Now more than ever, there is lot of metal -- from comedy to thrash to black to grindcore -- getting slung in and around Metro Phoenix, thanks to concerts and gigs by locals and touring acts alike. As such, Up on the Sun's resident metal scribe, Lauren Wise, is on the lookout for the best upcoming shows.
That's why we had her compile a monthly list of the 10 best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley during the month of June. From the brutal Phoenix Death Fest to local success story City in the Sea, to internationally beloved Unearth and "hipster" black metal newbies Deafheaven.
Guaranteed sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll abound when you go see Nashville Pussy. The psychobilly, sleaze rock band garnered its name from Ted Nugent's introduction to "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" -- so that should be enough to show what kind of a band they are. Plus, the band's newest album came out this year, Up The Dosage. Phoenix Death Fest - June 12 - Rogue Bar
The only thing that sucks about this show is that it's on a Thursday -- but Phoenix Death Fest will be worth it even if you have to work at 6 a.m. the next morning. And that's guessing you go to bed by 4 a.m. This line-up consists of an array of death metal bands, like Devangelic, Troglodyte, Torn The Fuck Apart, Depraved Heretic, Necrambulant, and several others. It's a pretty interesting lineup: Devangelic is a brutal death metal outfit founded in Rome, while Troglodyte gathers influence from bands like Carcass, Repulsion and Obituary. The Rogue's a great venue for this show as well, since there's not a bad seat in the house and you can pound shots of whiskey without running up a huge tab. City in the Sea - June 13 - Joe's Grotto
Phoenix metal band City in the Sea has one of those success stories that local bands strive for. Last year the band played the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival along with bands like Rob Zombie, Machinehead, Children of Bodom and Amon Amarth. The first time I saw this band was in the Nile Underground a few years back, and I was pretty impressed. Not just because all of them were under the age of 21, but because they had some insane mosh pits happening. Virulent; I, Of Olympus; and North of Paris also play at this all ages show. The Iron Maidens - June 13 - Club Red
This show is all about the metal tributes. If you haven't seen the Iron Maidens before, it's worth it alone just see sexy -- and talented -- chicks shred in the name of Iron Maiden. I saw these ladies at NAMM in January, and they garnered such a crowd you could barely see the stage. Along with the Ozzy tribute I Don't Know, Metallica tribute band Kill Em All, and The Foo Tribute (explanatory enough), this show's going to be a hell of a good time. Unearth - June 15 - Pub Rock Live
Metalcore band Unearth has made quite a name for themselves. The band has released five albums, and even though the last one was back in 2011, they still offer up melodic death metal that's relevant among the most cutting edge metal bands today. The members' influences range from Slayer to At the Gates to Anthrax, so you can expect a great stage presence and some shredding. Texas in July rounds out the bill. Crepitation, Incinerate, Splattered - June 17 - Yucca Tap Room
This lineup is collection of some of the most humorous, darkest, heaviest (and unheard of) underground bands. We've got Crepitation, a slam-death-grind band hailing from the U.K.; Minnesota technical death metal act Incinerate; and Splattered, a death metal group from the Bay Area that has some serious guttural vocals and distorted bass. There's also Splatterkill, Fetal Disgorge and Grindhouse. Arsonists Get All The Girls - June 26 - The Nile Underground
OK, OK -- I do really love this band's name, but that's not the only reason I included them here. Santa Cruz, California-based deathcore band Arsonists Get All The Girls' revolving door of members has made for some vast influences and sounds on their catalog of five albums, the most recent of which was released in 2013. If you're into deathcore meets electronicore meets experimental metal, this band's recommended for you. Arkaik, Death of an Era and Scylla are also on the bill. Deafheaven - June 30 - Crescent Ballroom
Deafheaven. Their pink website looks like a Chanel ad. And when I met them at the Golden Gods Awards (up for best new band), the two members looked like hipsters who were plopped on the black carpet, looking a little lost. There was a even a bunch of backlash about them being "hipster black metal." But just listen to the song "Sunbather" to set yourself straight -- it's from the album of the same name that was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2013.
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