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Avenged Sevenfold, Tsar, and more

With Warped and Ozzfest around the corner, Dropkick Murphys fans are debating whether it’s kosher to download the leaked version of their forthcoming The Warrior’s Code; and goth-metal kids are keeping up with Scandinavian death-rock titans HIM via the band’s in-studio Podcast — ’tis the season for metal and hardcore summer jams.

Avenged Sevenfold, "Beast and the Harlot" (Warner Bros)

A7X’s City of Evil (due June 7) may be emo-thrash’s Appetite for Destruction. The lead track is definitely the genre’s "Welcome to the Jungle." The singer borrows Axl’s technique of overdubbing high-pitched screeches over low-growled vocal lines, the riff from Metallica’s "Wherever I May Roam" makes a cameo, and two ax-ists of evil peel off eighteen kinds of ecstatic Iron Maiden twin-guitar shreddery, as Babylon falls to a seven-headed, 10-horned flying purple people eater.

Tsar, "Band, Girls, Money" (TVT) (reg. required)

California’s emerging hard-rock monarchy adds another figurehead: on the title track from their long-delayed glam-punk debut (out June 7), these Sunset Strippers make off with everything Buckcherry stood for, except the cocaine.

Turbonegro, "All My Friends Are Dead" (Burning Heart)

Scandinavians Tsar-style rock way better: just not when America’s looking. When they finally landed decent American distribution, the Hellacopters, Gluecifer, and Turbonegro all put out their worst albums. But Turbonegro’s new Party Animals (out in Europe last week, and not scheduled for US release) is nearly as massive as their 1999 deathpunk masterpiece Apocalypse Dudes; this song sounds like the Misfits’ "We Are 138" multiplied by the Ramones and the Dwarves.

The Unseen, "Weapons of Mass Deception" (Hellcat)

Sometimes it’s reassuring to see hardcore simply do what it’s supposed to: call bullshit, wear spikes, sing loud, sing proud. From the long-running Boston street-punk band’s Ken Casey-produced, Brett Gurewitz-mixed debut, "Weapons" is fully cocked and loaded, with air-raid guitars as sharp and (in the) red as Mark Unseen’s mohawk.

Crash and Burn, "Out of Reach" (Thorp)

"This record makes our first record sound like our second record," says frontman Bill Brown of C&B’s upcoming The Value of Mistrust. Translation: having ditched the stoner-y sludge-metal of Sick Again, they’ve returned to the high-octane motorpunk that made their "Kill a Punk for Rock and Roll" a local anthem. A three-minute kick in the teeth, "Out of Reach" answers paranoid lead-guitar squiggles with a ferocious, trash-compactor roar.

Issue Date: May 13 - 19, 2005
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