Blessed Be This Heavy Metal Union in the Valley of the Sun

When I saw this viral video the other week of the "most metal first dance at a wedding," I couldn't help but feel a little warm and fuzzy. The goth couple created a playlist that included song snippets from Grave Digger, Pantera, Devil Drive, Cannibal Corpse, Lamb of God and Rammstein.

Awhile back, I caught a video of this couple who decided to shred guitars down the aisle . And how about the couple that chose Slayer's "Raining Blood" as their reception intro jam?

All of these will surely make my mother feel a little more at ease about the fact that her 14-year-old daughter once claimed she was going to walk down the aisle to Pantera's "Cemetery Gates."

What's really awesome is that we have our own upcoming heavy metal wedding, right here in the Valley of the Sun. And since metalheads are so damn lovable, it's sort of a come-one-come-all affair.

The bride and groom, Lori Morris and Rudy Reilly, are well known in the local heavy scene, so if you're a musician, engineer, tech or venue owner, you've probably met them. After they tie the knot on August 9, they are going to throw a heavy metal reception/concert (with the tagline "We Bless This Mess!") at Blooze Bar.

Some of the best metal bands in the Valley are contributing to the happiness and mayhem, including St. Madness, Pelvic Meatloaf, Vivicide, Sectas, Element A440, Discordant and even Rudy's band, Altered Silence. On top of the lineup of metal, hardcore and industrial bands? Delicious burgers and dogs from 2 Boobs BBQ and Blooze Bar-priced bottomless booze.

The idea to play at the Blooze Bar was basically one out of necessity to share it with all of their friends on the scene.

"We knew as soon as we started talking about a wedding date that we were going to be in trouble as far as who we could invite and how many the venue would hold," says Reilly. "So decided we throw a second wedding event that was a show, and the date worked out at the Blooze Bar. And keeping it to just three bands and a certain amount of guests didn't last long at all. Now seven bands are playing, and while there are other favorite acts we have that aren't on the bill, these are seven of our favorite bands in town."

Rudy Reilly is the bassist in the band Altered Silence (they just opened for Flotsam and Jetsam at Club Red) but he has been a fixture on the local metal scene for years. In fact, before he was even living in the Valley he was already welcome to the scene: When he was living in London, he met some of the guys from Sacred Reich on a flight to the U.S. He mentioned he wanted to move to the States, and they told him that Phoenix was the place to be. So in the early '90s, Reilly made the Valley his home.

Reilly has worked as an engineer, system tech, tour manager and rigger, toured with a long list of bands, including Poison, Kreator, Napalm Death, Soufly, Crowbar, Death Angel and Sepultura. For the past 20 years he's played in bands that include N17, Mission 66, Terror in the Isles and Cause for Alarm, and now Altered Silence; and there's no doubt he has a huge stage presence with solid rhythm.

Morris is known as one of the most vivacious women in the metal scene; a huge supporter of the bands and always full of positive energy. The two met through mutual friends, finding themselves at all the same shows. The two love birds have a lot of the same bands.

"When I got home from working on the Def Leppard/Poison tour I threw a big BBQ, and we just really clicked when she came there," explains Reilly. "And that was two years ago.

"She loves the energy at live concerts and I love working the shows and playing them. I don't go in the pit anymore because of my knee, but she's always front and center in the pit. She has so much energy at shows," adds Reilly.

People know this pair as generous and fun-loving. In fact, a perfect example of Reilly's penchant for helping friends is shown through an endearing story about how Rudy hooked up local promotor/metal writer Jason Weddle (a huge Phil Anselmo fan) from DeathWeddle Presents at a Down show a few years back.

Doors open at 6, and there's a good reason to get there early. Namely, to catch the groom's band Altered Silence that goes on at 6:30.

"People are like, 'why would you want to play your own wedding show?' But it's mostly for my family members," explains Reilly. "My nieces from Minnesota have never seen my show so we're playing very early at 6:30 so they can actually see me. It's a 21 and over show so they have to leave. And my mom and dad haven't seen me play on tour since 2000."

There's no cover charge, but donations are welcome to help the blessed couple head out on their honeymoon. There are two ways to contribute: bring some cash to the event, or check out their Wishing Well Account.

Join the festivities at the heavy metal wedding on August 9 at Blooze Bar.

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise