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metal @ SXSW 2014 — show previews, lineups & our top picks

by Doug Moore, Wyatt Marshall, Zach Pollack and Andrew Sacher

Black Tusk at Saint Vitus in 2013 (more by Caroline Harrison)
Black Tusk

SXSW may be all about catching the hippest bands–check out the SXSW schedule for a lowdown on what’s going on (or browse our “SXSW” tag for some highlights) — including three BV day parties and the BV official showcase — but there’s no shortage of metal to bang your head to, either. Our metal blog, Invisible Oranges, is putting on a showcase on Thursday, March 13 at the Quantum Lounge (303 W. 5th St.) with Black Tusk, Mutoid Man (members Converge/Cave In), Kayo Dot, Yautja, Wild Throne and Venemous Maximus, and there are a number of other showcases and parties bringing heavy vibes. Here’s a rundown of those events (with flyers and more details below).


On Tuesday night (3/12), Pitchfork’s Show No Mercy showcase goes down at House of Vans at Mohawk (912 Red River) with Indian, Kylesa, Power Trip, Christian Mistress, Windhand and Iron Reagan outside; and Youth Code, Gnaw, Primitive Man, Psalm Zero, Sannhet and Yautja inside.


On Wednesday (3/13), it’s the first of four Converse x Thrasher Death Match day parties at the Scoot Inn (1308 E 4th St) from noon to 6 across two stages with heavy representation from Earthless and The Shrine, plus some fun non-metal like Black Lips, Trash Talk (who also play the free Thursday BV party at Red 7), Cherry Glazerr and more. Free to the public.

Stereofly is also throwing a free party at Javelina Bar (69 Rainey St) with Yautja, Primitive Man, Gnarwhal and more.

There’s also a not-free Heavy Metal Parking Lot day-into-night party at The Lost Well (2421 Webberville Rd) with Wino’s reformed Spirit Caravan, The Shrine, Kylesa, Lazer/Wulf, Truckfighters and more. You can get advance tickets to that one.

Wednesday night, Relapse Records (who signed Iron Reagan, who do play SXSW but not this show) throws their showcase at The Dirty Dog (505 E. 6th St) with Windhand, Christian Mistress, Nothing, Obliteration, Primitive Man and Pyrrhon. You can also catch Nothing for free at the Thursday BV party at Red 7 which Trash Talk is also playing.

Not far from there, Roadhouse Management / Nuclear Blast Records will be presenting their showcase inside at Red 7 (611 E. 7th St) with Orchid, Kadavar, Scropion Child, BP Fallon & the Bandits, Mothership, Sweat Lodge and The Well. (Not metal, but outside at that same venue on the same night is our BrooklynVegan showcase. And hey, there are some heavier bands like Touche Amore and Frameworks on the bill.)

Also on Wednesday night, you can catch Wrekmeister Harmonies at Remedy (209B W. 5th St) with a non-metal lineup of Sean Nicholas Savage, Audacity, Tyvek and more.


Thursday (3/13), the free Converse x Thrasher Death Match parties continue with Windhand, Nothing and not exactly metal (not that Nothing is really metal either), but certainly loud bands Fucked Up, Destruction Unit, together PANGEA and Dirty Fences.

Then at night, it’s our previously mentioned Invisible Oranges showcase at the Quantum Lounge with Black Tusk, Mutoid Man, Kayo Dot, Yautja, Wild Throne and Venemous Maximus.

We do of course hope you come, but you can also catch Scale the Summit, The Ocean, Rivers of Nihil, Felix Martin, Vattnet Viskar, The Atlas Moth and Silver Snakes at the Metal Injection showcase at the Dirty Dog (505 E. 6th St).


It’s the free Converse x Thrasher Death Match parties again on Friday (3/14) with the recently reunited NYHC band Judge, the recently reunited ’80s-era SST vets Bl’ast, plus quality newer bands like Kylesa, Power Trip, Black Tusk, Sannhet, Lecherous Gaze, Iron Reagan, Southern Lord-signed LA band Obliterations (not to be confused with Relapse-signed Norwegian band Obliteration), Youth Code and more.

