Lists

Ten metal bands to watch in 2014

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10. Axeslasher Denver pizza and thrash metal lovers Axeslasher put out a killer album, Anthology of Terror, at the end of 2013 with very positive reviews from the underground metal world. With tongue-in-cheek titles like "Mark of the Pizzagram," Axeslasher vomited up a disgustingly brutal thrash album as sharp and gruesome as Jason Voorhee's machete and Freddy Krueger's claws.

9. Call of the Void The Boulder band Call of the Void signed to Relapse Records at the end of 2012 and then pounded out a furious album with an ill-omened titled Dragged Down A Dead End Path by the start of 2013. The band then turned around and premiered tracks and videos on sites like Pitchfork, Noisecreep and MetalSucks, and subsequently made four appearances at SXSW.

8. Unlocking the Truth Younger than a T-shirt, but older than a pair of socks, Unlocking the Truth kick it down with brutal old school metal while still attending school -- seventh grade. This Flatbush trio hit the web at the end of 2013 after New York's First Daughter Chiara de Blasio shocked metal media by stating that she enjoys listening to the raucous metal genre. The band plays instruments that look like little kids shuffling around in their parent's shoes, but in this case the heavy metal shoes fit and they should wear it.

7. Russian Circles Russian Circles goes down like high quality hard liquor, a filtered precision of progressive instrumental metal that floods the sensory system with intensity, making the listener more elated. Russian Circles may be more for a metal music buff than a casual listener, but you don't have to be a genius to understand what these smart rockers are doing. As instrumental metal music continues to grow stronger, so will this Chicago trio.

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Adam Steininger