Some groupsets are just built for the road. No matter how prolific their studio production is, being on the road is therapeutic for countless metal musicians. It can be liberating to ride in the van for weeks on end, and for young bands it’s a rite of passage to gain new fans and reconnect with old ones in places far from home.
Even in a genre where hard touring is common, like metal, there is a select class of road dogs and lifers who stand out from the crowd. Every decade brings a new class and we’re sure if you went to any metal gigs 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 after releasing their debut album, Impious. They toured with anyone, even if the style wasn’t obvious, like their first appearances on the Warped Tour. By the time the 2010s rolled around, The Black Dahlia Murder were the established kings of the underground after two albums that cemented them as the face of modern American melodic death metal. Whether they stepped out with Black Label Society, Midnight, Whitechapel, Suffocation or someone else, fans could always count on the late vocalist Trevor Strnad proudly showing off his “Heartburn” belly rocker from the stage.
Every time I die
Whenever I die Buffalo, New York has always had a foot in both worlds. Not quite a hardcore band, not quite a metal band and not entirely part of the 2010s metalcore scene, Every Time I Die were a welcome addition to any heavy touring package thanks to their explosive live performance that often included vocalist 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 few 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, earning them a spot in the 2010s. From 2016 to their final show on the 30 November 2019 Slayer released Lamb of God, Anthrax, Testament, Behemoth, Napalm Death, Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, Ministry, Kreator and at least half a dozen others. It makes sense that guitarist Kerry King has another band in the works considering Slayer’s activity throughout his career.
full of hell
At the start of the decade, Full of Hell was a children’s band with no recorded music and a unique, if unrefined, sound that fell somewhere between grindcore, hard noise and powerviolence. By the end of the decade, they were a crucial band in the modern death metal and grindcore movements. Full of Hell grew up on the road, developing their sound while touring extensively with The Body, 1349, Nails, Converge and Wormrot. They’ve taken several trips around the world, which is no small feat for a band that started touring as teenagers.
eye hate god
It’s actually pretty crazy how much Eyehategod has managed to tour despite frontman Mike IX needing a liver transplant in 2016. The NOLA sludge legends tour featuring a wide range of punk, hardcore and metal, often managing to hit the same cities more than twice!) in a calendar year.
As the most active OG death metal band in the United States, Cannibal Corpse managed to release three albums in the 2010s. Corpsegrinder and his bandmates will date just about anyone: Harm’s Way, The Black Dahlia Murder , Power Trip, Gatecreeper, Krisiun and Cattle Decapitation, new deathcore bands, etc. That momentum hasn’t waned so far this decade either and Cannibal Corpse could become one of the toughest 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 also held plenty of dates over 10 years. Touring mates have included In Flames, Killswitch Engage, Hatebreed, Hellyeah, Decapitated and Huntress, as well as most bands from Slayer’s Last Hurray. It’s hard to imagine that Lamb of God will ever run out of energy.
There’s something about New Orleans water that keeps bands like Crowbar and the previously mentioned Eyehategod going. Despite sounding relatively similar throughout their career, Crowbar have come out with a ton of unexpected touring companions like Helmet, Battlecross and High on Fire, tying them to new audiences when not soloing.
Another New Orleans band on the list, Goatwhore are a band that we always forget are great live. The black/death hybrid unit has been released with WAKE, Ringworm, Satyricon, Necrofier and Venom Inc, providing a sample of the Goatwhore-like variety on tour. They fit almost any bill, so you’ve probably seen them once or twice, even if you didn’t mean to.
The crossover beasts of Dallas Power Trip could single-handedly restore faith in the thrash revival. Frontman Riley Gale cut a larger-than-life figure on stage and always evoked absolute frenzy in the pit, presiding over a sea of heshers dressed like members of a forgotten 80s thrash band. the bands they played with, from masters like Kreator and Cannibal Corpse to young hardcore and death metal bands they often brought on their own tours. Almost everyone who attends shows in the 2010s has a memory of Gale’s playful but assertive banter and mosh pits that Power Trip would summon.