Recap of January 2013 Concerts

Welcome to part two of this three part series attempting to catch up on my concert reviews of all the shows I’ve been going to this winter. For this installment I’ll be covering all the metal shows I went to in January. You can read part one, which covers late November and December 2012, by clicking here. And remember, if you’d like to see more of any of the bands in the photos below, just click the image.

The first concert I went to in 2013 was when I saw Swaath on Sunday, January 6th at a new venue in Baltimore called Club K. The venue seems to normally host DJ dance nights. It is attached to a small Korean restaurant and while the space isn’t fancy, it doesn’t even have a stage, it works fine for the DIY punk, hardcore and metal shows they have started to book there. The walls are painted with neon patterns and random zebra images and there are four TVs hanging from the center of the room in the shape of a square that are tuned to some Korean TV channel. There’s a dance party style spinning ball that projects different color lights hanging from that and it never seems to turn off. The beer at the bar is pretty cheap, but nothing a beer snob would want to drink. It’s basically a dive bar mixed with an Asian dance club. Anyways, I drove up to Baltimore to Swaath play. They’re a new sludge band that is from Portland, Maine, but they weren’t the first band of the night. That was Baltimore locals Barbelith. They’re a black metal band and while they didn’t have a bass player and could be a bit tighter they had some cool songs and were pretty good overall. The second band was some hardcore band from Philadelphia named Congenital Death. I wasn’t very interested in them as I’m not much of a hardcore fan, While there are some exceptions they just weren’t unique enough for me to really get into. After they played it was time for Swaath and they didn’t disappoint. They play a sort of atmospheric sludge metal with some stoner and doom aspects thrown in too. I really enjoyed their set and it was def worth the drive up. The final band of the night was another Baltimore local, Ophidian. They weren’t bad though going on after such a strong set can be tough. Plus being a local and going on after the touring band meant a lot of people left after Swaath played. I hope I get to see them in a better setting next time.

Barbelith:

Swaath:

Ophidian:

Two nights later, Tuesday the 8th, I headed over to the Black Cat in Washington DC to check out Jucifer on the venue’s smaller back stage. I missed local openers LTW but I’m sure I’ll catch them again as they open a lot of shows these days. Jucifer is a duo made up of husband and wife Edgar Livengood and Amber Valentine. They tour around the country in their RV with no permanent address. They’re basically always on tour. They’re known for having extremely loud shows due to the wall of speakers they bring with them, which were stacked to the ceiling at the Black Cat this night. I’ve seen them play before but this set went on longer than usual, lasting around 90 minutes! Their fuzzy set went through hazy highs and rumbling lows and even had some quiet parts. You get sucked in early and after a while you just find yourself absorbed into their show as though you’re staring into the obelisk in A Space Odyssey. As a side note, I actually met my girlfriend for the first time at a Jucifer show at the Black Cat a few years back and while that wasn’t a date or something, we sort of see their annual early January shows as something of an anniversary. Because of that I decided to relax a bit at this show and I didn’t bring my camera, so I don’t have any photos of Jucifer from this show, however I’ve posted a shot I took of them at a previous show below.

Jucifer:

