On this date in history, 12/1/1990, Judas Priest, Megadeth and Testament descended on Market Square Arena in Indianapolis and delivered a historical ass-kicking display of Metal at its best! At the time of this show, I believe this was probably the heaviest concert I had seen to date. Testament came out first and set the tone early. Chuck Billy roared his vocals like a man possessed and Alex Skolnick blazed on the guitar like Steve Vai at his most pissed off. Speaking of pissed off, the ever volatile Dave Mustaine led his Megadeth mates through a punishingly precise set that featured a crushing version of Holy Wars and some astounding guitar wizardry from Marty Friedman. I remember wondering if the headliner would be able to top these 2 thrash juggernauts when it was their time to take the stage. Judas Priest was not to be outdone, though. They were touring in support of Painkiller, possibly the thrash-iest album they ever made. Scott Travis’s drumming on that song was like a locomotive running you down at full double kick overdrive! The twin lead guitar insanity of Glen Tipton and K.K. Downing was a joy to behold, and Rob Halford proved over and over why he possesses one of the greatest voices in the history of heavy music. Looking back, it was a fantastic blend of classic metal and the pulverizing onslaught of thrash at its finest. The sheer level of musicianship at this concert was jaw dropping, and the competitive energy coalesced into a seminar on how to do metal the right way.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Date in History

Posted By Frank Godla

I’ve been a vegetarian and animal rights supporter for many years. So I’m always thrilled to hear about fellow headbangers who share my two biggest passions. Naturally, this subject becomes more apparent around the holidays, when 88% of Americans devour a few million pounds of meat. While vegetarian diets might be the minority, we’re in pretty good company. Here are a few animal loving musicians who will be celebrating Thanksgiving a little differently:


Travis Ryan and Josh Elmore are some of the nicest folk I know in death-grind, but their brutal angst filled music is almost entirely based on their vegetarian lifestyle. Ranging from songs about human slaughterhouses and cannibals, to animals flipping the table and treating humans like food, they are easily one of my favorite bands with a message.


It might seem weird for Metallica to have a proud hunter and vegetarian in the same band, but Kirk Hammett claims his vegetarianism is strictly for health. In an interview with KNAC.com, he explained: “I am a vegetarian but not because I love animals. I am one because I think eating animals is not good for your health. James [Hetfield’s] hunting doesn’t affect me at all, as I have a lot of taxidermy in my house.”


These are some of the most health conscious dudes I know, and it’s usually no surprise to learn they adopted a new good habit. Liam Wilson has been an advocate for yoga, meditation and veganism for many years and continues to expand on this today. Ben Weinman also became vegetarian in 2010, and even his dogs adopted a vegetarian diet along the way.


Paul Waggoner and Dan Briggs have both been outspoken in press about their vegan lifestyle from the start, and continue to spread the support today. I had the pleasure to grab lunch with Dan one day where he discussed how and why he became vegan. As PETA supporters you could also find several interviews with the band discussing their attachment.


It’s always great when a whole band takes a stand for something out of the ordinary, and such is the case with Converge. While Kurt Ballou is the only vegan of the group, the others remain vegetarian.


The ultimate proof that veg-life can be metal is found in Geezer Butler – heavy metal co-founder, bassist, Black Sabbath lyricist, and full on vegan animal rights activist Geezer Fucking Butler! He’s a regularly celebrated musician on the PETA website and you can find more information about his life long decision


You may notice the topic comes up quite a bit in their lyrics, but that’s because Carcass main men Bill Steer and Jeff Walker are proud vegetarians. Bill spent many years vegan, and has gone on record to talk about his support for animal rights.


Despite his gore filled slasher films and horror centric lyrics, Rob Zombie has been an animal rights supporter since 1982 when he saw slaughterhouse footage in high school. He started as a vegetarian and has since become vegan. Zombie recently appeared as a judge on the TV show Top Chef where he instructed the contestants to “Make vegan taste good”.


Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler, as well as bassist John Campbell are vegetarian. In a recent interview Adler told Peta2 that he stopped eating all red meat after learning the facts behind factory farming. He goes on to explain how he stopped eating meat completely: “We were on tour and saw a chicken truck go by with these chickens that were just bleeding-it was just disgusting. And that was it. I haven’t had a piece of it since.”


