Exclusive Stream of The Nothing by Fortress

Unto The Nothing by Fortress

Fortress is a doom metal trio from Hagerstown, Maryland, and while I love their three song demo I’ve been waiting for some new material to listen to between their earth shaking live shows and now the wait is FINALLY over! Go ahead and stream the new song “The Nothing” below and be sure to crank up that volume! No seriously, more than that, this is the kind of sludgy, slow motion doom metal you’ll want to blast loud enough to feel in your bones. Fans of bands like Pallbearer, Winter and Sunn O))) are going to love this dark album.

Fortress is now signed to Unholy Anarchy Records and their debut full length, Unto The Nothing will be released on December 2nd on CD and three styles of vinyl (each limited to 100 copies) including black, grey marble and clear with black splatter. Vinyl versions will also include a digital download of the album that contains a bonus track not available on other formats. You’ll be able to buy Unto The Nothing from Unholy Anarchy’s online store here (vinyl) and here (CD) or their Bandcamp here, or from the band at an upcoming live show. And did you see that sweet album art by Aeron Alfrey up there? Well you can click on it to see the creepy, full wrap around version of the art that will be on all versions of Unto The Nothing.

“The Nothing” is some hatred drenched, depressive doom metal so I hope you weren’t already having a great day because you’re about to get bummed out, but in the best way possible!

Listen to the new Death Penalty song War

Electric God by Death Penalty

Short post today but the Northern Virginia based thrash metal band Death Penalty is having their album release show tonight at the Sidebar in Baltimore (details here). The full length, titled Electric God, will be available at the show but you can stream/download the first track off it, titled “War” below. If you can’t make the show you can message them on Facebook (here) to grab a copy as well.

Hush at the Velvet Lounge

It’s been a little while since I wrote a proper concert review but last weekend I saw a great, mostly local, metal show at the Velvet Lounge. The Velvet Lounge is located in the heart of DC U Street corridor, just around the corner from the 9:30 Club. It’s a much smaller venue though, catering to mostly DIY shows in its tiny, upstairs stage area. Unfortunately the bar upstairs was serving as the merch booth this night so if you wanted a drink you had to awkwardly find your way to the downstairs bar through a maze of buzzed DC socialites grinding on each other to some of the most mind numbing techno music I’ve ever heard. Back upstairs were piles of gear covering a good portion of the floor space. I’ve been to the Velvet Lounge many times but I’ve never seen so much gear squeezed in the upstairs level before, not to mention all the amps stacked on stage. Marshall, Orange, Sunn, you could tell this was going to be a loud night the second you looked at the stage. Anyone can be loud but were the bands any good?

The first band to play was Thrain, a new black metal three piece featuring two guitar players and no bass guitar. The guys in the band are friends of mine so I’ve tried to catch most of their shows. That said, I thought this was their best performance to date. New bands can take some time to gel and find their direction and while I don’t think they’ve completely finished that process, they’re definitely headed in the right direction. Plus they just have some damn cool riffs in those songs. Thrain is definitely a band to keep an eye on.

The second band of the night was Hush from Albany, New York. They’re a sludgy doom metal band with harsh vocals that sounded more hardcore than metal. The band was pretty good overall though the vocals became a bit monotonous after a while, they didn’t have a lot of variation to them. Also, some members of the band, including the vocalist, faced backwards the entire show. I’m not sure who enjoys it when bands do this, it makes the show seem more like a practice than a performance. Still, their sound was thunderous and crushing and I really enjoyed the instrumentation of the band.

The next band up was Fortress, a band that has become a local favorite of mine, if you consider Hagerstown, Maryland local at least. They are probably the loudest band in the area but they back it up with incredibly heavy doom riffs. When these guys play you take notice! The three piece performed some new songs at this show that fit right in with the material from their demo (download it for free here). The maniacal stares from vocalist/guitarist Chaz Campbell only add to a performance that will leave you feeling like you just lived through an earthquake. This was definitely my favorite set of the night.

The final band of the night is Northern Virginia based doom metal band The Osedax. They weren’t as loud as the previous band, and the addition of keyboards makes them sound a bit different than most doom bands. They are quite atmospheric in fact and you can get caught up in their hypnotizing longer songs. The band does a great job of building up and releasing tension. Out of all the great bands this night The Osedax were probably the best at working as a unit, each member knows their role and they trade off with each other seamlessly.

