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More than a few critics compared Metz to the Jesus Lizard upon the release of their first album in 2012, and not without reason, but while the Canadian band's music does bear some small resemblance to the late, lamented Chicago outfit, their real similarity is not in their songs or style, but in the ferocity of their assault and the precision with which they attack. On their second album, efficiently titled II, Metz have grown even more muscular and menacing. The rapid-fire report of bassist Chris Slorach and drummer Hayden Menzies still hits its target like a baseball bat being used to snap someone's knees, but the group's guitarist and lead singer, Alex Edkins, has gained an even more impressive arsenal of tricks in the space of three years, and the blunt force of the power chords, the thick sheets of feedback, and the angular, razor's-edge soloing will put the fear into you if you have any scrap of humanity left. But while Metz explode like a pipe bomb on II, this weapon has been used with a clear sense of strategy. The music cuts deep and with a jagged edge, but there's a genuine intelligence behind the onslaught, even if the lyrics are deep enough in the mix that you probably won't be able to make sense of most of them on first listen. There's something genuinely artful in the way Metz has constructed II, and the band's apparent smarts don't dull the effect of this music, but instead make it even more dangerous, like a serial killer with a medical degree. If Metz's debut was unnerving in its most powerful moments, II is the rock equivalent of Wes Craven's Last House on the Left; just keep telling yourself, "It's only an album … only an album … only an album …"

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