The following weekend I saw a DIY show at The Lab in Alexandria, Virginia on Saturday the 12th. The Lab is basically a rec room for some church but it has a nice stage and it holds a decent amount of people. I missed the opening band but to my understanding they aren’t a metal band at all but play some sort of electronic loops and such. The first band I caught was Grethor, a Northern Virginia based melodic death metal band. I had seen their drummer, Anthony Rouse, play with the now defunct Orgy Of The Damned. They had some cool songs but you could tell their frontman, Marcus Lawrence, was pretty new to this as he didn’t engage the audience much spoke in almost a whisper between songs. Still, that’s something that can be worked on. The next band to play was Cammo Shorts, a grind band from Manassas, Virginia that doesn’t have a drummer. The three piece was pretty damn entertaining with lots of funny song titles such as My Cammo Shorts, Your Girlfriend’s Floor and LSD Cures Cancer. They covered the Pantera song Good Friends And A Bottle Of Pills which was probably the catchiest song of their set. They were good though a real drummer instead of just programmed beats from a laptop would probably fill their sound out more. Still, they were my second favorite of the five bands I saw that night. The next band to play was Acrid, a three piece death/grind band from Hagerstown, Maryland. While they had an actual drummer these guys lacked a bass player and honestly I think it really made their sound suffer. I’d heard their music online and I actually thought that sounded a lot better than they did live. Maybe it was just an off night? I dunno. The fourth band I saw that night, tentatively named Lucid Dream (until the band members agree on something better, apparently) was more of a rock band than anything. I liked what I heard but unfortunately their set was marred with several technical difficulties, including one of their amp heads crapping out. They asked if anybody in one of the other bands had one they could borrow, but apparently everyone from the other bands was outside. This lead to an increased delay as they looked to find someone that could help them. They finally played another song then abruptly ended their disjointed set. The final band of the night, and the main reason I came out to this show, was Fortress, a doom metal band from Hagerstown, Maryland. Let me just say that these guys were very fucking impressive live. Absolutely epic, crushing, heavy doom. Very loud, very intense, at times very slow but they knew just when to pick up the pace to keep it from getting boring. They put one one of the best performances I’ve seen from a DMV area metal band in quite some time. I was literally blown away and I know I wasn’t the only person in attendance who thought so. I cannot stress this enough: if you ever get the chance, GO SEE THIS BAND PLAY LIVE!

Grethor:

Cammo Shorts:

Acrid:

Lucid Dream:

Fortress:

I didn’t get to another metal show until 12 days later, on Tuesday the 24th of January. That night I went to DC9 in the U Street corridor of Washington DC and saw the so called super group Corrections House play. The band is Scott Kelly of Neurosis fame on guitar, Bruce Lamont of Chicago’s jazz influenced metal band Yakuza, Sanford Parker who plays keyboards in Nachtmystium, and Mike IX Williams of Eyehategod is the frontman. The opening act was Tone, a DC based instrumental rock band. They not really very metal but they’re not bad if you like instrumental bands. Corrections House has a sort of weird live set up and the band doesn’t just come out and start playing. Instead each member gets a segment to do a bit of solo material, and various other members come in and duck out at various points. They also all wear the same black button down shirts with the Corrections House logo embroidered on the sleeves. Their entire set was about 80 minutes long, although the first 20 minutes were just Sanford Parker looping drum beats and playing samples. A such, I didn’t particularly enjoy the start of the set. It did get better when Bruce Lamont came in with his sax though that only lasted five minutes or so before Mike IX Williams started reading some of his poetry. The high point of the show was definitely when the entire band was performing together. Their sound had a very improvy feel to it but they all seemed to work pretty well together for the most part. Corrections House was unpolished though and Mike IX Williams had to read the lyrics because I guess he hadn’t memorized them yet. About an hour into the set Scott Kelly broke a guitar string and ended up borrowing one from someone in Tone. I didn’t know what I was getting into with this show, and it did take a bit to start rolling, however once they all got in synch together I thought the show was really entertaining and I certainly don’t regret going. I’m curious how they will sound in the studio if they ever record anything.

Corrections House:

Corrections House:

Corrections House:

