Report: Massachusetts-Bred Heavy Metal Bands Have Music Industry Buzzing

Dave Wedge of has issued the following report:

Think of Massachusetts music and you probably think of AEROSMITH, NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK, NEW EDITION, THE CARS and the J. GEILS BAND.

But bursting forth from the Bay State is an ear-splitting wave of harder, brasher bands that have metal fans worldwide thrusting their devil horns in the air, praising Massachusetts as their Mecca — and wondering just what's in Boston's dirty water.

"Massachusetts is the spot right now. Massachusetts right now is just on fire," proclaims DEVILDRIVER bassist and Hub native Jon Miller. "I don't know what it is about Mass. but (the bands) are definitely having a major impact on the metal scene. I'm proud to be a part of it."

Led by the breakout success of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and SHADOWS FALL — both of which released critically acclaimed, Billboard-charting CDs last year — a nonstop barrage of Mass.-bred metal bands has the industry buzzing.

Nowhere is the clout of the local metal scene more evident than in this weekend's Sounds of the Underground tour, which pulls into Lowell's Tsongas Arena tomorrow with three Massachusetts bands in tow: UNEARTH, ALL THAT REMAINS and THE RED CHORD.

Also on the bill is DEVILDRIVER, which adds to the Mass. muscle with three Bay State-bred band members backing ex-COAL CHAMBER frontman Dez Fafara, a Californian.

"I can't venture a guess why this area is the new hotbed for heavy music," says ALL THAT REMAINS singer Phil Labonte. "I don't know what it is about a certain area, when there's a group of dudes that just pops with a certain sound."

That sound — dubbed metalcore — varies, but is always heavy and aggressive and involves a hook-heavy combination of screaming and singing.

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