It’s really pretty simple: Dope Body operates on an imaginary axis somewhere between the Jesus Lizard and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, erecting a wall of demented noise-rock one moment and throwing a herky-jerky, funk-fried rave-up the next. Actually, it sounds pretty fucked when I break it down like that—but this “formula” (not that there’s any evidence the Baltimore four-piece thinks of itself this way) has long been a key component of Dope Body’s magic. The new Lifer (Drag City) isn’t quite as fresh and electric as 2012’s Natural History, but it again features Andrew Laumann crossing the enormous stylistic gap between a certain pair of frequently shirtless weirdo front men and guitarist Zachary Utz alternating between mellow acid-trip riffs and cannon barrages of sludge and feedback. The album’s best cuts, such as the groove-heavy “Hired Gun” and the fierce, chugging “AOL,” are the ones that sound the most crackling and unpredictable, like a dozen lit fuses tied together and snaking their way toward God knows what. But Dope Body’s volatility still sounds best onstage, with Laumann physically attacking each song and the rest of the dudes happily joining in. —Kevin Warwick $10
Over-the-top Copenhagen band Mercyful Fate came together in 1981, playing prog rock tinged with heavy metal and fronted by Kim Bendix Petersen, better known as King Diamond—a corpsepainted, card-carrying Satanist wielding a handheld microphone stand fashioned out of genuine human bones. In many ways the group laid the groundwork for the dramatically evil aesthetic of the impending Norwegian black-metal movement, but not necessarily in the vocal department—Petersen sang in a high-pitched, theatrical falsetto that could’ve passed for hilarious if only it didn’t dip so effortlessly into a terrifyingly inhuman growl. He didn’t really come into his own as King Diamond until he started releasing solo albums in 1985, beginning with a nearly perfect series of concept records—including Abigail, Fatal Portrait, and “Them”—that tell detailed stories of vengeful, murderous spirits and malign forces that travel to hell and back. At the forefront are Petersen’s angelic, multitracked vocals and dramatic keyboards, and he draws the listener into his tales by shaping his voice into that of different characters, kind of like Peter Gabriel during his Genesis stint. Over the decades Petersen has reunited here and there with Mercyful Fate, and he’s never stopped releasing solo material; his most recent is 2007’s Give Me Your Soul . . . Please. A brand-new album is due next year. —Luca Cimarusti
This is one of our Fall Arts Best Bets for Music.sold out
Few got the chance to see the first openly gay country band during its initial run in the 70s, but Lavender Country's 1973 self-titled debut still resonates. Seattle nonprofit Gay Community Social Services pressed 1,000 copies just a handful of years after the Stonewall riots, and Lavender Country remains a remarkable document of a disenfranchised community fighting to persevere. Continue reading >>
This is one of our Fall Arts Best Bets for Music.
The longtime Floridian metal meisters—whose 1987 Scream Bloody Gore is often cited as one of the earliest death-metal albums—melt faces at Metro. Obituary, Massacre, and Rivers of Nihl open.