11 Kickass Heavy Metal Videos for Halloween

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Jim Louvau
You'd better believe Rob Zombie is on this list.

Our society has turned the Halloween season into a time that's all about embracing your dark and wild side. There's countless Zombie Walks, masquerade parties, Dia de los Muertos festivals, haunted houses designed to make you fear for your life -- after all, the holiday is rooted in dedication to honoring the dead, as well as confronting the power of death.

Those themes are prevalent in the world of heavy metal, which embraces creepy imagery and the reality of humanity's violent nature. There are song lyrics circling around serial killers and violent wars, and lest we forget the entertaining and sometimes horrifying evolution of heavy metal stage shows.

And we can't forget about heavy metal being a constant musical companion to horror films -- it's almost as cliche as the girl running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door. During the month of October, the television is full of bottomless horror movie marathons, reminding us yet again that heavy metal and Halloween go together as naturally as Edward and Scissorhands.

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Metal Monsters Mastodon Make Twerking Video

Categories: Metal!

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Travis Shinn
Mastodon doesn't give a toot what you think about their music video.

As a drummer, Brann Dailor makes even the most complex songs seem simple. As the rhythm machine behind progressive metal titans Mastodon, however, it's obvious the apparent ease is a product of enormous skill and loads of practice.

But when singing is added to Dailor's to-do list, things get much hairier, and even the accomplished musician is forced to admit it can be a struggle.

"It takes a lot of energy to play Mastodon songs anyway, so when I'm singing, too, I get out of breath," Dailor says. "I try to space the songs, be smart about it, not playing too many songs in a row that one person sings. But there are some songs that are extremely hard to play that I sing on."

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Metal Memoirs and Stories Abound, Including Books from Scott Ian, Phil Anselmo, Carla Harvey

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Century Media
Butcher Babies' Carla Harvey is one of several metal musicians with a memoir out soon.

Former Guns N' Roses manager Alan Niven once told me that rock 'n' roll is created because people are subconsciously trying to form the perfect family that they didn't experience as children.

As transparent as that may seem, it's an easy concept to grasp. Heavy metal lyrics celebrate the underdog and the unknown, sticking a big middle finger to society, and marionetting the masses, demanding that we act, feel and look a certain way. The most amazing guitarists, drummers and bass players in heavy metal admit to spending most of their childhood alone, honing those musical skills.

The darkness of heavy metal and rock is one that often pulls people into the light. Finally understanding that journey is usually the revelation that prompts an influential musician to write down their story that they fought so hard to create. And while the exploration of that journey usually leads down some dark paths, as they say, "The darkest hour is just before the dawn."

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13 Best Metal Shows in Phoenix in October

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Mastodon's Facebook
Metal heavyweights Mastodon come to the Marquee Theatre October 18.

Our desert summer is finally winding down; and really, it wasn't so bad, now was it? It's probably in part to the awesome parade of metal shows that came through our fair state since the music industry's touring season was in full swing. Either way, at least the October nights will only be in the 90s when you're leaving those sweat- and blood-drenched mosh pits.

The Halloween season is filled to the brim with heavy metal shows around Metro Phoenix, thanks to concerts and gigs by locals and major international legends. As such, we're on the lookout for the best upcoming shows.

That's why we compile a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley during the month of October. There's metal vets like Crowbar and Deicide; to festivals like the Carnival of Death and Southwest Terror Fest in Tucson; and two Halloween shows that will feed your metal cravings, whether you're looking for a creepy death metal holiday, or a costume party with some of the best metal bands AZ has to offer.

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Rob Zombie and Powerman 5000 - Westworld - 9/19/2014

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Jim Louvau
Rob Zombie. Full slideshow here.

On Friday, Rob Zombie officially brought the Halloween season to the Valley of the Sun in wicked style. The heavy metal musician's show celebrated the opening of his very own Great American Nightmare haunted house at Westworld, and his stripped down performance took place in the shadow of his three haunted houses that totally immerse those daring to walk through in his horror films.

Right at 8 p.m. sharp, Powerman 5000 took the stage to a packed field and a humid 90-degree atmosphere. I'm pretty sure it's the earliest the band has ever played. The bass reverberated through the crowd as the band launched into "Invade, Destroy, Repeat" to a sluggish crowd.

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The Butcher Babies Became Different People After Writing Their Album

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Century Media
Always ready to butcher the masses

The Butcher Babies have been slaughtering their way through the Valley of the Sun as of late. In fact, the heavy metal band's upcoming September 27 at PubRock Live will mark their third show in Phoenix during the past year and a half.

After getting signed to Century Media, the Los Angeles band released their debut album Goliath in summer 2013. Since then they've been touring the world nonstop, sharing the stage with legends like Marilyn Manson, Glenn Danzig, Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Black Label Society and Down. In early 2014 they dominated Europe, furthering establishing themselves as a major break-through metal band.

Now, the Butcher Babies are releasing a tasty little "snack" for fans while they're finishing up their new album, set to be released in early 2015.

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Richie Cavalera's Band Incite Leads the Pack of Strong Phoenix Metal Releases in September

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Adrenaline PR
Incite

There must be something in the desert water. I'm not talking pesticides or Valley Fever -- I'll leave the exposé side to the news section. I'm talking heavy metal.

But I'm okay with it.

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Best Metal Concerts to See in Phoenix in September

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Victor Palagano
Rob Zombie is coming to Phoenix later in September.

Our desert summer is finally winding down; and really, it wasn't so bad, now was it? It's probably in part to the awesome parade of metal shows that came through our fair state since the music industry's touring season was in full swing. Either way, at least the September nights will only be in the 90s when you're leaving those sweat- and blood-drenched mosh pits.

September is filled to the brim with heavy metal shows around Metro Phoenix, thanks to concerts and gigs by locals and major international legends. As such, we're on the lookout for the best upcoming shows.

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Former Queensrÿche Singer Says Band Name Was a Burden

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Ron Dukeshire/Rockstar PR
Geoff Tate

Geoff Tate has always been seen as one rock 'n' roll's archetypal frontmen. As singer of Queensrÿche, he sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and sold out shows in dozens of countries. Tate is ranked in the top 20 on Hit Parader's 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time, and comes in second on That Metal Show's top five hard rock '80s vocalists.

When I saw Queensrÿche perform with vocalist Todd La Torre at the National Association of Music Merchants in January, the only talk in the insanely packed crowd before the band went on were conversations and debates about the lineup and Geoff Tate's absence. One argument ended up with two girls getting into fisticuffs. The topic was creating as much buzz as the House of Blues' heavy whiskey pours.

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Five Dimebag Darrell Memories in Honor of Phoenix DimeFest

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Pantera Facebook
Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott

Ten years ago this December, a musical icon was taken from the world of heavy metal far too early.

When Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott was gunned down performing with his band Damageplan in Ohio, we didn't just lose a guitar legend. To those who knew him, he was one of the most down-to-earth, happy-go-lucky guys around. His comic relief and pranks were legendary. His generosity and dedication to fans was revered. And his passion for the music was downright contagious.

I've argued with many about this matter -- there are some people who have said that Pantera is overrated and Dime wouldn't be held on such a high pedestal if he were still around. I disagree. It's not just because I'm a huge fan of Dime's preferred drink, the Black Tooth Grin (and the Megadeth lyrics that inspired the shot's name), or that I randomly decided to get a Cowboys from Hell tattoo on my neck one New Year's Eve a decade ago.

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