Sat, Feb 2
Many metal fans think that the Bay Area's Testament belong next to metal's "Big Four" (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax). Indeed, classic albums like The Legacy and newer output like 2012's Dark Roots of Earth provide strong evidence for this argument. In the live setting, Chuck Billy's vocals are just as ferocious as ever. Old-school thrash fans will also be pleased with support acts Overkill and Flotsam and Jetsam.
Wed, Feb 6
The 2010 death of vocalist Makh Daniels left stung Early Graves. On 2012's Red Horse, John Strachan (also of L.A.'s The Funeral Pyre) stepped in with his own brand of vocal venom. The band's grimy blend of blackened thrash and hardcore is a strong backdrop for Strachan to shred his vocal chords. The result is 33 minutes of pure vitriol that is impossible to not mosh to.
Thu, Feb 7
Fuck The Facts
Ottawa's Fuck The Facts are often classified as grindcore, but the current incarnation of the group is much more ambitious than that classification suggests. While there are still some of the blastbeat-ridden short bursts that populate the genre, Fuck The Facts also pushes its boundaries, with bludgeoning opuses that can run from four to seven minutes. Guitarist Topon Das lays down dazzling guitar work that would be equally at home on proggy tech-death rippers.
Fri, Feb 8
We've already raved about the awesomeness of Enslaved, but support act Pallbearer is equally compelling. The Little Rock quartet hit the ground running with their 2012 debut Sorrow and Extinction; Pallbearer infuses the Saint Vitus doom blueprint with dashes of psychedelics and beautiful guitar harmonies. The result is an atmosphere that is almost uplifting -- a word rarely associated with doom metal. We recommend getting there early for dark Southern-rockers Royal Thunder.