The Coolest Metal Shows To See in Phoenix This Month
See also: Six Desert Metal Bands You Need to Hear
See also: Do You Look "Metal Enough" For Metal Shows
See also: Sci-Fi Thrash Group Vektor on Mexican Food in Philadelphia
It's tempting to dash off some sort of cliché metal salutation here, like "Get your devil horns up! It's a good month for metal in the Valley!" But the truth is, metal is an ever-shifting thing, with genres and bands that defy rules and ideas about what "heavy" is, and fans that are smarter, stranger, and more passionate than hesher stereotypes might imply. With that said, "Get your devil horns up, Phoenix, September's a good month for smart, dark, and most chiefly, heavy, music in the Valley." Here are our picks for the best Phoenix metal shows in September.
Vektor recently said vamanos to Phoenix, taking off for Philadelphia, but the band's sci-fi-inspired blend of classic metal expertise and trash-style is so potent we really like the idea of still claiming them as our own. The band's latest, 2010's Outer Isolation is suitably crunchy, but smarter and more adroit than records by like-minded peers. Need proof? Check out the 10-minute plus "Cosmic Cortex," which nimbly shifts from atmospheric arpeggios to a Slayer-like march, before lurching into utterly-scorched vocal screams, and then into a spiraling riff/solo fest at the end. Locals Abiotx, Motive, and Ace High Cutthroats add incentive, each offering up metal with a side of punk rock swagger.
San Franciscan trio Sutekh Hexen does a neat trick: they lull you into a daze with droning blankets of sound, then unleash a white-noise blast of black metal distortion, effectively caving in your head and jerking you out of that contemplative zone. They do this, to great success, on "Isvar Savasana," the opening track from their latest, Larvae, released by a small-batch label Handmade Birds in early 2012. But the band shows off its real power with "La Det Bli Lys," a 15-minute orchestra that showcases the band's non-metal influences (Fleetwood Mac, John Fahey), and shows admirable restraint, never breaking into the full-on rager it could, instead dwelling in a subdued pool of crackling fuzz. Is it metal? Is it "occult experimental" (a term the band uses to describe its sound)? It's hard to say, but it's undoubtedly the work of dedicated craftsmen.