During the day on Friday, New England Metal & Hardcore Fest also has a free party at G Pen Annex (corner of 6th and Red River) with Xibalba, Alpha & Omega, Comeback Kid, Backtrack, Counterparts, Downpresser and more.

That night, MetalSucks puts on their showcase at The Dirty Dog (505 E. 6th St), headlined by Animals as Leaders, and also featuring sets by After the Burial, Ringworm, Iron Reagan, Mutoid Man, Whores and East of the Wall.

The last day of the free Converse x Thrasher Death Match parties happens on Saturday (3/15), and though there’s no metal at all on this one, you can still rage to Perfect Pussy and Diarrhea Planet.


Then, Saturday night, Tone Deaf Touring’s showcase is at Red Eyed Fly (715 Red River) with Spirit Caravan, Iron Reagan, King Parrot, Vattnet Viskar, Lazer/Wulf, Pilgrim and Vaporizer.

And if you’ve got a badge, you can check out some of the metal panels during the day, including From Riffs to Bits with James Williamson (The Stooges) and Buzz Osborne (Melvins) on Friday at 12:30 PM, and Has Metal Lost Its Edge? with Brandon Stosuy (Pitchfork), Chris Gigg (Woe), Emilie Friedlander (The Fader), former BrooklynVegan contributor Fred Pessaro (Noisey), and Kim Kelly (Pitchfork) on Thursday at 3:30 PM.

That’s a good amount of choices of the heavy persuasion for this year’s SXSW, but if you’re trying to narrow down the things you want to catch, we’ve put together a list of 11 metal bands we’re looking forward to seeing. Check out that list (in alphabetical order) and along with flyers and set times for the above-mentioned shows, below…

11 Great Metal Bands to See at SXSW 2014
listen to them in a RDIO playlist we made

Sludge metal is supposed to be negative, but even by the standards of the genre, Chicago’s Indian get way dark — the opening track to their recently-released album From All Purity is a horrific one-riff plodder entitled “Rape.” Come for the huge riffs, stay for the mind-scouring power electronics and raw-nerve vocals. (DM)

Throwing around the term “avant-garde” with respect to metal has gotten surprisingly fashionable, but Brooklyn’s own Kayo Dot justify its usage more than virtually any other band in the game. Toby Driver’s ever-evolving main squeeze flows like mercury through lengthy, spacious compositions that can collapse into claustrophobic noise at a moment’s notice. Catch them at Invisible Oranges’ own showcase on 3/13. (DM)

Mutoid Man will melt your eardrums. The two-piece, which consists of Cave In’s Stephen Brodsky and Converge // All Pigs Must Die’s Ben Koller, are the definition of no-nonsense. Their debut LP, Helium Head, is a seemingly never-ending stream of heavy, soulful riffage. If you’re prepared to be possibly rocked to death, you can catch them at the Invisible Oranges official SXSW showcase. (ZP)

Okay, so maybe they’re not metal, but because of their record label (Relapse) and the fact that they’re on a handful of the above-mentioned shows, it’s tempting to consider Nothing a metal band. Really, they’re shoegaze (and not the way people call Deafheaven shoegaze), and few modern bands of the genre have perfected the Wall of Sound as well as these guys have. (AS)

Obliteration came straight out of Norway on a one-way mission to mess shit up, projectile vomiting old school death metal with primordial fury. Obliteration’s show–their first ever in the US–is part of the stacked Relapse Records showcase alongside tech death masters/weirdos Pyrrhon, (WM)

Power Trip blew minds in 2013 with their crossover thrash tour de force (ha!) Manifest Decimation, an album title that perfectly describes both the band’s sound and their live performance. Prepare for chaos and consider a helmet. (WM)

NYC’s Psalm Zero has quickly become a critically acclaimed paragon of experimental metal weirdness, blending in Tolkien-esque chant-like vocals with uncomfortable, stripped down, hypnotic riffing. That might not sound like a ringing endorsement, but it is. (WM)

Aside from a five-year hiatus in the late ’90s, Ringworm have been around for over two decades. Like Liam Neeson, they’ve only grown more potent with age. Though they’re most closely associated with Cleveland hardcore, I think of them as a really mean-spirited metal band — they’re like Slayer if they traded the epic grandeur for an attitude problem. I dare you not to headbang to them. (DM)

