Happy Fall, Arizona metalheads!
The heat is officially over, people are looking forward to the holidays, and one of the best holidays of the year just passed: Halloween. While I love the holiday, I must say that the Best October metal shows list was a bitch to write; there were just so many damn shows during the month. But lucky for you, November isn’t much different. But fear not. We've gone ahead and compiled the best shows of the month for you.
This month, you can expect some local highlights, like Pelvic Meatloaf’s 25th Anniversary party and Nonya’s Metal Meltdown, and some killer legends in intimate venues, like Exodus at Joe’s Grotto, Mayhem at Club Red, and John 5 and Doyle at Marquee; and a hell of a lot of heavy metal pioneers, including Carnifex, Corrosion of Conformity, Author & Punisher, and more.
Saturday, November 7 – Mad Monster Tour – Marquee Theatre
It’s the month of giving thanks, but Monsters — and fellow misfits — are still rolling in deep. This tour has John 5 back, playing alongside Doyle. John 5 was just in town for the Monster Mash Tour, but after a stopover in Vegas, he’s already told us he’s itching to play this tour alongside the former Misfit. Ded, Sons of Providence, and Doll Skin round out the bill.
Friday, November 6, and Saturday, November 7 — Pelvic Meatloaf 25th Anniversary Party — The Blooze Bar
You can always count of Pelvic Meatloaf to throw a good local metal show at its clubhouse, but this anniversary show will take that to epic levels. This two-night party celebrates the band’s 25th anniversary, complete with different sets each night and a diverse lineup of the best metal bands in Arizona. On Friday, we’ve got Pelvic Meatloaf, Bro Loaf, The Iris Motive, Sounds Like Murder, We Steal Copper, and Zombie Surf Sluts taking the stage. Saturday showcases Eroticide, The Venomous Pinks, Soundman Killz, Inept Hero, Atoll, and yes, another round of Zombie Surf Sluts. Because can you ever really get enough of those?
One more thing: There will be no advance ticket sales.
Tuesday, November 10— Exodus — Joe’s Grotto
Now, this is the effing place to see Exodus. Are you kidding me? I can’t remember the last time I saw them play such an intimate venue. While the thrash metal giants are currently on tour promoting Blood In, Blood Out, they are playing about half the dates with King Diamond — alas, King Diamond will not be gracing Joe’s stage. But it’s still cool because they put on one hell of show. The crowd will no doubt be covered in sweat and blood.
Thursday, November 12 — Mayhem, Watain, and Rotting Christ — Club Red
If you have a penchant for upside-down crosses, bloody animal parts, white corpse paint, and some of the most intense people-watching you’ve ever seen, well, you can’t beat a Mayhem show. On November 12, multiple that by three; three old-school pioneers of black metal, that is.
Mayhem needs little introduction. This highly controversial act is long regarded as a pioneer of the Norwegian black metal scene — and well known for violent stage antics, the early '90s suicide of vocalist Per Yngve “Dead” Ohlin, and the murder of guitarist Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth by former member Varg “Count Grishnackh” Vikernes. Watain combines influences from bands like Bathory, Mercyful Fate and Venom and is seen as an important influence in the Swedish black metal scene. They’re all about the pyrotechnics and animal carcasses thrown around on stage — and arguing with journalists, as I discovered in my interview with bassist Eric Danielsson. Last but not least is Rotting Christ, a Greek band that’s known for abstract, stylistically ground-breaking music since the late '80s.
Thursday, November 12 — Decade of Despair Tour, Carnifex 2015 — Joe’s Grotto
It’s hard to imagine a group as brutal as modern death metallers Carnifex basking on the sunny beaches of San Diego, but then again, the West Coast metal scene is pretty good with keeping us on our toes. Since 2005, Carnifex has been perfecting their live show with relentless touring, relying on the power of raw music and now distractions like stage props and pyrotechnics. Expect to see Within The Ruins, Black Tongue, Lorna Shore, and The Last Ten Seconds of Life also taking the stage.
