Blackest of the Black 

The Blackest of the Black Tour isn't exactly the cream of the crop. First, there's Dimmu Borgir, whose painfully self-aware "evilness" and overly slick black metal venture on self-parody. Danzig, as a nostalgia trip, might be worth the price of admission, but there have been a lot of years between Danzig III and now. But it's the bottom of the bill, not the top, that's got the heat. Hailing from Athens, Ohio, Skeletonwitch possesses all the attributes that make for great thrash without recycling old ideas. All the classic characteristics are intact, but the 'Witch manages to take the genre to a much darker place without falling into the self-seriousness trap of its tourmates. Even if the band name and spiky adornments are a bit campy — what's metal without a little showmanship? — the group sounds genuine. It's good, old-fashioned shredding, the way God never intended.

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