The Best Los Angeles Metal Shows to See in May
Five Stars Bar
Toronto bassist/vocalist Jason Decay was near the forefront of last decade's revival of classic metal sounds, with his previous band Goat Horn. With his current outfit Cauldron, the brand of thrash falls more on the melodic side, taking strong influence from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal of yesteryear. The guitar shreds and vocal harmonies on the group's newest album Tomorrow's Lost has a warm, vintage feel that would sound perfect on a turntable after some classic Judas Priest.
This Norwegian sextet mines thrash, hardcore, stoner rock, and punk into a high-energy raucous celebration of anthemic sing-alongs. Never mind that all of the lyrics on their albums -- 2010's self-titled debut and their brand-new follow-up Meir -- are in Norwegian; you'll still find yourself drunkenly shouting along with the choruses to tracks like "Mjod" and "Bruane Brenn." In the live setting, frontman Erland Hjelvik has a boozy swagger that is infectious, and the rest of the group carry themselves with arena-rock levels of energy.
Thrasho De Mayo
The Vex / Arts L.A.
From 2006 through 2010, the Thrasho De Mayo festival was a celebration of raging mosh pits. Every metal festival has its heavy-hitting headliners, but what made this one special was its undercard, spotlighting rising upstart L.A. thrash bands. It was the rare all-day fest worth slogging it out from start to finish. This year's return installment will be no exception, with headline acts like Bay Area gore-metallers Ghoul and rising L.A. acts like thrash-punkers Xpulsion.
Finland's Rotten Sound have spent the last 15 years putting out some of the most bludgeoning grindcore sounds that exist. Their short blasts of fury are chaotic with no room for wasted motion, their riffs seemingly designed to get its listeners to run full-speed into a wall...and fucking smash right through it. We wish The Joint the best of luck in maintaining its structural integrity.