Ten of the Best Metal Bands in Denver in 2016

Dreadnought Boutte Photography and Design

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click to enlarge Morgue Whore - PHOTO COURTESY MORGUE WHORE
Morgue Whore
Photo courtesy Morgue Whore
6. Morgue Whore
2016 Album: Morgue Whore

Morgue Whore sounds like it took black-metal roots and Slayer and crafted something with the mysteriousness and bluntness of the former and the aggression and dark melodies of the latter to make something that sounds vicious and shockingly heavy. The band's self-titled debut album, released in 2016, helped establish Morgue Whore as one of the most interesting metal bands from Colorado.
click to enlarge Necropanther - TOM MURPHY
Tom Murphy
7. Necropanther
2016 Album: Necropanther

There is something strikingly retro-thrash about Necropanther's music and presentation. Yet it sounds like an original band from the first wave of thrash in the ’80s rather than a cheap imitator. Necropanther's self-titled debut is a dystopian science-fiction novel in album form, and reminiscent of mid-’8os death metal like early Autopsy in the best way.
click to enlarge Neverkenezzard - LINDSAY AKIYAMA
Lindsay Akiyama
8. Neverkenezzard
2016 Album: Never Say...

While Neverkenezzard is reminiscent of a doom/sludge band, there's something off-kilter about its use of sound and unusual rhythms. Because of that, the group's music is more like Melvins-esque sludge punk or even Meshuggah's technical metal. Neverkenezzard's 2016 debut Never Say... is a trip into unusual territories for heavy music: a mashup of Mike Patton's harder rock songs with John Zorn's avant-garde stylings.

click to enlarge Primitive Man - TOM MURPHY
Primitive Man
Tom Murphy
9. Primitive Man
2016 Release: 12” split with Sea Bastard

Primitive Man has put Denver doom on the map with its aggressive national and international touring in the last few years, including shows at prestigious events like Roadburn Festival, Netherlands Deathfest and Maryland Deathfest. In the last two years, Primitive Man has mainly put out split releases with some of the bandmembers' friends. Expect a new record from this veteran deathgrind juggernaut later in 2017.

click to enlarge Space in Time - TOM MURPHY
Space in Time
Tom Murphy
10. Space in Time
2016 EP: Space in Time

Space in Time long ago pulled an interesting trick: making retro heavy music that didn't sound like offerings from a tribute band. On 2016's self-titled EP, the first with vocalist Suzanne Magnuson, the group pushed its keyboard-driven metal, inspired by ’70s hard-rock bands Uriah Heep and Deep Purple, into a more psychedelic-rock realm than it had on previous records.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.