- Korpiklaani: Not average folk.
There's something about cold weather that feels so perfect for listening to metal: maybe it's the bleak winters that pervade Norwegian black metal lyrics, or maybe it's just that "Santa" is an anagram of "Satan". Whatever the reason, there are many opportunities to throw some devil horns this weekend.
Thursday, Dec. 15, at Jaxx, $18 advance / $22 day of show
Folk-metal is a surprisingly vibrant sub-genre -- and it sounds exactly how you might imagine: uptempo folk with a hard, metal edge. Korpiklaani ("Clan of the Wilderness") is a Finnish folk-metal sextet that originally started out as a folk band called Shaman. After changing their name (and changing their style), the group currently includes a violin(!) and an accordion(!!) alongside the traditional guitars/bass/drums lineup.
Thursday, Dec. 15, at the Black Cat, $10 advance / $12 day of show
This trio of sludge/doom metal bands makes for an awesome lineup on a cold Thursday night. Black Cobra is a duo from Los Angeles, Zoroaster is a trio from Atlanta, and the Body is a duo from Providence, R.I. All three have passed through this area earlier this year -- Black Cobra opening for Kyuss Lives!; Zoroaster with Kylesa, and the Body with Thou -- but it should be especially cool to see each band unleash its thick, heavy sound on the Black Cat's tiny Backstage.
Friday, Dec. 16, at the Velvet Lounge, $8
Borracho is the newest addition to this area's stoner rock/metal scene, alongside Clutch and King Giant. Formed in 2007, the group is celebrating the release of its debut, Splitting Sky, an album that showcases the quartet's infectious riffs and howling vocals. In the spirit of the holidays, the band plans to give away some copies of the new CD and T-shirts at the show.
Saturday, Dec. 17, at Asefu's, $7
Ilsa is probably the king of D.C.'s metal DIY scene-- according to concert database Songkick, the doomy quintet has played about a dozen shows in the area this year, most of which have been at underground venues like the Rocketship and the now-defunct Corpse Fortress. At this show, they're joined by thrash-metal bands Earthling (from Harrisonburg) and the Claw (from Philadelphia) as well as D.C. guitar wizards Midnight Eye.
These and other show listings can be found on ShowListDC.