January and February offer an incredible variety of shows. Of course, there is A389 Fest at the Ottobar, the Sidebar, and the Charm City Art Space, from Jan. 17-20. Among a long list of bands performing, the standouts include the Left for Dead reunion, Lack of Interest, Integrity, and Despise You, but that's just scratching the surface. Check a389records.com for full details. Corrections House-an all-star group composed of Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Mike IX Williams (EYEHATEGOD), Sanford Parker (Nachtmystium), and Bruce Lamont (Yakuza)-is coming to Metro Gallery on Jan. 25. We don't know much about the group yet, but given the pedigree of all involved, it seems like one not to miss. Black Clouds opens.
One of the most celebrated metal bands of 2012, Pallbearer, brings its funeral-dirge doom sound to the Ottobar on Jan. 31, along with Enslaved, Ancient VVisdom, and Royal Thunder. The following day, Streets of Rage comes to Club K with Fight Amp and City Paper "Best Album" 2012 winners Multicult, as well as other groups (and video games). Hammerfest, a benefit organized by friends of Scott Hammer, owner of Coda Records in Bel Air, who recently passed away, closes out the weekend on Feb. 2 and 3 at Longshots in Abingdon. There are more bands playing than could fit in this column but definitely don't miss Roomrunner. All proceeds benefit Hammer's family.
Death metal legends Suffocation are playing two shows in the area-Feb. 8 at Café 611 in Frederick and the next day at Baltimore Soundstage. Frank "the Tank" Mullen never disappoints with his stage banter, so this should be an entertaining show. Strong Intention plays both shows, along with a long list of local metal acts. Cemetery Piss, a new group featuring members of Murder and Vincent Black Shadow, put out one of my top ten releases last year, but only now are they finally making their live debut, at Club K, with Bastard Sapling, Ashencult, and Dead Peasants on Feb. 10. They should have a new EP out this spring, on D.C.'s Cricket Cemetery records.
Local grindcore vets Triac have a new split 12-inch with D.C.'s D.O.C. (which features Chris Moore of Magrudergrind) coming out, and they're celebrating with a joint show Feb. 9 at the Bell Foundry. This is the first Triac release to highlight the vocal talents of bassist Chadd Heathen and guitarist Kevin Bernsten. In other news, Lotus Fucker just released their new LP, Forever My Fighting Spirit, recorded by Mike Walls. Also, Baltimore d-beat-influenced band Old Lines self-released LP is now available on vinyl. It's limited to 300 copies, so act fast.