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Warped (www.synapticband.com/comp)

To borrow a line from Strapping Young Lad, this mostly-locals compilation is as heavy as a really heavy thing. N.D.E. provides an early highlight with "III Day Grip," a shot of malevolent, Exhorder-style thrash. Sofa King Killer reps Kent well with the caustic "Fearless Shadow," a venomous ripper that's equal parts Eyehategod and battery acid.

Other standouts include steadily improving Bruhaha, which takes another step forward with the menacing "Ink Flow," a song that sounds like the late, great Iron Monkey on a bad day. The Pillow Humpers' "Two Fisted" lives up to its name with ugly sludgecore that alternates indecipherable, Mortician-esque growls with larynx-be-damned screams to good effect. Akron's dynamic, doom-steeped Burn Blue Sky ends things on a high note with the appropriately titled "Last Laugh." We suggest you do the same with this surprisingly strong sampler.

Speaking of Regional Beat

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