The ten best metal shows in Denver this April

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Kvelertak formed in 2007. Completely disregarding a line between metal and punk, the Stavanger, Norway-based act brings the sonic intensity and violent and frayed dynamics of bands like Breather Resist. The band's song "Mjød" appeared in the end credits for the 2010 film Trollhunter, and the group's latest record, Meir, was produced by Converge's Kurt Ballou. You may not understand the band's lyrics, but there is no mistaking the group's knack for melding chaos and precision.

See also:
- The fifty best concerts of spring
- Tom Hunting of Exodus on how building a song is like building the best sandwich
- Joey Belladonna of Anthrax talks rejoining the band

Starting life as City Kidd, Tesla already had a recording contract before taking on the new name and completing its 1986 debut album, Mechanical Resonance. Upon its release, that album was one of the few hard rock albums to cross over into a fully mainstream audience. The Sacremento-based act's song "Modern Day Cowboy" was a sharp critique of the international political climate of the day. And these guys might have remained a bit of a cult band if not for both 1989's Great Radio Controversy and its unexpected string of hits, followed up by the curious, yet incredibly well-timed Five Man Acoustical Jam album in 1990, which catapulted the group into the mainstream.

One of the original Bay Area thrash bands, the formal existence of Exodus actually predates that of the other bands of the movement by about a year. Founded by four friends including then and current drummer Tom Hunting and guitarist Kirk Hammett, the band started off with covers of bands out of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. After a couple of line-up changes, including Hammett leaving the group to be in Metallica, Exodus developed its signature sound. The power of the line-up was vividly captured on its classic 1985 debut album, Bonded By Blood, and has proved an enduring influence on thrash bands since. The band's 1989 album, Fabulous Disaster, broke the band to wider audiences through heavy airplay of the music video for "Toxic Waltz" on MTV's Headbanger's Ball. After a couple of hiatuses in the 1990s, Exodus returned seemingly with a vengeance. (Anthrax, High On Fire, Municipal Waste and Holy Grail are also on the bill for this stop of the Metal Alliance tour.)

Originally called the Mob, the group wisely chose a new name before releasing its first full-length, the concept album The Warning. Unlike many other bands that have tried their hands at concept albums, these guys seem to have put more thought into what they had to say and express without the letting the topical inspiration trump the long-term relevance of the lyrics. This side of the band's music perhaps reached its apex with the brilliant 1988 release, Operation: Mindcrime, a dark and fully realized exploration of political dirty work written from a personal perspective. The band found its greatest commercial success with 1990's Empire and a string of singles, including "Silent Lucidity." In 2012, there was a schism within the band, both allowed to use the same name. This show will be the band with original singer Geoff Tate.

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Nathan Haakinson
Nathan Haakinson

Uh, Stavanger is in Norway; Kvelertak is Norwegian; they sing in Norwegian.

Lisa Ray Girard
Lisa Ray Girard

not sure how "Tesla" fits into this line up - but cool.

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