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D.C.'s best metal albums of 2010

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010; 3:10 PM

SALOME

"Terminal"

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Virginia trio Salome offers a nontraditional take on doom metal: female vocals, no bass guitar. But Kat Katz's fierce roar more than matches her bandmates' raw thunder on this outstanding album, creating layers of sludgy noise that are as expansive as they are dense.

MISERY INDEX

"Heirs to Thievery"

The relentless grindcore of Baltimore/Bethesda quartet Misery Index hasn't lost an ounce of its venom on "Heirs to Thievery." But even more vigorous than the group's galloping and brutal riffs are the left-leaning (and well-informed) political rants choked out by vocalist Jason Netherton.

PERIPHERY

"Periphery"

A trio of guitars gives Periphery's debut album an impenetrable force. The Bethesda progressive metal group produces a texture that is both chaotic and nuanced, as new vocalist Spencer Sotelo slithers deftly between soaring melodies and a growling scream.

WRNLRD

"Death Drive"

Arlington band Wrnlrd covers tremendous ground on this short black metal EP, from ear-splitting, contorted noise to a simple, lulling piano melody. The variety works remarkably well, generating a sonic pandemonium that adds further obscurity to the band's mysterious identity.

DIVISION

"Control Issues"

Division sure knows how to write a catchy melody. The Woodbridge thrash quintet's horror-heavy lyrics on "Control Issues" are matched with insanely hummable riffs. Those earworms, plus the album's striking guitar solos, make this power-metal band an instant hit.

- Catherine P. Lewis


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