And The Sky
Went Red/Signs of Collapse
ATSWR were among the first bands to sign with Saw Her Ghost. A group that disbanded in 2007, their sound was hinged on common metalcore traits; meaty, chugging guitars and an utterly scything bass.
Detroit's Signs of Collapse, another recently disbanded group, had more steel on their forearms and drew from the well of death-metal with nearly nonstop intricate guitar and double bass drums.
Western Sky Ride (2007)
On paper, the collision of Neil Young and Black Sabbath might seem, oh, a bit odd. But Tennessee's Across Tundras pull it off. It gallops like early Sabbath but remains light and ethereal, as if it's channeling After The Gold Rush. Western Sky's atmosphere summons sunburned roads and dusty desert plains, all translated through lumbering guitar riffs.
Black Friday (2007)
As blunt-forceful and direct as hardcore can get, Grand Rapids' Brothers are at the peak of their musical evolution. And that ain't sayin' nothing negative because the band has the hardcore's organized bedlam down to a science. Neat!
The Nain Rouge
Whatever Helps You Sleep At Night (2006)
Detroit's The Nain Rouge were a monster band, a storied live act that could simply incinerate your mind if you happened to be up front. Biting prog-informed riffs would dance around a nearly cacophonous drumming, all seemingly locked into odd time signatures and rhythmic syncopation.
Incisor is the lethargic stepson of Slayer. The Ann Arbor trio shows Slayer's penchant for blood-soaked riffarama, yet it's catchy and damn near sing-song. No shit. More, Incisor keeps the tempo at a reflective, lurking pace.
Beast in the Field
Midland's Beast in the Field is a band with a very complete understanding of musical dynamics. Lechuguilla works within confines of post-metal, or whatever you want to call it. Its shimmering, meditative acoustic melodies give way to down-tuned guitars that skulk around, lingering in the damp atmosphere. So, yeah, it takes as much from doom metal as it does from hardcore.Kent Alexander is a Metro Times music critic. Send comments to [email protected]