Behold the Arctopus 

7 p.m. Friday, December 14. Pop's, 1403 Mississippi Avenue, Sauget, Illinois.

Danger and destruction are imminent, and an ominous presence dwells in the outskirts of our psyches: Behold the Arctopus is coming. Believe it or not, you really don't need to be a twelfth-level dungeon master to enjoy something as seemingly esoteric (read: nerdy) as prog metal. Anchored by the virtuoso hammering of a twelve-string Warr guitar and frequently wandering into the realms of improvisation and psychedelia — summoning, by sheer will, nano-nucleonic cyborgs — Arctopus still manages to keep things sounding heavy and intense. Pop's may not actually change into an alien-infested spaceship cruising the outer reaches of interstellar space, but if it does, at least we'll be able to play pinball. Oh, and headbang. Headbanging is important in outer space.

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