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Liturgy – Renihilation
Are we at the point of acknowledging the genre "hipster black metal"? It seems the American take on BM has been maligned with the dreaded "hipster" put-down. Krallice, Xasthur, Nachtmystium, and Wolves in the Throne room receive derision from the black metaler-tha…
The Catalyst – Swallow Your Teeth
A little maturation goes a long way. Youthful energy is key to aggressive music, but it takes experience and talent to channel that energy productively. In the case of The Catalyst, they've tightened the reins on the droopy tantrums of their previous EP's
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The Armed – These Are Lights
The Armed are young. You hear their youth in their energetic stitching together of various strands of punk and metal. A band like The Armed could not have existed ten years ago, or perhaps prior to Deadguy (who inspired Dillinger Escape Plan, who clearly inspired these Detroit dudes)
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Burnt by the Sun – Heart of Darkness
Unlike most of their counterparts, Burnt by the Sun combined extreme music with extreme politics. This was particularly welcome in the Bush 2 era, when protest of any sort stood tantamount to treason. Though many missed the violent velocities of drummer Dave Witte's prior acts Discordance Axis and H…
Disappearer – The Clearing
Boston's Disappearer certainly sound familiar with Neurosis' Through Silver in Blood. It's not surprising that they began as an instrumental trio in the vein of Pelican. The tempos trudge and the drums sound like they were recorded in Carlsbad Caverns (with bats in black orbits for ev…
Victims – Killer
D-beat has been beaten like a dead horse. Every new band with bullet belts and Amebix t-shirts thrashes through the motions. Though Victims will be new to many Americans thanks to Deathwish, Inc. reissuing their latest, Killer, they have torn up stages for a decade
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Iron Age – The Sleeping Eye
Though associated with the hardcore scene, Iron Age are a consummate metal band. They harken back to crossover's big bang in the late '80s. Corrosion of Conformity's Animosity and Cro-Mags' The Age of Quarrel surely serve as soundtracks in their van
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Tournament – Years Old
Tournament successfully marries the slow burn of Houdini-era Melvins with the swing of Drive Like Jehu. The band imbues its material with a seething, rumbling tone. As on debut EP Swordswallower, the songs drip noise, with shrieking guitars and cacophonous vocals
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Reign Supreme – Testing the Limits of Infinite
Philadelphia's Reign Supreme takes its cues from hardcore forebears who borrowed from metal: Hatebreed, Madball, Cro-Mags, and Agnostic Front. The blurring of lines between genres resulted in legions of reprehensible bands. Yet Reign Supreme stands out due to a firm (though formerly limited) co…
Dial – Self-Titled
The members of New Zealand's Dial probably grew up during the peak of AmRep. Their debut EP (Robotic Empire, 2009), a stateside re-release of their demo, demonstrates the hallmarks of the style: cavernous drums; downtuned, ragged guitars; bass as thick as cement; vocals like ipecac-induced vomi…

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