Another Round Bar and Grill – Richmond, VA

Saturday evening in Richmond, VA was the place to be. Tonight’s special was seafood tacos and the music was something from beyond the local area. Two bands from Fredericksburg were there, but then we had one from Philadelphia and one from New York. The focus was on Black Metal and the range was everything from a Hardcore/Thrash Crossover to an Operatic/Cinematic Black Metal. There is just something about Black Metal that lends itself to blending with different sub-genres to create new fusions and blends that keep the style fresh, and Another Round is one of the few places around willing to bring in the more fringe metal acts.


Band Members:

  • Sean – Guitars
  • Brad – Guitars/Vocals
  • Dane – Bass
  • Lenin – Drums


  1. Born Of The Pyre
  2. Effigy
  3. Hand Of Decay
  4. Monolith

So, this four-piece from Fredericksburg, VA, likes to call themselves Atmospheric Black/Death Metal. That does describe part of their sound. You also get Doom, Technical, and even some Thrash Metal in the way they use their guitars. They are not one simple thing. They played hard and brought a real energy to the stage. Going first is always a challenge, but Archael accomplished the task. Of note, the drummer, Lenin, made great use of a pretty large kit with lots of different drum/cymbal options. His splash game is off the chain.

The vocals were mostly harsh, but clean at times. The singer played some lead guitar parts but spent most of his time on rhythm. If I were Brad, I would hate to try to sing while hammering out those leads. But then again, I don’t play guitar, so that seems impossible to me. Sean has a great tone and his soloing was crisp and fast. However, he can slow the solo down to get a more melodic feel when it suits his mood or the feel of the song. Another thing to consider is that they played only four songs but were on stage for over 30 minutes, so you get longer compositions that have elements of Progressive and Doom/Sludge Metal as well. They take the time to build complex, compelling songs.

The drumming and bass were solid as hell, keeping a tempo fast enough to carry the track at the proper pace. I jokingly blamed anything that was not perfect on the bassist, actually making him laugh at one point in the set, so they obviously had some fun since they did not jump off the stage to fight me. Good thing because I might have hurt his playing hand when blocked a punch with my face…. I’m not a good fighter. Seriously, Archael and their fans were a great group of people who stuck around to enjoy the rest of the show and pump up the other three acts. They were fun to watch and hang out with for an evening. Check out their socials and see where they are playing next. They are worth going to see live.

Path To Exile

Band Members:

  • Tommy Crouch – Vocals
  • Brian Sanders – Guitars
  • Christopher Rogers – Guitars
  • Zachery San Piedro – Guitars
  • Drake Sanders – Drums


  1. Mirror Box
  2. Lost In Shadows
  3. Blood Stain Glass
  4. 99 Ways Through Hell
  5. Death From Above
  6. Blood Eagle

More local Fredericksburg music here. Path To Exile is a band looking to round out their sound. They currently have three guitarists and no bass player. All three guitarists have seven strings on their instruments. The technicality with which they play is quite astounding. None of them took on a bass style and they spent a lot of time harmonizing their riff/rhythm sections. All three played leads at times, all three are accomplished shredders. There were a lot of guitars to this set and I loved every minute of it.

Tommy used both clean and harsh vocals, screams, and volume control to get the point of the songs across. Sometimes crossing into a Hardcore sound, they brought Thrash, Black, and Death Metal with twists, turns, and turmoil to the stage. They took the energy level up a notch, blazing through their set with power and fury. All three guitarists wandered the stage a bit, but Tommy dominated it, using his height to stand tall, even when doubled over hitting a Power Scream that sounded like it originated from the depth of his soul.

Sitting behind everyone as the sole timekeeper, Drake pounded his way through the set, shifting tempos and phrases precisely, hitting the change points to let the guitars know it was time for something different. On a night filled with excellent drumming, Drake made sure he was not outdone. Watching his phrase change was almost mesmerizing. Path To Exile is a force to be reckoned with and one of the bands you should not miss. Again, show the socials some love and see if you can catch these guys live sometime.


