Illustration for article titled Atlas of Rock: California

Welcome once again to Metal Monday. Today our trek across the US concludes with the most metal state in the Union. And holy crap does this state have a ton of rock and metal bands.


Last week we checked out the grunge scene in Washington but now we're headed a bid south to fellow West Coast state, California. California is a huge state with a huge population. Therefore it's not surprising that there's a bunch of music scenes in the state, many of them metal. Let's take a look at some of the best rock and metal bands that this state has to offer.


It's hard to know where to even begin with a state as musical as California so instead of my usual format, we will treat this kind of like a brief history of California rock and metal

California rock has deep roots that go back to the 60s with the emergence of surf rock with one of the most prominent acts being the Beach Boys. Other notable early surf rock acts include Jan and Dean and the Surfaris.

Surf rock's popularity began to fade in the mid 60s with the rise of psychedelic rock. Some notable bands include The Doors and Iron Butterfly.

Moving on to the 70s, this decade saw the emergence of the legendary Santana

And the legendary all female hard rock act The Runaways.

As well as many cult punk-rock bands such as The Weirdos and The Germs (who you may recognize for soundtrack appearances in GTA V)

And some hardcore punk pioneers such as Black Flag (who also appeared in GTA V, in fact their frontman is the DJ for Channel-X, the punk station in the game) and the Dead Kennedys.

The 80s saw the rise of glam metal, pioneered by bands such Mötley Crüe, Poison, and Quiet Riot in the California scene.

Shortly after, thrash metal rose to become the dominant metal genre, pioneered by The Big Four of Thrash Metal. In the New York edition of Atlas of Rock we covered one member, Anthrax. Today we talk about the other three: Slayer Megadeth, and most notably the most legendary metal band of all, Metallica.


Other notable California thrash bands include Exodus, Testament, and Death Angel.


Another notable metal band to emerge in the 80s was the pioneering death metal band Possessed.

Many punk bands emerged in the 80s as well such as The Adolescents, crossover thrash legends Suicidal Tendencies (both also featured in GTA V) and surf punk band Agent Orange.

Other notable bands from the era include the alternative metal band Faith No More, Alternative rock band Jane's Addiction and world famous hard rock band Guns N' Roses.

The 90s saw the rise of many popular alternative rock and pop-punk bands. While some emerged in the 80s, they became household named in the 90s.


These include the legendary alternative rock masters the Red Hot Chili Peppers

The grunge bands Stone Temple Pilots and Hole

And the world famous pop-punk bands Green Day and The Offspring.

The 90s and early 2000s saw the rise of alternative metal and nu metal with California bands at the forefront. Notable bands are Deftones, Linkin Park, Korn, System of a Down, POD, Rage Against the Machine, and the alternative/progressive metal legends Tool.

Another notable band is the New Wave of American Heavy Metal pioneers Machine Head.

Many great bands have emerged from California in both the metal and rock worlds. Many notable bands of today began in the 90s and 2000s. Off the top of my head, here are some great bands I may have missed in this history of California Rock


Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band Avenged Sevenfold

Metalcore band As I Lay Dying

Post-hardcore band Atreyu

Industrial metal band Static-X

Deathcore band Suicide Silence

Stoner rock band Queens of the Stone Age

Post-grunge band Third Eye Blind

Alternative rock/power pop band Weezer

This was just the tip of the iceberg for California bands but there are far too many for me to cover. I included way more than I normally do, including as many embedded videos as I could and then adding links for those I couldn't. Enjoy the music!


That's it for California and for the United States on Atlas of Rock. Next week we head up north. What country are we visiting next? Find out next week!


Metal Monday is a weekly column by DisturbedShadow on TAY that discusses all things metal. Every Monday morning, we will discuss something metal related and leave you with a playlist to listen to. If it has to do with gaming you'll find it on TAY and if not you can find it over on TAYClassic.

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