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Origin/Hate Eternal 

When: Tue., June 21, 8 p.m. 2011
Price: $17, $19

There are a kajillion metal bands these days. No longer relegated to the margins, the genre has proliferated into dozens of scenes and subscenes -- even in the most obscure places, thanks to the Internet. And that means that bands have gotten more extreme -- compositionally and technically -- so much so that you keep thinking your ears can't possibly hear anything more outlandish and un-human (stuff from the Eighties sounds quaint in comparison). So who's the heaviest? The most brutal? Those are relative terms, of course. But according to one of the founders of the widely-read MetalSucks blog, it'sHate Eternal. Hailing from the death metal state (Florida), the band plays an ultra-aggressive form of death metal -- hyper-fast picking, hyper-fast double bass, changes galore (veering toward grindcore territory) -- that the act of listening can be somewhat exhausting, yet stunning at the same time. Its just-released fifth album,Phoenix Amongst the Ashes, shows the band ramping up the intensity (if that were possible), and will surely land on critics' lists of the year's best discs. The band's lineup has changed quite a bit over the years, with members of such metal heavyweights asNile,Suffocation,andDyingFetus, among others, but it's now a trio led by founder and singer-guitarist Erik Rutan(formerly ofMorbid Angel). Catch them atSlim's(333 11th St., San Francisco) on Tuesday, June 21, withOrigin, Vital Remains, andAbysmal Dawn. 8 p.m., $17, $19.

— Kathleen Richards


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