The best metal shows in Denver in September
PENTAGRAM @ SNOWBOARD ON THE BLOCK | SAT, 9/14/13
If you've seen Last Days Here, you're familiar with the frustrating tale of Pentagram. Formed in Virginia in the early '70s, the pioneering psychedelic metal band should have, by all accounts, realized massive worldwide fame. Instead, success evaded the outfit, thanks in part to the struggles its frontman (and sole core member) Bobby Liebling has faced over the years. Thankfully, "last days" is merely the title of the film focusing on the band. Pentagram, which has existed for decades in various forms on the fringes of obscurity, beloved by pretty much any metal fan who's come across its music, is still a going concern. Catch Pentagram with Havok, Kadavar and a slew of other acts at the first annual Snowboard on the Block festival.
VITAL REMAINS @ MARQUIS THEATER | THURS, 9/12/13
Vital Remains, from Providence, Rhode Island, has been around for more than twenty years. As pioneers of death metal, these guys aren't often among the first to be named by fans of the genre. However, the band's signature mixture of melodic yet punishing music blurs the line between death and black metal. From the beginning, Remains was vehemently anti-religion because of how it has been used as a means of warping minds and serving as a pretext for violence. In 2001, Deicide's Glen Benton joined Vital Remains for two albums, including the appropriately titled Dechristianize with its gleefully blasphemous lyrical content. The rapid-fire jackhammer kick drum and Paganini-esque guitar work can be off-putting, but there's no denying this group's sense of liberating outrage and seething intensity.
VALIENT THORR @ MARQUIS THEATER | MON, 9/9/13
Valient Thorr is from North Carolina by way of outer space (the players have constructed an amusingly overcooked personal cosmology involving a time machine, Venusian babies and Walt Disney), with each member taking the surname "Thorr" for reasons that have more to do with sensibility than sense. Sonically, meanwhile, the group exists in the twilight zone where modern rock and old-school metal overlap. Take "Parable of Daedalus," which juxtaposes overamped lyrics such as "Don't you fly too high!/'Cuz it's a long way down!" with crazed boogie riffs that seem to be fueled by moonshine. A lot of the music comes across as a goof, albeit a very entertaining one.
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME @ SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | MON, 9/23/13
With every album, Between the Buried and Me continues to find new, unexplored territories of the progressive metal world, stabbing forward with a meticulously polished nimbleness with their instruments and the world-isn't-flat kind of an attitude towards music. The band's multi-layered maze isn't for everyone, but for those seeking a challenge with their ears, Between the Buried and Me could put you in the right place and time.