He’s not as outspoken as other metal artists on the subject, but Canadian producer, musician, song writer, and cat-lover Devin Townsend is indeed a committed vegetarian. In an interview with the radio show Heavy Metal Food, Devin discussed why he doesn’t talk about it as much: “People say, ‘Well, why don’t you talk about being vegetarian?’ And I’m like, ‘People will find out.’ The people who are interested in what I do and why I do it, being a vegetarian is a big part of that…”

10 Vegan/Vegetarian Metal Bands That Skip The Turkey on Thanksgiving

On this date in history, 11/22/1981, I traveled to Bloomington, Indiana to see the incredible Frank Zappa perform at the IU Auditorium on the Indiana University campus. My love of Zappa’s music is just beyond description, so this ranks as one of my all-time most cherished concerts. Although this show took place over 35 years ago, I still have vivid memories of how unusually the audience reacted to the music. Every song that the band played was seemingly someone’s favorite Zappa song and I found myself scanning the crowd at the beginning of each tune to spot the fanatic jumping out of his or her seat and losing their mind over the good fortune of hearing their personal ultimate song. Whenever Frank would grab his guitar (which was usually a Les Paul that looked exactly like mine!) and let fly with an amazing solo, all of us guitar freaks worshiped at the altar of the man’s genius! To top things off, he had recently enlisted a (then 20 year old) new guitar player in his band by the name of Steve Vai!. Steve was credited on Zappa’s albums not with “lead guitar”, but with “impossible guitar parts” and he proved this was no publicity stunt as he effortlessly shredded his way through Frank’s intricate compositions. Frank and Steve even traded leads on one song and I’m surprised I was able to lift my jaw from the floor…simply mind blowing! The entire band was full of monster musicians and singers, and each one contributed essential flavoring to the Zappa stew. In particular, I was fascinated at percussionist Ed Mann, who played all variety of exotic percussion instruments, and astonishing technique on the glockenspiel, playing insane patterns with 2 sets of sticks in each hand. Zappa himself fulfilled multiple roles, sometimes standing in front of the band and conducting them like a classical concertmaster, sometimes acting as the frontman, singing lead vocals or telling humorous stories about the upcoming or previous song, and as I mentioned before, sometimes just blazing away as the virtuoso lead guitarist, playing stuff that literally no-one else would ever have dreamed in a million years. The memories of this concert are treasures to me, and I will continue to listen to Frank Zappa’s music until I take my final breath.

Written By The Concert Critic aka Braddon S. Williams

On This Date in History

By Metal Chris

Today is Thanksgiving Day and I’d like to say thanks to all the readers of this site, bands in the area and the fans who come out to see them. All the work I put into this is totally worth it because of you. Since I love making playlists for pretty much any reason, I’ve made another metal one for Thanksgiving. Just like the playlist I made for Election Day this one was posted to the DCHM Facebook page (here) first however this time I’ve included the commentary for each track as well. Also, if you’re interested in buying a DCHM shirt for either yourself or someone else this holiday season, I’ll be taking orders for about a week starting tomorrow (Black Friday the 23rd of November 2012). All those details will be posted tomorrow. Until then, enjoy this metal mix and try not to start a mosh pit in the kitchen!

OK since I’ve gotta work today I’m going to post a Thxgivin metal mix (stream the entire playlist on YouTube here if you’d like). It’ll give ya something to listen to while ya cook or maybe just help you drown out your relatives. First up is Carved Up by the old school Swedish death metal band Hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy – Carved Up – 1996 Abducted

The Colorado based black metal band Cobalt (who will be performing on the first day of Maryland Deathfest in May) has a sick tune called Eater Of Birds.

Cobalt – Eater Of Birds – 2007 Eater Of Birds

What’s Thanksgiving without the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Here’s an Exodus song that’s the closest thing I could think of to the big parade in NYC today.

Exodus – Lunatic Parade – 1990 Impact In Imminent

The Danish band Daemon put out an album in 1996 with each song based off of one of the seven deadly sins. Their killer song for Gluttony certainly fits today’s theme!

Daemon – Gluttony – 1996 Seven Deadly Sins

DT is probably my favorite of the Gothenburg melo-death metal bands and this song’s title reminds me of having to sit through a stressful yet large meal with arguing relatives.