Friday, November 13 — Friday the 13th with Tricus and more — Rockbar
Rockbar hosts a night of AZ metal! (I have to say, I’m starting to love that Rockbar is hosting more metal . . . It must have read my love letter.) You’ll catch hard rockers Tricus, which is truly a local favorite, and heavy melodic metallers 24Thorns. Also hitting the stage is Dehumanizer, throwing down a tight combo of speed, thrash and death metal, and Malo De Dentro, known for groove metal. Rounding it out is Ashes of the Dead and 13 Down.
Monday, November 16 — Corrosion of Conformity — PubRock Live
The legendary Corrosion of Conformity is long known for its influence spanning back to the early '80s, blending hard rock, hardcore, metal, punk rock, and a bit of sludge and doom metal here and there. If you’ve never seen Pepper Keenan, Mike Dean, Reed Mullin, and Woody Weatherman take the stage at a more intimate venue, this is your chance. Rounded out by Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk, Saviours, and Mothership.
Friday, November 20 — Author & Punisher — Club Red
When’s the last time you saw a one-man band? And when is the last time you saw a one-man band that singlehandedly influenced such legends as Phil Anselmo? Well, Tristan Shone is Author & Punisher, an industrial doom and drone metal one-man band. He utilizes a range of dub machines, bass guitar, and custom-fabricated machines, controllers, and speakers. Supporting act Muscle and Marrow is a worthy kick-off, as well. The two-piece, influenced by everything from literature to light, is full of fuzzy, droning, lush guitars, heavy hypnotic drumming, and vocals that range between guttural and operatic.
Saturday, November 21 — Nonya’s Metal Meltdown — The Blooze Bar
When I heard Crystal Nonya announce that this was her “last show,” I began to panic. She’s known for throwing some heavy-hitting metal lineups around town. But then I realized it’s just her last show until next year. Whew. Still, two months is a long time away. So head on out and catch Chemicals of Democracy, Black Curtain, Latency, and Sectas (this will be the latter’s last show until February 2016 as well) — a head-banging buffet of favorite local bands.
Saturday, November 21 — Havok, Witchaven, and Black Fast — Club Red
Havok has been one of my favorite Denver thrash metal bands since its debut, 2009’s Burn, and the band has toured with major bands like Sepultura, Death Angel, Anthrax, and Goatwhore. Witchaven is close to my heart as well, with a blend of thrash, hardcore punk and black metal, while Black Fast is all about the progressive thrash, rooted in the Midwest. Rounded out by some of my local favs Extinction AD, Scattered Guts, and Yeiitsoh, this will be a hell of a show.
Sunday, November 22 — Blind Guardian with Grave Digger — The Marquee
German power metal band Blind Guardian has more accolades then just about any other band, save for maybe, oh, Iron Maiden. They’ve been credited as one of the most influential bands in the speed and power metal genres, they’ve been churning out impressive album after album since the mid-1980s. Look at it this way: The band’s first ever North American single, “And Then There Was Silence,” debuted on Billboard’s Top 200 Singles Chart with no radio airplay. It also had 50 vocal tracks, 30 guitar tracks, and went on for more than 14 minutes. Their music now spans from speed and thrash to melodic and progressive, but they still make their mark on every stage they play.
Sunday, November 22 — AZ BBQ and Beer Fest with Soulfly, Coal Chamber, and more — TBD
For some reason, barely information can be found about this event. But in a recent press release, I saw that this BBQ and Beer festival had a killer stage lineup including Soulfly, coal Chamber, Flotsam & Jetsam, Sacred Reich, Incite, and more, for just a $25 admission. Sounds too good to be true, and it might be; stay tuned for more info.
Wednesday, November 25 — Amaranthe — PubRock Live
Amaranthe is one of those bands that really stand out in the Swedish metal scene. With three vocalists, they alternate between different vocal styles, ranging from clean to dual gender singing effects to death growls. Butcher Babies is no stranger to PubRock, and while the band has been through town about three times this past year, they always put on a hell of a live show that changes every time. Lullwater rounds out the bill.
Friday, November 27 — Mason Jar Veterans — Rebel Lounge
13th Floor Presents this awesome jam-out show at the ol’ Mason Jar. You’ll see an array of local vets, including St. Madness, Destructured, Dive Bar Knights, Throw the Switch, and Empires of Dezire. If you remember the good ol’ days, go for the nostalgia. If you’ve never been, go to find your next favorite music venue.