...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead

When Austin's ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead left us with the stupendous Source Tags and Codes a few years ago, the hungry masses ate it up and spat out words like "genius" and "masterpiece." Of course, the praise made it tough for Worlds Apart, their most recent release, to get a fair and balanced taste test. You could practically hear the knives sharpening.

Trail of Dead has always played and recorded as if it was their last night on earth; the apocalyptic fervor of their music is palpable on records like Madonna, and their live shows regularly end up collapsing upon themselves. On Worlds, T.O.D. has matured, both musically and lyrically. Singer-guitarist Conrad Keely, guitarist Kevin Allen, drummer-guitarist Jason Reece, and newcomers drummer Doni Schroeder and bassist Danny Wood flesh out their epic rock masterpiece on songs like "Smile Again" and "Caterwaul." And it's a sound that's bigger than Texas.

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