Tuesday, Feb. 2
Whisky A Go-Go
It’s a testament to the vision of Nile leader Karl Sanders that the group remains one of the most reliable forces in death metal two decades into their career. Forsaking stereotypical metal tropes such as Satanism and gore for the more esoteric inspiration of Egyptian mysticism, Nile continues to crank out workmanlike, technical death metal that bludgeons the listener with dizzying guitar work and blistering blastbeat drumming on their latest effort, 2015’s What Should Not Be Unearthed.
Wednesday, Feb. 3
Whisky A Go-Go
This lineup is stacked with old-school throwback metal by way of new school heroes. Warbringer and Exmortus rose slowly over the last decade through the L.A. metal scene and endless touring to win over fans one-by-one with their ear-splitting and venom-spitting thrash attacks. Warbringer first burst onto the scene with 2008’s War Without End, a thunderous slab of ’80s-style, Exodus-worshiping thrash. Exmortus (not to be confused with Florida death metal band Exmortis) is quite thrashy as well, but embellishes their sound with a theatrical flair for neoclassical guitar solos on their newest record, the just-released Ride Forth.
Friday, Feb. 12
Lamb of God, Anthrax, Deafheaven
Since the beginning of the 2000s, Virginia’s Lamb of God has crossed over to a larger audience with a sound that injects classic Pantera-style riffs with steroids and tempers the aggression with a more nuanced lyrical approach, from their 2000 debut New American Gospel through last year’s VII: Sturm und Drang. The old school is also well-represented on this bill with New York metal icons Anthrax, coming off the recording of their newest record For All Kings, out Feb. 26. We’re also intrigued to see how rising post-black metal act Deafheaven comes off to a more traditional metal-minded audience.
Tuesday, Feb. 16
This Japanese doom/death outfit spews forth an undeniably ugly sound on albums such as 2013’s The Fleshland and the couple dozen split releases they’ve lent their filthy presence to. Despite guitarist Uchino being the only constant in the band’s career, Coffins manages to keep finding new disciples dedicated to administering some of the most vile-sounding (in a good way) musical output in existence. All band members contribute razor-gargling grunts and growls, layered over music that owes equally to Eyehategod-level sludge and D-beat crusty ugliness.
Friday, Feb. 19
This new group, featuring members of Los Angeles underground metal greats Lightning Swords of Death and Ancestors, as well as Chicago doomsters Buried at Sea, brilliantly executes darkened post-punk goodness on their debut EP, Pears of Anguish. They project an aura of atmospheric deathrock similar to other newer acts such as Beastmilk, but bits and pieces of the core members’ main bands — the cathartic doom of Buried at Sea and the expansive post-metal of Ancestors especially — give their sound extra power.
Saturday, Feb. 20
VFW Post 2830 (Bell Gardens)
Nervosa’s 2014 debut Victim of Yourself is a relentless assault of Teutonic thrash that appeals to fans of pioneering acts like Kreator, but rises above similar bands attempting to ape that sound with almost disorienting guitar solos that would sound right at home on a classic Death record. The snarling vocals of bassist Fernanda Lira straddle the line between thrash metal and death metal, but there’s enough going on musically from this all-female Brazilian trio to win over fans of both those subgenres.
Saturday, Feb. 27
The music released so far by this new project from guitarist/vocalist Aaron Turner — of now-defunct post-metal greats Isis and current greats Old Man Gloom — is quite possibly the heaviest music Turner has been involved with since the early days of his previous, pioneering act. Joining forces with drummer Nick Yacyshyn of Canadian hardcore greats Baptists and Russian Circles bassist Brian Cook, Turner abandons the experimentation of later Isis material, instead barraging listeners with lengthy displays of sonic force on Sumac’s 2015 debut, The Deal.
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Sunday, Feb. 28
An injection of new blood on guitar (Angra guitarist Kiko Loureiro) and drums (Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler) combines with a refocused songwriting approach to make Megadeth’s newest record Dystopia the most vital release that Dave Mustaine has put forth in many years. The peak days of such ‘80s landmarks as Peace Sells ... and Rust in Peace aren’t quite recaptured, but fans of the band’s early '90s work like Countdown to Extinction will still find plenty to sink their teeth into.