10 Metal Bands You Definitely Saw Live in the 2010s
Certain bands are just built for the road. No matter how prolific their studio output is, being on the road is therapeutic for countless metal musicians. It can be freeing to get in the van for weeks at a time and, for younger bands, it’s a rite of passage to make new fans and reconnect with old ones at venues far from home.
Even in a genre where hard touring is common, like metal, there is a select class of road dogs and lifers that stand out amongst the rest. Every decade brings a new class and we’re sure that if you went to metal shows in the 2010s, you’ve seen these 10 bands at least once.
The Black Dahlia Murder
It seemed like The Black Dahlia Murder were constantly on tour following the release of their first album, Unhallowed. They would tour with anyone, even if the style wasn’t an obvious fit, like their early Warped Tour appearances. By the time the 2010s rolled around, The Black Dahlia Murder were the established kings of the underground following two albums that cemented them as the face of modern American melodic death metal. Whether they were out with Black Label Society, Midnight, Whitechapel, Suffocation or someone else, fans could always count on seeing late vocalist Trevor Strnad proudly displaying his “Heartburn” belly rocker from the stage.
Every Time I Die
Buffalo, New York’s Every Time I Die always had a foot in both worlds. Not quite a hardcore band, not really a metal band and not entirely part of the 2010s metalcore scene, Every Time I Die were a welcome addition on any heavy tour package thanks to their explosive live performance that often included lead singer Keith Buckley throwing his body back and forth across the stage all night. The Ghost Inside, August Burns Red, Turnstile, Protest the Hero and Harm’s Way are just a handful of the bands you may have seen Every Time I Die with in the 2010s.
While they could have appeared on a list for any decade, the 2010s featured Slayer’s lengthy farewell tour, which earns them a spot in the 2010s. From 2016 to their last show on November 30, 2019, Slayer took out Lamb of God, Anthrax, Testament, Behemoth, Napalm Death, Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, Ministry, Kreator and at least a half-dozen others. It makes sense that guitarist Kerry King has another band in the works given how active Slayer were throughout their career.
Full of Hell
When the decade began, Full of Hell were a group of kids with no recorded music and a unique, if unrefined, sound that fell somewhere between grindcore, harsh noise and powerviolence. At the decade’s conclusion, they were a crucial band in the modern death metal and grindcore movements. Full of Hell came of age on the road, developing their sound on lengthy tours with The Body, 1349, Nails, Converge and Wormrot. They’ve completed multiple trips around the world, which is no small achievement for a band that began touring as literal teenagers.
It’s actually pretty wild how much Eyehategod managed to tour despite vocalist Mike IX needing a liver transplant in 2016. The NOLA sludge legends tour with a wide breadth of punk, hardcore and metal bands, often managing to hit the same cities more than once (or twice!) in a calendar year.
As the most active of the OG death metal bands in the United States, Cannibal Corpse managed to release three albums in the 2010s. Corpsegrinder and his bandmates will go out with just about anyone: Harm’s Way, The Black Dahlia Murder, Power Trip, Gatecreeper, Krisiun and Cattle Decapitation, new deathcore bands, you name it. That momentum hasn’t let up so far in this decade either and Cannibal Corpse may end up as one of the hardest-touring death metal bands of all time.
Lamb of God
Richmond’s Lamb of God spent a ton of time on Slayer’s three-year farewell tour, but they packed in plenty of dates of their own over 10 years as well. Tourmates have included In Flames, Killswitch Engage, Hatebreed, Hellyeah, Decapitated and Huntress, plus most of the bands on Slayer’s last hurrah. It’s hard to imagine that Lamb of God will ever run out of energy.
There’s something in the New Orleans water that makes bands like Crowbar and the previously-mentioned Eyehategod able to keep going. Despite having a relatively-similar sound throughout their career, Crowbar have gone out with a ton of unexpected tourmates like Helmet, Battlecross and High on Fire, endearing them to new audiences when they aren’t on a solo run.
Another New Orleans band on the list, Goatwhore are a band that you always forget are great live. The black/death hybrid unit have gone out with WAKE, Ringworm, Satyricon, Necrofier and Venom Inc, which gives a sample of the variety Goatwhore like on tour. They fit on just about every bill, so you’ve probably seen them once or twice, even if you didn’t mean to.
Dallas crossover beasts Power Trip could single-handedly restore one’s faith in the thrash revival. Frontman Riley Gale cut a larger-than-life figure on stage and always conjured an absolute frenzy in the pit, presiding over a sea of heshers dressed like members of a forgotten ‘80s thrash band. Power Trip outshone every band they played with, from masters like Kreator and Cannibal Corpse to the younger hardcore and death metal acts they often brought on their own tours. Nearly every person going to shows in the 2010s has a memory of Gale’s playful-but-assertive stage banter and the mosh pits Power Trip would summon.