Fri, Oct 5
Pasadena's Gypsyhawk deftly blend metallic guitars and fantasy/science-obsessed lyrics with a rock and roll boogie swagger. On the group's new album Revelry & Resilience, the raspy shouts of bassist/vocalist Eric Harris and the blistering yet warm solos of guitarists Andrew Packer and Erik Kluiber will sound right to fans of both metal like Iron Maiden and classic rock like Thin Lizzy. After the show, hit the band up about shit like quantum physics and Game of Thrones.
Wed, Oct 10
Amidst an early-80's L.A. scene awash in hair metal and thrash, Saint Vitus figured out that slowing down their riffs to a crawl made for a listening experience that was cathartic and heavy. Even in their 20's the pained vocal cries of Scott “Wino” Weinrich and the abrasive guitar wails of Dave Chandler sounded like they were channeling decades of psychological torment. That combination has allowed the band's sound to remain timeless, even 30 years later.
Fri, Oct 19
The Big Four (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax) of thrash may be locked in stone, but die-hard metal fans argue constantly about what bands make up the Next Four. Bay Area thrashers Death Angel are often brought up in those discussions. Bursting onto the scene as teen thrash prodigies with 1987's The Ultra-Violence, they have remained among the best at combining the pure unbridled aggression of metal with expert songsmanship. Not even a ten-year hiatus from 1991-2001 could break that combination.
Sun, Oct 28
The groovy racket of Portland stoner metallers Red Fang would make for a great soundtrack to a fast drive along the ocean, if the inspired fits of headbanging wouldn't likely cause an accident before you got past Ventura. 2011's Murder the Mountains was the perfect balance between the classic desert rock sound of Kyuss and the psychedelic sludge of Kylesa. A new album drops next year, so expect some fresh tunes here.
Sun, Oct 28
Septicflesh, Krisiun, Ex Deo
Tour headliners Septicflesh hail from Greece and bludgeons listeners with a wall of Gothic-tinted death metal. Brazilian death metal trio Krisiun have carved out a 20-year career by taking a more no-frills approach, and never forsake the art of being unrelentingly brutal. Ex Deo hail from Montreal but their symphonically-infused brew of death metal is inspired by ancient Roman history. This tour is proof that the brutality of extreme metal often transcends language and national boundaries.
Wed, Oct 31
Lamb of God
This past summer, vocalist Randy Blythe spent six weeks incarcerated in a Czech prison on manslaughter charges after a fan died from injuries incurred during one of their shows. Blythe awaits trial on charges that may put him back in that prison for five to ten years if convicted. Prior to the incident, a Lamb of God live set was already an extremely visceral experience. We expect this time around, the band (and their fans) will have a renewed vigor and energy that will destroy previous sets.
Follow Jason Roche on Twitter @JasonRocheLAW