10 Best Metal Shows in Metro Phoenix This May

A pro tip for metal show's in May: Don't skimp on the deodorant.
A pro tip for metal show's in May: Don't skimp on the deodorant. UnderTheSea/Shutterstock
It’s official, guys. The Valley's cool season is over, and summer's on the horizon. Lucky for us, this month we’ve got some killer metal and hard rock shows — the perfect distraction. And since we know how hard it can be to track down all the best shows at all the venues in town on your own, we’ve compiled a handy list for you.

An added bonus: Not only does this month have quite a few big shows by some of Arizona’s favorite and most successful bands, there’s also a handful of legends coming through town, including Testament, Sabaton, and Bobaflex.


Tuesday, May 2

I first saw these guys at Rock on the Range more than 10 years after their creation. They had a great stage presence, seemingly worked their asses off to make a name for themselves, and are known for their ancestral ties to one of the most infamous family feuds in American history between the Hatfields and McCoys. These guys merge metal and pure rock 'n' roll in a fresh way, and are touring to promote their seventh album. Another Lost Year, The Complication, Fading Nemesis, Ciphered Existence, Riot/Gear, and Her Name Echoes round out the bill.

Atoms Fall CD Release Party
Saturday, May 6

What better reason to go out and celebrate at a CD release party than for the beloved hometown band, Atoms Fall? Known for their brand of “rock redefined,” this group brings together influences from bands like Tool, Deftones, Disturbed, and Avenged Sevenfold — and local fans can’t wait to hear their new material. With well over 50 years of musical experience, touring, and writing between the four members, you can always expect a tight performance from these guys. With special guests Throw Logic, Dawn Awaits, Fire Glass, and Scarlet Canary.

One Body Too Many Reunion
Saturday, May 6
Joe's Grotto

Three-piece metal act One Body Too Many have been described as a band that “makes the pit explode” — and you only need to listen to their searing metal riffs for proof. The band hasn’t really been performing since around 2011, so as a reunion show, they have really packed the house with some of Arizona’s best emerging bands as support. We’re talking the high-energy metallers Sectas, the costumed horror theatrics of Fatal Malady, melodic hard rockers Latency, Talk To Sheep, Ashes of the Dead, and more. Oh, and did we mention it’s a triple birthday bash? Get ready to party.

Autumn's End, Ironkill, and more
Friday, May 12
Club Red

Since 2003, Autumn’s End's goal has been to establish their music as a “rebel without a cause,” unwilling to bend to the commercialization of metal or what’s currently popular. As a result, they’ve, well, become popular. Autumn’s End has toured with Arch Enemy, Machine Head, Deftones, Fear Factory, Danzig, Body Count, and Hatebreed, to name a few, perfecting their live show with charismatic energy to the audience. Ironkill, He Who Binds Himself, Death of Me, No Year, and Enemy Within are also on the bill.

Friday, May 12

Marquee Theatre
When a band is named after knight’s foot armor, you can probably bet on two things: It’s either a power metal band, or Swedish. Enter Sabaton.

Lyrical content focused on war (particularly WWI and WWII) and historical battles make up the majority of the band’s music. Seven of the band's albums are all about these themes, while the final tracks pay tribute to legendary and influential metal bands. So it makes sense that, in 2012, almost all the members left to form a band called Civil War, leaving vocalist Joakim Broden and bassist Par Sundstrom to recruit new members for their heavy international tour gigs. The band is still loved worldwide though, and they host an Open Air Sabaton festival, as well as a Sabaton cruise. Leaves’ Eyes and BattleBeast round out the bill.

Read on for more of May's best metal.
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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