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The discriminating geezer has few modern choices when it comes to loading his iPod on a dark day. Breadwinner, Reign in Blood, anything by the Unsane—fine choices all. But updating one’s wish-death-on-the-whole-freaking-world fantasies is difficult with records that have been serving that purpose for years. Mastodon’s scary, hairy metal can help, because for all its meaty manliness, it’s slow and tuneful enough that your rapidly disintegrating eardrums can still process it! The Atlanta group’s sublime mixture of humor, self-loathing, and anger is strong on this year’s Crack the Skye, a concept album that’s supposedly about a paraplegic in space. It’s not as good for handing out the stinkeye willy-nilly to the enemies you haven’t made yet as Blood Mountain, Mastodon’s 2006 masterwork, but it’s excellent for imagining them floating off into space, looks of terror pasted on their stupid little faces. Or you could listen to Lamb of God, which works great, too.
MASTODON PERFORMS WITH DETHKLOK, CONVERGE, AND HIGH ON FIRE AT 6:30 P.M. AT THE GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY PATRIOT CENTER, 4400 UNIVERSITY DRIVE, FAIRFAX. $35. (703) 993-3000.