Summer Slaughter Tour

Throw in three or four majority whips with reliable fanbases and good reputations, and you've got yourself a Congress of carnage

PREVIEW Summer metal tours, notably Ozzfest, operate like feudal hierarchies. As night descends and the stages get bigger, lesser known vassals doing fealty in the parking lot give way to the landed headbanger aristocracy, who in turn cede the stage to some anointed monarch of metal.

In recent years, package deals like Summer Slaughter have taken a more republican approach, recruiting bands of middling stature to represent a vast array of black-hoodied constituents. Though the ticket buyer is not snared by the ermine-furred eminence of a Maiden or a Priest, a large number of quality upstarts can cast a wide net. Throw in three or four majority whips with reliable fanbases and good reputations, and you've got yourself a Congress of carnage.

Suffocation is the biggest name on the bill, and the veteran New York City death metal band will cater to the "never-too-brutal" crowd with its bludgeoning low-end assaults, including cuts off a new full-length, Blood Oath (Nuclear Blast). Death-heads will also be there for cult German tech outfit Necrophagist, whose impossible chops and mind-bending arrangements justifies its headlining spot.

D.C. thrashers Darkest Hour is embarking on its first U.S. run without departed lead guitarist Kris Norris, and will be eager to show its many detractors the fighting fitness of a new lineup and a new, Norris-less album, The Eternal Return (Victory Records). Folk-inflected Finnish battlers Ensiferum round out the tour's Big Four, promising the best in war-kilts and anthemic, epic barrages. Whatever your particular poison, slaughter is imminent.

SUMMER SLAUGHTER TOUR With Winds of Plague, Dying Fetus, Born of Osiris, Origin, Beneath the Massacre, After the Burial, Decrepit Birth, Blackguard. Wed/1, 2:30 p.m. $30. Regency Grand Ballroom, 1290 Sutter, SF. (415) 673-5716.

Also from this author

  • The new (open) world order

    YEAR IN GAMER 2011: Red Dead Redemption dominated, but Elder Scrolls vs. Skyrim dazzled and Mineshaft's open world was wondrous

  • Sequel smackdown

    FALL ARTS PREVIEW: Eagerly, and maybe not so eagerly, awaited upcoming video game releases

  • Doom resurrection

    With Last Rites, veteran metal band Pentagram finds a new beginning

  • Also in this section

  • Good things, small packages

    33 1/3, the ultimate record collector's novella series, turns 10

  • No thanks, Bono

    Three new albums that should magically appear on your iPod in place of Songs of Innocence

  • A show a day: Your fall music calendar

    FALL ARTS 2014 Like a daily multivitamin, your recommended dose of live shows through November