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State of Metal

State of Metal: New Jersey

Posted on January 6, 2009

Sure, we all dump on the Garden State just because it’s responsible for Bon Jovi. But to be entirely fair (for once,) that’d be like dismissing the entire U.K. for dropping Whitesnake on us. New York’s black sheep cousin has actually given us plenty to be thankful for, so enjoy a few alternatives to "Bad Medicine."

The Dillinger Escape Plan

From tearing down noise metal boundaries on their early EPs and Calculating Infinity to incorporating melodies into extreme music on Ire Works, DEP might be the band that actually rules at everything. Few bands are as innovative or as widely respected, much less both, and Dillinger's violent, spontaneous live shows can smoke just about anybody.

God Forbid

Too modern to be labeled thrash and too heavy for metalcore, God Forbid stand peerless. They took a leap into the big leagues with their fourth album, Constitution of Treason, which depicted an Orwellian future over some of the best metal grooves in recent memory. The years-in-the-making follow-up Earthsblood has almost unrealistic expectations to live up to, but early samples sound awesome.

Monster Magnet

Your friends all know them for their inescapable late '90s rock radio hit, but before "Space Lord" these Red Bank natives pioneered the modern stoner rock revival with entrancing, Sabbath-inspired hooks and some dangerously demented sci-fi lyrics. Hallucinogens weren't created solely to experience this band, but after a listen to Spine of God you may think otherwise.

Overkill

If there are only a handful of bands who helped found thrash metal, Overkill are inarguably one of them. Led by perceivably deranged frontman Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth, Overkill never found the commercial success that caught up with some of their peers in the '90s, but their hectic live shows and mile-a-minute songs like "Wrecking Crew" are a must.

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The Misfits

Not a metal band in the strictest sense, but their attitude, shock value and sick sense of humor have all left a mark, whether via covers from Metallica and Guns N' Roses or Glenn Danzig's solo career. No other band has made songs about killing babies and raping mommies as ridiculously catchy as the early Misfits, and any horror-themed metal band owes these guys a big check.

Anyone we left out? Any new bands that we should have caught up to by now? Please chew us out in the comments section.

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