2023 is shaping up to be an utterly massive year for new albums, and it's looking like an equally thrilling year for live music. Pantera will play their first U.S. shows in over 22 years. Metallica are hitting the road in support of a new album. Turnstile are booked for their biggest tour yet: opening for pop-punk giants blink-182 on their hugely anticipated reunion tour. That's just a snippet of the many kickass tours that we can't wait to experience throughout the next trip around the sun. Below are the 25 we're most looking forward to losing our hearing at.
Kicks off: January 17
Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante and Black Label Society's Zakk Wylde are practically joined at the hip these days. Outside of their new duties performing with the freshly reformed Pantera, their respective main bands toured together last summer, and they had so much fun together that they decided to do a whole 'nother run this winter. Anthrax and BLS will be trading off headlining slots, and Bay Area thrash OGs Exodus are joining them for this 24-date venture. It's gonna be a hoot.
Kicks off: January 19
One of the most devastating collabs of 2022 was "Darkbloom (Reimagined)," We Came as Romans' brutal tag-team with rising deathcore heavyweights Brand of Sacrifice. The younger Canuck band gave the elder metalcore statesmen an added dose of nastiness, and BOS got to dabble in catchier fare, so it's only natural that the two acts would hit the road together in 2023 to play that sucker live. Plus, prog-core vets Erra are rounding out the bill, so be sure to stretch your neck before this one hits your town.
Kicks off: January 25
Max Cavalera is one of metal's pre-eminent road dogs. The dude is constantly touring, either with his brother, Iggor, in Cavalera Conspiracy, or with his main band Soulfly, who just dropped a new album last year, Totem, and are jonesing to play the new digs in every nook and cranny in North America. Them and Florida death-metal upstarts Bodybox will kick off a whopping 57-date(!) trek in late January, with Half Heard Voices and Skinflint joining for specific legs.
Kicks off: January 31
It's been a long four years since the Aussie metal institution washed up on North American shores, but Parkway Drive are finally coming back to the U.S. this year. That means it's also their first batch of stateside shows since their latest album, 2022's Darker Still, which features their most anthemic, mountain-scaling compositions yet — the kind of arena-ready, chant-inducing songs that lend themselves to a kickass live show. Huge riffs, huge hooks and (hopefully) huge fucking flames.
Kicks off: February 8
Deathcore, metalcore, hardcore, death metal — all of those subgenres are accounted for on this crushing tour package helmed by Australia's mighty deathcore champs Thy Art Is Murder. Dubbed "Decade of Hate," the run will be celebrating 10 years of TAIM's deathcore landmark, Hate, and all of the supporting acts hold a candle to that record's baleful energy. Kublai Khan and I AM are Texas' new-gen mosh officers, Undeath are death metal's fastest-rising young act, and Justice for the Damned are bringing even more deathcore from down under.
Kicks off: February 15
It's hard to believe that August Burns Red have been around for 20 years now, but the Pennsylvania metalcore stalwarts are indeed hitting the double-decade mark this year. That's a big deal, and there's no better band they could've picked to celebrate that milestone with than fellow metalcore lifers the Devil Wears Prada, who emerged from the same era as ABR and are also still standing stronger than ever today. On top of that, ABR's new record, Death Below, will arrive March 24th, smack-dab in the middle of this journey. Partaayyy.
Kicks off: February 24
Sunami have built their brand on being a band from the Bay Area. In fact, they've gone so far as to say that anyone who doesn't reside from that region of California is a bitch. Nevertheless, the rast-rising hardcore brutes are leaving their beloved San Jose for a full month this year while they embark on their first-ever U.S. headlining tour. A murderer's row of hardcore peers will be participating in the journey: Idaho's Ingrown and Sunami's Cali pals in Big Boy, Extinguish and Spy. Let's see if us cold-blooded East Coasters can stand their heat.
Kicks off: March 2
According to Lorna Shore frontman Will Ramos, Vulvodynia are the heaviest band out there right now. Those are strong words coming from deathcore's leading screamer, and we're ready to see if the South African slam-death crew back that claim when they visit our hemisphere later this winter. Curated by extreme-metal powerhouse Unique Legion Records, the tour also includes Australian punishers To the Grave and three U.K. deathcore acts: Viscera, Osiah and Bound in Fear. Blood will be spilled in these pits.
