With a bit more emphasis on hardcore this year, Hessfest 2002 will be headlined by melodic bruisers H2O. The band's sound is as sinewy as frontman Toby Morse, all circle-pit guitar and bellowed, gang-vocal choruses. Burnt by the Sun offers a more unorthodox take on hardcore, spiking the brute force of the genre with complex, polyrhythmic thrash. Likewise, Shai Hulud blends brawny hardcore and angular metal into bleeding-larynx screamo. The locals in Ringworm offer up a somewhat more traditional take on obdurate, old-school metal, with chug-a-lug guitars and a locomotive rhythm section. And there's plenty more, all for a ticket price that's the cost equivalent of about two beers at Ozzfest. Headbangers, drink it up.
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