Another Round Bar and Grill – Richmond, VA

Saturday evening in Richmond, VA was the place to be. Pool tables were busy and the show was destined to be awesome because Heavy Metal freaking rules!! The bacon cheeseburger for dinner hit the spot and fueled me up for a night of headbanging and avoiding the mosh pit (I’m too old for that stuff). Never underestimate the power of food and music to make you one happy camper! This was night two of a three-night stint for me and I was ready. I should have gotten there earlier and shot a few games of pool. Maybe next time….

Hollowed Grounds

Band Members:

  • Will Mewszel – Vocals
  • Andrew Costanzo – Guitars
  • Kris Robinson – Rhythm Guitars/Backing Vocals
  • Cameron Bell – Bass
  • Tristen Brannon – Drums


  1. Given Up (Linkin Park)
  2. Infamous (Motionless In White)
  3. Your Betrayal (Bullet For My Valentine)
  4. The Lines (Beartooth)
  5. Creatures (Motionless In White)
  6. Second & Sebring (Of Mice And Men)
  7. Abigail (Motionless In White)
  8. Counting Worms (Knocked Loose)
  9. Recreant (Chelsea Grin)

Hollowed Grounds is a new band and this was their first show. They performed covers of a variety of bands and they are actively writing new material. They had some struggles on stage, often getting lost in the songs, partly because they were having issues with the equipment. The drummer stopped in the middle of a song and the rhythm guitarist did a few times. More practice will allow them to drive on and help them tighten up the show. One thing I would recommend…. Even if you get lost, don’t quit playing, look for a visual cue to get back on track.

Despite those issues, they hustled and gave it all they had. Props to them for getting on that stage and working their asses off. Will seemed to feel more comfortable and confident in his harsh vocal range. His clean were pretty good and, as with all vocalists, will improve with practice. Just as a recommendation, I’d use Kris as a backing vocalist in “Your Betrayal.” Those lyrics and the change from clean to harsh are a bit too close for one voice to handle. Will did have one spectacular note he hit, and held…. And held… and held during “Given Up.” He’s got the chops to take the songs on.

Hollowed Grounds has some work to do, but I think they can get it done. They all have skills, now they just need to work together and rehearse. I think they will also sound better when they bring some of their own music to the show. Performing covers is not easy, especially when the crowd knows the songs well. It takes a lot of practice to get those songs right, and Hollowed Grounds has started the journey. It will be cool to watch them grow over the next year.

Shovelhead A.D.

Band Members:

  • Chuck Weatherman – Vocals/Guitars
  • Matt Terry – Bass
  • Shelby brown – Drums


  1. Crawl To Me
  2. By Floods And Fire
  3. No Quarter
  4. Justice To Gain
  5. Shedding Wretched Skin
  6. New South Hill
  7. Buried In The Weeds
  8. Breadfan (Budgie cover)

Shovelhead A.D. is a power trio of Death/Thrash Metal bros. The vocals are mostly harsh or heavily distorted, though they do go clean a few times, especially on the cover of Budgie’s “Breadfan.” Yes, it was more in the Metallica style, but they did at honor the original song as well, giving it an Old School Heavy Metal take as well. Their rhythms tended towards Thrash while the vocals carried more of the Death Metal weight. Oddly enough, they also mixed in Hardcore, Punk, and even a little Doom. You can tell the guys have a wide variety of loves and they are reflected in the songs.

The guitar work was a crossover Thrash/Death concoction that worked quite well with the rhythms. The vocals topped everything off with a mostly Death Metal sound. The Doom moments were mostly heard in bridges or breakdowns, slowing the rhythm down and letting the song take on a new feel to broaden the appeal. The band had a great energy and they brought the crowd to life with infectious grooves and solid musicianship. The performance was tight and highlighted by killer rhythms and powerful vocals.

Shovelhead A.D. is one of those bands you need to watch out for. Based on this performance, I think they will continue to get better and impress new fans with every show they play. I look forward to when our paths might cross again!

Lost Soul

Band Members:

  • Jacob – Vocals
  • Cole – Guitars
  • Steve – Bass
  • Steven – Drums


  1. Scum
  2. Destiny
  3. The Red (Chevelle cover)
  4. Fury
  5. Guilt’s Revenge
  6. Greatness Drained
  7. Circles

Nashville, TN-based Lost Soul is a wild ride. They use both clean and harsh vocals, tight rhythms, and a ton of sub-genre crossovers to create an interesting sound that hits on a bunch of different levels. They bring a ton of energy to the stage and keep the audience actively engaged. They came to town for a couple of different reasons, but the one I witnessed was reason enough for me to now love this band.

First off, the band mixes a metric ton of styles together, including Groove, Thrash, Hardcore, Punk, Death, Metalcore, and Sludge/Doom Metal. They covered my favorite Chevelle song, which is a quick way to my Metal heart. The rhythms were intense and well-rehearsed, the guitars equally intense. They use intros to bring a song in, then shift into the main riff/rhythm combination that is typically a different style. Their transitions from point A to point B are almost seamless.

They bring a cool Groove and Thrash combination to most of their songs with frequent trips through Hardcore and Metalcore as well. Their stage presence is both Hardcore and Punk in large part, though they also Thrash as well. Being from Nashville, they definitely blow the lid off the Country music stereotype of the city. This gives me hope for the future of Southern Metal. One thing I can say is that I’m glad they took the trip to the coast. Richmond is a better place for having hosted this beast of a band from the Volunteer State.

Catharsis RVA

Band Members:

  • Chris Propst – Vocals
  • Austin Hanvey – Lead Guitars
  • Tee Bryson – Rhythm Guitars
  • Devin Caldwell – Bass
  • Zach Brown – Drums


  1. Medicate
  2. Burden Of Truth
  3. Burning Inside
  4. Lost Years
  5. Dying Star
  6. Cowardice
  7. Light The Match

Catharsis had a minor technical issue at the start of the show. Once that was fixed, they just kicked ass the rest of the set. Primarily a Metalcore band, they fuse in elements of Hardcore, Thrash, and even some Death and Melodic Metal. They bring great pit energy and might have had more erratic stage energy, but the singer blew out his knee jumping off the drum riser. Instead of giving up, he just finished the set on one leg, occasionally dropping into a chair to give the good leg a bit of a break. Despite those setbacks, Catharsis RVA absolutely crushed it.

These guys know how to transition from one style to another, often blurring the lines between Metalcore and Hardcore/Thrash Metal with no loss of speed, power, or tempo. They use a combination of clean and harsh vocals to help shift from the heavier to the more melodic styles. The bass and drum pairing assisted with these shifts. Devin and Zach were in lockstep, driving the songs like a Formula One racecar, hugging the curves and powering through the straightaways. The drops from Metalcore into the more Melodic Metal phrasings were damn good and worth noting.

The guitars moved through the various styles with ease and the technical drumming kept pace with all the other instruments, keeping everything on pace. I love watching bands who know how to twist and turn through sub-genres and Catharsis RVA is a great example of that. AS you can tell from reading this, it was a great night for Metal.