It was metal night at the 9:30 club Thursday, featuring two relative newcomers to the scene, Slaughterhouse and Intruder. Neither is about to change the world with its music, nor is either about to expand the narrow boundaries of speed metal.

Finishing the night was Intruder, which was the more interesting of the two bands. Though it stuck to the required never-come-up-for-air formula of arranging its songs, the band had enough character to stand apart. This was due, in large measure, to vocalist James Hamilton's ability to go from rough snarling to high-pitched singing without sounding histrionic. The music was in service to the songs, not the reverse as is usual in the genre, with "T.M. (You Paid the Price)" standing out. The playing took a back seat to the hair, though, which was waved in unison a little too often, making the stage look full of giant pinwheels.

Slaughterhouse seemed too intent on being an arrogant in-your-face band to be concerned with interesting songs. Singer Steve Srozinski sounded like an angry John Kay of Steppenwolf, and his lyrics almost always followed the same AA-BB rhyme scheme (though the exact words were pretty hard to pick out). Combine that with a few too many songs in the same minor key, and you're ready for a nap. Pushing the bad-boys-in-torn-jeans image without the songs to back it up made for a dull show.