The Yost Theater
Definitely one for fans of the extreme metal scene, this might be one of the most intense line ups to ever hit the stage at the Yost Theater in Santa Ana. Polish metal band Vader formed in the mid '80s, and proven that the lines between thrash and death metal are thin at best. Evoking the sounds of American bands such as Possessed and Death, Vader's brutal style and wicked sound have given them a reputation as being one of the most vicious death metal bands within the international extreme metal scene. Celebrating nearly three decades of death metal music, Vader will bring it's punishing live show to OC, alongside Vital Remains.
The Constellation Room
Although this neo thrash band from Colorado formed in 2004, these up-and-comers have proven their worthiness among thrash metal fanatics and earned a rabid fan base by touring practically non-stop over the past few years. Skillfully fusing the aggression and musical intensity of thrash titans like Slayer and Dark Angel, Havok's uncompromising approach to speed metal can be seen in their live performances, which always incite a roaring mosh pit. Havok have earned the respect of bands such as Exhumed, Cannibal Corpse and Testament, all of who have taken the band on the road over the past few years. The band's new critically acclaimed album, Unnatural Selection, will see the band embark on a tour opening for Soulfly next month.
Iron Maiden (& Special Guests Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, Overkill and Sabaton)
The Battle for San Bernardino
San Manuel Amphitheater
We know this isn't exactly within Orange County limits, but we swear that this drive to the IE will be worth it if you're a metal head. Performing on the main stage will be three bands all of whom are staples in the legacy of thrash metal: Testament, Anthrax and Megadeth. As if that weren't enough for your head banging fix, headlining the evening of course will be Iron Maiden, a band that hardly needs an introduction, and performs each concert as if it were its last. Fans should be ready to arrive early; as the venue doors open at 2:00 p.m. and the side stage will open the show is scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. Even though it is September, this could have been a major summer tour, and fans can expect swarms of revelers tailgating in the parking lots, a day (and evening) full of huge circle pits, bon fires at night, a sea of the devil's horns, beer flowing like water and exclusive performances from some of the top notch acts in heavy metal's history.
City National Grove of Anaheim
Hailing from Florida but with a clear Scandinavian influence, Kamelot has transcended symphonic power metal and prog rock to create a sound that is appreciated by fans in American and across the globe. With a sound that is epic and melodic, the band began in the early 90s and has forged on to create a name for itself among the global metal community, for songs that are both majestic and heavy. With over ten studio albums under it's belt. Admittedly not as brutal as the other listings in this post, Kamelot's own interpretation of heavy metal music is sure to please anyone into prog rock, traditional heavy metal and even neoclassical.
OC Death Fest
Mirror Image Studios
Featuring Cattle Decapitation, Disgorge N many more extreme bands
This heavy hitting metal fest is for the true extreme metal fanatics. Taking place at Mirror Images Studios in Anaheim, this all day event will showcase some of the most brutal bands among the underground metal scene. Headlined by San Diego grind core band Cattle Decapitation, this festival also another San Diego based extreme metal band, Disgorge, who have been pulverizing ears and bashing skulls with some of the most vile, gut wrenching and inhuman sounding death metal around. Both bands have been wreaking havoc across the world playing extreme metal since the late '90s, and show no signs of slowing down, any time soon. This festival will feature a myriad of other international and local extreme metal acts. And whether you love thrash, death metal or black metal (or all three), bands such as Germany's Dawn of Eternity, and tons of Southern California based metal bands including Apathy, Syrebris, Empyrean Throne, Thou Shall Kill and Dreaming Dead.
Slayer (with opening act Gojira)
No one in his or her right mind can talk shit about Slayer. Despite the fact that many rigid, old school die hard fans are vehemently against the band continuing to tour and make music after the untimely death of guitarist (and founding member)Jeff Hanneman earlier this year from liver failure in Hemet, California. But when it comes to Slayer, as the band sees it, the show must go on; with vocalist bassist Tom Araya, along with guitarists Kerry King and Gary Holt (Exodus) and the newest addition of drummer Paul Bostaph (who played with the band in the past, but is seemingly replacing original drummer Dave Lombardo). Although fans will never again get to see the true original classic Slayer line up, there is still something to be said about those who never got a chance to witness Slayer live experience the magic, and organized chaos of a Slayer concert.
This show also marks the band's triumphant return to the Hollywood Palladium after 25 years; the band was banned from performing at the venue after a concert in 1988 with Danzig where a full on riot broke out, which included damage to the venue and even several injuries.