It can be easy to miss unless you're looking for it, but there are a lot of metal (heavy or otherwise) in and around Metro Phoenix, thanks to concerts and gigs by locals and touring acts alike. As such, Up on the Sun's resident metal scribe Lauren Wise is always on the lookout for the best upcoming shows to come through town.
That's why we had her compile a monthly list of the 10 best metal shows that will be staged at venues around the Valley during the month of February. Each is worth checking out, especially if you're into local metal.
Singularity, Dead Swarm, and Dead Spawn - Saturday, February 8 - Crabby Dons
It's all about local acts on this bill. Singularity is a kick-ass extreme metal, Dead Swarm is all about the experimental metal, and Deadspawn describes themselves as "inhuman blackened death metal." Expect some great people watching at this show. Plus, it's put on by Kill Death Productions, which is a local production company run by Manni Jimenez that's all about the local heavy metal.
She Murdered Me CD Release feat. Discordant, Cry Evil, and more - Saturday, February 8 - Club Red
She Murdered Me has been around only for about two years, but they've already shared the stage with such bands as Six Feet Under, Deicide, Dying Fetus, Spineshank and Broken Hope. This four-piece brings some real aggression to the stage. Plus, Discordant hails from Payson. Since they don't have much in the way of venues up in those parts, Discordant's members drive upwards of 200 miles round-trip just to find places to play. The band has a great groove-driven rhythm section, and some kick-ass vocals to boot.
Stone Sour, Pop Evil, and Stolen Babies - Sunday, February 9 - Marquee Theatre
Not much has to be said about Stone Sour, which many people wouldn't even categorize as heavy metal. However, given that the band has some pretty heavy tunes (and also because I love frontman Corey Taylor's other band Slipknot, which you can hear influences of such in Stone Sour), I am including them on this list.
Bring Me the Horizon, Of Mice and Men, Issues, and Let Live - Tuesday, February 11 - Marquee Theatre
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After forming in 2004, the youngsters who run Bring Me the Horizon have gone from winning the Kerrang! award for "Best British Newcomers" to becoming one of metal's most unique bands. Last year, they put out their fourth studio album, Sempiternal, called a resurgence of British metal by the Times newspaper. Of Mice and Men has a pretty solid underground following as well, with more than one million "likes" on Facebook. If you like The Devil Wears Prada or Attack Attack!, you will dig this metalcore band.
Fetish Revolution 2014 feat. with Genitorturers and The Audio Virus - Saturday, February 15 - Marquee Theatre
Don't judge me, but I go to strip clubs every year on Valentine's Day. For, like, the past six years. It just seems right.
With that in mind, if you're of my ilk, the latest Fetish Revolution event is just the way to celebrate the "season of love." Not only can you get in a ton of people-watching, dress and dance like nobody's watching (and like you're in your bondage closet at home), and witness some public floggings and suspensions, you can also catch an influential metal band, the Genitorturers. This industrial metal practitioners have influences ranging from 1990s hardcore punk to aggressive rock to electronic music, and are the proclaimed "world's sexiest rock band."
The Genitorturers' more recent release (and fifth album overall), Blackheart Revolution, is a mix of sexually charged riffs and overtures. The mesmerizing front woman Gen is as erotic as they come, and -- I must say -- the band is quite the live spectacle. I mean, c'mon, their band's last lead single was titled "Cum Junkie."
Metal Church with Ye-iitosoh, TWiNGiANT, Throw the Switch, Ax Harbor, and Napalm Strike - Tuesday, February 18 - Club Red
What could be better than a band called Metal Church? It's rightfully the place to worship, especially since its members they're credited as pioneers of the thrash metal genre. This bill also features Ye-iitsoh, which is straight-up heavy, fast, black thrash metal. Think Black Sabbath meets Iron Maiden meets Angelwitch meets Satan. And then there's TWiNGiANT, the Phoenix-based band that have released an EP and an LP that were both self-financed, produced and promoted. They've supported a ton of touring bands, like Weedeater, Intronaut, St. Vitus, and even Guttermouth.
Mosh Pit Army's Sixth Anniversary feat. St. Madness, A Perfect Tool, Weed Out The Weak, I Don't Konform, Twelve Gates, and more - Friday, February 21 - Joe's Grotto
Being that this event is Mosh Pit Army's sixth anniversary, you can be it will be packed with metal heads and whiskey shots. St. Madness is always a local favorite headliner, obviously since they've been around since about 1993 and have played with The Misfits, Van Halen, King Diamond, Lamb of God and dozens of other popular international heavy metal bands.
St. Madness also received the "Rock Artist of the Year" award in 2010 from The Phoenix/L.A. Music Awards, and in November 2013 the band's 9th album, CARNIMETAL received the "Producers Choice Award for Metal Album Of The Year" by the later organization.
Altered Silence, Sectas, Crippled Ninja, Existence AD, and Rejected Faith - Saturday, February 22 -- Joe's Grotto
The main reason I chose to highlight this show was because I'm interested to see Existence AD -- mostly because it's a newer metal band to the local scene, and supposedly, their guitarist Levi a pretty awesome (or so I've heard). So I'm attending their show later this month to see if the latter fact is true.
On that note, Altered Silence majorly changed their roster in 2012, and now has two-guitar lineup (which I love) and are in the process of debuting some more new material. And Sectas is one of my cherished local alt-metal bands, with influences that range from Megadeth to Alice in Chains and Marty Friedman.
Dark Tranquility, Omnium Gatherum and Exmortus - Sunday, February 23 - Club Red
Dark Tranquility is a melodic death metal band from Sweden that is one of the longest-running bands from the original Gothenburg metal scene. They're also one of the most integral pioneers of the melodic death metal genre of music. And they're absolutely killer live. Finland-based Omnium Gatherum is all about the death metal, boasting fast melodies and original yet surprisingly catchy choruses and breakdowns.
Virulent, (Sic)monic, Killing Spree, Dead Swarm, Fail to Reason, Twelve Gates, and All Else Fails - Friday, February 28 - Joe's Grotto
Phoenix-based extreme deathcore band Virulent started when its vocalist/guitarist Mike Neve decided to mix programmed drum beats. Now with a total of six members, the band has continued to dominate the local metal scene. Meanwhile, (Sic)monic is usually impossible to put into a category, with records that show raw emotion -- almost as if the band is putting its heart on its sleeve -- to albums that show influences of jazz fusion. They are still in the vein of heavy metal, however. Rounded out by Killing Spree, Dead Swarm, and a few other local acts, this is a lineup you won't want to miss.
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Find any metal or hard rock show in the Valley via our extensive online concert calendar.