With headlining acts like Alice Cooper, Blue Öyster Cult, Electric Wizard, Sleep, Pentagram, and Candlemass, Psycho Las Vegas is poised to be the best doom metal and hard/psych rock fest ever. Previously known as Psycho de Mayo, and last year Psycho California, this year’s iteration will be at Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel from August 26 – 29. When I saw the insane full line-up, which includes bands such as Yob, SubRosa, Danava, Satan’s Satyrs, and Acid King, I knew I had to save up my money to get on a plane for Nevada.
One of the big headliners are doom vets Electric Wizard. I’ve gradually gotten into the Wiz over the last few years, and when I saw them live last year, they blew my mind. Their bong-induced wall of riffage is one for the gods, just listen to the title track on Funeralopolis, one of the classic records in the doom metal genre. They seldom play in the States and this is the only announced show this year in the country.
A peculiar band included is Death (not the death metal band). Started by three brothers in 1971, they were basically punk before punk was a thing. They called it quits at around 1976 after refusing to change their name at the request of their label during the recording of their first record. They remained mostly underground until their debut finally saw the light of day in 2009 and a documentary A Band Called Death came out a few years later. They’ve been riding off of this new found notoriety over the last few years.
Among the mid-tier bands, I’ve been dying to see SubRosa. They’re a stoner doom band with the inclusion of two violinists, which have caused the band to expand the boundaries of doom. Their latest album More Constant Than the Gods is a harrow, stand-out record that needs to be listened to. Check out our interview with the band.
Crypt Sermon are a newer epic doom band from my home turf of Philadelphia. I reviewed their debut album last year and saw them live. They are in the same vein as Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus. “Byzantium” is by far their best track with a majestic epic intro.
Beelzefuzz are a psych doom band from the Maryland scene. They went through some internal drama recently and went under the name Righteous Bloom for a year. I saw them open for Pentagram under this moniker and they presented some unique vibes. They’re coming out with their sophomore release right before Psycho Las Vegas, and it should be an interesting album.
Three day passes are on sale now, which include access to a special show on Thursday.