The 2012 Riverfront Times Music Showcase is a month away. And if that is our own St. Louis Music holiday, then consider this the season: Over the next month, we'll be making our cases for all 125 bands and artists nominated for an RFT Music Award this year. Each weekday between now and the showcase on June 2, we'll introduce the nominees from one or more of our 25 categories. For each artist you will find a photo, a streaming track to sample and a few words from the staff at RFT Music.
Fister Since 2009, Fister has stood tall as a singular pillar in St. Louis' metal community. Known for delivering Sabbath-esque doom at a snail's pace, the band's skillful dynamics traverse the tried elements that plague the genre. Aiming to be the loudest band in the city, Fister trudges on with roughneck progressions through a wall of amps, delivering a drudging exultation of fire and brimstone. Worshipping at the broken altar of bands such as Sleep and Dopethrone, its songs bellow with a darkened swagger, baptized in weed smoke and sworn to all that is unholy. Though humorous titles like "Witchfucker" and "Mazda of Puppets" hint at blatant parody, their music serves as a serious testament to true passion and solid musicianship. This month finds the shred-heavy trio releasing The Infernal Paramount EP, some of its most realized and lethal material to date. --Josh Levi
Jack Buck Opting out of the masculine gestures of contemporary metal, Jack Buck relays a fresh sound through a bending of genre conventions. Guitarist Chase Marci shreds brilliantly on noise rock-inspired riffage while Colin Webb provides a guttural punch with his vocals. Percussionist Daniel Ruder grounds the proceedings with deliberate and meaty rhythm, keen to the sharp beats of Touch and Go alumni Shellac and the Jesus Lizard. This variety is perhaps what makes Jack Buck so poignant -- the music works as a hybrid of basement hardcore and bar metal while flexing its muscle on the complexity of progressive rock. Jack Buck is a purveyor of do-it-yourself ethics, booking events, self-financing and promoting its own releases. With a follow-up to the 2011 release UGLY on the horizon, Jack Buck is poised to break new ground with total disregard for genre trappings. --Joseph Hess
The Lion's Daughter We should all be afraid of the Lion's Daughter. The trio plays the type of menacing sludge metal that the average citizen assumes is indoctrinating the youth with parent-killing messages. Musicians (or otherwise "not normal" people) should simply be on edge because the band is managing to become scary-good. Like, pact with the Devil good, meaty riffs of distilled wrath and albums that can compete with any stoner/black metal releases worldwide (thanks, Firebrand Recording!). The Lion's Daughter unleashed a great album and a greater EP last year, a trajectory that should make the most metallic among us foam at the mouth for whatever the band is up to next. Whatever it is, hide your kids. --Ryan Wasoba
Sine Nomine Capitalizing on the blunt force of hardcore, the technical mindmelt of metal and the discomforting quietness of Slint's Spiderland album, Sine Nomine crafts a dynamic form of heavy music that is strikingly universal without pandering to any genre or scene. The trio has nonchalantly existed for a decade, and now its talons are sharp enough to pierce steel. Guitarists Derek Yeager and Doug Huttegger have developed limber shred chops that render both a lead soloist and a bassist useless. Drummer Mike Frisella is known to interrupt his asymmetrical timekeeping with blast beats at whiplash speed, and Yeager's scream is fierce enough to turn a virgin into ash. --Ryan Wasoba
Terra Caput Mundi Terra Caput Mundi is St. Louis' premiere Warhammer 40k themed metal band -- not that there's much competition for that title. The brainchild of vocalist/bassist Jared Caput Mundi, who conceived of the band in 2005 with one stated purpose -- "To express the grim darkness of the far future through ripping heavy metal" -- TCM secured a lineup including drummer Sarah Caput Mundi and guitarist Thrash Attack Zach and recorded and self-released 2008's Warp Speed Warriors, an eight song offering of punk-infused thrash with influence from old school heavy metal. After Zach was "accidentally blown out of an airlock" in 2010, the line-up was solidified into its current incarnation with guitarist Destructsean providing the six-stringed riffage. Terra Caput Mundi is gearing up for its late 2012 release of Lost in the Warp, gigging relentlessly and proving once and for all that heavy metal rules in a galaxy of fools. --Daniel Hill