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The Gallery

Let's assume, for argument's sake, that the many metal-core acts that juxtapose melodic vocals with hoarse, strangled screams do so to illustrate the fact that they are constantly torn between two worlds. Heavy metal coexists with hard-core punk; pretty tunefulness shares headspace with atonal aggression; peace balances strife; the lion lies down with the lamb. You know the drill.

It makes sense that today's music would suffer from multiple-personality disorder, or at the very least would embrace its own contradictions. Musicians in the 21st century are coming of age in a world flooded with competing stimuli.

The relatively young Tucson band The Gallery is an excellent example. On its six-song CD debut, the quintet juggles complicated thrash equations with classic metal--damn, Abel Moreno's bass totally crunches, Metallica-style, against the Bonham-like drumming of Alex Kling--while injecting the mess with a little bluesy swamp stomp that wouldn't be out of place in a Thin Lizzy tune. The dynamic dual-guitar architecture erected by Armando Moreno and Rob Rankhorn is like a math-rock fan's wet dream, but at times, it also calls to mind something like an Incubus Against the Machine.

To top it off, most of the band members complement lead singer Marcos Moreno's tortured howls with contrasting vocal parts. Some of the singing is pretty and sweet. Elsewhere, strident admonitions channel Zack de la Rocha.

The Turning is an incredibly tight and promising debut.

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