The Best Metal Concerts in NYC This Month
These are the best metal shows in NYC this month.
Cradle of Filth
See also: The Ten Best Metal Albums of 2012
Mais oui, Gojira is a French metal band. But don't hold that against them. For the last 15 years, this gifted lineup has purveyed nuanced-but-technical extreme metal sung in English, their latest CD, L'Enfant Sauvage, named "one of the most riveting and challenging metal records of the year" by Pitchfork. Gojira holds its own next to influences like Sepultura, Meshuggah, Tool, Pantera, and Neurosis. And on February 4 at Irving Plaza (and/or the 18th at the Music Hall of Williamsburg), Gojira is joined by Devin Townshend (ex-Strapping Young Lad), an artist with a similarly rabid and deserved following among the metal faithful.
Yes, THAT Tom Keifer. Of Cinderella fame. If "hair metal" was a guilty pleasure back in the day, Cinderella was the rare band you could admit to digging. Vocalist Tom Keifer had a bluesy, cool Steven Tyler-esque rasp, which, frighteningly, was nearly silenced due to a partially paralyzed left vocal cord. But Kiefer's embarking on his first-ever solo tour with an album to follow, and "The Flower Song," his premiere solo offering, smacks of the Black Crowes/the Faces. Cinderella wrote timeless, non-cheesy ballads, and tunes like the rollicking "Gypsy Road" have stood the test of time. When Keifer wrote "I'll scream my heart out just to make a dime" ("Nobody's Fool") he wasn't kidding, and you can pay a little more money to hear for yourself on February 11 at the Highline Ballroom.
What better way to spend Valentine's Day (February 14, in case memory fails) than with legendary thrash bands Testament, Overkill and Flotsam & Jetsam at the Best Buy Theater? Get romantic while screaming along to Testament's classic "Practice What You Preach," and mosh next to your sweetie along with Overkill's "Hello From the Gutter." Testament, featuring Brooklyn-based guitar guru Alex Skolnick (who also fronts a jazz trio and just released his autobiography Geek To Guitar Hero) and helmed by imposing vocalist Chuck Billy, are in their must-see classic lineup, joined by monster drummer Gene Hoglan.
If you get dumped the day after Valentine's Day (statistically a good possibility!) work out your angst with Swedish extreme metallers Meshuggah February 15 at the Roseland Ballroom. This is also presuming you're a dude, as Meshuggah have that "math rock" sensibility that appeals to the more testosterone-laden element of society. Meshuggah is to a 21-year-old as RUSH is to a 51-year-old? Maybe. And if you REALLY want to get technical, Meshuggah is credited with the term "djent," describing an "elastic, syncopated guitar riff," that eventually became a term for a small coterie of bands in that aural ballpark. Or, you can just go to the show and air guitar.
At their NYC press conference for Celebration Day late last year, the three original members of Led Zeppelin made it patently clear they did not want to entertain talk of further reunions. But fans have a most excellent alternative in the February 8 show of Lez Zeppelin at the Highline Ballroom. Though Zeppelin weren't necessarily metal, it stands that neither are Lez Zeppelin, but they are definitively All Girls. All Zeppelin. More than a mere tribute band, they've recorded with Zep engineer Eddie Kramer, toured the world and headlined festivals in front of 20,000 people. To see them in their home turf is like catching the original boy version at the University of Surrey in 1968. Sort of.