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Lick the Blade 

Demo '05 (myspace.com/licktheblade666)

Judging from its seven-track demo, Cleveland quintet Lick the Blade wondered what Dio fronting Iron Maiden would sound like, and it's a winning formula. The disc sounds as if it was recorded on a 1986 boombox, but these students of classic metal deliver, with dueling guitars and rapid-fire Steve Harris-style bass-playing. Coming alive as falsetto shrieks, the epic songcraft is rife with lyrics about damnation, warfare, and pure evil. Lick the Blade is so old-school, it even named a song after itself. Enough said.

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More by Matt Gorey

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