It’s not quite as insane as last summer, when Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Tool, Kiss and many more were part of the offerings. But 2018 is shaping up to be another big year for Twin Cities headbangers. With this weekend’s Northern Invasion festival as the unofficial kickoff, here are five more big metal gigs to thrash to this season.

Slayer’s farewell

May 24, the Armory

The reign in blood is coming to an end. Singer/bassist Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King — the lone original members left — haven’t said why they’re calling it quits, but reviews suggest it’s not for lack of firepower. As a tribute to the pioneering thrash band’s influence, a cool lineup of openers was thrown in, including their ’80s peers Anthrax and Testament and younger stars Lamb of God. ($63-$96,

Rock Fest

July 11-14, Cadott, Wis.

The older, slightly more retro-leaning metallic camping festival in western Wisconsin boasts a 2018 lineup that includes Disturbed, Godsmack, Incubus, Rise Against, Seether, Dee Snider, Ace Frehley, Halestorm, Black Label Society, Bush, A Day to Remember, Gwar, Skid Row and more. ($89/day, $129/three-day,

Smashing Pumpkins

Aug. 19, Xcel Energy Center

On the border between metal and alt-rock, especially with Metric added as the opener, the ’90s mega-band’s reunion has been tarnished in some fans’ eyes by bassist D’Arcy Wretzky’s exclusion and frontman Billy Corgan’s support of the alt-right. Plenty of good seats still remain, in other words. But it’s probably going to be a monstrous show. Guitarist James Iha’s prowess has been evident in the interim with A Perfect Circle. ($27-$134,


Sept. 4, Target Center

Because they were specially recruited to break in U.S. Bank Stadium in August 2016, the thrash kings haven’t played the Twin Cities since the release of their double album “Hardwired ... to Self-Destruct.” Of course, most fans aren’t coming out to hear the new stuff anyway. It’ll be great having them back in a “smaller” venue. ($75-$145,

Deep Purple and Judas Priest

Sept. 20, Treasure Island Casino

Each of the pioneering British hard-rock bands is touring with a new album but without their definitive guitarists — Priest’s Glenn Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease before their latest tour. Their singers can still bring the power, though, and fans know how to air-guitar along to “Smoke on the Water” and “Living After Midnight” no matter who’s playing the riffs. ($30-$90,

Also of note:

• Helmet and Prong (Wednesday, Varsity Theater, Mpls.)

• Mastodon and Primus (Myth)

• Greta Van Fleet (July 3, the Armory)

• Glassjaw and Quicksand (July 9, Varsity Theater)

• Nickelback (July 22, Treasure Island Amphitheater)

• Taking Back Sunday and Coheed & Cambria (July 25, the Armory)

• Ted Nugent (July 29, Myth)

• Kid Rock (Aug. 11, Treasure Island Amphitheater)

• Alice Cooper (Aug. 30, Ordway)

• Grand Rocktember with Tesla, Ratt, Skid Row, more (Sept. 6-8, Grand Casino Hinckley)