Two nights later, on Saturday, January 26th, I was at Empire (formerly Jaxx) in Springfield, Virginia for the long awaited return of local southern metal masters King Giant. Due to an injury in the band they hadn’t played since early 2012. They had a show scheduled in November to be a return to the stage but due to another injury to someone else in the band that date was pushed back until this night in January. King Giant always draws well, and this night wasn’t any different, though I know the fact that Graveyard was playing at the Black Cat the same night had to have affected the attendance at both shows somewhat. I’d have liked to have seen both but since I saw Graveyard at DC9 last year and I always like to support locals I decided to go to see King Giant. When I got there Richmond’s Fire Faithful was setting up. They’re a southern/stoner band but I wasn’t very impressed with their show. The crowd was still pretty thin when they hit the stage and perhaps that had something to do with it but they didn’t have much energy on stage at all. Their songs weren’t interesting enough be able to pull me in while hearing them the first time so some stage presence really would have helped. I liked the vocalist’s Windhand shirt though. Next up was Kingsnake from Philadelphia. I had seen them about a year prior at the Velvet Lounge and so I decided to hang back a bit and I didn’t get photos of them this time. Kingsnake is a very solid blue-collar metal band with some cool licks. Aside from their coincidentally similar names, they’re actually really a great opening act for King Giant as they have a very similar style without sounding redundant. Finally King Giant made the stage. There was a lot of fog this time and I was glad to finally see them playing live again. The place was pretty crowded by this point and you could tell all the members of King Giant were having fun playing in front of so many friends and family. At one point a bunch of people in the crowd all came out with fake handlebar mustachios in parody of King Giant’s bass player Floyd Walters and his iconic ‘stache. It really was a fun show and although King Giant’s sophomore album, Dismal Hollow, came out in early 2012 the songs from it still sounded pretty fresh since they hadn’t been played in a while. The show was a great welcome back to the stage for these guys. If you’re a fan of southern sounding bands like Down, Clutch and Alabama Thunderpussy then do yourself a favor and check this band out. They’ve got some great riffs you’ll get stuck in your head and songs that will stand the test of time. This isn’t some throwback band, they’re doing their thing and doing it damn well. King Giant is certainly one of the DC area’s best local metal bands and if you’re in this area and you’re sleeping on them then you’re fucking up big time.

Fire Faithful:

King Giant:

The sixth and final metal show that I went to in January 2013 was on the the last day of the month, Thursday the 31st. I traveled up to Baltimore to see Enslaved play at the Ottobar. When I got there the band Royal Thunder was playing, who, as stated in my previous post, I had just seen at DC9 the month prior. However this time they were missing their second guitarist and their sound was a bit thin because of it. Still, they put on a decent show and I thought they were a good prelude to the band I wanted to see the most this night, Pallbearer. Pallbearer is the hottest band in doom metal right now. Their debut album, Sorrow And Extinction, was released in February 2012 and is nothing short of excellent. The Arkansas based quartet plays some very downtuned, very slow songs with clean vocals. Unlike the clean vocals you hear from power metal bands that soar over the songs (think Dio and Iron Maiden), vocalist Brett Campbell has a very solemn and pain filled tone to his voice. These songs are often very slow and they take some patience to absorb, but there’s a reason that their album ended up in the top spot on many critics’ year end lists for 2012. This night they were very loud, even for a metal band. So loud that they were actually vibrating my camera’s lens enough to make it lose focus while I was trying to shoot them! The singer seemed to be having trouble hearing himself though and that made his voice sound a bit off. The audience was rewarded with a brand new song at the end of their set however and it crushed! I hear this song will be on an upcoming split from the band. After they played it was time for Enslaved, one of the old second wave black metal bands from Norway that has now turned into a progressive metal band. Personally, I liked the band the most when they were in that sort of transitional phase between being a black metal band and a prog band. They were unique then. They were this second wave band that actually learned how to play and wrote unique songs that were a blend of black and prog metals. Now they’re basically a progressive metal band and while they don’t write bad songs they just aren’t as interesting to me anymore. There’s other prog bands out there that are more interesting to me I guess. Enslaved’s live show was alright but having seen the set list I knew they’d play for about two hours, which was a bit long for me. Their set was plagued by technical difficulties which drained my patience and about an hour or so in I decided to start the long drive home. Unfortunately I got stuck in construction traffic which closed 95 South for a good 45 minutes so I should have just stayed longer! Oh well, I’m sure I’ll see Enslaved again, hopefully a bit closer to home if it’s on a week night.

Pallbearer:

Enslaved:

Well, thanks for reading this big recap of the metal shows I saw in January 2013. I hope to have my post covering February 2013 up next week, then I should be about caught up. Stay metal everyone and remember to support the scene you’re a part of!

