Metal bands taking stage at Four Queens’ club

White high-tops? Check.

Blue jeans tighter than a clenched fist? Check.

Songs about nuclear holocaust and angry bears? As if you even had to ask.

Break out the bullet belts, thrash is back. Although the dudes in Testament could make a strong argument that it never really went anywhere to begin with.

The Bay Area brutes were among the leading lights of the ’80s speed metal ranks, with a virtuoso guitarist (Alex Skolnick) and a keen sense of gruff melody to leaven their fast-and-furious charge.

Despite seeing its profile drop a bit in the late ’90s, the band issued some of its most fierce efforts yet, ratcheting up the intensity with guttural, death-metal flourishes.

Now, the group is back with a ferocious new album, “The Formation of Damnation,” and most of its original lineup intact to educate all the new school thrashers on who remains at the head of the class.

See the band at 8 p.m. today at the Canyon Club at the Four Queens, 202 Fremont St., with Laaz Rockit and Avenger of Blood. Tickets are $20; call 387-5175.

Speaking of intense, Dillinger Escape Plan gigs are like back-alley knife fights: thrilling, for sure, but likely to send you home with a bouquet of fresh bruises.

Dizzyingly technical, the band rivals acts such as Meshuggah, Opeth and Origin for music geek supremacy in the metal ranks.

On its superb latest disc, “Ire Works,” Dillinger continues to infuse its dense, schizophrenic outbursts with cleanly sung vocals and the kind of melodic smarts that bands of this ilk seldom harness as effectively as this bunch has been doing of late.

Just make sure there are plenty of Band-Aids in the medicine cabinet.

See the band at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Canyon Club at the Four Queens, 202 Fremont St., with The Bled and Heavy Heavy Low Low. Tickets are $16.50; call 387-5175.

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at or (702) 383-0476.


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