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Best Metal Band 

Black Fast

The members of Black Fast don't play games; they play metal. Blistering, bludgeoning, no-holds-barred metal. The band's latest, August's Starving Out the Light, nimbly hopscotches through subgenres while maintaining an impressive technicality throughout. The lightning-quick guitar work by axmen Trevor Johanson and Aaron Akin is particularly noteworthy, as is Akin's unique, scorched-earth vocals. This is the music that the metal nerd who spends every waking moment sitting on the edge of his bed with a guitar in his hands dreams of playing. Black Fast's hyperfocus on musicianship — as opposed to petty nonsense like self-promotion — is paying off: You can hear the 10,000 hours of practice in each expertly executed riff and fill.

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