Warchild & Black Clouds ticket give away

So Xmas has come and gone again and every year there always seems to be one present you really wanted yet you somehow didn’t get. Maybe it was a bb gun one year, a Tickle Me Elmo another year, or even an iPad. Well DCHeavyMetal.com has your ass covered this year cause we’re giving away a pair of tickets to see Warchild and Black Clouds on Saturday December 29th at the Rock & Roll Hotel! While you were faking laughs at the stupid gag gifts you got and pretending to be really thankful for the Olive Garden gift card you received, DCHM was working behind the scenes with Satan’s Claws to be sure you still had a chance at the must have gift this holiday season! That’s right, you’ve gotten your fill of jolly holiday jingles, now it’s time to fucking thrash! This isn’t some pregame for New Year’s Eve, this is going to be a full on party loaded with beer chugging, head banging and general chaos! You know you’ve got some post-holiday angst you’ve been keeping pent up while you had to deal with relatives, and now you know how to get it all out! But wait, there’s more: the winner will receive not only a free pair of tickets to the show, but also a Warchild t-shirt and a Warchild beer coozy! This might just be your best Christmas yet! Now check out this awesome video flyer and get all the details on how to enter below!

To enter just leave a comment at the end of this post that tells me about your worst holiday experience ever! Maybe your grandma cussed out your new girlfriend one year, maybe your mom made you wear the ugliest sweater ever, you tell me! One lucky winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries once the contest closes at 5pm EST on Friday, December 28th. Be sure to enter using a valid email address that you check regularly so I can contact you about the tickets once you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or anything like that, I hate that shit too. If you know you can’t make the show please don’t enter, I want to give these to someone who is in need of a post holiday party!

If you don’t know Warchild (what the fuck is wrong with you?) then you already win, cause their six song demo is available to stream and download free here. They sound like Kill ‘Em All era Metallica if they partied like they were in Municipal Waste! Of course there’s another local band playing as well, Black Clouds. They’re not thrash but they’re damn good. The band is moody as hell and sure knows how to suck and audience into their mind melt world of doom and gloom. Check out their song Santorum Sunday School on YouTube below, it features Neil Fallon, frontman of Clutch, doing spoken word vocals and it’s intense! Now enough of what I’ve got to say. Check out this sick Warchild video and that killer Black Clouds song I was talking about. Give em a listen as you enter the contest below because YOU HAVE BEEN SUMMONED!

Clutch ticket give away

Clutch at the 9:30 Club

If you’ve been naughty and all you are getting from Santa is switches and coal then you’re in luck: Maryland’s hardest rockers, Clutch, are coming to the 9:30 Club on Wednesday the 26th of December! Since this is the season to be giving, DCHeavyMetal.com is going to give away a free pair of tickets to this very concert to a lucky one of you readers. To enter just leave a comment at the bottom of this post telling me why you want to see Clutch at the 9:30 Club. Maybe you want to go because you’ve never seen them live or perhaps you want the chance to hear some new songs from their upcoming album Earth Rocker or maybe you just want a good excuse to get the hell away from visiting relatives. At 5pm EST on Friday, December 14th, 2012, 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 tickets to the show. If I don’t hear from the winner in 24 hours then I’ll randomly pick another person to get the tickets. Please don’t enter if you cannot attend. Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, 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 the contest is over when you read this or you simply can’t wait to find out if you win the contest you can buy tickets from Ticket Fly for $29 here.

Most of you should be familiar with Clutch’s music even if you don’t have any of their albums. Their music has been featured all over the place (as evidenced here) such as during NFL football highlights on Fox, on the TV show the Walking Dead, in various movies and video games and the Vancouver Canucks even use one of their songs when celebrating a goal being scored! You can bet they’ll be playing a bunch of their classic songs at this show and if we’re lucky we’ll get to hear some new tracks from their upcoming album Earth Rocker as well. Mondo Generator is a band with close ties to Kyuss and Queens Of The Stone Age, and at various points has featured members of both of those bands. They should be a great support act for this show. Saviours comes from Oakland, California but they’re not an old school thrash throwback by any means. They play some rockin sludge metal and it should be awesome seeing them on the 9:30 Club’s big stage. And be sure to get there early because the opening act is the solo project of Wino, aka Scott Weinrich, who has been a main member of a few bands you may have heard of such as Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan and Shrinebuilder. I hear that for this show Dave Sherman will be joining him as well so perhaps we’ll get to hear a couple of Spirit Caravan songs. Now listen to these classic tunes by the four bands playing while you leave a comment to enter the contest. Good luck everyone!

