The 10 Best Metro Phoenix Metal Concerts in January 2017

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Orgy
Jim Louvau

Happy New Year, metalheads! We hope you had a very merry metal holiday season, filled with family, friends, spiked eggnog — and you can’t hide those photos of your Slayer sweater at those “ugly” sweater parties. We don’t think we’re alone when we say good riddance to 2016 — while there were some great releases by bands and tours, we just lost too many damn musicians. But we can’t wait to ring in the new year with this list of the best 10 metal shows for you to check out in the Valley.

From kicking the year off with metal charity good karma, to awesome lineups at Dead of Winterfest and Hanneman Fest, to legends like Ace Frehley hitting the stage, there’s something for everyone.

Friday, January 6 – Music Therapy Blackout - The Pressroom
While this band isn’t exactly metal, it made this list for two reasons: it’s for a good cause, and the headlining band, The Beta Machine, was created by members of A Perfect Circle, Eagles of Death Metal, and Puscifer, so fans of those bands can rest assured they’ll get a taste of rock 'n' roll. "Music Therapy Blackout" is a one-night, celebration of live music focusing on raising money for musical instruments and recording studio technologies for "Sophie’s Place," the music therapy ward at Mesa's Cardon Children's Hospital, established by the Forever Young Foundation.

Thursday, January 12 – Artesyn – Club Red
Since 2014, Mesa quintet Artesyn has been building a fanbase with lovers of hardcore-meets-melodic metal; think As I Lay Dying meets Bullet for My Valentine. Emerald Isle, one of my new fav local acts, is also on this bill. If you’re looking for something unique in the local scene, this electronic metal band offers a breath of fresh air. Paranova, November Skies, Shawshank Redeemed, Cries of the Captive and more round out the bill.

Friday, January 13 – Falling in Reverse – The Marquee Theatre
It feels like Falling in Reverse has been constantly on tour since forming in 2008, building a solid fan base, and regularly hitting the Billboard charts with albums like The Drug in Me Is You and Fashionably Late.  They’re rumored to have another album out in early 2017. But while Falling in Reverse is the headliner here, Motionless in White is probably the most metal band on this bill, and the one I’d head to The Marquee to see. The gothic metalcore act hailing from Pennsylvania has always had a great balance of screaming and clean melodic vocals, and also have an album coming out in early 2017. Issues, Danger Kids, and Dead Girls Academy are also on the lineup.

Sunday, January 15 – The All Native American Metal Fest – Yucca Tap Room

When I saw this show I immediately thought, “it’s about damn time.” While a lot of local bands have members from a range of diverse backgrounds and cultures, I feel like there hasn’t been a festival just dedicated to one of those. Head to this show to catch some of the local scene’s current top acts, including Existence A.D., Fractured, Enemy Machine, Mutant Tyrant, Ethan 103, Unconscious Minds, Decapitation of a New Day, Now or Never, Perseverence, Celestial Exile, Tribal Kills, and Poison Insanity.

Saturday, January 21 – Dead of Winterfest 2017 – Club Red
Speaking of a chance to see some of the local scenes best acts, Dead of Winterfest brings probably about 65% of them to the stage at Club Red. We’re talking hardcore, death metal, hard rock, punk, technical metal, melodic metal, sludge metal—it’s all here like a decadent buffet of metal for your soul. Presented by Apalling Events, expect to see Warhead, Deadspawn, Scattered Guts, Singularity, A Lapse of Ethos, Phoenix & Dragon, Stormbringer, Unholy Monarch, Abiotx, Elivagar, Worm, False Flag and more. Seriously—do not miss this one!

Wednesday, January 25 – Powerman 5000 and Orgy – Club Red
You might look at these two bands and scoff that they are on this list as a top show—but you can’t deny that both of these bands have the ability to get crowds pumped up with timeless classics (think Powerman’s “When Worlds Collide” and Orgy’s “Blue Monday”), and that they bring heavy metal attitude to the table. Plus, both bands are rumored to have new music coming out soon; Orgy’s Jay Gordon even rounded up a new lineup for the band earlier this year. Death Valley High, Knee High Fox, As Thick As Thieves, and Interfate are also on the bill.

Friday, January 27 – Ace Frehley – The Marquee
It can’t be denied that KISS influenced countless metal musicians over the years — hell, Ace Frehley was the reason Dimebag Darrell ever even picked up a guitar. And with a successful solo career under his belt, releasing six studio albums, the guitarist has been on tour all this year. Expect to hear a mix of his solo classics, with lots of action from 2014’s Space Invader, as well as KISS classics. Enuff Znuff, Mills End, Color of Chaos, and Tricus (yay local metal!) round out the bill.

Saturday, January 28 – Hanneman Fest – Joe’s Grotto
Hanneman Fest is on par with Dimefest every year, and this year the lineup is pretty sick: expect to see Souless, Warhead, Scattered Guts, Dead Swarm, Betrayal of Allies, and Sick Black Automatic hit the stage, all hailing the great legend Jeff Hanneman with a range of Slayer hits and tributes.

Saturday, January 28 – Lago, Virulent, Atoll, and more – Rebel Lounge

I’ve always loved Lago and they’ve been lying low for a while, so I was stoked to hear their new jams this month from the album Calm Hatchery. This is one of two shows they will be playing in early 2017 before settling down to work on the new record. Along with Virulent, Atoll, With Six Million Dead, Ocean Harvest, and Kruffix, this is going to be a night that’ll leave your ears ringing. In a good way.

Sunday, January, Jan 29 – Code Orange – The Nile
Pittsburgh-based Code Orange (you might remember them as the Code Orange Kids) brings back those early days of the aggressive American hardcore music scene, celebrating that gritty punk life. The members combine hardcore power, intense breakdowns, and melodic vocals for a unique sound that has garnered them strong underground fan base over the years. Openers include Youth Code and Gatekeeper.


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