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Although it may seem blasphemous to doom metal purists, the Liverpool-based "caveman battle doom" trio Conan has graduated beyond the Power of the Riff. What its records offer instead is a fascinating question: What if the feedback — the almost Zen-like, monolithic slabs of noise and atmosphere that carry the riff from point A to B — is the real attraction? Conan's songs, often stretching beyond the 10-minute mark, integrate all the fantasy violence you'd expect from the band's name, but its sheer heaviness is marked even more by a surprisingly restrained, brutalist approach. It's like watching your own head get cut off by a flaming sword but slowed down 500 percent.

Conan will play with The Ditch and The Delta and The Highest Leviathan on Wednesday, March 7, at Photo City Improv, 543 Atlantic Avenue. 8 p.m. $18 (over 21); $20 (under 21).;

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