New England's Unearth stands distinct from the new wave of generic modern metal. Renowned for its live show, the neo-thrash quintet swirls shoulder-length mop tops, burning more calories than your average emo kid consumes in a year. Warming the stage for Slipknot last year, Unearth gave the nine-man metal machine a run for its money, banging heads like it's 1988 and delivering Maidenesque single-note leads. Touring behind the outstanding new III: In the Eyes of Fire
, the band has played Ozzfest and supported Mr. Osbourne, winning over tough crowds that came for Ozzy and grisly guitarist Zakk Wylde.
"We played an off-date show," recalls frontman Trevor Phipps. "It was Ozzy headlining, then Black Label [Society], Atreyu, and us. The front of the stage was all bikers. I'm not sure they understood what Atreyu was getting at. Then we hit the stage, and at first, it was these Hell's Angels dudes sitting, giving us thumbs down, and booing. But after two songs, they were on their feet, putting their horns in the air, having a good time. And to have older dudes say that tells us we're definitely doing something right."