Dark Tranquillity – Feast Of Burden – 2000 Haven

Back before Arch Enemy gained fame for having a woman, Angela Gossow, singing with growling vocals, they put out three pretty kick ass albums. Pilgrim was later re-recorded with her on vocals but the original is by far the better version. You can also substitute this song with the Iron Maiden song of the same name.

Arch Enemy – Pilgrim – 1999 Burning Bridges

And of course you can’t have the pilgrims and not the Indians (HTTR btw!) So here’s the Anthrax classic Indians. You can also substitute an Iron Maiden song for this one if you want, namely Run To The Hills of course.

Anthrax – Indians – 1987 Among The Living

Most of us probably aren’t from the mountains of Romania, but that doesn’t mean that today we don’t have the kind of hunger that Darkthrone wrote about. Gotta love some classic 2nd wave black metal from Norway.

Darkthrone – Transilvanian Hunger – 1994 Transilvanian Hunger

So many Cannibal Corpse songs could fit today’s theme, but I settled on Carnivorous Swarm. Sorta makes you think of that rush to the table when the announcement has been made that the food is ready to be eaten.

Cannibal Corpse – Carnivorous Swarm – 2009 Evisceration Plague

After you’ve gorged yourself you can sit back, turn on some football and slip into a food coma listening to this Apocalyptica song.

Apocalyptica – Coma – 2000 Cult

Here’s the last song of today’s Thanksgiving playlist, and like the Election Day playlist I posted earlier this month it also ends with a Megadeth song. If you’re getting up early tomorrow for extra $avings then this song is definitely for you.

Megadeth – Good Mourning/Black Friday – 1986 Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving everyone!

Oh and if you can think of any songs I should have put on this playlist, feel free to post them in the comment section below.

Thanksgiving Playlist


Even considering the mentality of “If it bleeds, it leads,” the press has been especially full of gore the last few weeks. The perpetrators of most of this bloodletting, ISIS and other Islamo-fascist thugs, have set off suicide bombs in Beirut, attacked a high-end hotel in Mali, and have essentially placed the city of Brussels on lockdown for the weekend.

One attack in particular targeted rock and roll. On November 13th, masked men in Paris stormed an Eagles of Death Metal show at the Bataclan Theatre. They killed over eighty concertgoers before they were done. When people consider music a crime, there’s not a lot to be thankful for. For metalheads in the West, this is especially troublesome. While our headbanging kindred in the Middle East and Asia have been facing imminent death for years, most of us here in North America and Europe are far more comfortable with people who consider us agents of the Devil than we are with people who would prefer it if we didn’t breathe. Again, it seems pithy to say it, but the world is indeed a scary place.

Still, let us not overlook the things we have to be thankful for this holiday season. Despite all the negative news, metal remains resurgent and strong. No matter what the embittered guy in the Entombed hoodie at your local dive tells you, now is the best time to be a metalhead in the entire history of metaldom. Here’s why.

Not so long ago, bands had to relocate to either L.A. or New York in order to “make it.” This monopoly helped to make a large swath of heavy metal milquetoast and predictable. Nowadays, thanks to the proliferation of the World Wide Web, bands from no-name towns and villages can make a sizable splash. Sure, thanks to this democratization of music, big-names bands don’t make the type of cashola that they used to, but this is a tradeoff that benefits fans. All you need now is a YouTube account and you can either become an overnight darling or an expert on all types of obscure metal.


If you have read Lords of Chaos, Swedish Death Metal, Choosing Death, or any other history about the formative years of extreme metal, than you’re well aware of the fact that metal sub-genres once acted like rival sports teams. Sometimes, they even acted like rival gangs, with street violence included. Thankfully, the bad blood has dissipated over the years and most metalheads now don’t hold onto sub-genres like territories in need of physical defense. Again, thanks to the Internet and other rapid means of communication and information, metalheads today can dip in and out of various sub-genres without having to swear allegiance to one in particular. This plethora of choices has seeped into the music, as well. Today’s extreme metal acts are far more likely to experiment with different genres and reject the notion of sub-genre “purity.” This too is a major win for the fans.


