8 of the Best Stoner Metal Albums of All Time

Categories: Metal!

Oh, 4/20.

Back in the day I would skip classes, take work off, plan a baking extravaganza -- all in celebration of weed culture. But as I've gotten older, I've realized you don't need an excuse to take pleasure in the little things. Which is why we decided to join these things, and compile a list of the best stoner metal albums.

For those not familiar: While the premise of thrash and speed metal is, obviously, to make things as fast and furious and possible, the mindset of stoner metal is to slow down all that we love about the noise -- the riffs, the beats, the breakdowns -- to truly put on display the genre's influences. You hear the Mississippi blues, the distortion of metal, the sharpness of punk, the "retro" production, and the soulful harshness of Southern rock. I mean, from Blue Cheer to Sir Lord Baltimore, stoner metal has an interesting array of initial influences.

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Discover Your Next Favorite Phoenix Metal Band at AZ Brutal Fest

Categories: Metal!

Lago/Kristina Jacobsen
Lago, one of the 30 bands on the AZ Brutal Fest lineup

It's not uncommon to see 10 bands on a line-up on any given Friday night, and when it comes to local festivals, that number averages around 20. But the AZ Brutal Fest is taking it to an entirely new level at Rogue Bar in Scottsdale on Friday, April 17, and Saturday, April 18.

Over the course of two days, 30 bands will take the stage to exhibit our very own Arizona brand of wild west brutality. And with the word "brutal" in the name, you can expect some pretty intense acts, ranging from speed and black metal to roaring death metal.

Two years ago, when the death slam scene started to get bigger in Arizona, Manni Jimenez (founder of KillDeath Productions), decided that there was no reason the genre shouldn't be celebrated with a festival.

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Phoenix Needs a Heavy Metal Burlesque Show

Categories: Metal!

Jim Louvau
Suicide Girls did a superhero routine when they came to Tempe. We'd prefer metal.

Heavy metal burlesque is nothing new -- the Suicide Girls have been doing it for more than a decade, and dance troupes full of rock music lovin' tattooed ladies have been popping up in every city. I once went to this club underneath the historic D&F Clocktower in Denver, called Lannies Clocktower Cabaret, and saw an amazing aerial hoop routine to Queen.

There's Seattle's Brutalesque, located in Seattle, featuring super heavy music and about a dozen dancers with names like Cherry Tart, Evilyn Sin Clare, and Violet DeVille. They are all about bringing the power and influence of heavy metal to burlesque, and then pushing the artistic possibilities that arise from that to the limits. Expect reenactments of legends, tales of horror, and they even offer earplugs at the door. However, the Brutalesque shows seem far and few between. I also have discovered Sign of the Beast Burlesque, located in Portland, that features pole dancers, aerialists, fire-dance, and more, with the tagline "naked girls and metal! HELL YES!" But what's with all these Northwest metalheads?

We need one of these troupes in Phoenix. We do have Pyrrha Sutra Presents, which is extremely entertaining and hot in itself, with events like the Dark Cabaret and Havana Nights occurring regularly. Maybe someone needs to talk to her about a heavy metal burlesque...

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15 Best Metro Phoenix Metal Concerts in April

Categories: Metal!

Century Media
Butcher Babies are coming to town in April.

April showers? Not so much in the Valley of the Sun. While the rest of the country experiences the fresh air of spring, we are hit with our first wave of hundred-degree temperatures. But that's okay, because the season also kicks off with a bounty of band tours, particularly those of the heavy variety. There are a ton of great shows around town, which is why we compiled a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley during the month of April.

This was a hard one to compile, as there are easily 10 other hard rock or metal shows that could've made the list. There are legends like Mastodon, Testament, and Mushroomhead; searing up-and-comers like Upon a Burning Body and Incite; festivals like UFest and AZ Brutal Fest; and a handful of local tour kickoff events as well.

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Texas Hippie Coalition's Big Dad Ritch on Vices, BBQ, and the Money Behind the Pantera "Reunion"

Categories: Metal!

