More and more, festivals are becoming the driving force for touring rock and metal bands. While obviously there were none in 2020, festivals are returning in force in 2021, mostly in late summer and early fall. Headliners and co-headliners include such heavy hitters as Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Rob Zombie, the original Misfits, Korn, Judas Priest, Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown. Live Metal’s “2021 Festival Spotlight” series aims to bring attention to some of the names in smaller print on the festival admats—the bands you can get up close and personal with at the smaller stages—along with a few higher profile acts we find worth calling out here. See you at the shows.

Playing: Louder Than Life

Website: www.theviolentmusic.com

Latest release: The Violent has released three singles to date: “Fly on the Wall,” “Smile Like a Hostage” and “Impression.”

What You Need to Know: The Violent emerged last year, keeping its band members secret until eventually revealing them as Mike Protich, Dave McGarry and Pat Gerasia, formerly of Red Sun Rising, which announced an indefinite hiatus in early 2020. The trio released its first music anonymously to avoid comparisons to their former band. “We just wanted people to like it for what it is and see what kind of people naturally got aboard because they just liked what they heard,” Protich told “Loudwire Nights.”

While Protich’s voice might be recognizable to Red Sun Rising fans, the band brings a vastly different feel to its songs—harder and grittier on “Impression,” laid-back and chill on “Fly on the Wall,” dynamic and cinematic on “Smile Like a Hostage.” There’s been no word yet on a debut album, but with songs in heavy rotation on SiriusXM’s Octane, and placing in its weekly “Big Uns” countdown, it surely will be a highly anticipated release.

What You Need to Hear:

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