Volume 11 Tavern—In 2000, 16 years after Arlington, Va., death metal band Deceased let it bleed for the first time, an interviewer asked King Fowley—he of the barbaric bellow and heavy if simplified drumming—what Deceased would be doing in two decades: "Banging our heads in front of Marshall stacks with a smile from ear to ear!!! Maybe some arthritis and nerve damage, but other then that, doing fine!!!" replied Fowley, ostensibly pounding the words and exclamation marks on a keyboard with his drumsticks.
Lo and behold, it's 2009, and the dude's nearly halfway to his prediction. Deceased is back on the road with new songs that—as always—churn with dark themes, sharp harmonized riffs and bellicose rhythms. Soon after becoming the first band to sign to the now-legendary Relapse Records, some critics vaunted Deceased as needed metal throwbacks who would keep the spirits of both Scorpions and Black Sabbath alive. They've done that to an extent with their literary-minded thrum, taking care never to bend the heavy wheel they've long been rolling. If you're expecting innovation from dudes who've been around long enough to crack the form, pass tonight and save your funds for Absu. If you want to get down front and lose it a little, the music starts at 8 p.m., and admission will crack 10 of your bones. Chapel Hill's Legion of the Fallen headlines; Souless and Armored Uprise open. —Grayson Currin
2009 Triangle Blues Society Blues Challenge
Berkeley Cafe—Blues isn't any one sound, just as it isn't any one feeling. Despair, anger, hope: They can ferment lonesome acoustic picking as well as they can fuel raucous electric grooves. The Triangle Blues Society (TBS, unaffiliated with Ted Turner, we're told) has supported the varied blues of the area since 1991. To wit, the 2009 TBS Blues Challenge brings four diverse solo-or-duo acts and six full bands into competition for a chance to advance to the 2010 International Blues Challenge.
Highlights include acoustic guitarist Drew Questell, a highly technical player moving with nervous, youthful speed. On the other side of the spectrum, Hard Travelin' jumps up like a citified blues band, a down-home Southern flair at its back. Other acts include Bullfrog, E-Train & Mississippi Mike, Steve Jack & David Burke, Chickenhead Blues Band, Cool Change Blues Band, Fat Bastard Blues Band, Good Rocking Sam, and Wheels of Fire. And, rumor has it, there will be a 13-foot-tall electric guitar on hand. The 8 p.m. show runs $10. —Andrew Ritchey