There's just one more month left in the year. But, aside from all the holiday joy, Christmas music, wintertime depression, and mandatory family gatherings, December might not be that bad, if you're into heavy metal. When you consider the plethora of bands playing shows locally, consider yourself lucky. Here are the top five metal shows this month in the OC.
5. Everytime I Die
Formed in 1998 in New York, Every Time I Die, has been chugging out a heavy blend of heavy music, with a sound based in hardcore for more than a decade. The band features vocalist Keith Buckley, guitarists Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams, drummer Ryan Leger, and bass player Stephen Micciche. As a metalcore band, Every Time I Die also incorporates elements of doom and Southern Rock into the music, offering up brutal, sweat soaked performances that have earned the band a reputation as one of the most intense live performances among the metalcore scene. Since forming in 1998, the band has been hard at work; with six full length studio albums out the band has been touring the world with anyone from New Found Glory, to Dillinger Escape Plan, and everyone in between. Every Time I Die has found a legion of fans, not just among younger metalcore kids, but also fans of punk and metal. This sold out show, at the Chain Reaction is sure to go off, with endless stage divers and hardcore kids dancing in the pit.
Exhumed might just be one of the hardest working bands in extreme metal, and have built a fan base over the past decade with blood, sweat, guts and chainsaws. Sonically, they thrive on a mix of death metal, brutality, speed metal velocity and, and punk fury. Having been on the road almost constantly for the past few years, the band has toured South America, North America, Europe and Asia, with bands such as Carcass, Napalm Death, Dying Fetus and other heavy hitters. This show at Chain Reaction should be special, since the band is playing with the newly formed crossover thrash band Iron Regan, from Richmond, Virginia, featuring members of Municipal Waste. Bring earplugs, and be prepared for a bang over the next morning if you go to this show.
When the '90s nu-metal band Coal Chamber broke up near the end of the decade, singer and lyricist Dez Fafara wasn't about to let his career in metal die. Since forming the band Devildriver, in 2002, the band has earned the respect of the metal community with a sound that brings catchiness, groove and melody to death metal that both younger and older fans can enjoy. The band has recorded six studio albums and toured the world and earned a reputation for inciting some of the biggest mosh pits, including massive circle pits that broke out at previous appearances at the UK Download Festival. At this hometown show in Santa Ana, Southern California fans will also get to witness Trivium another one of modern metal's hardest working, newer bands. Get ready for a night of beers, circle pits, and constant head banging.
2. Megadeth N Fear Factory
The Grove of Anaheim
Dave Mustaine is an amazing heavy metal guitar player that metalheads either love or hate. But despite all the haters and critics over the years, Mustaine has led a successful career in Megadeth–one of the Big 4 of thrash metal. Mustaine's ability as a songwriter, and musician shine through with Megadeth, and the band's prolific style of music and often-apocalyptic lyrical themes. This show at the Grove is sure to be an explosive night of pure heavy metal energy, as fans will get to experience a the band in a more intimate venue, as opposed to outdoor stadiums that hold tens of thousands of screaming fans. Megadeth has a catalogue of hit songs, stretching back to the mid '80s, and fans will most likely hear a mix of old and new songs at this concert, ranging from the classic Rust in Peace album, to the band's latest album from earlier this year, Super Collider. Be sure to also catch Fear Factory, the digital, sci-fi industrial tinged, dystopian metal band from Los Angeles, who also opened for Megadeth back in 1995.
1.Nuerosis, Bl'ast, YOB
There is no better way to celebrate the end of the year than with punishing, atmospheric doom metal, and no other band quite brings this sound life like Bay Area band Neurosis. With live performances that are lethargic, cathartic and even painful, Neurosis have earned a cult following over the past two decades with their bleak, yet highly influential and iconoclastic form of visual based doom metal with tribal drums, thunderous bass and experimental guitar work. Playing music that is as dark as it is psychedelic, a neurosis live show is an experience not to be missed. Also performing will be fellow doom metal band from Oregon, YOB and reunited California punk band Bl'ast, who creatively splice together hardcore punk, southern rock and doom metal to create a sound, which in the band's heyday was well ahead of its time.
Alex Distefano is an established freelance writer and music blogger from the Los Angeles area. With over a dozen years under his belt as a published Journalist, he covers the worlds of heavy metal music, punk rock, current events, cannabis culture, comedy, radio, food, tattoos, the paranormal, and ‘conspiracy theories.’ He graduated from California State University Long Beach in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Journalism and Ancient History. Aside from his professional writing endeavors, Distefano works as an Educator, and delivery/rideshare driver.