Nine Metal Bands to Bang Your Head to at SXSW

Oh Sees
Oh Sees (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Ghxst

Wed. 13, BD Riley’s, 9pm
Unhinged and fervent, Brooklyn duo Ghxst arrives industrial-smeared. EPs Gloom and Perish spin out into maelstroms that oscillate between depressive stillness, desert-tranced headiness, and caustic grinds. "Vaquero" muscles out gut-punched feedback, and "Ocean Is a Desert" sandpapers bass that short-circuits into noise-grime.

The Munsens

Wed. 13, Maggie Mae’s, 10pm
Sludgy melancholy and fuzz brutalism, last month's debut full-length Unhanded feels startlingly alive. Unlike the Denver trio's stoner crunch on debut EP Weight of Night or its moodier follow-up Abbey Rose (2016), their latest wrings out industrial blasts and corrosive string-bending in a tight 38 minutes.

Greenbeard

Wed. 13, Maggie Mae’s, 11pm
While Greenbeard's eponymous debut and its follow-up, Stoned at the Throne, employ serpentine stoner rock, the Austinites' third album, Lödarödböl (2017), trudges with fuzz sludge and schizo-prog guitar lines. Teasing their 2019 full-length, 2018 EP Onward, Pillager steers toward mutant psychedelia on "Contact High II."

Irata

Wed. 13, Lamberts, 12mid
Take Meshuggah's cerebral riffage, Tool's bass-heavy buzz, and Perry Farrell's jugular squall – and there's Irata. The North Carolina trio treks death metal, desert psychedelia, and ricochet riffage on the 12 songs between Vultures (2012) and Sweet Loris (2015).

Castle

Wed. 13, Maggie Mae’s, 1am
This San Francisco doom/occult duo hangs at the gallows with a Slayer penchant and Pentagram nihilism. The instrumental chemistry between Elizabeth Blackwell and Mat Davis remains palpable, the former channeling a possessed Janis Joplin/Stevie Nicks doppelgänger while the latter lays shredded-string wreckage.

Grivo

Thu. 14, Hotel Vegas @ Volstead, 11pm
Marrying the cerebral headiness of guitar atmospherics with bludgeoning walls of distortion, Grivo sustains bursts of doom metal and shoegaze on 2018 LP Elude for hometown imprint Holodeck. The Austin trio are maximalist junkies, crafting material with a tensile bloom and massive chord slabs. From bass rumbler "Render" to the dissonant "Opia," the whole album renders an empyrean magnum opus.

Asterism

Fri. 15, Elysium, 8pm
Age ain't nuthin' but a number. Just ask the under-20 wunderkinds of Asterism. Co-signed by bass legend Bootsy Collins, the Japanese trio fuses the instrumental precision of Rush's "YYZ," the rhythmic onslaught of "Master of Puppets," and the Eighties power distortion of "Bark at the Moon."

A Deer a Horse

Fri. 15, Cheer Up Charlies (Inside), 12mid
In battery-acidic new single "Cold Shoulder," Brooklyn trio ADAH channels a Melvins-like cacophony with observance to a pop-oriented hook.

Oh Sees

Fri. 15, Hotel Vegas Patio, 1am
The antithesis of Thee Oh Sees' early psych-folk and blitzkrieg garage rock, John Dwyer's latest effort, Smote Reverser, unveils a prog-metal odyssey filled with wheelbarrowed percussion, teeth-grinding distortion, space-bound bass jumps, and six-string solar flares. "Overthrown" slams trash metal, "Abysmal Urn" coaxes blackout riffs, and "Flies Bump Against the Glass" conjures a hell-bound symphony.

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