Band Members:

  • Jacqui – Vocals
  • Nate – Guitars/Vocals
  • Hazel – Guitar
  • Tatiana – Bass
  • Samantha – Drums


  1. Throes
  2. Incendium
  3. Last You Fell From Divinity
  4. From Beneath
  5. Witness
  6. So Young, So Useless

Have you ever had something catch your eye (or ear in this case) that goes beyond just a passing interest? I’ve been reviewing concerts and albums for almost four years. During that time, my taste in music has expanded greatly, and every once in a while, I come across something that grabs my attention. Witching did that on an unexpectedly cold Saturday night in Richmond, VA. I will try to do justice to this phenomenon.

Right off the bat, it was almost impossible not to notice the technical skill of Samantha on drums. Paired with Tatiana on bass, they were a formidable duo on the low end. Hazel handled most of the rhythm guitars and Nate took most of the leads and handled backing vocals. Jacqui shook me to the core. Something in the way she used her instrument intrigued me. The ability she had to go from low growl to high scream in a single line got to me. She could do much the same in her clean voice, dropping down, then soaring into her higher register with no effort.

Their set included several styles and sub-genres. Witching gives you samples of Doom and Sludge, Black, and Death Metal. The tempos ranged from low and slow to fast and frenetic, covering all the bases, and showing a lot of diversity. All of the bands tonight had this, but something about Witching just got to me. I cannot explain it and won’t waste too much time on trying. Each of the bands brought something unique to the show tonight and they all put on great shows, but Witching touched something in me like none of the others did.

Nate’s guitar work was eloquent in both the delicate and brutal realms. The voice entranced me, the rhythms and riffs synched with me in a way I cannot explain. This was one of those shows and one of those bands that will resonate with me, and linger in the memory for a long time to come.


Band Members:

  • Andromeda – Vocals
  • Zachary – Guitars
  • Darren – Guitars
  • Laurent – Bass
  • Brendan – Drums


  1. Anno Domina
  2. Die Hymne
  3. Das Peitschengedicht
  4. Algolagnia
  5. Magnificat
  6. Die Unterwerfung
  7. Leck Mich!

The first thing we must do here is discuss the band name and song titles, many of which are in German or Latin. Foltenkammer is a Torture Chamber. “Die Unterwerfung” translates to “The Submission” and “Das Peitschengedicht” to “The Whip Song.” What this means is that the band, with Andromeda having both epic growls and an Operatic skillset, is that they used more of a classical pairing. I’m sure there are operas written in English, or at least translated, but the classics were often written in German, Italian, or Latin. Andromeda is Swiss and speaks multiple languages and Laurent is French and at least bi-lingual. I should have asked the rest of the band but got distracted by the multinational aspect of the band.

The next thing to notice is the stage show. Andromeda is dressed in black and the rest of the band looks like the College Of Cardinals. The red robes with the odd hats made the band look kind of comforting, kind of ominous. The inverted crosses added to the image, giving the whole show an excellent bit of flair. This was not just a bunch of songs in a language most Americans do not understand, it was an audio-visual spectacle meant to stimulate more than just the sense of hearing.

Zachary and Darren traded off dominating on guitar while Laurent and Brendan powered the low end. The musical aspect of the show was quite good, but it was quite difficult to take your eyes or ears off of the voice and vocalist. Her incredible range and control over her instrument were something to behold. Andromeda hit low notes that brutalized the mind and high notes that shocked the mind. She hit, and held, one note that pierced the soundscape with so much power that I’m surprised she didn’t short-circuit the entire venue.

She also provided introductions to some of the songs, letting the audience know what the basis for the songs was. “Leck Mich!” is “Lick Me!” “Die Unterwerfung,” or “The Submission,” was an update to a centuries-old German tale, parts of which were sung in an Old German dialect. Yes, there was a definite sensual, sometimes sado-sexual element to the show. Andromeda had the ability to captivate, using both her voice and rhythmic movements to hypnotize the audience. Foltenkammer is one of those bands that gives you more than you expect. It’s not just a concert, it’s a show meant to be seen as well as heard.