Sat. Sept 8
Devin Townsend, Katatonia, and Paradise Lost
Talk about a stacked lineup. Devin Townsend has calmed down since his days fronting angry industrial thrash titans Strapping Young Lad, but he still fucking rocks in the live solo setting. Swedish melodic doomsters Katatonia were the first metal band referenced in the Skyrim video game series, and Gothic doom pioneers Paradise Lost are coming off an album considered something of a return to form after their patience-testing experiments in synthrock around the turn of the century.
Wed, Sept 12
Metal is serious business to a lot of people, but even the most grim-faced metalhead in a long-sleeve death metal t-shirt still needs to relax and have some fun every now and then. Korpiklaani deliver the fun in spades, blending instruments such as violins and accordions into upbeat thrashers. (They're known for drinking and partying in Scandinavian forests.) Most of their songs are sung in the band's native Finnish, but you'll likely be too drunk by the end of their set to notice.
Thurs, Sept 20
For over a decade, Yob band leader Mike Scheidt has been leading a wave of lurching Sabbath-inspired stoner doom. Scheidt's vocals sound like vintage Ozzy getting the last gasps of air squeezed out of him by a bear, and his guitar riffs are as heavy in weight as...said bear. In the live setting, the riffs and heaviness rumble through your body. At the end, you feel like you've been through a vigorous workout without having moved a muscle.
Tues, Sept 25
This Australian quartet takes the blueprint for funeral-doom and infuses it with an air of elegance that lends extra weight to the proceedings. Mournful Congregation's music is very slow-paced, very melancholy, and can be an emotionally draining experience, but everything is done with a sense of care. This is the soundtrack for someone who is terminally ill, surrounded by folks doing everything they can to make the transition to the other side as painless as possible.
Wed, Sept 26
Accept and Kreator
These two German thrash titans make for a fine double feature. Accept are most well-known for the hokey hit '80s single, "Balls To The Wall." But those that dig deeper have been rewarded with thrash classics such as Restless and Wild. Gravelly vocalist Udo Dirkschneider is no longer with the band, but new singer Mark Tornillo has done an excellent job steering the ship on new material. Kreator have settled into old age with a thrash sensibility that crushes many younger bands trying to do the same thing.
Thurs, Sept 27
Obituary and Broken Hope
Vintage death metal can sometimes age just as gracefully as fine wine. Old-school Florida pioneers Obituary got back together in 2005 to once again stake their claim to the death metal throne. The band has not evolved their sound much since reuniting, but since it was so good to begin with there's no sense in fucking around. A bonus for old-school DM fans is support act Broken Hope, reuniting for the first time since 1999, albeit without deceased vocalist Joe Ptacek.
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