New England's Unearth stands out from the new wave of generic modern metal. Renowned for its live show, the neo-thrash quintet swirls shoulder-length mop tops, burning more calories than your average emo kid consumes in a year. In 2005, the act supported Slipknot and gave the nine-man metal machine a run for its money. And during a stint on Ozzfest, the group won over tough, biker-heavy crowds that came for Ozzy and grisly guitarist Zakk Wylde. Banging heads like it was 1988 with its Maidenesque single-note leads, Unearth inspired grizzled Hells Angels dudes who had previously been sitting down and booing to throw up the horns after a few songs. This time out, the band -- which is touring behind its latest effort, the outstanding new III: In the Eyes of Fire -- has the herculean task of warming up the stage for Slayer. Needless to say, it's more than up to the task.


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