Gwar ticket give away

Gwar at the 9:30 Club

Gwar, Richmond’s masters of insane on stage antics, land their spaceship in Washington DC on Thursday the 20th of December 2012 at the 9:30 Club. I have been enlisted to recruit more slaves for the scumdogs of the universe so this week on DCHeavyMetal.com you can enter to win a free pair of tickets to this recruitment camp metal concert! To enter just leave a comment at the end of this post telling me why you want to see Gwar at this concert. Will it be your first time seeing their over the top live show? Maybe you’ve got a white shirt that needs more color? Perhaps you want to see their new guitarist, Pustulous Maximus, play his first DC show with the band. Or maybe you just need a classy event to ask that mildly attractive yet attainable seeming girl/boy you see regularly but want to know better to. At 5pm EST on Friday, December 7th, 2012, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to get the free pair of tickets to the show. If I don’t hear from the winner in 24 hours then I’ll randomly pick another person to get the tickets. Please don’t enter if you cannot attend. Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, 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 simply can’t wait to see if you win the contest you can get tickets from Ticket Fly for $25 here.

If you’ve never seen Gwar live then you just don’t know what you’re missing. And you don’t have to take my word for it, even the very un-metal Moby said Gwar is the best live band ever (here). Be sure to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting covered in blood and gore, and keep your politically correct self at home because nobody is safe from the vile torment of Gwar when they’re on stage! The opening acts for this show are two other Richmond bands. Kepone is a recently reformed indie rock band from Richmond and if you’re wondering why they’re on this bill it is because they are fronted by Michael Bishop, the original Gwar bass player “Beefcake The Mighty”. Iron Reagan will open the show. They’re a new band but their line up includes current and former members of the bands Darkest Hour, Municipal Waste and Cannabis Corpse so be sure to get there early enough to see them. Now check out these killer videos with tunes of the bands while you enter the contest in the comments section below!

Cannibal Corpse Ticket Give Away

Cannibal Corpse is one of the most infamous death metal bands in history and this Saturday, the 1st of December, they will be playing at the Rock And Roll Hotel in Washington DC! Because this show is going to be absolutely brutal DCHeavyMetal.com is going to give away a free pair of Cannibal Corpse at the Rock & Roll Hoteltickets to one of you readers. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment at the end of this post telling me which Cannibal Corpse song is your favorite (you can see their discography here, just click on an album to see the songs on it). Cannibal Corpse is known for having some of the most gory, disgusting, violent and downright offensive song titles in all of metal so I hope to see some interesting entries! On Friday, November 30th at 5pm EST I’ll pick a winner at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win the free pair of tickets to the show. If I don’t hear from you in 24 hours then I’ll pick another winner to get the tickets. Please don’t enter if you cannot attend. Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, 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 simply can’t wait to see if you win the contest you can get tickets from Ticket Alternative for $20 here.

Cannibal Corpse originally formed in Buffalo, New York, but moved to Tampa, Florida to join in the growing death metal scene there. They’ve long been a center of controversy with their brutal lyrics and album covers, setting the bar of shock for countless death metal bands to strive to match. While metal fans tend to look at them, and death metal in general, as the musical equivalent of splatter horror films, politicians like Bob Dole and Joe Lieberman have tried to censor the band and in the 90s Germany and Australia both actually banned their albums from being sold. Despite this the band still continues on and their music has actually gotten faster and more brutal over the years, including on their latest release, Torture, which was released in March of this year. Also on this tour is Misery Index. The band was formed when several members of Dying Fetus left that band however only Jason Netherton remains from the Fetus days. The band has carved out its own sound since then and is one of the best live metal bands you’ll ever see, they absolutely destroy audiences live! Hour Of Penance is an Italian death metal band that is pretty similar in sound to Behemoth actually. Needless to say, they’re pretty damn brutal and should be a perfect opener for this show. You can listen to each of the bands playing in the videos I posted below while you decide which song you want to enter with. Keep it brutal everyone, cause this concert definitely will!

