Did you hear that a big festival called SXSW was going down in Austin this week? Yeah, go figure. For the more heavily-inclined among us, here's a list of 5 metal bands you might want to catch at the many heavy showcases that will be going down. Check it out, with album streams from each one below (in no particular order).
You can check out all of the metal showcases here. A few show flyers are below the list.
This sludge band from Denver has been making waves lately, their debut album Absolution showing up on more than a few best of 2015 lists last year. It's easy to understand why—these guys make doom that's as heavy as it is hooky, mixing clean and harsh vocals to beautiful effect. They'll be showing up at MetalSucks' South By South Death showcase at Dirty Dog Bar on 3/16 with Monuments, Conan, Lord Dying, InAeona, and Expander. Then they'll hit the Worshiper Cabinets showcase, which starts at 1 PM on 3/17 at The Lost Well. That showcase also features Dead to a Dying World, Wovoka, Venomous Maximus, Mountain of Smoke, Poison Rites, Crossbuilder, Banquet, Empty Vessels, Bleak, Destroyer of Light, Serial Hawk, Glassing, Stone Animals, L.M.I. and Word.
Speaking of that Worshiper showcase, the closing band Dead to a Dying world are also well worth your time. Also releasing the acclaimed album Litany last year, the Dallas band makes melodic, richly-textured, southern-tinged black metal complete with strings and soaring harmonies. Fans of bands like Panopticon or SubRosa will find a lot to like here.
The Texas-bred new kings of thrash metal are roaring back with a new album called Nightmare Logic this year and remain one of the surest bets out there to deliver a crazy show. Purveyors of the kind of straight-faced but unabashedly fun thrash metal that we haven't really seen since the Big Four's heyday, get ready to mosh and chug to your heart's content. They'll be playing BrooklynVegan's FREE Day Party at Cheer Up Charlie's on 3/17 with Citizen, Mean Jeans, Radioactivity, White Reaper, Sorority Noise, PWR BTTM and many more (RSVP). Then later that night they'll be at the Roadrunner Showcase at Empire Control Room with Killswitch Engage, Turnstile, Wild Throne and More to Monroe.
These ambitious dudes from Phoenix play the kind of genre-busting heavy metal that covers so much ground it can be hard to describe. Mixing in bits of doom, hardcore, classic black metal, early-90s death and Goblin-esque synth action, these guys defy categorization at every turn. But that poly-everything approach somehow doesn't take anything away from the catchy, brutal immediacy of their music. They last released their sophomore LP Vacant Face in 2014, and they recently signed to Prosthetic records. You can catch them at the official Metal Injection Showcase at Dirty Dog Bar on March 18 with Wild Throne, Exmortus, Steve N' Seagulls, The Fine Constant, Aminals and Wrong.
Oakland's Mondo Drag, as much as any band in existence, reach into the past with such specificity and reverence that if you told me their new LP The Occultation of the Light had been released in 1973 rather than 2016, I would probably believe you. Drawing from Hawkwind-ish psychedelia, Thin Lizzy-ish hard rock, and the groovy proto-metal of Captain Beyond, these guys nail the sweet spot of hammond-drenched, fuzzed-out bliss that so many current metal bands are going for, less effectively, from more modern angles. They're part of the unofficial 2-day Heavy Metal Parking Lot show that features other heavyweights like Pentagram, Bongzilla, Weedeater, Kings Destroy, Black Cobra, Author and Punisher, Lord Dying, Lo Pan, Tower, From Beyond and many more. Those shows go down on 3/18-19 at Lost Well.