The best metal shows in Denver in February

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TUES | MANOWAR at OGDEN THEATRE | 2/18/14 Manowar is powered by lyrics crowned in fantasy-flamed swords, armor, and everything having to do with metal warfare clashing into Norse mythology. Eric Adams's powerful vocals are steeped in wordy wizardry that really drives home the aggressive themes. "Man o' War" was a heavy firepower warship used from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth, and just like the warship, Manowar is bringing its own massive armory to the Mile High City to explode eardrums.

See also: All upcoming shows in our constantly updated Denver concert calendar

SUN | DEAFHEAVEN at MARQUIS THEATER | 2/16/14 Deafheaven's heart-bleeding black metal ebbs and flows with buzz-saw screams, twitchy fingering, and blast beats that escape and seep into the trippy. Searing and getting under the skin with raw confession, drama and infectious melody, the band's sophomore release, Sunbather, was arguably one of the best metal albums of 2013.

TUES | AMON AMARTH + ENSLAVED at SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | 2/11/14 Persistent conquerors of metal music sailing the ocean with lyrics that are armor-thick with Norse mythology, old worlds, Vikings, bloody battles and epic journeys, Amon Amarth can still knock out its enemies with double-bladed battle axes and alcohol-corroded vocals fit for a king. It will be a Scandinavian double bill at the Summit, with Norway's Enslaved bringing its progressive brand of black metal, which burns grand and atmospheric. The band's newer sound can throw off those who seek consistent aggression, but the outfit balances harsh and clean vocals far better than most bands.

FRI | PENTAGRAM at SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | 2/28/14 Influenced by Black Sabbath, Pentagram is considered one of the first doom metal bands, and the act influenced many other bands in that subgenre. Although prolific in the underground scene with shows, singles and demos in the '70s, the group didn't get around to releasing their first album until the band reached its early teens. Pentagram is one of those bands that are wildly underrated with a heavy and mean sound crusted over with creepy vocals from the only longtime member, Bobby Liebling.

WEDS | EXHUMED at MARQUIS THEATER | 2/5/14 Exhumed is geared up and ready to hack, maim and kill once again with a brutal carnage of death metal and grindcore, coated with screamed and grunted gory lyrics, witnessed through an allegorical lens that must have been created by Dr. Frankenstein. Full of sophisticated arrangements and instrumentation, Exhumed only gets better with each album. Toxic Holocaust is also on this excellent bill.

FRI | CHELSEA GRIN at OGDEN THEATRE | 2/7/14 Chelsea Grin is a deathcore act from Salt Lake City, beefed up with three guitarists who draw from a groundwork of hardcore and add in death metal precision and grindcore speed to contrast with soft vocals and headbanging melody. Though largely deathcore, the band has dabbled with some elements of doom, black and symphonic metal, while featuring its technical and melodic instrumentation. Falling in Reverse, Escape the Fate and Survive This! are also on this bill.

THURS | BRING ME THE HORIZON at OGDEN THEATRE | 2/13/14 Metal has evolved and mutated into countless different forms over the years. Fusing vicious chaotic screams with traditional double-bass punching and mixed with minimal instrumentation, Bring Me the Horizon is one of those bands that you either love or hate for precisely the same reasons. Of Mice, Issues and letlive are also on this bill.

WEDS | FOR TODAY at SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | 2/5/14 For Today is rare breed in the metal world: Christian. Apart from P.O.D. or As I Lay Dying, there are an infrequent few Christian metal bands that actually survive in such a Satan-loving genre, and For Today could very well find their way as well. The band's new album Fight the Silence was just released, so expect to be blessed with newer tracks, including two fresh singles "Pariah" and "Fight the Silence." Like Moths to Flames, Stray from the Path, the Plot In You and Fit for a King are also on this bill.

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