Texas Hippie Coaltion
THC is coming for you

There's no doubt that THC is all about making you feel good. It causes you to laugh, feel nostalgic, forget all your worries. Plus, it makes barbecue taste 10 times better.

And by THC, I'm talking about Texas Hippie Coalition.

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Rock TV Host Eddie Trunk: "There's No Mystique or Surprises" in Music Anymore

Categories: Metal!

Colin Douglas Gray
The hosts of That Metal Show

Forget being left out of the Grammys; you rarely hear about anything in those heavy metal and hard rock in the news, unless someone passes away or gets arrested for something ridiculous.

But it doesn't really faze metal and rock fans that much. We don't really care about whose dating whom, or who is in a fashion feud. It's all about the meat of the matter -- debates over the five best guitarists of all time, or the story behind the new record, or a collection of memories from musicians that pays homage to the 10th anniversary of Dimebag Darrell's death. And it's that type of content we get from programs like VH1's That Metal Show, a sort of Tonight Show for hard rock and heavy metal enthusiasts.

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Godsmack Bassist Talks Touring Life, 20 Years as a Band, and Being Honored by Boston

Chapman Baehler

If ever a song were to frame the longevity, trajectory and torque behind the Boston based heavy metal act, Godsmack, it would have to be the first single, "1000hp", from their sixth studio album of the same name.

While the track sounds like a piece of hype music, the autobiographical lyrical content sums up the history of Godsmack quite well. Taking listeners through a form of warp-speed storytelling, the band revisits the days of playing empty bars in Boston, circa 1995, before taking over America, state by state, and spreading to foreign countries where all the band hears now is "turn that shit up louder," as the track states, and "take it to a thousand horsepower."

"At the end of the day, we write the best songs that we can for what we are," Godsmack bassist Robbie Merrill says with a New England accent, and in a surprisingly soft-spoken tone for being part of such a loud band. "We believe in them, and we give them to you, and whatever happens, happens."

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Metal's First Female Frontwoman Talks About Playing in a Man's World


You'd think that Doro Pesch would come off as a pretty tough broad.

I mean, this is the first female band leader in heavy metal. Her name has been synonymous with "strength" over the past 30 years. She helped pioneer heavy metal's style, not just blazing a trail for future women artists, but for the entire genre as a whole.

During her childhood in Germany, her father brought her on his truck driver tours, instilling a passion to "be on the move," before she fell deathly ill and was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis. Extremely weak, she was bed-ridden for nearly a year, but made a vow to herself: If she ever got better, she would dedicate her life to her greatest passion, music. And she lived up to that promise.

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Former Megadeth Members Announce New Band, Act of Defiance

Categories: Metal!

Street Shot/Act of Defiance
So new they haven't even been photographed together yet.
Arizona is no stranger to Megadeth drama. So when guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover officially left the band last year, metal fans anxiously wondered what musical endeavor they would dive into next.

Enter the aptly named Act of Defiance.

The former Megadeth members revealed that this new hard rock act would also include vocalist Henry Derek (from Scar the Martyr), and bassist Matt Bachand (from Shadows Fall). Signed to Metal Blade Records, the band is working on their debut album with world-renowned producer Zuess (Hatebreed, Rob Zombie). From the get-go, I wondered what the project would sound like. Would you hear that Megadeth-y vibe? Or would they lean more towards commercial metal?

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13 Best Metal Concerts in Phoenix This March

Categories: Metal!

Jim Louvau
Korn, with our without dreadlocks, will play Pot of Gold Music Festival this month.

March in Phoenix is usually one of the most beautiful months of the year -- the transition between winter and summer is in full swing, so the weather is usually in the, oh, high 80s. For those who aren't familiar, no -- we don't have a spring season here. It just goes from three weeks of coat weather to one week of cool breezes, to five months of grueling heat. Then it just repeats.

So make sure you get suitable time outdoors, because the nights are filled with lots of heavy metal. There are a ton of great shows around town, which is why we compiled a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley during the month of March.

There are legends like Anvil, Whitechapel, and Texas Hippie Coalition, an outdoor festival featuring Korn and Godsmack, and a local metal Annual Mustache Massacre and Metal for the Hungry event.

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