Six Desert Metal Bands You Need to Hear

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Yes, yes: We can proudly state that this fair state has helped spawn such acts as Job for a Cowboy, Flotsam and Jetsam, Sacred Reich, and Megadeth. We even have ties to Metallica and Slayer. But when it comes to heavy bands that dominate the underground scene, unearthing the great ones take a little more dedication to show-hopping.

So here's a list of the six heavy metal bands in the Valley of the Sun that local metalheads should be listening to now.

Rebirth includes members of Six Feet Under, Behemoth, one of Brad Paisley's songwriters, and the infamous Marshall "Fucking" Beck, who's notoriously had issues with New Times due to our representation of the local metal scene.

But hostile manners aside, Beck is clearly a local leader in the preservation of heavy metal's integrity, and the music of Rebirth and Beck's other band, Reign of Vengeance, shows it.

Rebirth is known for being a prime live act, a mix of howling power-chord guitars, heart pounding doublebass, and testosterone-drenched vocals -- not to mention some killer screams by Beck, reminiscent of Pantera's Phil Anselmo.

Standout tracks: "He of Self-Destroy," "The Beast in the Heart of Man"

Vehemence is one of the longest-running metal bands in the Valley, combining a death metal style meshed with melodic vocals.

The name itself represents fury, and it suits the band well. The music is severe, a ferocious paroxysm. They've gained notice on MTV2's Headbangers Ball, a dedicated fanbase that has followed the band through its various mutations.

Standout tracks: "There Are So Many Reasons to Give Up Religion", "She Never Noticed Me".

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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