See also: Top Ten Los Angeles Metal Albums of 2012
House of Blues Hollywood, November 29th
Finland's Wintersun took eight years to release their second album Time I. The sold-out crowd for their first ever L.A. show was rewarded for its patience with an impeccable blast of European metal goodness. A large amount of sampling tracks were utilized, not surprising given the grandiose production of their new album. But band leader Jari Maenpaa's strong performance brought Wintersun's ambitious symphonic songs in for a smooth landing.
4. Municipal Waste, Napalm Death
House of Blues Hollywood, November 14th
If you prefer your workouts in the mosh pit, then this show was the metal equivalent of P90X. Extreme metal pioneers Napalm Death worked over the crowd with flawless ferocity; vocalist Barney Greenway is in his mid-40s, but his stage show had many younger screamers clutching their sides. Municipal Waste then continued the beatdown with an hour of unrelenting thrash metal. Everyone's booze was surely sweated out by night's end.
The Roxy, February 2nd
It's rare that a Hollywood venue is packed on a weeknight so early, as the Roxy was for Swedish occult-rockers Ghost. Anticipation for their first Los Angeles appearance ran high, and vocalist Papa Emeritus stalked about the stage in his evil Pope outfit, casting a menacing shadow while performing incredibly catchy Satanic sing-alongs that harkened back to when Blue Oyster Cult reigned supreme. At times this felt more like a ritual than a show.