Visual artists don't usually get rock tours named after them. But Derek Hess has delivered unique and instantly recognizable cover art for so many metal and hardcore bands over the past few years that calling in favors to build a killer lineup is a snap.
Shadows Fall has just broken into the so-called big time, moving from Century Media to a major, and its farewell to independence, Fallout From the War, is an unexpectedly impressive collection of outtakes and weird covers. The band is sure to be pumping massive amounts of energy into its live show, so melodic thrashcore fans should stake out pit-space early.
Suffocation is a head-down, ultra-heavy N.Y.C. death-metal outfit with nothing to prove at this point -- its blend of technical skill and crushing riffs says it all, every time out.
Poison the Well was among the first melodic metalcore acts to sign with a major, putting out You Come Before You for Atlantic in '03.