Kicks off: March 3
This tour is a perfect trifecta of forward-thinking heaviness. You've got Underoath bringing huge choruses, chonky breakdowns and the glitchy effects of their most recent opus, Voyeurist. Periphery are holding it down for the moshing mathematicians, with jazz-influenced prog riffage, djenty grooves and soaring hooks. Then there's Loathe, the hypest metalcore band out of the U.K. who cross the gauzy melodies of Deftones with the room-rumbling heaviness of a metallic hardcore band. Three distinct yet complementary acts, all on one lineup.
Kicks off: March 8
As great as it is to see bands of a similar feather play together, a well-conceived mixed bill is also a treat. DevilDriver (groove metal) and Cradle of Filth (symphonic black metal) are very different bands in a lot of ways, which means there won't be a stale, redundant moment at their upcoming co-headliner — and the opening bands only add to the variety. Black Satellite sit squarely in the industrial-metal lane and ONI's sound ranges from bouncy djent to hooky metalcore. Something for everyone.
Kicks off: March 9
Life of Agony's groundbreaking debut, River Runs Red, turns 30 this year, and anyone who catches them on this upcoming tour gets to hear it played in full. It's a pretty sweet deal that's made even sweeter by fellow NYHC veterans Sick of It All joining the trek, creating a must-see bill for anyone who loves the heavy music of the early Nineties. SOIA haven't indicated that they'll be playing any one record of theirs back-to-back, but we have to imagine they'll be following LOA's lead and leaning on the time-tested oldies.
Kicks off: March 15
Florida death metal is 40 years old. Let that sink in. Then, before you get all sullen about the passing of time, flip on Altars of Madness, crank the volume to an ear-piercing high, and get fucking pumped to see Morbid fucking Angel this year, who're honoring their four-decade run with their first tour since 2019. Expect a career-spanning setlist filled with all the gory goodness, and a smattering of opening sets by other, younger death bringers of all stripes.
Kicks off: March 23
Depeche Mode's first tour in five years will be bittersweet. It'll be their first run without founding keyboardist Andy "Fletch" Fletcher, who passed away last year at age 60, reducing the iconic electronic-rock troupe to a duo. However, moving forward is "what he would have wanted," according to surviving members Dave Gahan and Martin Gore, so this world trek will triple as a tribute to his legacy, a celebration of their return to stages and a promotion of their long-awaited new album, Memento Mori.
Kicks off: March 29
City Morgue are a rap duo who love metal and hardcore. Anyone who's heard their trunk-knocking music — which frequently features buzzsaw guitars and screamed vocals from ZillaKami and SosMula — can tell these guys are real-deal headbangers, and they love touring with heavy bands to make their notoriously raucous shows as intense as possible. This spring, Boston hardcore scramblers Vein.FM get the honor of supporting them, and we're already thinking about which shirt we won't mind losing when it ultimately gets ripped off in the sweaty mayhem.
Kicks off: March 30
A big reason why Silverstein continue to connect with younger fans is because they've always been great about touring with a diverse array of up-and-coming bands. On this tour, the Canuck post-hardcore vets are bringing along O.C. post-hardcore crooners Dayseeker, San Diego sasscore heroes SeeYouSpaceCowboy, and one of the quickest-rising bands in hardcore right now, Wilkes Barre's One Step Closer. Old-school Silverstein heads get to hear some new bands, and fans of the opening acts get swept into Silverstein's world. Win-win.
Kicks off: April 7
Now in its fourth year, the annual Chaos and Carnage tour is looking more and more like a winter answer to the now-defunct Summer Slaughter tour. Co-headliners Suicide Silence and Dying Fetus are about as strong a union of deathcore and death metal as they come, and the slew of openers — djent-core aliens Born of Osiris, Belgian brutal death vets Aborted and acid-fried death-metal rascals Sanguisgabogg, to name a few — provide a smorgasbord of breakdowns and blast beats for the feasting.
Kicks off: April 10
Spiritbox felt like a headlining act before 2021's Eternal Blue even dropped, and when that album exploded the way it did, the Canuck renegades appeared to be genuine superstars. However, they've somehow never embarked on a U.S. headlining tour — a fact set to change later this spring. Courtney LaPlante and Co. will finally spearhead their own trek, with djent devotees After the Burial and fellow Canadian prog-metallers Intervals rounding out the bill. Catch Spiritbox in 1,000-capacity rooms while you still can.
