Mastodon and Dethklok tonight at Roy Wilkins


Smiles, everyone! Mastodon.

Put Adult Swim's Dethklok beside real live rockers Mastodon, and let's run down the basic differences, shall we?

One is a cartoon. The other is, as far as we know, flesh and blood.

One is the ham-fisted satire of heavy metal's most tried and true tropes. The other is a logical extrapolation of those tropes to an absurd infinite.

But close your eyes, and you'll find what sonically separates the two is but the finest of musical hairs. And tonight, along with Converge and High On Fire, they'll be putting on a display that is as metal as mainstream American music gets this side of Anthrax in 1985 (pipe down, all you black metal fiends--I'm talking topside material).

Dethklok, in living (?) color.

Dethklok has made mainstream metal a divided house. The show is a runaway smash among Adult Swim fans who, let's face it, have been brand-washed enough to immediately love anything that bears the Adult Swim watermark. Its riffing on metal themes rarely penetrates the cutaneous layer, and contains enough oddball easy laughs that anyone, with a big enough bong rip, can withstand for the brevity of a single episode.

But metal is a genre rabidly preoccupied with criterion of purity. What is metal? And is a given band metal enough? These questions, and the pursuit of ever more specific sub-genres, are what keep 21st century heshers lying awake at night.

Whatever your opinion, they're packaged with some of the most unfuckwithable metal bands currently on the tour circuit. Mastodon's credentials need not be extolled. They're among the fastest and most technically adept mainstream metal band the current millenium has produced, and their cannabis imaginariums have produced some of the most mind-melting conceptual fodder since 2112.

And Converge? Well, they're a thrash band. A good one at that, a hair thrashier and more menacing than their peers--but it's proved a crucial hair. It's their upteenth tour in support of a major name band.

It's an anemic Friday, and it's been a drizzly, muffled week. What your body needs, even if you don't know it, is impromptu primal scream therapy. Sure, there's some shrinks offering it around town. But at 35 bucks, it's a damn sight cheaper, and more immediate, than standing on line with your MNCare card.

All ages. 6:00 P.M. $34.50 advance/$37.00 door. Roy Wilkins Auditorium, 199 West Kellogg, Saint Paul.