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.
That's why we have compiled a monthly list of the 10 best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley during the month of May. The one honorable mention? Black Flag at Pub Rock Live on May 17. Although it's technically categorized as punk, the band also brought a lot of heavy metal influence to punk early on, so lots of metal enthusiasts tend to like the band as well.
Iced Earth has been melting faces since the '80s and is currently on tour promoting their eleventh album, Plagues of Babylon. The progressive thrash metal band has gone through a ton of lineup changes over the years -- but one huge constant remains: the band's rabid fan base. Playing with Swedish heavy act Sabaton, this is a great show to close out Club Red's current location with a bang (the venue relocates about two weeks later.)
This show is all about heavy Arizona metal. Phoenix-based metal outfit Three Seconds More appeals to hard rock and metal fans alike with its heavy instrumentals and melodic soaring vocals. An added bonus to this show is that Three Seconds More's drummer, Zack Sewell (whose also worked with Sicmonic, Eroticide and Souless) will be participating in three different sets. Hence the name, "Zack Attack." My personal favorite is Discordant from Payson, but extreme metallers SicMonic and Souless are solid picks to round out the bill.Silence the Messenger and Years Since the Storm, May 8, Joe's Grotto
Death metal meets hardcore when Silence the Messenger is on stage, a band that garners influence from bands like Slipknot and Whitechapel. This band is all about playing angry heavy music -- and of course, heavy drinking. Emerging from New England's strong hardcore scene, Years Since the Storm incorporates influences ranging from classic rock to metalcore to nu metal, and is known for relentless touring and a tight live show.
Saint Vitus, May 9, Club Red
In my opinion, you can't talk about doom metal or stoner rock without a mention of Saint Vitus. They've been rocking since the 1970s, and are seen as pioneers of such genres, alongside Pentagram and Witchfinder General -- the latter of which has been recently influencing an array of newer stoner rock bands. The band has had very few lineup changes, but did break up in 1996 before reuniting briefly in 2003. Since 2008 they've been running strong, and are currently working on new material; so pre-drink with some Jack Daniels and head over to this killer show.
Incite, Apparitions, Altered Silence, He Who Binds Himself, A Lapse of Ethos, May 9, Joe's Grotto
Arizona-based Incite is all about the intricate shredding, deep grooves, and modern thrash. They are making quite the name for themselves too; the band is currently in the studio with Matt Hyde (Deftones, Slayer), and have toured with such acts as Dillinger Escape Plan. Apparitions leans a bit more towards alt rock, but Altered Silence makes up for it with some pure metal, followed by the death metal stylings of He Who Binds Himself and the lovely deathcore of A Lapse of Ethos.
Blessthefall, May 15, Nile Theatre
Blessthefall has made quite the name for themselves as an Arizona Christian metalcore band. With four albums under their belt, this band leans more towards hardcore and screamo for sure, but they've definitely helped bring attention to the Arizona music scene. Hell, they have almost two million likes on their Facebook.Sectas, Twelve Gates, Hursepower, Nasty Habit, May 17, Crabby Dons
Local. Metal. We named singer Christian Lee one of the 10 best metal singers in Phoenix, so that's something. Check him out!
DevilDriver and White Chapel, May 19, Marquee Theatre
DevilDriver has been one of my favorite metal bands for years. The mix of groove and melodic death metal... it's just delicious. They pull influences from some of the most beloved metal bands around, from Opeth and Metallica to Ministry and Slayer. You can't beat the greatness of albums like DevilDriver and Pray for Villains. Rounded out by deathcore act White Chapel, this show will no doubt fill your metal needs for the evening.Sodomizing Linda, May 23, Joe's Grotto
Sodomizing Linda might not exactly be categorized as heavy metal -- but combine their brand of loose-cannon rock 'n' roll rock with the fact that one of their members (local radio rock/metal station personality 98 KUPD's John Holmberg) is the lead vocalist, well, you've got yourself a night full of some great local metalheads.
Warhead, Death Awaits, Austere Thrash, May 29, Nile Theater
The Nile is my favorite place to catch a metal show, but on occasion there is a band that you can't pass up. We all know Warhead is solid thrash metal act; it's against-the-grain heavy metal. But pair that with Avondale's Death Awaits, Surprise's thrash act Austere Thrash, and a handful of other various local head-banging bands; and you have a reason to head to the one venue that doesn't serve your favorite whiskey -- or any alcohol for that matter.
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