Landmine Marathon are the type of band that makes instant diehard fans. Their live energy is unreal. I've seen them play in three cities, and though the settings were different (see here and here), the results were identical: mind blown. The band is as down-to-earth as they come. They readily chat with fans and load in and out without a fuss. But between the first and last notes of their sets, they become a singular weapon. Their name is apt. They are an explosion that lasts, sucking up oxygen and spitting out ashes.

The band is really two units: Grace Perry and the instrumentalists. The degree to which she stands apart makes the band special. She's the youngest member, the only female, and the member with the least metal background. Essentially, the band is early Bolt Thrower fronted by a young lady with no fear. Her trademark is to run into the crowd, sometimes creating her own mosh pit. This is a strange proposition, given her twigginess, but it works. If a larger front(wo)man entered the crowd and physically riled it up — Perry sometimes drags people on stage, screams a few lines in their faces, then releases them back into the crowd — people might become defensive. But I, for one, am not using my elbows on her.

So she gets her way, sometimes to the chagrin of her bandmates. "She pulls my hair," grouses guitarist Ryan Butler good-naturedly. I asked him if band practices are this intense. He said that during rehearsals, Perry sings and texts at the same time. That image is hard to reconcile with the blast furnace she conjures up live. For a recent show at The Blvd in Los Angeles, I crouched at stage left so I could take pictures. The pit was full of women — not a common sight. Evidently women here like to go commando. At one point, I found myself flying. The pit had bulged out, knocked me airborne like a golf ball off a tee, and thrown me for a one-yard loss. To incite such energy is power; Landmine Marathon are powerful.

Their new album Sovereign Descent comes out March 16, a month from today. You can hear a track from it here and pre-order it here and here. For a good bootleg of a recent Landmine show, see here.

— Cosmo Lee

More From Invisible Oranges