Because North Austin is about as metal as properly observing the Sabbath, heavy-shredders Encore Records have been Born Again just east of the highway under a giant neon sign that aims to draw in both Longhorns and devil horns, staying open until the darkest hour possible: midnight.
Going even louder than Ozzy, Iommi, Butler & Ward -- and deeper than the other Big Four (Metallica/Anthrax/Slayer/Megadeth), here's a slew of staff recommendations to ease you in to gratifying torment. Click hyperlinks for tunes:
Kreator, Phantom Antichrist
Some say this veteran act went a little soft with this new album, but the spectre of godlessness still haunts their thrashy, melodic power metal.
The Sword, Warp Riders
Transcend time and space with this stoner’s delight that sounds like Wolfmother meets Mastodon meets a frozen pizza.
Maligno, The Funeral Domine
Visually and sonically melodic, rhythmic, and doomy, this album should be sex to Slayer’s ears.
Versus the Stillborn-Minded, Treatise on Ruins
Super sludgy, decelerated and hardcore, VTSM sounds like the ugly bastard child of Black Sabbath, which is actually not the reunited Deep Purple.
Mala Suerte, The Shadow Tradition
Encore’s own shop clerk Gary Rosas heads this local sludge metal band, and admits he needs to back off the anguished, emotive screaming just a tad.
Broken Teeth, Viva La Rock, Fantastico!
This local band’s head-splitting, ACDC-style hard rock sounds like the backdrop to an MMA fight.
Warchetype, Lord of the Cave Worm
Limited to 500 vinyl copies, this rarity features one 36min track of classic metal injected with hardcore thrash, or what Nikki Sixx should've injected into his veins instead of whiskey. WTF was that all about, Nikki?
They're also aiming to outfit more than just your music player, with an immense collection of band tees that are nearly entirely black -- wear one home on the Sabbath, and mom will know you're smoking that Sweet Leaf.