Cannibal Corpse – Encased In Concrete

Misery Index – The Spectator

Hour Of Penance – Sedition Through Scorn

Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult at El Caracol Bar

Saturday the 17th of November 2012 was a pretty metal night in the DC area. Two different venues had sold out metal shows that night: The Sword at the Rock & Roll Hotel and Lamb Of God at the Fillmore Silver Spring. While I’m sure they both would have been worth reviewing, I found myself at a Latino pool hall in Silver Spring for a tr00 and kvlt black metal show. There were four bands from outside of the area at this show, including the headliner, Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult, which came all the way from Germany to play in this dive.

Although El Caracol Bar has put on a few metal shows in the past this was my first time stepping foot in the venue. The pool tables had all been pushed out of the way and two of them were being used as tables for merch display. Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult at El Caracol CafeThroughout the night I found myself dodging the low hanging lights hovering above where the pool tables had been. The walls had several posters of women in bikinis advertising beer and various plaques for what appeared to be pool tournaments, an odd setting for a black metal show. There is a stage towards the front of the venue which had been built out of plywood and particle board. To keep the audience off the stage they put three metal poles across the front of it, one on each side and one centered, that were tethered with two plastic coated steel cables. However, the shoddy craftsmanship of the stage would be an issue later in the evening. I did order food at one point, and let me tell you it was very authentic and quite delicious. Their beer selection wasn’t anything to brag about. They don’t have any taps so everything is in cans or bottles. Their best beer was Guinness but most people were drinking quart sized Corona bottles. The place doesn’t seem to have any policy for cutting people off and there were some people that were dangerously drunk at the show. I’m not even talking about just shit faced, but people that had actually drank themselves into a stupor and could hardly stand, much less walk. I had one such drunk come up to me and explain he had come to the show looking for a fight. Then, in his alcohol infused haze, he began trying to trick me into arguing with him. Eventually a few of his friends pulled him away from my table but damn that was annoying. I did see the guy involved in several fights later in the night but he was never kicked out. Hell, other than the armed security guard outside the door checking IDs, there was no real security inside the venue. There is another black metal show that will be there on Saturday, December 15th (details here). It’s an all day “festival” headlined by Black Witchery. I doubt I’ll go though because spending the day avoiding fights and trying to protect my camera in the mosh pit at an event that will start serving booze when the doors open at noon with no cutting people off sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

The first band to play was Damnatum, a new band from Queens in New York, although apparently some of the members are of Colombian descent. They had a goat skull on stage with a few candles burning. There wasn’t much stage lighting other than a blinking neon Miller Light sign on the wall by the stage, so the show was pretty dark. There was a fog machine too, but it wasn’t used too heavily. These guys were ok. They had a couple songs I liked but many that just seemed fairly typical for underground black metal. They played a long time, longer than was necessary, and when they ended at around 9:30pm I could tell this was going to be a long night. The next band to play was Nachzehrer. This Boston based band was a bit more thrashy than any of the other bands that played, but still very black metal. Their vocalist had a very energetic stage presence and was fun to watch. This was the first band the audience started “moshing” to. I use the term moshing very loosely because rather than do the typical mosh pit style of ramming into each other the audience, most of whom had a very low center of gravity, would shove each other as hard as they could with both hands, almost throwing each other. They would ricochet off of each other in the pit and go flying wildly into the audience or the barrier at the front of the stage. Not ideal for shooting photos in but it was pretty fun to watch. Their set was shorter than Damnatum’s and seemed to be a good length, stopping before it got overly repetitive. The next band to play was Agrath. They’re from New York City and feature a couple members of Negative Plane. Normally they’re a three piece band but they were playing with a second guitarist which made their total four. I’m not sure who that guy was but he did have a sticker for the racist NSBM band Absurd on his guitar, classy. Regardless, I still thought these guys had the best songs of the night (you can see their set list here). Their sound was certainly more professionally put together than the previous two bands and they had more variation in their songs than the headliner did. This was still raw, underground black metal but you could tell they had worked hard on polishing the songs and executing them live. They were also the first band to wear corpse paint on stage. I really enjoyed their show and the people in the pit seemed to agree with me.

