Monday, June 3
Japanese outfit Abilgail is one of the more unabashedly sleazy bands in metal. Their blackened thrash attack is a raw celebration of sex and violence. Tracks such as “Satanic Hell Slut” and “Satanik Metal Fucking Hell” are pure rippers that make you want to take off your bullet belt and swing it at people — all in good-hearted tongue-in-cheek fun of course. This rare L.A. appearance will surely please enthusiasts of fellow sleaze-thrash acts like Midnight and Nunslaughter.
Monday, June 3
Before The Eyewall
The members of this Columbus, OH instrumental trio each have manly, thick beards. Their riffs, meanwhile, are just as thick and heavy. The group's self-titled debut is a bruising, psychedelic trip full of hypnotizing twists and turns. There's no mere Isis-worship going on here; Before The Eyewall is a lumbering beast, sure, but the listener never gets too lost in the riffs, thanks to their compelling finesse.
Saturday, June 8
We are almost halfway done, and Abandon All Life — the sophomore album from O.C. outfit Nails — is a strong contender for album of the year. Eighteen minutes of pure mayhem and fury, the album is a pummeling whirlwind of grindcore, powerviolence, and no-frills hardcore. The caustic screams of vocalist/guitarist Todd Jones are powerful enough to strip paint from walls. The group's nonstop ferocity will make for one of the more exhausting and satisfying live sets of the year.
Wednesday, June 12
This Nashville quartet sets the mood by utilizing psychedelic post-metal to weave twisted tales of Southern Gothic folklore. Their new album Electric Relics worships equally at the altars of Black Sabbath and Neil Young. The music of Across Tundras calls to mind some of the more Americana-infused moments of apocalyptic metal groups like Neurosis, but their emphasis on dark Southern rock elements gives them a flavor that stands apart.
Sunday, June 16
Melechesh hail from the Middle East, from Jerusalem originally, and some of their native music influences infiltrate their otherwise pummeling black metal assault. The result is a dynamic listening experience, on albums such as 2010's The Epigenesis. There are multiple bands expanding horizons by using such elements in their structure, but Melechesh make it sound seamless and natural. Local black metal favorites and alien cult enthusiasts Lightning Swords of Death open.
Monday, June 17
On their 2011 debut Destroyer, L.A. quartet Deathkings laid down three fine slabs of sludgy-doom that that expertly wedded heavy riffs with progressive-doom song structures that would be at home on a modern Katatonia record. The results were an engaging listening experience that fulfilled both the need for pounding heaviness and the need to go on a long and winding trip. The band's second album is due later this year, so this will be a good opportunity to get acquainted with their new material.
Saturday, June 29
Rob Zombie and Five Finger Death Punch are the big headliners on this all-day multi-stage touring fest. In our opinion, however, the real reason to brave a hot day in the desert is the Viking metal greatness of Amon Amarth. The group's thunderous assault remains more powerful than Thor's hammer, with new album Deceiver Of The Gods showing no signs of letting up. The desert sun may be shining down, but don't be surprised if a little thunder and lightning reign down from the skies when Amon Amarth take the stage.
Follow Jason Roche on Twitter @JasonRocheLAW.