Friday, August 2
This O.C. outfit eschews the usual SoCal metal influences. Instead, they take their cues from Scandinavian symphonic black metal acts like Dimmu Borgir and filter them through the progressive leanings of modern-day Opeth. Their 2012 debut full-length Blessed He With Boils is a musically ambitious effort pulled off with a dexterity that betrays their youth. The guitars and drums are viciously heavy, but the keyboard melodies explored in between blasts of mayhem are downright beautiful, lending an ethereal air to the proceedings.
Tuesday, August 6
Last Chance To Reason
One of the most musically diverse bands in metal today, Maine's Last Chance To Reason has dazzling musicianship that will please fans of progressive metal acts like Cynic and Animals As Leaders. They also expertly pepper in moshing-mad breakdowns to make fans of deathcore acts like Suicide Silence tear the place apart. The group's newest album Level 3 comes out the same day as this show. The group amps up the progressive parts, but there's still enough heavy to get everyone crashing into each other.
Thursday, August 8
One of the grimiest acts in today's L.A. metal scene, Harassor presents an uncompromisingly morbid vision of the world around them, on albums such as 2012's Hater of Man compilation. The album title pretty much says it all. The group's haunting slabs of filthy black metal are layered in crust and make for an almost suffocating listening experience. This show will see Harassor previewing tracks from their upcoming album Into Unknown Depths, due out later this fall.
Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10
The Power of the Riff Festival
The fourth annual installment of this fest expands to two days this year. There are many acts we are excited about -- including local thrash legends Hirax and Seattle powerviolence madmen Iron Lung -- but we are most stoked for headliners The Obsessed. After leaving doom-metal legends Saint Vitus in the '80s, vocalist Scott "Wino" Weinrich returned to his original band. The Obsessed put out three killer albums in the early '90s that were not as doomy or punk as Saint Vitus, but still rocked very heavily and carry great influence to this day.