Arizona's ManniFEST and Southwest Terror Fest Bring Local Metal to the Masses This Fall

Categories: Metal Mondays

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splatterkill.com
Phoenix's Splatterkill is scheduled to perform on Saturday, September 6, during ManniFEST 2014 at the Rogue Bar in Scottsdale.
Heshers, hard rock fans, and metalheads alike have a lot to look forward to in the weeks and months ahead. Besides much-anticipated upcoming concerts by such living legends as Judas Priest and Slayer, the fall also bring with it the annual Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival, the debut of Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare in Scottsdale (including an opening night performance by the man himself), and a ton of new albums scheduled to be released.

And on the local level, there's also a surfeit of shows around Arizona that the black t-shirt brigade should be hitting up and rocking out at, including two homegrown heavy metal festivals that are right around the corner -- ManniFEST 2014 and the latest Southwest Terror Fest.

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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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New Dragonforce Record Features Johnny Cash Cover, Guitar Solos Recorded on a Yacht

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Dragonforce website
Dragonforce in action

Dragonforce is a gateway drug to heavy metal for video game nerds. No, really -- I've seen it happen.

In the British band's 15-year span, they've been able to develop a sound that truly stands a part from any other band within the genres they're constantly rotated between. It's as if some festival organizer is scratching their head somewhere, saying "Well, they fit in with speed and power metal... but they've also got that hard rock ballad sound down... the fast-as-hell guitar arrangements are on par with technical death metal... and, uh, they also sound like the soundtrack to a retro video game. What's that called again; 'Nintendo metal'?"

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Blessed Be This Heavy Metal Union in the Valley of the Sun

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Stellar photography/Rudy Reilly Facebook
Rudy and Lori

When I saw this viral video the other week of the "most metal first dance at a wedding," I couldn't help but feel a little warm and fuzzy. The goth couple created a playlist that included song snippets from Grave Digger, Pantera, Devil Drive, Cannibal Corpse, Lamb of God and Rammstein.

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The Making of the Phoenix Metal Scene: A Peek at the Men and Women Behind the Curtain

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Maria Vassett
Alice Cooper is one of Phoenix's proud residents;

There's a lot to love within our fiery little corner of the rock and metal industry.

We've thelped breed some pretty legendary bands, like Sacred Reich, Flotsam and Jetsam, Job for a Cowboy, and Alice Cooper, to name a few. We have dozens of brutally talented underground bands, from melodic death metal (Vehemence, St. Madness), sludge and doom metal (From Dogs to Wolves, Tempel), thrash and psychedelic metal (Black Banner Dovichenko, Pelvic Meatloaf), as well as such events as Southwest Terror Fest and the Fuck Cancer benefit. Plus, back in 2012, Heavy Metal Television decided to plant roots in Mesa.

The rock and metal scene in Arizona is alive and well. And that is a direct result of a group of behind-the-scenes folks who keep the whole thing running.

Every month, the calendar is packed with shows. Bands regularly tour and record in the Valley of the Sun because we have a strong population of industry professionals. These professionals, from producers to club owners to promoters, are the very people that keep the local scene running like a well-oiled machine, dedicating their time and money to promoting the hell out of the Arizona heavy scene. It would be impossible to highlight every single person who contributes to the behind-the-scenes aspect, as there are many noteworthy figures and companies.

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Cannibal Corpse's Death Metal Still Provoking Controversies

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Courtesy of Metal Blade Records
Cannibal Corpse

The United States can't tell Cannibal Corpse what to do. (I mean, if you ever came across anything with that name, would you want to mess with it anyways?). Other countries can - in fact, Germany has tried to regulate the hell out of them over the years, and an array of countries have banned the sale of the band's albums--but in the good ol' U.S. of A., freedom of speech comes in pretty hand with heavy metal.

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Best Metal Concerts in July in Metro Phoenix

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Jonathan Weiner
Gemini Syndrome

It's 111 degrees outside, and the Valley of the Sun is deserted. Summer is upon us -- which also means that the music industry-touring slowdown is, as well. While the rest of the country delights in sunny breezy festival days, our prime time for outdoor shows is during winter. But oh well -- the good thing about us metalheads is that we show up no matter what. Just give us a few ice cold beers to alternate with water and we're good to go.

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Rob Zombie's Twisted Haunted House Coming to Scottsdale

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Rob Zombie
Rob Zombie brings the terror to Scottsdale this Halloween season

Last year when heavy metal musician and horror icon Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare debuted in LA, I was pretty close to heading out there over Halloween to check out what The New York Times called "the best example yet of the upsizing of haunted houses in the last decade."

Imagine: the theatrics and entertainment of Zombie's live show -- a hodgepodge of vintage horror film clips, haunting makeup and costumes, stimulating pyro and lighting. Combine that with a classic freak show, musical entertainment, themed food and beverages, vendors, games, roaming characters, and three different fully interactive attractions based on three of Zombie's own horror films, and you have Great American Nightmare.

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Memorial Today for Longtime Flotsam and Jetsam Guitar Tech Killed in Alleged Drunk Driving Accident

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ABC 15
Chris Kutcher

The heavy metal music community is one that's pretty close. Last weekend, a well-respected veteran of the scene was killed.

According to Phoenix police, on June 7 around 1:30 a.m., Chris Kutcher was driving east on Cactus Road when an intoxicated woman accelerated behind him, striking his SUV and sending it off the road into a tree and a concrete wall. Forty-seven-year-old Kutcher died from his injuries, and the woman, Michelle Ayers, had a blood content that was more than three times the legal limit.

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Top 8 Metal Shows in Metro Phoenix This June

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Wikipedia
Iron Maidens

Now more than ever, there is lot of metal -- from comedy to thrash to black to grindcore -- getting slung in and around Metro Phoenix, thanks to concerts and gigs by locals and touring acts alike. As such, Up on the Sun's resident metal scribe, Lauren Wise, is on the lookout for the best upcoming shows.

That's why we had her compile a monthly list of the 10 best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley during the month of June. From the brutal Phoenix Death Fest to local success story City in the Sea, to internationally beloved Unearth and "hipster" black metal newbies Deafheaven.


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