Pacific Northwest prog metal outfit Wild Throne welcome their adrenaline shot of an EP, Blood Maker, today via Brutal Panda Records. They’ve given us a Frances the Mute-like assault with, dare I say it, even more brawn and noise. Catch ’em at the Invisible Oranges official SXSW showcase on Thursday (3/13) at Quantum Lounge. (ZP)

Windhand revel in the traditional doom riffs that we’ve gotten from Black Sabbath through Electric Wizard, but with Dorthia Cottrell’s melodic vocals, it’s legitimately catchy stuff too. (AS)

Nashville’s Yautja have only three guys in their lineup, but they make more noise than some bands with twice as many members. When they played NYC with Psalm Zero a few weeks back, standing in front of guitarist Shibby Poole’s imposing dual rig felt like getting hosed down with concrete. Witness the sludge/grind mayhem at Invisible Oranges’ own showcase on 3/13. (DM)


Pitchfork Show No Mercy at House of Vans at Mohawk – 3/12
Indian 1:05
Kylesa 12:00
Power Trip 11:00
Christian Mistress 10:00
Windhand 9:00
Iron Reagan 8:00

Youth Code 1:20
Gnaw 12:20
Primitive Man 11:20
Psalm Zero 10:20
Sannhet 9:20



Stereofly party at Javelina – 3/12
11:00 AM – Ned and the Dirt – Saturated Stage
11:25 AM – Gnarwhal – Aggressive Stage
11:50 PM – The Rocketboys – Saturated Stage
12:15 PM – Reveal Renew – Aggressive Stage
12:40 PM – Iron Whip – Saturated Stage
01:05 PM – Sein zum Tode – Aggressive Stage
01:30 PM – Carnaval – Saturated Stage
01:55 PM – Primitive Man – Aggressive Stage
02:20 PM – Death on Two Wheels – Saturated Stage
02:45 PM – Abacus – Aggressive Stage
03:10 PM – Zonaea – Saturated Stage
03:35 PM – Dethrone – Aggressive Stage
04:00 PM – Shallow Palace – Saturated Stage
04:25 PM – Yautja – Aggressive Stage
04:50 PM – Captain & Maybelle – Outside Sideshow Performance


Heavy Metal Parking Lot – 3/12
THE SHRINE 9:15 pm

SONS OF HUNS 2:15 pm
ONE GOOD LUNG 12:45 pm


Nuclear Blast / Roadhouse Management Showcase at Red 7 – 3/12
Orchid 1am
Kadavar 12:05am
Scorpion Child 11:10pm
BP Fallon & The Bandits 10:15pm
Mothership 9:20pm
Sweat Lodge 8:25pm
The Well 7:30pm


Relapse Records Showcase at The Dirty Dog – 3/12
Windhand 1am
Christian Mistress 12am
Nothing 11pm
Obliteration 10pm
Primitive Man 9pm
Pyrrhon 8pm


Invisible Oranges Showcase at Quantum Lounge – 3/13
Black Tusk 1am
Mutoid Man 12am
Kayo Dot 11pm
Yautja 10pm
Wild Throne 9pm
Venomous Maximus 8pm


Metal Injection Showcase at The Dirty Dog – 3/13
Scale the Summit 1:10am
The Ocean 12:10am
Rivers of Nihil 11:20pm
Felix Martin 10:30pm
Vattnet Viskar 9:40pm
The Atlas Moth 8:50pm
Silver Snakes 8pm


MetalSucks Showcase at The Dirty Dog – 3/14
Animals as Leaders 12:55am
After the Burial 11:55pm
Ringworm 10:55pm
Iron Reagan 10pm
Mutoid Man 9:10pm
Whores 8:20pm
East of the Wall 7:30pm

Tone Deaf

Tone Deaf Touring Showcase at Red Eyed Fly – 3/15
Spirit Caravan 1am
Iron Reagan 12:10am
King Parrot 11:20pm
Vattnet Viskar 10:30pm
Lazer/Wulf 9:40pm
Pilgrim 8:50pm
Vaporizer 8pm


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