2009 in review: Metal 

Great albums

2009 turned out to be a killer year for albums. Bands like Mastodon, Them Crooked Vultures, Fu Manchu, Slayer and Nubula all put out releases as strong and vital as any in metal's history. Our humble burg was no exception: stellar, career best albums arrived from the likes of Bulletwolf, Sosayeth, Devil To Pay and The Gates of Slumber (the last of which is getting ready to begin a high profile tour opening for Pentagram.) The good stuff looks as if it will continue to roll in early 2010 as Apostle of Solitude prepares to drop an eagerly awaited LP on both sides of the pond.

Lots of good shows

From Avenged Sevenfold to Mayhem, Lamb of God to Metallica, there seemed to be more first-rate national bands coming through than ever. Locally, a tight-knit community of bands delivers killer diller shows almost every week. In fact, our scene is so cool that out of town bands like Ohio's Lo-Pan have adopted Indy as a second home. And Dudefest is considered one of the best metal showcases in the country.

The Priest

A real treat for the city, the pre-tour warm-up show in the Murat Theater included a performance of British Steel in its entirety. The band was in top form and Rob Halford remains a metal god. Hands down, the show of the decade, metal or otherwise.

The bad news

Priest didn't sell out. Several high-profile shows struggled to pack in bodies. Blame it on the economy, bad promotion or the waning interest of an aging fan base. If we keep this up, it could mean more bands passing us by on their tour schedules. The fact that Pentagram with our own The Gates of Slumber won't be making an appearance here is particularly troubling.

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