Finally it was time for the headliner, Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult, to play. They all came out with elaborate corpse paint on and you could tell they were gearing up for a most unholy black metal spectacle. They had giant, black inverted crosses on stage near the drum kit, an ornate chalice full of (fake) blood, and tons of leather and spikes. Low lighting and a fog machine helped set the grim mood. Onielar, the band’s frontwoman/guitarist, has very long hair that hangs well past her waist. She emerged from the fog raising the chalice and holding upside down a Jesus nailed to the cross prop to start the show. The audience immediately went into a frenzy and began pushing each other so hard I felt like I was in a war zone up there trying to take pictures. Midway through the first song someone was pushed into the cables so hard it completely ripped out the support pole on the right of the stage, bolts and all. The cheap particle board the pole was bolted to was still attached at the base, the wood itself simply couldn’t take the stress and it broke. This resulted in a drunken member of the audience/mosh pit falling onto the stage on his back and the big speaker stack there actually fell over and landed right on him! Members of the sound crew quickly moved in to pick the equipment up, push the guy off stage and try to keep anyone else from falling onto the stage, with mixed results. The band wasn’t shaken and kept playing through all of the chaos. After the first song ended Onielar asked that the audience try to stay away from the stage so they could keep playing for them. Unsurprisingly, considering that all the earlier announcements to the audience from the stage had been in Spanish, the audience didn’t listen at all and as soon as the next song started they were just as violent as before in the pit. Luckily some of the people in the front row started locking arms and formed a wall for the rest of the show that kept most of the moshers at bay. Throughout all of this the band members had all been spitting (fake) blood on themselves and the audience, a ritual that continued for every song of their set. Their sound was pretty aggressive and cold, as is typical of most black metal of this nature. They didn’t have a lot of variation in songs though and after a while many of the songs started sounding the same. There were a few that stood out though and they seemed to be spaced in good places in the set (you can see their set list here). Right as the pit’s energy would start to die down they’d get the frenzy going again with a sick riff/blast beat combo. About midway through their set a few people started trickling in from the Lamb Of God show, which had already ended. Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult’s blasphemous set ended abruptly and the band walked off stage. As the fog cleared you could see a stage that had been left in ruin and covered in so much fake blood you might have thought an animal had been slaughtered there in some sort of Satanic ritual.

This show was definitely insane and pretty fucking fun to be at. It sucks I couldn’t be at the other two sold out shows that night, I can’t be everywhere at once, but I’m betting I was at the wildest show of the three. It’s pretty awesome that DC sold out two different metal shows this night and this third show was pretty well attended too. I didn’t shoot any video, it was far too dark in there for my camera to do that, but I did get some still photos of all four bands which you can see below. Also, thanks to everyone who came out to the Port City Brewery‘s second metal night the Friday night before this show. The place was packed and a total success so there should be another one coming up. It’s great to see so many people coming out to so many different metal events in this area. Keep it up everyone and continue to support the scene you’re a part of!

Damnatum:

Damnatum at Caracol Bar

Damnatum at Caracol Bar

Damnatum at Caracol Bar

Nachzehrer:

Hräsvelg of Nachzehrer

Hräsvelg of Nachzehrer

Nachzehrer at Caracol Bar

Nachzehrer at Caracol Bar

Agrath:

Lord Thammuz of Agrath

Lord Thammuz of Agrath

Agrath at Caracol Bar

Agrath at Caracol Bar

Agrath at Caracol Bar

Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult:

Onielar of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult

Velnias of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult

Velnias of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult

Adversarius of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult

Adversarius of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult

Onielar of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult

Onielar of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult

Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult at Caracol Bar

Onielar of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult