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Derailed

With a safety record to rival Amtrak's, Derailed conducts runaway locomotives of the headbanging variety. Fast and heavy, the trio -- guitarist/frontman Russ Fahnestock, bassist Matt Flanagan and drummer Scott Lewis -- cranks the decibels up past hardcore's pain threshold for a pleasingly melodic, punk-informed brand of gritty, proletarian metal. More than a little indebted to the classic, behemoth sounds of Black Sabbath (the three moonlight with ex-Boss 302 crooner Rich Groskopf, as an amusing Ozzy-channels-Morrissey entity known as the Black Smiths), Derailed knows exactly how far to ride the "Crazy Train" before balling the jack in its own right. Masters of the sped-up power dirge, Fahnestock and company rode the rails with distinction on last year's impressive Noise Tent 2002 sampler -- something of a harbinger of spring in these here parts -- and followed it up six months later with their debut full-length, Apocalypse Later. Warming up the stage for Hydra Head Records' nationally touring showcase of ultra-heavy acts on Thursday, August 14, at the Larimer Lounge, Derailed joins New Hampshire's Scissorfight, Seattle's Harkonen and Chicago-based Pelican for an evening of shredding bombast, rock-steady riffs and Flying V guitar haze. Admit it: A band like this comes in handy during those precious moments when you want nothing so much as to smash somebody's face.

 
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