Friday, February 14
These are two of our favorite on-the-rise L.A. metal groups: Yidhra's 2013 album Hexed is a thunderous concoction of stoner doom that will shake you to your knees. Deathkings are due to release the follow-up to their 2011 debut Destroyer, which was an engaging piece of proggy sludge-doom. Both take different approaches to their doom, but each will send riffage rumbling through your body.
Saturday, February 15
Amon Amarth, Enslaved
Sweden's Amon Amarth have built an almost-20 year career composing stellar melodic death metal anthems about Vikings. When your material is this metal as fuck, there's no sense in straying from the formula. On the other hand, Norway's Enslaved have built their 20-year career having evolved from a caustic black metal typhoon to a well-oiled progressive-metal machine, with occasional glimpses of their past peeking through on albums such as 2012's RIITIIR.
Sunday, February 16
Whisky A Go-Go
San Francisco's Metal Church are one of the more overlooked bands of the '80s Bay Area thrash explosion. Albums such as 1984's self-titled debut and 1989's Blessing In Disguise are meaty thrash metal slabs worth digesting fully. Guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof is the only original member in the current lineup, but 2012's Generation Nothing proved there's still plenty of metal light beaming down on this church.
Saturday, February 22
House of Blues Hollywood
Swedish death metal greats Dark Tranquillity are a very rare breed of metal. They were an originator of a hugely influential sound in the early '90s, experimented with electronics and keyboards around the turn of the century, and then integrated everything seamlessly on recent albums such as 2012's Construct. Also, despite being over 20 years into their career, their live show just seems to get better.
Monday, February 24
O.C. death-thrashers Madrost were a standout at last year's Thrasho de Mayo festival. The blistering shred attack of band leader Tanner Poppitt was many steps above the rest of the SoCal-based undercard that afternoon. Poppitt shreds his voice just as magnificently on vocal duties as well. The group only has one full-length album out so far – 2012's Maleficent – and is still unsigned, but we're hoping this show is the start of some positive momentum that allows the group to flourish in 2014.
Friday, February 28
Miami's Orbweaver engages in psychotic black metal wrapped in a scary trip through a psychedelic wasteland. Just as the hallucinogenic trip stabilizes and you begin to get lost in a riff, the scary demon man starts screaming that the cosmic spaceship is doomed, and if you don't launch the escape pod in time, you'll get lost in the trip forever… or something like that. Album titles such as 2013's Strange Transmissions From The Neuralnomicon and 2012's Swamp Abyss Sorcery are surprisingly appropriate.