It's a good time to be a metal fan in St. Louis. No, not because of the corporate metal shows that roll through Verizon Wireless Amphitheater each summer (although Iron Maiden is welcome here any time), but because of the breadth of local musicians who are forming bands and playing songs right here. Some of the best metal shows of 2013 have been filled top-to-bottom with locals, and while nights like the one recently when St. Vitus (out of California) played the Firebird and Antichrist (Sweden) played Fubar still piss excellence, local heavy metal is what should get you out of the house. This year, the RFT named Black Fast as the best St. Louis metal band, but there are more bands you should check out, too. So here's our rundown -- in no particular order -- of nine other St. Louis metal bands to watch.
See also: St. Louis concert calendar
The Gorge is one of the Midwest's best metal bands. Whereas Meshuggah clones and djent worshippers try to sweep their way over 5/4 time signatures, the Gorge uses technical complexity to actually write songs. Few in the genre match its songwriting ability, due to the fact that the band is filled with educated musicians, not twenty-year-old kids with swoopy hair and eleven-string Schecter guitars. Having just returned from tour, the band is tighter and heavier than ever. The Gorge isn't just a good metal band -- it is a great band regardless of what label you affix to it. -- Kenny Snarzyk
Satan-worshipping, blackened thrash metal. That's all that really needs to be said about St. Louis' Bastard. Formed in 2012 out of the now-defunct Harkonin, and featuring members of Tyranny Enthroned and the Lion's Daughter, Bastard has quickly become a favorite among metal enthusiasts and musicians alike. Bastard, too, is a suitable moniker for this hell-child of Bathory and Motörhead; this is the audio equivalent to cutting your whiskey with the blood of a two-headed black ram and then mainlining it. Watch these gentlemen steal the spotlight at nearly any show they play. All hail Bastard! -- Kenny Snarzyk
TERRA CAPUT MUNDI
Terra Caput Mundi bangs out midtempo speed metal from a distant north-county galaxy. One can only assume that the band was formed two days into a malt-liquor-fueled game of Warhammer 40k while listening to Port Royal and Don't Break the Oath. Great riffs are played loosely under ambitious vocals that are reminiscent of a slightly inebriated King Diamond. This stuff is for metal purists who aren't looking to be trampled by 300 bpm triggered drums and Cookie Monster vocalists. 2013 saw TCM's new full-length, Lost in the Warp, which is the band's best work to date. -- Kenny Snarzyk
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