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Just like a metalhead crushed out on a demure honor-roll mathlete, the heavy-metal genre has always been trying to get to second base with the classical canon of epic verse—from Symphony X’s recent The Odyssey to the unforgettable rockification of Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” So Paradise Lost is almost certainly not the first band to employ Milton. And judging from the band picture for its new release, Symbol of Life (complete with the obligatory goateed bald guy), I braced myself for a faint-by-numbers nu-metal buggering. And though there are definitely some superfluous car-commercial electronica and sub-emo mope-outs (“I’m self-obsessed….My misery is when you breathe”), there are also some worthwhile riffs lurking in the metal melange. Besides, any metal band that follows up a Dead Can Dance cover with a take on Bronski Beat’s “Smalltown Boy” is either full of sapless geldings or responsible for stealing the giant fiery balls of the devil and stuffing them down its own gothy little britches. Paradise Lost plays with Opeth, Tapping the Vein, and Brave at 6:15 p.m. at Jaxx, 6355 Rolling Road, West Springfield. $20. (703) 569-5940. (David Dunlap Jr.)