Can doom be dynamic? That's a death-metal affirmative
PREVIEW Listening to Asunder is freaking me out. It's the middle of the night, the moon is full, and I was barely paying attention to the plodding funereal doom. That is, until I glimpsed a foreign movement from the corner of my eye and, sensing a phantasmic force, my heart plummeted into my guts. If John Gossard's eerie chants, likely effective at summoning Lucifer from the bowels of a very cold hell, didn't raise ghosts previously unheard from in my creaky Victorian, what did?
It's no secret if you're even passingly attuned to local music happenings or ever pick up this paper that the doom-death community on both sides of the Bay is close-knit and as prolific as a war graveyard at the height of collateral damage. But Asunder just might be the darkest, dreariest, and most melodically melancholy of them all. But it's too simple to relegate their metal dirges to the staid realm of the glacial and miserable; Asunder begs the question, "Can doom be dynamic?" and answers in the affirmative. Patience and subtlety, reverence and yes, the spiritual, are conjured in equal parts by down-tuned strings and minor keys. When their sophomore release, 2006's Works Will Come Undone (Profound Lore Records) produced by the East Bay's esteemed Billy Anderson (High on Fire, Saros) filled 72 minutes and 45 seconds with two epic tracks, it was risky but the foursome added enough slow complexity to make it work. Let their chilling arrangements and a newly upgraded sound system tempt your ghosts at the Oakland Metro Opera's grand reopening.
ASUNDER With Trees, Necrite, Skin Horse, and DJ Bad Jew. Fri/27, 8 p.m., $8. Oakland Metro Opera House, 630 Third St., Oakl. (510) 763-1146, www.oaklandmetro.org 
Asunder with Trouble and Mammatus. Wed/9, 8pm, $16-$18, Slim's, www.slims-sf.com