. The new material is pretty killer though, their latest album, Sounds Of Violence, fits right alongside bands like Slayer and Kreator and they sounded even better live. Thrash tends to do well in a live setting, playing thrash songs faster usually makes them more exciting and they tend to have tons of what I like to call, mosh friendly riffs. Sadly there couldn’t have been much more than 50 people at this show by the time Onslaught was playing though there were a few people trying to start up pits from time to time throughout their set. Maybe he was worn out from the tour but Sy Keeler didn’t really impress me much as a front man. Nige Rockett of OnslaughtHe missed a lot of his high notes and sometimes would just walk off to the side of the stage to relax a little. That’s fine between songs but come on man, get people pumped even when you’re not singing! The bass player and drummer, Jeff Williams and Michael Hourihan, both were very charismatic up there however, and even Nige threw the horns a few times. Lead guitarist Andy Rosser-Davies looked like he was ready for the tour to be over and really wanted a nap, haha. Still, the material was very solid, a good mix of older classics and newer songs that made for a fun performance. The show ended right on time, just before 10pm, and Sy Keeler said they would have a new album out next year and would be back to tour in support of it. You can check out the video at the end of this post to see/hear the band’s final three songs that night. There was no encore performance.

It was cool to see a metal show at a new venue like this, it seemed like something Empire/Jaxx would have gotten normally but I enjoyed seeing some Mantas of M-Pire Of Evilold school metal bands playing in the city. It would have been nice if they booked a local opener or two since it was just a two band bill, it probably would have helped with the turn out as well. Regardless it was a fun show, especially for a holiday night. If it had been up to me M-Pire Of Evil would have headlined as I enjoyed their show more than Onslaught’s, though they were both worth coming out for. Hopefully the U Street Music Hall will get some more metal shows, they have a great sound system there and the 400 capacity venue certainly was as nice as other area venues of comparable size (think Empire/Jaxx and the Rock & Roll Hotel). And while the bar selection wasn’t bad, be sure to eat ahead of time as all they had on the menu (photo here) to eat was various styles of hot dogs. Well, that’s it for this concert review, now I’ve got to get to work on the upcoming concerts calendar and be sure to come back and check out the new ticket contest that will be running all next week. Stay metal everyone and remember, support the scene you’re a part of!

Torche ticket give away

Torche at DC9

Here’s a quick contest for you readers who check in regularly here on DCHeavyMetal.com. Florida’s Torche is bringing their thunder pop to DC9 this Thursday. I’m giving away a pair of tickets to one of you on Wednesday 9 November 2011 at 6pm EST. All you’ve got to do to enter is tell me which song you’d like to hear them close their set with in the comments below and I’ll pick a winner at random from all the valid entries using Random.org. Be sure to use a valid email you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Also, this show is ages 18+ only, so if you are under 18 you are not eligible. Even if you win they won’t let you in the door, so please don’t enter if you are a minor. If you don’t know any of their song titles you can check out the set list I photographed when they played at Jaxx back in March on the right and pick one from there.

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 the London based band Part Chimp, as well as the regional acts Regents and Chumps. Hell, even if you don’t win you should come out to this show, it’s going to be a blast! You can get tickets from Ticket Alternative right now for $12 here, the price goes up to $14 the day of the show.