The Fall season is upon us, and as always this month brings with it the darker celebration of Halloween, and a plethora of metal concerts that will flock to the OC that will please fans of every sub-genre; from Scandinavian black metal, to space rock and even hardcore punk. Here are some of the best metal shows in the OC to catch this month.
Headlining the first West X Fest will be NYC Hardcore punk turned metal legends, Agnostic Front, a band that pioneered the sound of hardcore and bridged the gap between metal and punk to create a sub-genre, movement, and sound that still inspires many bands today, from all over the world. Joining these OG’s are local heavy hitters Death By Stereo, as well as Venice’s old school crossover skate thrash punks Excel. Also playing are OC local melodic hardcore band Ignite, as well as Take Offense, Rats in the Wall, and more. This is sure to be a festival celebrating punk roots and hardcore beats, with an eclectic line up of some of the best from the West and East Coast. Expect endless circle pits and slam dancing action from the start of the first band till Agnostic Front takes the stage, to play both new material and classic tunes like “Victim in Pain,” The Eliminator,” and more.
The Karman Bar
Santa Cruz death metal miscreants, Decrepit Birth will bring their technical and brutal live show to Laguna Niguel for a special intimate show that is sure to get the heads banging to the ultra brutal fast riffage and guttural vocals the band offers. Supporting Decrepit Birth are local thrash band Madrost, and their peers in death metal Infinite Death. Also opening the show, a new extreme metal project known as The Name of No One.
At first glance, it’s easy to label this Dutch band black metal, but after further exploration, one might find this term limiting. Imagine a dark, fantasy world of ghosts, demons, witches and evil lurking in the forest. Now imagine the soundtrack is performed by tall ghoulish musicians in corpse paint, all laying down a symphonic and malevolent sound that utilizes heavy metal music as the foundation. Simply put, this is evil, scary music, played in an aggressive yet melodic fashion. Also on the bill are extreme metal bands Wolfheart, and Mors Principium from Finland, and local black metal bands Emperyean Throne, Sicarius, along with Coldvoid and Withermoon.
The Bloodletting Tour 2018 features Virginia-based melodic death metal band Arsis teaming up with Decrepit Birth, as well as NYC slam death metal legends, Internal Bleeding. This will be a night of bodies flying, heads banging, and people slamming the night away in Pomona, with the help of some of the heaviest bands in extreme metal. This show will also feature the super heavy and brutal sounds of Angelmaker, Pyrexia and Within Destruction. Show up early to destroy your eardrums before everyone else. This is sure to be a raging night of death metal madness.
Glen Helen Amphitheater
In what is sure to be one of the year’s biggest, most anticipated concerts, Los Angeles based superstar band System of a Down will play for thousands in San Bernardino, as part of a world tour that literally featured only a few shows, with So. Cal an obvious choice. Perhaps they chose San Bernardino for the ability to hold mass amounts of people in an outdoor setting, but whatever the case may be, and whatever ‘news’ you may hear about the band about recording new music, System of a Down is an amazing live band. The talent between band members and the chemistry onstage is still present, as it was in the band’s heyday nearly two decades ago playing clubs like the Troubadour, Palace, and Roxy. The energy level seems almost infinite, and a System of a Down concert is always an epic experience. This time, however, fans will also get a mini-festival, with hard rockers Clutch, death metal thrashers Skeletonwitch and doomsters Pallbearer performing. As for direct support, fans will experience the energetic rock of At The Drive-In and 90s mellow yet funky sounds of Incubus. What diverse, fun line up. This is a concert not to be missed.
House of Blues Anaheim
One of OC’s premiere metalcore bands, Stick To Your Guns is partnering up with New York metalcore band Emmure to put on this special show at the House of Blues Anaheim. Not only will the two bands bring together metal and hardcore sounds from the West and East Coast, but the show will also serve as a fundraiser for a good cause. A portion of the funds received from this show will be donated to OC/LA area animal rescue shelters. So show up, have a great time, get your mosh on and go home knowing your money went to help rescue homeless and abused animals.
Since the 1990s, futuristic space rock band Monster Magnet has been forging away in the metal/rock scene. With a sound that blends hard rock and space-themed imagery, this sci-fi obsessed psychedelic biker rock band merges so many styles and sounds its hard to keep track. But one thing is certain: the band rocks, and puts on one hell of a live show, whether they are playing in a small club for 100 people or opening for bands like Rob Zombie or Megadeth to 15,000 fans. This will be a special, more intimate show with Monster Magnet, so prepare for things to get crazy, and loud.
Alex Distefano is an established freelance writer and music blogger from the Los Angeles area. With over a dozen years under his belt as a published Journalist, he covers the worlds of heavy metal music, punk rock, current events, cannabis culture, comedy, radio, food, tattoos, the paranormal, and ‘conspiracy theories.’ He graduated from California State University Long Beach in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Journalism and Ancient History. Aside from his professional writing endeavors, Distefano works as an Educator, and delivery/rideshare driver.