Heavy lineup set to crack skulls at Doom in June III music fest

The power of the riff compels them.

There’s one thing that unites the acts that comprise this year’s Doom in June festival, which returns to Vegas this weekend, and that’s gargantuan guitars that register like tank treads flattening a thatched hut.

The 13-band lineup is as heavy as a buffet of planetoids.

In honor of this daylong marathon of power chords, here’s a sampling of the kind of signature riffage that you can expect from various Doom in June III bands:

■ Band: The Skull, a trad metal touchstone featuring singer Eric Wagner and bassist Ron Holzner, formerly of Chicago’s Trouble, one of the most influential doom metal bands ever, whose legacy lives on prominently in groups like Down, Place of Skulls and countless others.

Skull-caving riff: “The Tempter”

Onomatopoeic equivalent: Duh-duh-duh-duh-weedily-weedily-gnar-gnar.

Sounds like: A pair of wizards shooting lightning bolts at one another, but one of the wizards sports a stainless-steel studded codpiece, which refracts a bolt right back at the other wizard, totally crisping his beard.

■ Band: Manilla Road, the hard rock equivalent of a beloved cult flick like “Re-Animator” or maybe “Frankenhooker,” an underground favorite treasured by the few who have discovered them.

Skull-caving riff: “Stand Your Ground”

Onomatopoeic equivalent: Chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-rwwwaaaaaar.

Sounds like: Two sumo wrestlers slapping bellies with your head sandwiched between them.

■ Band: Karma to Burn, an instrumental power trio whose dense jams pack the brain-scrambling buzz of a Mason jar full of moonshine from their native West Virginia.

Skull-caving riff: “34”

Onomatopoeic equivalent: Ra-nanna-nanna-not-not-ra-nanna-nanna-not-not.

Sounds like: One brontosaurus insulting another’s mom. Skirmish ensues.

■ Band: The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, another instrumental power trio, this one featuring former Monster Magnet guitarist Ed Mundell, who shreds fretboards like Arthur Andersen does incriminating documents.

Skull-caving riff: “The Third Eye”

Onomatopoeic equivalent: Wanna-nanna-nanna-wanna-nanna-nanna-wuuuuh.

Sounds like: A thousand bongs being cleared by a thousand extraterrestrials, who then beam up a Taco Bell.

■ Band: Snail, Seattle stoner rockers who ooze riffs like their namesake does mucus trails.

Skull-caving riff: “Galaxies’ Lament”

Onomatopoeic equivalent: Nugga-nugga-nugga-ner-nah-nugga-nugga.

Sounds like: A thunder storm raining down cement-covered goat skulls in place of precipitation.

■ Band: Las Cruces, this doom quartet lists Dario Argento, G.G. Allin, boobs and Candlemass among their influences. Also, they’re from Texas, not New Mexico, as their handle might suggest, with a sound every bit as big as their home state.

Skull-caving riff: “Killer Kane”

Onomatopoeic equivalent: Nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-grr-grr-grr-grrrrrr.

Sounds like: A couple of yetis arguing over who ate the last piece of pizza.

■ Band: Demon Lung, witchy, goose-flesh inducing doom from Vegas. Locals rule! And not just in “Point Break.”

Skull-caving riff: “Eyes of Zamiel”

Onomatopoeic equivalent: Jun-jun-jun-jun-nuh-nuh-jun-jun-jun-roooooor.

Sounds like: That Satanic green glop from John Carpenter’s “Prince of Darkness” having learned how to play guitar.

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@ or 702-383-0476.

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