Rock 'n' roll is one of two jobs in which you are encouraged to set your tools on fire when you're done with them—the other, of course, is dentistry. Hear hot licks with this GrouponLive deal to see Anthrax and Testament, with special guest Death Angel, at the Burton Cummings Theatre. For $28, you get one ticket for seating in all rows of the first balcony or rows A–D or the second balcony on Tuesday, September 25, at 8 p.m. (up to a $47.75 value, including all fees). Doors open at 7 p.m.
Although often lumped into the same category, thrash metal has little in common with hair metal. Thrashers ditched many classes in metal school, especially the ones about crafting ballads, wearing rouge, or strumming their guitars. They jumped straight to the advanced courses and mastered a genre not intended for the meek. Thrash is a ferocious beast, a sadomasochistic affair between player and instrument, where stopwatches die trying to clock how many beats flew by in the last minute. In the 1980s, a handful of bands took thrash from the underground to the forefront, inviting listeners into their brakeless speed-metal vehicles and leaving skid marks across the pop charts. In 2012, three of the most revered outfits in the history of thrash return—sharpened, harder, and faster than ever.
For many listeners, the multiplatinum and Grammy–nominated warhorse of Anthrax was the gateway band to hard metal. Dubbed one of the “big four” of thrash in a list along with Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer, Anthrax introduced audiences to a new world of blitzkrieg, and they persevered without having to hire a band therapist or borrow money from Satan. Since 1981, founding guitarist Scott Ian and his band of jackals have enticed a broad spectrum of fans with a dense and dexterous sound. Not just headbangers railing against the world, Anthrax is also prone to laying down seasick grooves, as heard on their famed Public Enemy collaboration “Bring The Noise.” With original singer Joey Belladonna back on the mic, Anthrax continues to push the envelope with their latest album Worship Music, which contains odes to metal heroes such as Dio and Judas Priest and the zombie-killing anthem “Fight ‘Em Til You Can’t.” The band infects audiences with these latest sonic biohazards during their live show, along with classics such as “Caught in a Mosh” and “Antisocial.”
If the world runs out of jackhammers, it still has the pneumatic music of Testament. Able to drill straight to the earth’s core in the first 30 seconds of any of their songs, the death metal pioneers and belles of MTV’s Headbangers Ball have refused to tread water since their debut album, The Legacy, first throttled listeners in 1987. Live, Testament scares the sun back into its hole with tracks from its latest album, Dark Roots of the Earth, and epic favorites such as “Over the Wall” and “Disciples on the Watch.” Fellow Bay Area thrash heroes Death Angel start the show with breakneck time-signature changes, guitar riffs that gallop like burning horses, and Mark Osegueda’s heaving vocals as they lob audio grenades from their recently reissued classic The Ultra-Violence.