Coffinworm, Lord Mantis, Hunters, Northless Soundboard

When: Sat., Aug. 20, 10 p.m. 2011

I sometimes suspect that most indie doom bands see the nihilistic lyrics and occult trappings of the genre—and of metal in general—as kind of silly, and thus surround them with ironic air quotes. No matter how hard they bang their heads, they can't shake the too-cool-for-this critic out of their brains. But this has its costs: if you aren't willing to write off the possibility that Aleister Crowley might not have been far off-base, at least in some senses, you'll inevitably find bands who take this approach to be lacking in a certain dark passion. You might mistake Indianapolis's Coffinworm for one of them—anyone who comes up with an over-the-top song title like "Spitting in Infinity's Asshole" has to be joking, right?—but these guys never break character, even in chummy interviews with, say, Brooklyn Vegan. ("Our name is in reference to Choronzon, the Dweller of the Abyss," goes one answer. "He stands symbolically as the last barrier between the adept and enlightenment, with the goal being the eradication of the ego.") Their 2009 demo, Great Bringer of Night, seized ears with the sinister resonance of its demonology, which it's damn hard to achieve unless you're sincere. For its follow-up, last year's When All Became None (Profound Lore), producer Sanford Parker honed their thick, intricate blackness into an oddly crisp primordial ooze—the sound of wicked skills meeting potent conviction. The next Coffinworm album is likely to come out next summer, so study carefully the texts—we've got to be prepared. —Monica Kendrick In the Volcano Room.

Price: $6

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