Like fellow Georgia natives Mastodon, Kylesa is one of a select group of metal acts that claim hipsters as fans, in addition to the usual legions of metalheads and punks. It’s easy to see why – their experimental, psychedelic-tinged sludge metal is blissfully heavy and mesmerizing. They also have not one, not two, but three singers – adding more depth to their already complex sound.

Kylesa plays Santos Party House on Saturday, October 22 as part of the True Til Deaf showcase.


Ventura, CA’s Warbringer doesn’t just carry the flag of new-school thrash—it sets it ablaze and displays it in all its furious glory for all to see. We’re talking double-bass drumming, high-speed shredding, and rage-laced vocals—the stuff of legends like Metallica. Be warned, though—the crowd gathered for this five-piece’s set will almost certainly erupt into a chaotic sea of moshing. In other words, it’s going to be totally awesome.

Warbringer plays Gramercy Theater on Tuesday, October 18.

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs is the solo moniker of Bone Awl drummer He Who Crushes Teeth (yes, that’s really his name). But this is no mere side project: it’s a one-man lo-fi black metal band, complete with death growls and stormy guitars, and definitely the only act of its kind at CMJ this year. If you’re looking for metal that pushes boundaries, Raspberry Bulbs is just the thing.

Raspberry Bulbs plays St. Vitus on Tuesday, October 18.

Meek Is Murder

If you like your math-rock breakdowns as vicious as a pack of wolverines and your songs taut and compact, look no further than Brooklyn’s favorite experimental grindcore band. Meek Is Murder is rage incarnate, with moans, yelps and machete-sharp instrumentation.

Meek Is Murder plays Union Pool on Saturday, October 22 as part of the 1000 Knives showcase.

Barn Burner

Montreal’s own Barn Burner is devoted to “cultivating the principles of partying and the ever lasting might of the riff”—call it the metal soundtrack to that weekend you’ll never forget. With slithering, filthy grooves and plenty of raw energy, these stoner-metal jesters will no doubt whip CMJ crowds into some kind of manic frenzy.

Barn Burner plays Europa on Friday, October 21 as part of the 1000 Knives/MetalSucks showcase.