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Wednesday, Aug 10 2011

Founded last summer as an all-day celebration of heaviness in Los Angeles, the Power of the Riff Festival celebrates its second year by lumbering up the West Coast on a full-blown tour that includes two shows in San Francisco. A whopping 13 bands will offer up a pulverizing array of sonic carnage for metal heads, anchored by a headlining set at Mezzanine from legendary doom pioneers Pentagram. Founded in 1971, the Virginia-based outfit weathered countless lineup changes and decades of notorious behavior by lead singer Bobby Liebling to eventually be recognized as an unsung American counterpart to Black Sabbath. The band may have inspired legions of disciples — Hank III, Jack White's Dead Weather, and Witchcraft have all covered its songs — but its latest album, Last Rites, proves Liebling and company aren't living in the past.

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Dave Pehling

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