Heavy Metal Tsunami

The glorious sounds of darkness will be flooding your ears this week


Gus G. plays Count’s Vamp’d at 10 p.m. Oct. 17. | Photo by Alberto Cabello/Flickr Wikimedia Commons

The forecast looks sweaty, wild-haired and very, very loud with a serious chance of permanent hearing loss. That’s because it’s practically raining heshers and headbangers this week in Las Vegas.

Indeed, it all kicks off with Greek shredder Gus G., who plays lead guitar for Black Sabbath frontman and rock legend Ozzy Osbourne. The six-string G-spotter brings his acoustic solo tour (with singer Mats Lynam) to Count’s Vamp’d at 10 p.m. October 17. If you haven’t heard Gus go pyrotechnical on his black ESP guitar, then you’re missing out. He’s touring in support of this year’s I Am the Fire album, which boasts fretboard-burning, highway-blasting tracks such as “My Will Be Done.” To my slight disappointment, this will be an unplugged performance. Anyhow, I’m optimistic about seeing a high-level electric guitarist conduct a more stripped-down affair.

Classic British metal band Raven—best known for their 1985 hit “On and On” from the ridiculously titled album Stay Hard—ravishes Cheyenne Saloon at 10 p.m. October 19. These guys have gone through many lineup changes and stylistic revamps, but they’ve never abandoned their core sound of hard-rockin’ pomp. Sure, Raven hasn’t unfurled a proper studio disc of original music since 2009’s Walk Through Fire. But the band has enough songs—more than 30 years’ worth—to make this merit giving up a night of Netflix. California-based newbie thrash-metal act Night Demon opens.

There’s one hell of a concert descending upon Triple B at 6:30 p.m. October 20. No less than five of my favorite death-metal bands—Suffocation, Kataklysm, Jungle Rot, Pyrexia and Internal Bleeding—are primed to bring sonic sadism to masochistic metalheads (me included). My current favorite of the bunch is Wisconsin-spawned Jungle Rot, whose last few chug-chug-chug guitar-riffing albums have served no other purpose than to ignite ferocious mosh pits. Last year, Victory Records CD-reissued the band’s 1995 cassette demo Skin the Living, and it’s still flaying my eardrums—in a good way. I predict the Rot will reign at this show.

A few days later—7 p.m. October 23—at Triple B again, L.A. shock-metal band Butcher Babies will be carving up the crowd. Frontwomen Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey are more punk screamers than operatic howlers, but they compensate for any lack of “classic” metal-yawping with an emphasis on showmanship. And their thrashed-up songs—for instance, “I Smell a Massacre”—are pretty fun.

Your Vegas band releasing music soon? Email Jarret_Keene@Yahoo.com.

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