It's a good time to be young and metal in Chicago—and thankfully it's also a good time to be old and metal. Local death-metal scene pioneers Cianide
are stalwart winter soldiers, and they've been fighting the good fight since the late 80s. They've never been prolific, but the modus operandi they've pursued for the past quarter century—which seems to call for periodic spells of hibernation—has apparently been good for their overall health. Last year's Gods of Death
(Hells Headbangers), their sixth full-length, is a sick and satisfying chunk of gritty viscera that would've held up well in any decade. Thanks to the more welcoming atmosphere these days—"old-school death metal" is actually almost fashionable—Cianide have had the opportunity to show off what they can do at several fairly high-profile gigs, and a slew of reissues have brought their underappreciated early work to a whole new audience. The latest is Deathgasm's CD reissue of their 1992 full-length debut, The Dying Truth
, and the slickest is the Crypt's beautiful vinyl release of their second album, A Descent Into Hell
. They're writing new material for a forthcoming EP, so with any luck their release schedule won't follow a geological time scale forever. —Monica Kendrick The Gates of Slumber, Ares Kingdom, and Superchrist open.