After dropping out of Juilliard's renowned art school, actor Dimitri Coats and dancer Melanie Campbell moved to Philadelphia, sharpened their skills on guitar and bass, respectively, and formed Burning Brides with drummer Mike Ambs. A melodically sludgy affair, the power trio earned post-grunge plaudits for 2000's Fall of the Plastic Empire, a heavy and hope-free debut widely compared to Nirvana's Bleach. High-profile tours with Queens of the Stone Age and Audioslave led to major-label interest from V2, resulting in last year's followup, Leave No Ashes, a cleaner-burning, less-corrosive offering produced by George Drakoulias (Tom Petty, Black Crowes). With new timekeeper Jason Kourkounis in tow, the Brides lean more toward riff rock than stoner indulgence nowadays, but they leave plenty of room for an occasional vampire waltz. Rounding out an exceptionally heavy bill with Mastodon and Early Man, Coats and company turn black-hearted bombast into an unholy union between feedback and fury. You may now extinguish the bride.
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