The Best Los Angeles Metal Shows to See in November

GWAR
GWAR
Photo by Shawn Stanley

Thursday, November 6
GWAR
House of Blues Sunset Strip
The death of GWAR leader Dave Brockie, aka Oderus Urungus, was a major blow to the heavy metal community. But the costumed metal warlords are forging forward and keeping his spirit alive. New characters Blothar and Vulvatron — the latter, the first female GWAR member in many years — are proudly continuing Brockie’s tradition of weaving ambitious folklore about intergalactic domination around metallic odes to sex and violence. Early performances show the band’s bloodlust to be as voracious as ever.

See also: Why GWAR Is Important and Why Metal Will Never Be the Same Again

Monday, November 10
Judas Priest
Nokia Theatre L.A. Live
The soaring vocals of Rob Halford have carried these British pioneers of metal for most of their 40-year career. Fans did express some concern after guitarist K.K. Downing left the band in 2011, but new record Redeemer of Souls sees the band continuing their modern era tradition of releasing well-done classic metal without losing a beat. On the stage, Halford still shows a flare for the theatrical and remains one of the best live frontmen in the genre.

Tuesday, November 11
Arch Enemy
House of Blues Sunset Strip
This Swedish melodic death metal outfit has long been equally characterized by the stunning guitar melodies of ex-Carcass guitarist Michael Amott and the ripping growls of vocalist Angela Gossow. Gossow stepped down a year ago to focus on managing the band. New vocalist Alissa White-Gluz steps up to the plate on new release War Eternal. The band’s formula remains unchanged, and Gluz proves capable of hitting the viciousness needed to complement Amott’s guitar work.

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Friday, November 14
Slayer
The Forum
Fans would have understood if the legendary act behind Reign in Blood called it quits after 2013 saw the acrimonious departure of drummer Dave Lombardo and the death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman. Remaining founding members Tom Araya and Kerry King are recording a new album with ‘90s Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt. This show — shockingly, the band’s first-ever performance at The Forum — should be a good indicator of what the future holds for the veteran act.

See also: Slayer on Jeff Hanneman's Death: Our Interviews

  Friday, November 14
Death (DTA Tours)
Club Nokia
Death founder Chuck Schuldiner passed away in 2001 from brain cancer. The vocalist/guitarist is considered one of the most influential figures in underground metal. In the early ‘90s, Schuldiner was a pioneer in stretching the boundaries of musical technicality within the death metal genre. This tour features ex-members of the band paying tribute to his legacy — most notably, drummer Sean Reinert (now of Cynic) and bassist Steve DiGiorgio from the era most known for Schuldiner’s experimentation.

Saturday, November 15
Cough
Complex
This Virginia act’s take on sludge-doom is surrounded by a psychedelic aura on albums such as 2010’s Ritual Abuse. While many bands in the subgenre lose themselves in repetition, Cough’s lengthy opuses are emotionally draining trips through darkened hallways and spacious rooms surrounded by multiple walls of sound. Show promoters Midnite Communion will aim to add to the aura by filling the room with dark graphic art, including works by Farron Loathing, aka Autarch of local black metal act Lightning Swords of Death.

Sunday, November 16
Cutthroats 9
Loaded
This side project of Chris Spencer — leader of noise-rock pioneers Unsane — has a slightly more stoner-rock edge than his main act. But those who crave Unsane's relative anarchy will still find plenty of caustic jams to revel in on Dissent, Spencer’s newest work under the Cutthroats 9 moniker in over a decade. Moments of outright bluesy-ness throughout the record via slide guitar and harmonica can be deceiving, as lurking underneath that veneer are multiple layers of beautiful ugliness.


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