Even though all these bands fall under one metal rubric or another, it's odd to see them on a bill together. Sweden's Evergrey, touring behind their intricate yet sweeping fourth album, Recreation Day (Inside Out), bring a capital-R romantic, almost prayerful approach to their fast avian runs and wispy swirls of keyboard; the heavy riffs mostly serve to set off this complexity. By contrast Detroit's morbid Black Dahlia Murder (who just played here two weeks ago) don't allow much room for mood changes or even breathing--once their debut, Unhallowed (Metal Blade), kicks off, it doesn't stop kicking. The two guitars twist and whirl over the unrelenting rhythms at hurricane speed. Headliners Arch Enemy (more Swedes) are led by Michael Amott, who knows a thing or two about sheer brutality from his days with the death-metal band Carnage and UK grindcore pioneers Carcass. He's moved in a more melodic direction since (though the demo for Arch Enemy's 1996 debut, Black Earth, was a hit on the Swedish death-metal scene). The modified lineup that produced the new Anthems of Rebellion (Century Media) is one savagely tight unit. I spent a good minute wondering what made the growling howl of the vocals sound so truly otherworldly; checking the liner notes I realized that it's because it's coming out of a woman. Also on the bill: Hate Eternal. Wednesday, September 3, 6 PM, Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton; 773-975-0505.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Adde.