Five Reasons That Denver Is the New Hot Spot for Metal

It's no secret that ever since recreational cannabis became legalized, people started flooding to Denver and the city experienced a huge influx of culture, industry and innovation. With this came new musical movements, subcultures and events, and one that has gotten a big boost is metal. Below are five reasons that the Mile High City could be the new capital of metal.

1. Denver has not one, but two metal-themed breweries

Denver is home to both the brutal, bare-bones TRVE and the boundary-pushing Black Sky Brewery. TRVE, located on South Broadway, is a great destination for delicious beers; in fact, that's all the brewery serves. TRVE doesn't offer any liquor or food, and the soundtrack on the speakers is all metal. The atmosphere is dark and austere but welcoming — a little like a Viking mead hall. It's also a good place to check out local art, as TRVE hosts First Fridays art shows and always has new work on display. 

Black Sky Brewery, on the other hand, is a pizza joint as well as a home-brew spot. The little bar off Sante Fe offers more lighting and less atmosphere than its TRVE-ly brutal cousins, but Black Sky's pizza, along with its delicious beers, are just the thing to start off the night before a show or wrap it up afterword. Local bands play regularly at the brewery, and Black Sky puts on the annual Denver Black Sky metal-fest, which is happening this weekend at the Gothic Theatre (find out more below).

2. Denver is churning out some seriously hard-hitting metal bands

In the Company of Serpents, the skull-crushing doom duo from Denver, plays almost every local show and has been touring and releasing albums. Call of the Void is now signed to Relapse records, and Cloud Catcher is making a real mark on the psych/alternative-rock scene. Dreadnought's latest record got some worldwide attention, as people everywhere wanted to learn more about the multi-gendered and influenced group. "I think that Denver is the next big place for metal, because our scene is full of incredible musicians who support each other," explained Kelly Schilling of Dreadnought. "We push each other to grow and succeed through support rather than competition."

3. We've always been on the radar for metal, even if we were a bit under it

Denver purists might scoff and say that Denver has always been a hot spot for metal, long before weed was legalized and the transplants came pouring in. Cephalic Carnage, the death-grind band infamous for singing about weed and aliens, hails from Denver, as does Havok, which will play the upcoming Denver Black Sky Festival at the Gothic. The fact that Denver has always been home to such talented bands just further proves the point that the scene has a lot to offer.  

4. Denver gets awesome shows and festivals

If you aren't satisfied with all the cool local acts, there are always amazing chances to catch great out-of-town bands when they come through. Pig Destroyer, which hails from the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area and rarely tours because of family and musical obligations, is finally coming to Denver as one of the headliners of Denver Black Sky along with metal heavyweights Skinless. Other big-name acts come through nearly every weekend.

5. Weed and metal go hand in hand 

Last but not least, one cannot forget the fact that weed and metal go together like beer and pizza. Look no further than metal bands with names like Bongzilla, Weedeater and Cannabis Corpse, not to mention Black Sabbath's song catalogue. Now that weed is legal, bands love to visit dispensaries here and get legal gifts from fans. The new, relaxed laws in Colorado and influx of new blood are truly making this a great city for metal.  

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Addison is a Denver-based writer specializing in metal, dubstep, cannabis and LGBTQ issues. She also contributes to OUT FRONT, CULTURE and New Noise magazines. Addison is author of Wicked Woman: Women in Metal from the1960s to Now.