Ten must-see metal shows in Denver this month

Categories: Concerts

Bassist John Campbell, brother of 3 Kings Tavern co-owner Jeff Campbell, says that Lamb of God is "a punk band that plays heavy metal," which may seem counterintuitive on the surface level because Lamb of God has a sound similar to that of the groove-oriented, influential thrash band Pantera. But Randy Blythe's aggressive and distorted singing style is very much rooted in a more hardcore vocal style and the pulsing momentum of the instrumentation has the headlong pace of punk. But the guitar sound and its rapidly winding leads is pure metal. In 2012, Blythe was charged with manslaughter in the death of a fan in the Czech Republic. But last month, he was acquitted of all charges in that tragic and accidental death. So now, the band can tour with Blythe as a free man.

When Soundgarden started out in 1984, Chris Cornell was the drummer as well as the singer. That lasted about year and Cornell was soon fronting the band and playing guitar. The band became one of the original groups lumped in with "grunge," but when the band was first marketed to a national audience with its A&M debut, 1989's Louder Than Love, it was sold as heavy metal. But the metalheads that bought the record under those auspices discovered a band far musically stranger than most metal with deeply poetic lyrics about truly dark subjects that most heavy bands of the era weren't touching and today still don't much. The band broke to a mainstream audience around the time grunge became a nationwide phenomenon with the release of its 1991 album Badmotorfinger. These guys never got quite as big as say Nirvana or Pearl Jam, but it also never released a subpar record.

This Miami band formed in 2004 when Steve Brooks and Juan Montoya of influential doom band Floor got together with their friends Jonathan Nuñez and Rick Smith. Somewhere between sludge metal and noisier punk, Torche's sound has more in common with the likes of the Melvins, Helmet and Baroness than it does doom and stoner rock with which it is often associated, and that's mainly because Torche's songs aren't particularly slow nor drawn out. Instead there is an energetic drive behind the songwriting that takes the sounds of a swampy, psychedelic metal and accelerates it. The band's latest album, Harmonicraft, was mixed by Kurt Ballou of Converge and includes the cheekily titled "Kiss Me Dudely" -- a possible reference to Brooks' being one of the few openly gay musicians in metal.

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another vote for The Body. disgustingly heavy and underappreciated.

Grant Netzorg
Grant Netzorg

I'd add The Body @ 3 Kings on 5/9, and Ides of Gemini IDES OF GEMINI | IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS | WED MAY 22 @ LARIMER LOUNGE

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