Curious what's going on around town this weekend? Need some suggestions as to how to rock, dance, or krump in the Valley of the Sun? Don't fret: These are our Five Shows to See This Weekend.
You'd never know it if you took their black t-shirts, black hair and, well, black outlook at face value, but metalheads have no problem laughing at their own darkness. Cartoon Network's late night Adult Swim block capitalized on this with Metalocolypse, a show about a cartoon metal band that simultaneously celebrates the genre's fixation on gore and brutal imagery while cleverly taking the piss out of it. In 2007, the network commissioned a video for Athens, Ohio thrashers Skeletonwitch as part of their Metal Swim compilation. The hilarious clip shows the band wailing in earnest during a ridiculous battle royale between hordes of brain-hungry zombies and costumed furries.
Skeletonwitch is a particularly good example of dire heaviness approached with a lack of self-seriousness. The word "workmanlike" comes to mind when describing the band's blackened thrash sound, sans the connotation that the dudes are just phoning it in. Their latest record, Forever Abomination, has no-frills chug riffage without an ounce of guitar god pretense that still sounds anthemic and catchy. The relentless double-kick beats aren't very flashy but also never veer into boneheaded fills. Skeletonwitch hits hard and has a fun absence of pompousness, even as their blood-soaked lyrics ring deadly serious. --Chase Kamp