Every summer, a few of the bands on the Ozzfest tour decide that they're just not reaching enough people and embark on a series of off-day shows. This year, with the main-stage/second-stage lineup ridiculously strong, off-day tours like this one are equally worthwhile.
Mudvayne's first three albums charted a fascinating journey from jagged, technical rapcore to artful prog-thrash. Their fourth disc, Lost and Found, is more of a mainstream move; the band is reining in a tendency to overplay in favor of post-grunge hook-making. The members probably still bring it live, though.
Boston retro-thrashers Shadows Fall are still touring behind last year's The War Within, a very strong though hardly genre-busting effort. Watching singer Brian Fair shake his impossibly long dreads is just as much fun as hearing his John Bush-like bark/wail, but the riffs and beats are very solid and should fuel an energetic evening of mosh-pit madness.
In Flames has changed radically over time. Early discs like Colony were melodic, but still clearly death-metal. On more recent albums like Reroute to Remain and Soundtrack to Your Escape, the group added synths, gloss, and melody to its crunching thrash riffs. At this point, it might be the softest band on the bill.