Saturday, April 5
House of Blues Hollywood
Now three years removed from winning his battle against leukemia, band leader Nergal is continuing to push the boundaries of death metal with Behemoth's newest album, The Satanist. The Polish trio is relentless in their blasphemous sonic assaults. The group has peppered in tasteful helpings of mosh-groove on The Satanist, but the groove is but a mere respite from an otherwise pummeling onslaught.
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Friday, April 11
The Roxy Theatre
It's great that Ben Sharp, the mastermind behind one-man instrumental guitar project Cloudkicker, has figured out how to replicate his work live. That he recruited local prog-doomers Intronaut for his backing band was a stroke of genius. Sharp's work is a little more melodic than his contemporaries in the instrumental world, but there is a moody ambiance that still allows the listener to get lost in the riff.
Sunday, April 13
The Roxy Theatre
Oakland group Ghoul once titled an album Splatterthrash. That phrase best sums up what this band is all about. They mask themselves in blood-stained burlap sacks and perform blistering thrash metal odes to blood, guts, and general destruction. There is a tongue-in-cheek sensibility at play here. But because the music is so deliciously mosh-worthy, the pit action can get pretty serious at times. If you're not careful, the blood might get a little too real.
Monday, April 14
The Handbag Factory
Local group Harassor has built their reputation on putting out some of the grimiest low-fi black metal to be found. There is a raw hardcore punk feel that is in defiance of the trends towards more progressive elements in black metal. The group has two split releases coming up – one with East Coast black metallers Glass Coffin and one with San Diego industrial- doom outfit Author & Punisher – but we're really jonesing for that long-promised full-length.
Friday, April 18
King Parrot, Vattnet Viskar
Two equally powerful beasts of different metallic leanings converge here. Australia's King Parrot inflects their chaotic thrash and grindcore with a sense of fun in odes to pitting it up on their 2012 debut Bite Your Head Off. New England's Vattnet Viskar is a much more serious beast. The introspective black metal contained on their 2013 debut Sky Swallower is the opposite of Harassor's aesthetic. But its power and atmosphere make it just as worthy an addition to the black metal genre. [Editor's note: See correction below.]
Saturday, April 19
Behold! The Monolith
Last year Behold! The Monolith bassist/vocalist Kevin McDade died in an automobile accident. The L.A. group was about to embark on its first national tour after the release of 2012's Defender, Redeemist. The album expertly welded stoner rock, sludgy doom, and moments of psychedelic prog-metal into one ferociously wicked brew. This show will be the first real look at what the future holds for the band with new bassist Jason “Cas” Casanova.
See also: Behold! The Monolith on the Death of Their Bandmate
Wednesday, April 23
On this Baton Rouge group's newest work Heathen, the caustic screams of vocalist Bryan Funck coat tracks of thunderously plodding doom with a paint-stripping layer of panic. We've previously used the phrase “apocalypse-metal” to describe Bay Area greats Neurosis. With their latest work, Thou may be forcing Neurosis to make room for them to stand atop the mountain while the apocalypse rains down on those beneath them.
Thursday, April 24
Dillinger Escape Plan, Shining, Trash Talk
A Dillinger Escape Plan show is already one of the most insane experiences in all of live music. Audience-goers used to crashing into each other in mosh pits have the added obstacles of avoiding band members, instruments, and even amps and mic stands flying from the stage. Shining's black metal/jazz concoction, meanwhile, is an appropriate level of musical chaos to begin the evening's festivities.
Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly said that King Parrot and Vattnet Viskar have not previously performed in L.A. Also, none of King Parrot's songs are odes to beer. We regret the errors.