New Haven, Conn. is the home to both Hatebreed and John Mayer. And that alone sums up southern Conneticut's youth demographic -- a blend of preppies and hardcore lifers. So it makes sense that in the center of ivy league coffee shops and mall stores by the way of Yale, New Haven also houses a nice, cozy rock/metal venue called Toad's.

On Nov. 21, three of Prosthetic Records' best bands -- Skeletonwitch, Withered and Landmine Marathon -- played just upstairs from Toad's main stage at The Lilly Pad. With no tall stage to divide bands from fans, the show was a total blast.

The bill started with New Haven's own Ipsissimus, who have their own wicked flavor of traditional black metal on lockdown. "This next song goes out to anyone wearing denim above the waist," bassist Tichondrius said while pointing to a friend in a denim vest. As recent Metal Blade signees, they have a new album ready for release in spring 2011, which means you should be prepared for them to invade a city near you.

Next up were ultra-fierce, grinding death metallers Landmine Marathon. "I don't know how close it is, but we're playing Frederick tomorrow," frontwoman Grace Perry told the crowd without realizing Maryland is several states away from Connecticut. Perry had to get more intense than usual just to keep herself warm (the Arizonian's are not used to New England fall weather). This time around, the band brought out more material from their newest record 'Sovereign Descent.'

Despite how rad each band was, including headliner and tour warriors Skeletonwitch, the highlight of the night was watching Withered. Fresh off a three-week tour with Danzig and Marduk, the band should have been tired and worn down, but they were the exact opposite. If anything, they were tighter and more in sync than ever before -- and yes, they still look fairly identical, dressed all in black, with beards and long hair.

Songs off their brand new release, 'Dualitas,' show evolution in Withered's signature sound, with less doom and more grind. And oh, that bass tone, you can't help but be a sucker for it. Watching Withered is not just a treat, it's a deep experience. If you missed them this time around, be on the lookout for their next tour announcement in 2011.

Even as a late fall release, Decibel magazine put 'Dualitas' in their top 40 albums list for 2010. Be sure to check it out on Prosthetic Records.

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