Kicks off: April 15
It's a new era of the Black Dahlia Murder. This will be the Michigan melodeath vets' first tour without their late founding frontman, Trevor Strnad, who'll be replaced on the mic by co-founding guitarist Brian Eschbach going forward. It's a radical shift in the long-running band's lineup, but one thing that hasn't changed is their commitment to big-upping new-gen talent. Alongside hardcore lifers, Terror, the tour features two rising figures in modern death-metal (Frozen Soul and Phobophilic) and Boston metallic-hardcore bruisers Fuming Mouth, marking their first tour since bandleader Mark Whelan was diagnosed with — and beat! — cancer.
Kicks off: April 18
While it would be fucking sick to see the titular beasts Mastodon and Gojira named their bands after going head-to-head in a Godzilla vs. Kong type movie, when it comes to their music, we're much more excited to see those metal giants uniting as tourmates. Dubbed the Mega-Monsters Tour, the Atlanta prog-metallers and French groovesters will be terrorizing North America throughout two legs of dates this spring and summer, and they're bringing out Lorna Shore — the hottest band in deathcore — as their supporting act. Two words: Fuck yes.
Kicks off: May 5
Throughout the 2010s, Death Grips built up a reputation as one of the most intense and unpredictable live acts in all of music. Their convulsive fusions of punk, rap and industrial — and frontman MC Ride's bizarre, violent performances — make their cult-like fan base go absolutely apeshit, and the fact that they haven't toured since 2019 means that people have a lot of pent-up ferocity that they're ready to let loose. Even if you think you're hot shit for having survived a Slayer pit, don't let your guard down for a second when "Hustle Bones" starts blaring.
Kicks off: August 4
Metallica don't tour that much anymore. As the biggest metal band on the planet for multiple decades running, they don't really have to be out there grinding on month-long treks. So it's always a special affair when they do line up a set of gigs, and even more so when they have a new album to promote. The first U.S. leg of their extensive world tour for April's 72 Seasons LP will see the metal titans playing two "No Repeat Weekend" shows in various cities with a different setlist and different openers each night. Oh yeah, and one of the opening acts is motherfucking Pantera. This ain't your average 'Tallica tour.
Kicks off: July 13
Do we really need to tell you why we're looking forward to this? These will be Pantera's first U.S. shows in over 22 years! There're Pantera fans who weren't even alive yet when the band initially broke up, and they're gonna get to see "Cowboys From Hell" and "Mouth For War" and "5 Minutes Alone" played live for the very first time. The power-groove juggernaut's 2023 U.S. run kicks off with a couple festival dates, at Wisconsin's Rockfest and Ohio's Inkcarceration, before Pantera meet up with Metallica. Are we missing this? No way, punk.
Kicks off: August 5
Last year, Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard spread their glam-metal gospel throughout North America in what ended up being the last-ever tour for founding Crüe guitarist Mick Mars, who announced he was retiring from the road due to his ongoing painful struggle with Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.). Therefore, this year's run with Def Leppard and Alice Cooper will be Crüe's first U.S. journey with new touring axman John 5, who's been a member of Rob Zombie's band for roughly 15 years. This should be a smooth transition.
Kicks off: TBA
Avenged Sevenfold haven't publicly said anything yet about a full-fledged tour, but we'd be shocked if the O.C. metal titans didn't hit the road this year. The band will finally release their long-awaited new album before the clock strikes 2024, and so far, they've been announced as headliners for two major festivals, Welcome to Rockville and Sonic Temple. A7X haven't played live since 2018 and they'll have a massive new album to promote. A tour has to be on the agenda, too, right?
Kicks off: TBA
With Deftones taking a breather, it looks like Crosses (†††), Chino Moreno's electronic-rock project with Far's Shaun Lopez, will finally be returning to the stage — the duo promised as much when we spoke to them late last year. Crosses came back in full force in 2022, dropping a double-single and a new EP, and they've teased that they have over a whole album's worth of new material in the pipeline. They also said they hope to be "out there" performing by the spring/summer of 2023 — which would mark their first shows since 2015. A couple festival appearances would be nice, but a tour would be even nicer.
Kicks off: TBA
2022 belonged to Ghost. They won an AMA, went viral on TikTok, threw out an MLB first pitch, headlined humongous shows and dropped the best album of the year. Now, they're due for a proper victory lap, and while they haven't formally unveiled any live show plans, mastermind Tobias Forge confirmed that there's a U.S. trek in the works: "We're going to go into every territory [this] year," he said, "but there's going to be one European tour, one American tour." Ghost's last stateside run — with Mastodon and Spiritbox — wil be hard to top, but if anyone can do it, Papa and the Ghouls can.