Although I am personally against metal’s acceptance by academia or other so-called “high-brow” industries within our culture, I do cheer the fact that so many websites and print magazines are dedicated to metal. In the supposedly halcyon days, most metalheads had to rely on tape trading and zines in order to find out about the loudest and heaviest bands. Zines are still around and are still awesome.


When Black Sabbath started, metal guitarists only had two options if they wanted to have thick, thunderous tones: Fender and Gibson. A metal guitarist now has the option to handpick axes from predominately metal-oriented companies like Ibanez, Jackson, Schecter, B.C. Rich, and others. As for pickups, pretty much every company who manufacturers humbuckers has a line of metal-themed pickups. This wide variety isn’t just for guitarists, either. Bassists, drummers, and even vocalists all now have products and custom gear designed specifically for their interpretations of the metallic arts.


Once upon a time, Bob Dole denounced death metal as immoral. Instead of voicing his concerns in private, Dole voiced them very publicly in Washington, D.C. As an FYI, this happened a decade after the PMRC hearings. Since then, metal’s role as Public Enemy #1 has declined. The last time a major political figure mentioned metal in any kind of way that was overwhelmingly negative was in 2004 when John Kerry, who was then running for president, denounced heavy metal in order to show his appreciation for rap. While Washington’s neglect for metal can be read as a sign of metal’s decline in overt popularity (in truth, since the death of FM radio and MTV, few acts today enjoy the type of cultural visibility that was once awarded to The Beatles or even to Nirvana), the truth is that metal’s infamy was replaced by gangster rap years ago. Don’t expect either to come up in next year’s election.


Apparently, liking Suffocation means that you’re a candidate for Monogamist of the Year. Also, even though your favorite bands sing about killing, mutilation, and abject darkness, you’re probably happier than the Taylor Swift fan next door. How this all works, I don’t know. Metal just makes me happy and it probably does the same thing to you too. It’s just cool to hear a bunch of dweebs in lab coats confirm my old suspicions.

6 Things Metalheads Should Be Thankful for This Thanksgiving

On this date in history, 9/27/1985, I saw AC/DC and Yngwie J. Malmsteen in concert at Market Square Arena. I took a girl I was dating at the time and after Yngwie played a phenomenal set of virtuoso guitar shredding badassery, she stood up, obviously preparing to leave! I asked her what she was doing and she said the concert was awesome and thanked me for taking her. I said something to the effect that they were just changing gear around on stage and AC/DC would be playing in about a half hour. She apparently didn’t know what they looked like! Well, I got her educated quickly and AC/DC came out and rocked our worlds with cannons, Hell’s Bells and Angus doing his manic schoolboy guitar warrior thing! Needless to say, my date was quite impressed! I bought her a t-shirt that said Yngwie Who? on the front…on the back it said Yngwie Fucking Malmsteen, That’s Who! The combination of technical mastery by Malmsteen and his band, coupled with the raw, primal, basic 4 on the floor blues based hedonistic party vibe of AC/DC made for an extraordinary evening of rock music at its finest.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Date in History

On this date in history, 9/29/1982, I saw The Who and David Johansen at Market Square Arena, in downtown Indianapolis. Johansen was the lead singer for the fantastic New York Dolls, but by the time of this concert, he had morphed into a solid solo career. He wasn’t particularly well received by an impatient crowd ready to be thrilled by The Who. Nonetheless, Johansen is a charismatic performer who knows how to work a stage. I personally enjoyed his set and am glad I had the opportunity to see him live. The Who were nothing short of magnificent. Roger Daltrey showcased one of the best sets of pipes in the business, and twirled his heavily taped up microphone ridiculously high in the air at strategic points in many songs. Pete Townshend executed ferocious windmills with his picking hand, fearlessly crashing it recklessly into his guitar and providing the most massive of power chords; indeed, putting the POWER into the term in the best possible way. John Entwhistle stood still as a statue, except for his fingers, which blazed elegant patterns of intensity on his various bass guitars. Kenny Jones filled in for the late, great, and sorely missed legend, Keith Moon. Jones kept it basic, something Moon never did a day in his life, but somehow it worked just fine, musically. Speaking of music, their set was a treasure trove of genius level rock anthems, penned by Pete, one of the greatest songwriters in the history of rock. The staging and light show were excellent, but simply served the music, which was quite enough for a phenomenal concert experience.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Date in History