More and more, festivals are becoming the driving force for touring rock and metal bands. While obviously there were none in 2020, festivals are returning in force in 2021, mostly in late summer and early fall. Headliners and co-headliners include such heavy hitters as Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Rob Zombie, the original Misfits, Korn, Judas Priest, Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown. Live Metal’s “2021 Festival Spotlight” series aims to bring attention to some of the names in smaller print on the festival admats—the bands you can get up close and personal with at the smaller stages—along with a few higher profile acts we find worth calling out here. See you at the shows.
Latest release: Alien Weaponry will release “Tangaroa,” the follow-up to its 2018 full-length debut, “Tū,” on Sept. 17 via Napalm Records.
What You Need to Know: This trio from New Zealand plays a thrash/groove metal hybrid, often with lyrics in the native indigenous language te reo Māori and sometimes incorporating traditional instruments. All three band members have Māori ancestry, and their lyrics tend to focus on the historical stories and cultural heritage of the Māori people. It all adds up to a wholly original sound and perspective in heavy music, a true rarity. It appears to be something listeners are hungry for as the 2018 single “Kai Tangata” claimed the number-one spot on SiriusXM Liquid Metal’s “Devil’s Dozen” for 13 consecutive weeks and has amassed more than 10 million views on YouTube.
What You Need to Hear: