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Tuesday 5.20

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Raleigh
PaganFest
Volume 11—This traveling death and black metal tour won't do much for good will in U.S. relations with the Finnish or Swiss, but it's exactly what fans of the genre want—the darkest metal from the Scandinavian heartland. While American bands still try to get the music right, black metal is a distinct subculture there. See it up close and personal at this Raleigh show with Ensiferum, Turisas, Tyr, Eluveitie. The heavy starts at 8 p.m. —Chris Toenes


Raleigh
Torche, The Sword
Lincoln Theatre—Austin's The Sword gets by on steeping nostalgia, folding a union of Sabbath and Maiden and, of course, mythology into tunes like "Lords" and "The Black River," flourishing transcribed epics with acoustic end-caps and the occasional sample. The riffs are fine, but why does frontman J.D. Cronise still sound like he's leading a high school band?

Miami quartet Torche, however, does none of that: This year's Meanderthal is one of the most ambitious and accessible American metal record in years, tearing through motifs and memes and the band's own history with the sort of fear-nothing, conquer-all grit you expect from a band called something like The Sword. In 13 tracks that browbeat swiftly and efficiently over only 36 minutes, Torche lifts from wiry instrumental rock to meaty hook-driven glory to the viscous pummel for which it first earned its pedestal without one error. Given Meanderthal's chiseled, rich expanse, don't be surprised if opening slots for Torche is the closest it ever gets to fame. It's OK to be disappointed, though. Pay $10-$12 at 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Chapel Hill
Lach
The Cave—Back in 1984, Lach gave a genre its name—anti-folk—and its home—the New York Anti-folk Festival, originally hosted at his Lower East Side club The Fort. Turning out just five records over the last 17 years, Lach gives anti-folk a much-needed full band treatment on his newest, The Calm Before, but he'll likely be flying solo at the Cave. Still, he rarely tours, and he's kind of a legend. And you just loved Juno, right? With e-s guthrie at 10 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


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