Royal Thunder just broke out. The Atlanta power trio's gothic proto-metal surges with stadium appeal – huge hooks, thick grooves, and a rhythm section locked in perpetual motion for the majority of last year's excellent CVI (Relapse). Bassist Mlny Parsonz proved a marquee R&B belter in disguise, a bruising hex dispenser with a voice fit for commanding thunderstorms. Think a black-hearted Grace Slick fronting Blue Cheer. The rest of Pitchfork's heavy metal parking lot more than lived up to its billing: Show No Mercy. Pallbearer earned the site's coveted Best New Music tag with 2012 debut Sorrow and Extinction. Live, the Arkansas quartet's celestial doom metal moved in tidal suites – deliberate and progressive, but never dull. Guitarist Brett Campbell's vocals clashed at times with his cathedral riffs, but it hardly dimmed the band's heavy, instrumental sway. Reputation preceded Trash Talk, and the Odd Future affiliates didn't disappoint, leading a circle pit that engulfed the entire lower section. The Sacramento hardcore outfit erupted in short bursts, with the violent disgust of Negative Approach and charismatic flailing of Keith Morris. In the Ohio outfit's only SXSW show, Skeletonwitch closed with its signature, grunted epics, somehow making grindcore majestic. It sounded like NWOBHM at a land speed record.
Artist / Band: Royal Thunder | Pallbearer | Trash Talk | Skeletonwitch
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