Saturday, Mar 2
"I Am Colossus" is both the title track of Meshuggah's 2012 album Koloss, and the mission statement of the Swedish metal group -- after all, their off-kilter polyrhythmic riffs and drums have influenced dozens of bands. Their sound is anchored by the fantastically harsh screams of vocalist Jens Kidman, who pulverizes all into dust with his throat-shredding approach. With Weekly favorites Animals As Leaders and Intronaut.
Saturday, Mar 9
Norway gets most of the credit for the early '90s rise of second wave black metal, but over in Sweden Marduk were busy putting together their own wicked brew. While many Norwegian black metal bands have introduced other elements into their sounds or imploded completely, Marduk has mostly stayed the course during their 20-year existence, remaining focused on delivering diabolic black metal blasphemy, as evident on their newest album, 2012's Serpent Sermon.
Saturday, Mar 9
This NYC quartet infuses the sludgy riffs of doom stalwarts like Crowbar with an industrial flavor that makes said riffs sound even more suffocating than usual. Everything about the act -- from the caustic howls of vocalist Fade Kainer to the pounding smashes of drummer Geoff Summers - is engineered to be loud. And if early music from the band's second full-length album Concrete Sustain is any indication, the industrial hopelessness will be amplified even more.
Tues, Mar 12
Deceased band leader King Fowley pens otherworldly death-thrash odes to creepy and crawly things, which share more with old E.C. Comics tales and the creepier side of Edgar Allen Poe than with the shock-and-gore approach of bands like Cannibal Corpse. Many metal groups have mined tales of zombie attacks and other supernatural horror stories since Fowley first formed the group in 1986. But Deceased was not only one of the first to take that approach, they're still the best at it today.
Friday, Mar 15
A typical Volbeat album -- such as 2010's Beyond Hell/Above Heaven --expertly welds together riffs that would make Slayer fans mosh madly, with catchy sing-alongs that invoke Johnny Cash in Folsom Prison. It's a combination that shouldn't work, but Volbeat makes it work. Music from their new album Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies has yet to surface, but we can't imagine they will stray too far from their (winning) formula.
Friday, Mar 22
Today Is The Day
Truthfully, we're not scared much by the metal bands that engage in anti-Christ/pro-Satan posturing. We're scared by motherfuckers like Today Is The Day mastermind Steve Austin. Austin -- alongside a revolving door of fellow misanthropes -- has carved a 20-year career by unleashing nihilistic tales told through a sonic wall of noise, grindcore, and sludge. Albums such as 2011's Pain Is A Warning see Austin asking why one would settle for a simple church burning when you can torch the entire fucking planet.
Tues, Mar 27
Just when we think we're over the trend of bands performing classic albums in their entirety, along comes Anthrax playing their landmark 1987 masterpiece Among The Living to get us all excited again. The NYC thrash crew may not have been as soberly serious as their cousins in the Big Four (Slayer, Metallica, and Megadeth), but for us, rippers such as "Caught In A Mosh" pack just as much of a bruising wallop as any of the classics from the other three.
Fri, Mar 29
Author & Punisher
On albums such as 2012's Ursus Americanus, San Diego's Tristan Shone spits out powerful industrial doom reminiscent of the glory days of U.K. greats Godflesh. His instruments of metal torture are rather unusual though. Shone is a mechanical engineering whiz that utilizes homemade robotics and mechanized instruments that jump out of your most twisted steampunk-induced nightmares. Watching Shone work his machines to create his punishing sound collages is a very fascinating live experience.
Follow Jason Roche on Twitter @JasonRocheLAW
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