In all it was a great show, four excellent bands for just $8 is a hard deal to beat, especially in the expensive U Street area of DC. This show was my pick for Metal Show Of The Week last week and it lived up to it. Be sure to check out the photos of each of the bands below. Thanks for reading everyone and remember, get out to see some metal bands and support the scene you’re a part of!

Thrain:

Thrain at the Velvet Lounge

Thrain at the Velvet Lounge

Thrain at the Velvet Lounge

Hush:

Hush at the Velvet Lounge

Hush at the Velvet Lounge

Fortress:

Fortress at the Velvet Lounge

Fortress at the Velvet Lounge

The Osedax:

The Osedax at the Velvet Lounge

The Osedax at the Velvet Lounge

Black Sabbath and Mayhem Fest Ticket Contest

Mayhem Fest and Black Sabbath

There’s a couple of kick ass metal shows coming up in the next few weeks at Jiffy Lube Live and DCHeavyMetal.com wants to make sure as many of you can go to these shows as possible! Rockstar Energy Drink’s Mayhem Fest is headlined by Rob Zombie this year and will be at JLL on Wednesday, July 24th and we’re giving away a pair of pit tickets to it! Ozzy Osbourne is back with Black Sabbath and they’re coming to JLL on Friday, August 2nd and we’re giving away a pair of seated tickets to that show as well! To enter: Just leave a comment on this post telling me which concert you want to go to and why. You can enter for both if you want, but you can only win tickets to one of the concerts. On Friday, July 19th at 5pm EST I’ll use Random.org to select 2 winners, one for each show, to win a pair of tickets to the show they chose. Make sure you enter in a valid email address you check regularly when you submit your comment so I can contact you if you win, though it doesn’t need to be in the comment itself. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any email lists or sell your info, I hate spam too. If I don’t hear back from a winner within 24 hours another winner will be chosen. If you can’t wait to see if you win the tickets, or the contest is over when you read this, you can buy tickets to Mayhem Fest here and Black Sabbath here. Now here’s a little more info on each show…

This year’s Mayhem Fest will have over 18 bands playing on four stages! On the main stage you’ll find Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon and Amon Amarth, the last of which will be bringing a giant viking ship on stage (you can catch a glimpse of it in the video below)! But don’t think there aren’t any bands worth seeing on the other stages. Machine Head, Children Of Bodom, Job For A Cowboy, Battlecross, Huntress, Scorpion Child and many more are going to be tearing it up on those stages as well. It’s going to be a hell of a day for metal!

Just last month Black Sabbath put out their new album 13 (read our review of it here), the band’s first full length with Ozzy Osbourne since 1978! The godfathers of heavy metal will be playing their classics along with some of the new material for a show that is going to please metal fans young and old. I’m not sure what else I should really write here, it’s fucking Black Sabbath, if you’re a metal head then you need to be there!

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!

Black Sabbath ticket give away

Black Sabbath at Jiffy Lube Live

The fathers of heavy metal, Black Sabbath, will be coming to our area on Friday, August 2nd, 2013, to perform live at Jiffy Lube Live! Needless to say, that’s a big deal here at DCHeavyMetal.com! Tickets will go on sale this Friday at 10am (here) but we’re so damn excited that we just can’t wait that long to give away a pair to one of you lucky readers of the site. You don’t want to sit on the lawn to watch this sure to be epic show so we’re giving away a pair of seated tickets! To enter just tell me your favorite Ozzy Osbourne-era Black Sabbath song in the comments section at the end of this post. At 7pm EST on Thursday, May 9th, 2013, the contest will close and a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to get the free pair of seated tickets to the show. If I don’t hear from the winner within 24 hours then I’ll randomly pick another person to get the tickets. Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, win or lose I won’t add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all of your entries will be disqualified. If you need help remembering what Black Sabbath songs Ozzy sang on, click on the following links for the track listings of his each of his albums with the band: Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master Of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage, Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die!

Black Sabbath released their self titled debut album on Friday the 13th of February 1970 and with it and the albums that followed they laid the foundation that heavy metal and all of its splintering sub-genres are built upon. Ozzy Osbourne was very publicly ejected from the band in the late 70s and aside from a couple of bonus songs at the end of their Reunion live double-album in 1998, they haven’t released any new material with him since. That ends on June 11th when Black Sabbath releases 13, Black Sabbath’s first full length album with Ozzy on vocals since 1978! The master of heavy riffs, Tony Iommi, is still at it on the band’s new track God Is Dead?, which you can listen to below. The support on this tour is being provided by the hard partying Andrew W.K. Now check out the new Sabbath track and a few of my personal favorites as you leave your comment to enter the contest!