When: Mon., Feb. 13, 7 p.m. 2012
Founded in 1997 in New Orleans, Goatwhore really hit their stride in the mid-00s, finding the perfect blend of clarity and swampiness for their blackened death metal. Their Valentine's Day present, Blood for the Master (Metal Blade), is the eagerly awaited follow-up to their 2009 breakout album Carving Out the Eyes of God. With a structure and feel very similar to its predecessor, Blood for the Master doesn't fix what ain't broke: it's hardly the most radically innovative record you'll hear this year, nor does it try to be. It refines and intensifies the elements that made Carving work so well—among them Sammy Duet's distinctive guitar sound, which feels like being shredded by razor wire in a sandstorm, and the creative tension built into the songs, which crystallizes the war between the urge to write long apocalyptic epics and the urge to tear it up with punkish pithiness. —Monica Kendrick Lock Up headlines; Goatwhore, Strong Intention, Black September, and Austaras open.