Skeletonwitch and Howl are either on your top-five list of rising metal bands or they will be by the time the show's over. The former plays death-infected, blackened steel that sounds like a thrashier, faster, less-intelligible version of Dethklok. Both of Skeletonwitch's albums — including last year's critically hailed Breathing the Fire — have been released on Prosthetic, the LA label whose roster includes Gojira, and its boosters include Pantera's Phil Anselmo and Glenn Danzig. Howl's big, dirty, rocking metal is every bit as catchy as it is abrasive. The Rhode Island riff machine is signed to Relapse and recently gigged with Eyehategod and Converge side-project Doomriders. Guitarist Andrea Black — who has platinum hair and a white flying V to match — once manned Torche's merch booth. And now that the band is recording its full-length debut, everyone's apprenticeship is about to end.
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