Floor - see Saturday, May 24thEXPAND
Floor - see Saturday, May 24th
Courtesy of Floor

The Best Los Angeles Metal Shows to See in May

Tuesday, May 6th
House of Blues Sunset Strip

While numerous death metal bands seek inspiration from Satan and tales of blood and guts, South Carolina's Nile have looked towards Egyptian folklore for inspiration throughout their 20-year career. From their 1998 debut Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka through 2012's At The Gate of Sethu, band leader Karl Sanders has carved out a reputation as one of death metal's most technically accomplished guitarists, as well as having one of the most unique lyrical voices in all of metal, period.

Saturday, May 10th
Maidens of Metal III
The Airliner

A dozen bands featuring some of the most talented female musicians in today's Los Angeles metal scene will shatter eardrums on both levels of The Airliner. We're particularly fond of technical death-metal wizards and West Coast Sound favorites Dreaming Dead, who will hopefully have some new tunes coming in the wake of their exceptional 2012 release Midnightmares. We've also enjoyed recent live performances from blackened death metal upstarts Insentient and up-and-coming thrash-death quartet Harlequin.

See also: Dreaming Dead's Elizabeth Schall: A Rare Metal Frontwoman

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Tuesday, May 13th
Saint Vitus
The Echo

Bands doing plodding doom metal are a dime a dozen these days. But when Saint Vitus first laid down their seminal 1986 album Born Too Late, they were a rarity amidst of sea of hair metal and speed metal. The Los Angeles group took the Black Sabbath blueprint, slowed the riffs down even more, and added a dirty layer of punk rock grime. This tour will see the group celebrate their 35th anniversary by performing their most enduring album in its entirety.

See also: Saint Vitus: Addiction Still Fuels Their Fire 

Friday, May 16th
Black Castle 

This Portland group has been a fun band to watch develop over the last couple of years. Their 2011 debut Forever the End was an expertly suffocating piece of doom metal. But the slight Gothic overtones that poked through on that debut effort were accentuated greatly on 2012 follow-up, Ritual of Passing. The group still packed the power of their debut. But the extra emphasis on those dirty Gothic elements gave Atriarch the aura of being a literal soundtrack to a mind-expanding - and mind-blowing - ritual.

Saturday, May 17th
Scion Rock Fest
Click here for venue info

Pomona is a little bit of a hike from Los Angeles proper, but when the lineup is shaping up to be the best metal festival to hit Southern California this year, we have to take note. Headliners Machine Head and High On Fire are well-ready to slay audiences from years of slogging it out on the road, but we're most excited for potential breakout performances on the undercard from dirty-thrashers Midnight and Power Trip, rumbling doom masters Windhand, psychedelic space rockers Aqua Nebula Oscillator, and Japanese purveyors of cacophonous death metal Coffins.

ACxDC - see Saturday, May 31stEXPAND
ACxDC - see Saturday, May 31st
Courtesy of Curran Reynolds PR

Friday, May 23rd
The Handbag Factory

There's death metal that places emphasis on technical musical ability. And then there's whatever the fuck Florida's Gigan does. The level of dizziness they take their sound to is best communicated by rattling off the title of their 2013 album, Multi-Dimensional Fractal Sorcery and Super Science. At first you think the band is trolling you. But after being left in a metallic daze by tracks such as "Influence Through Ritualistic Projection" and "Electro-Stimulated Hallucinatory Response," you realize that this band is for fucking real... and now you're really scared.

See also: Everything You Wanted to Know About Metal but Were Afraid to Ask

Saturday, May 24th
The Satellite

Miami group Torche have found great acclaim over the last decade combining the heaviness of Black Sabbath with the poppiness of the Foo Fighters. But the roots of that band are found in Floor, the previous group of Torche leader Steve Brooks. During their original existence from 1994-2004, Floor indulged in a thicker and sludgier sound. But the group's new reunion album Oblation has shown Brooks to be fully capable of showing off a few harmony tricks picked up during his Torche years while still making your body rumble with some seriously heavy riffage.

Saturday, May 31st
The Redwood Bar & Grill

After putting out tons of EP's, demos, and split seven-inches, local powerviolence favorites ACxDC finally have a proper full-length coming out June 24th, simply titled Antichrist Demoncore. And the sixteen tracks contained within are as vehemently chaotic as that title suggests. Of the songs we've heard from the new album, we're really stoked about the possibility of seeing "Fillicide" performed live. Musically, the song is one of the group's slower-paced songs, but the lyrics concerning a parent taking out religion-fueled aggression over their child coming out incite way more anger than riffs ten times as fast.

See also: Hardcore Group ACxDC Are Dead Serious About Their Satanism. Except When They're Not

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