Wednesday, September 9
Cult of Luna, Subrosa
On albums such as 2013’s Vertikal, Swedish post-metallers Cult of Luna are adept at integrating elements of electronic music with their hypnotic riffage, building to flowery explosions and powerfully artful crescendos. Subrosa’s brand of experimental doom-metal on albums such as 2013’s More Constant Than the Gods is more goth in nature. The haunting sounds generated by the group’s two violinists/vocalists — alongside vocalist/guitarist Rebecca Vernon — give an ethereal, avant-garde edge to the band’s apocalyptic vision.
Saturday, September 12
This Australian group packs a punch that is equally full of power and pure, anarchic fun on their newest album, Dead Set. Their chaotic blend of thrash metal and grindcore is anchored by the frantic screams of vocalist Matt “Youngy” Young, whose high-pitched vocal inflections add to the fierce frenzy of the group’s musical output. One of the tracks on the new album is titled “Sick in the Head,” a phrase that also sums up this band quite well.
Sunday, September 13
This death metal group sees Exhumed guitarist/vocalist Matt Harvey taking a break from the glorious celebration of guts and gore perpetrated by his main act to indulge in expertly crafted Death-worship on Gruesome’s 2015 debut, Savage Land. That album's title track evokes visions of the title track composed by Death leader Chuck Schuldiner on his group’s 1988 death metal masterpiece, Leprosy. In the end, that’s all Gruesome is trying to accomplish. And they accomplish it fucking well.
Wednesday, September 16
Goatsnake, Black Breath, Obliterations
Los Angeles metal label Southern Lord Records has proven to be an influential arbiter of taste in the worlds of doom-metal, stoner rock and hardcore since its 1998 formation by Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley. This tour celebrates all aspects of the Southern Lord roster, from the bluesy stoner-metal of Anderson’s current act Goatsnake, to the Swedish death-n-roll-inspired thrash of Seattle’s Black Breath. Local favorites Obliterations add to the proceedings with their agitated take on the hardcore punk sound.
Friday, September 18
This Swedish outfit burst onto the scene with a refreshing blast of doomy crust-punk on their 2013 debut, Grim Visions of Battle, an album title that is one of the most appropriate in recent memory. Swordwielder perpetrates a caustic sound that evokes visions of ‘80s U.K. greats such as Amebix and early Killing Joke. The depressive lyrical content adds a touch of hopelessness to the group's already grimy aura.
Tuesday, September 22
Featuring ex-members of influential doom metal group Trouble, The Skull picked up where that band left off with their debut album, 2014’s For Those Which Are Asleep. Trouble’s brand of doom-metal always leaned more towards the heavier rock end of Black Sabbath. Thanks to Eric Wagner’s still phenomenal vocal range and the rock-solid bass attack of Ron Holzner, The Skull feels like a natural extension of the exemplary work they had been putting out during their 20-plus years with Trouble.
Wednesday, September 30
Whisky A Go-Go
After guitarist Marty Friedman left Megadeth in 2000, ending a decade-long run with the Dave Mustaine-led group, he moved to Japan and launched a fruitful career in J-metal. Living in Japan full-time since then, Friedman has become a fixture in that country’s scene by melding a Shrapnel Records-esque shred-guitar sound with a frenetic sense of pop catchiness. His newest work Inferno has successfully re-introduced him to a contemporary Western metal audience, with guest appearances from members of modern acts such as Children of Bodom and Revocation.
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Wednesday, September 30
The Black Castle
Toxic Holocaust leader Joel Grind specializes in a heavy brew of punk-inspired thrash influenced by such classic acts such as Motorhead and Venom. Much like his heroes, Grind composes tightly compacted bursts of vitriol on albums such as 2013’s Chemistry of Consciousness. A one-man act in the studio, Grind focuses on vocals and guitar work live. His ferocious songs inspire even the most sedentary members of the heavy metal community to raise their fists, bang their heads, and enter the pit with furious abandon.