8 Kick-Ass Metal Bands from Right Here in Michigan
As a transplant from Alabama, it's quite refreshing to see so much appreciation for rock and metal music in the state of Michigan. As a metalhead in the Yellowhammer State for 23 years, I saw exactly one hard rock show within state lines.
To see Metallica, had to go to Atlanta. To see Avenged Sevenfold, had to go to Biloxi.
It feels good to know I'm in a state now that hosts rock shows all over that state. So I thought, with so much appreciation being paid towards this musical culture, we could pay it back to some of the bands that helped formed it.
Here are eight badass hard rock/metal bands that were formed right here in Michigan.
Kicking things off with a festive appropriate addition, Halloween is an underground heavy metal band from Detroit. These rockers incorporate the sounds of Alice Cooper, Venom and Judas Priest to serve up a mixture of thrash and glam metal to its audiences.
Not to be confused with the wildly popular German thrashers Helloween, Halloween has stayed closer to the ground here in Michigan. The band has undergone several lineup changes since forming in 1983 and most recently released two albums in 2021: Victims of the Night and Horror Fire.
Halloween is still kicking and screaming in Detroit and around the world. Stay up to date with the band at their official website here.
Yep, we're not backing off of the Halloween bands. With a mixture of doom, psychedelic, stoner and death metal sounds, Acid Witch is proud to dub itself "Halloween Metal."
Formed in Detroit back in 2007, Acid Witch is still around. Wanna kick off your Halloween the heavy metal way? Acid Witch is performing at The Sanctuary Detroit in Hamtramck next Friday, October 28.
Tyrant is one of the younger bands on this list, but these guys get classic heavy metal. With just two studio albums under their belt, this Lansing product is just getting started. Check out the thrashing-progressive sounds from their latest album The Lowest Level here:
The Black Dahlia Murder
Now we're dipping into the more popular bands Michigan has on offer, though maybe non more so than The Black Dahlia Murder. These melodic death metalheads have been on a rampage straight out of Waterford since 2001.
Their mega-hit What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse is a staple in any brutal heavy metal fan's playlist. Check it out here:
A band that has seen its fair share of lineup changes suffered its most heartbreaking yet earlier this year. Frontman Trevor Strnad passed away on May 11, 2022.
The Black Dahlia Murder will be playing a memorial show for its late vocalist in Detroit at Saint Andrew's Hall, for which tickets are available via resale here.
More post-hardcore than straight heavy metal, La Dispute has had a serious following since forming in Lansing in 2004.
Fitting La Dispute into a genre is in straight contrast to the vibe of the band. Will you get screaming, will you get painfully deep lyrics, will you get a two-minute thrash or a seven-minute epic? Who knows. What you're sure to get is some kick-ass music.
(Full disclosure of extreme bias, I Prevail is one of my favorite bands at the moment and I wish it weren't unreasonable to just link you to about 15 different songs.)
I Prevail is one of the most popular metalcore bands on the scene at the moment. Their 2019 album Trauma catapulted them into a new stratosphere. From hip-hop lyrics that hit home on feelings of depression that are backed up with crushing screams to push through the anger, I Prevail gets its audience.
These monsters from Detroit released their first album in 2014 and have since gone on to earn a Grammy nomination and sport a whopping 3.6 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
Seriously, check them out here playing Bow Down in Grand Rapids. It doesn't get much better.
I personally don't know anyone that doesn't know Poem by Taproot. That opening guitar riff is straight early 2000s rock radio straight into my veins. What I didn't know until researching for this article is that Taproot is from Ann Arbor.
The band got its start after sending a demo to Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst. However, the band opted to sign with a label separate from the one Durst had in mind, leading him to drag the band through the mud. You can learn more about that story here.
While Taproot has released a handful of songs since 2019, the band has been relatively quiet since hanging out with our friends at Banana Rock 101.5 in Flint for an anniversary show in 2017.
We Came as Romans
Another bias warning applies, though not as over the top. We Came As Romans, much like I Prevail, is one of the top names in all of metalcore right now. The band hails from Troy, Michigan, and has a strong mixture of traditional metalcore, post-hardcore, deathcore, and EDM in their sound that help them stand on their own in a genre growing in popularity and thick with talent.
WCAR had some stops on Ice Nine Kills and Motionless in White's Trinity of Terror tour this year, but next year the rockers will headline their own tour that will end in Detroit next February at Saint Andrew's Hall. Tickets will be available here.