The six best metal shows in Denver this month
4. TESTAMENT @ SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | MON, 2/25/13
Testament is one of the bands that you can make a strong case for expanding the Big 4 to the Big 5. The Bay Area act was part of the original thrash movement, which fused the precision and savagery of speed metal with the intensity of hardcore punk. For nearly three decades, Testament has been putting out some of the most consistently interesting heavy music anywhere, even in the face of lineup changes. Distinguishing itself from its peers with Chuck Billy's musical vocals and a guitar team that excels at slashing rhythms and tastefully blistering leads, Testament's songwriting has always seemed to find new ways of making brutal music haunting. Even when the general music audience turned its back on much of metal in the early '90s, outfits like Testament continued to thrive because its popularity never relied on fashion statements and trends. (Overkill and Flotsam & Jetsam are also on this bill.)
3. OM @ LARIMER LOUNGE | WEDS, 2/13/13
Al Cisneros and Chris Haikus of Sleep formed OM in 2003, making music that was both heavy and which drew on the techniques of archaic, meditative music. With a simple and early formula of bass and drums, OM's hypnotically repetitive exercises in sound seem to tap into that resonant frequency of the Earth itself by intuitively extrapolating its own rhythms. Haikus left the project in 2008 and Emil Amos of the like-minded Grails and psychedelic band Holy Sons has been the drummer ever since. Last year's Advaitic Songs makes the connection with traditional Arabic song structure and atmospherics more explicit and haunting.