Unleashed In The Midwest: August 2016

The temperature keeps rising and the shows keep coming. Chug some water, eat some celery and get ready to bang your god damn heads to some metal this month - it's a doozy.

Ghoul with Night Demon, Fórn, Yellow Eyes, Ne Obliviscaris, Black Crown Initiate, Starkill, Troglodyte at The Riot Room on August 8th

Who would've guessed that the best night for metal in Kansas City this year would be on a random Monday? What started out as a normal, two-band show quickly grew to a three-tour monstrosity that is utilizing both the indoor and outdoor stages at the Riot Room. Ghoul is one of the best and most exciting underground metal bands at the moment and they're touring back to California alongside NWOBHM-worshippers Night Demon after their stint opening for the legendary Carcass. The two were added to an already impressive show featuring the crushing sludge outfit Fórn and impressive underground black metal stalwarts Yellow Eyes as they head to the Migration Fest in Oregon.

Not only that, one of the biggest names in progressive metal in years, Australia's Ne Obliviscaris,   will be performing on the outside stage. This is one of their first proper headlining US tours, so it's amazingly lucky we're even getting a date in the first place. Black Crown Initiate and Starkill opening for them will only get the headbanging started early.

The Melvins with Helms Alee at The Bottleneck on August 16th

Every genre of music has the unsung pillars that are overshadowed by the bands that came after them. The Melvins, going strong for over 30 years, were basically the precursors to a majority of stoner, sludge, and alternative rock and metal bands. More experimental than ever now, they're teaming up with the equally experimental Helms Alee to turn The Bottleneck into an amalgamation of devil horns and questionable drug use - just like we want it.

Boris with Earth at The Granada on August 18th

Let me be real with you for a second - Boris is easily one of my favorite bands of all time. With a truckload of releases under their belt and an equal number of genres performed in, there is something for everyone when it comes to this Japanese trio. On this particular tour, they're celebrating the tenth anniversary of their seminal album "Pink" which shows off some of their most rocking and grooving tracks. Drone metal pioneers Earth open to set the stage for what will be one of the best shows Lawrence is seeing this summer.

Baroness with Pallbearer at The Granada on August 24th

Already a force to be reckoned with, Baroness' comeback after their near-fatal bus accident in 2012 is nothing short of jaw-dropping, especially considering the release of "Purple" last year which might be their greatest recording yet. It's no wonder they're the flagbearers of the Savannah metal scene. Pallbearer opens to completely decimate everyone so Baroness can build them back up again.

Belphegor with Origin, Shining, Abigail Williams, Torn The Fuck Apart at The Riot Room on August 25th

Alright, enough of that hipster shit. If you want true black and death metal, maybe a mixture of both, this is the place to be. Belphegor is one of the most menacing blackened death metal groups on the face of the Earth and their performance along with the always insanely unpredictable hometown heroes in Origin will make the Riot Room absolutely unsafe. Not to take anything away from any of the bands, but the main attraction here is Sweden's Shining. A longtime player in the underground black metal scene, Shining recently had their first-ever US performance last month and are now embarking on their first US tour - truly unexpected, as the Swedish black metal group hasn't toured the country in their 20 years of existence! Abigail Williams and locals TTFA open, but absolutely do not miss Shining.


Jackson May is Kansas City (Kansas side, unfortunately) native that eats, lives, breathes and will eventually die by metal. After attending as many shows as possible for over a decade now, it's time for him to put pen to paper and blab about all things heavy music to anyone that will listen. Find him at any number of small heavy metal shows each month, or maybe at a few pop punk or hip-hop concerts.

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