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METAL | Before the Foundation 

I guess Before the Foundation's Christian message wasn't apparent until it added a vocalist. Hailing from just down the street in Lakeville, New York, BTF started out as a genre-busting, progressive metal outfit with a sick and thick wall of heavy guitar. It sounds relentlessly menacing and mean with equal appeal to secular metal fans as well, since the Cookie Monster-with-laryngitis-and-a-migraine vocals render the lyrics virtually inaudible. Nevertheless, it still rocks mightily.

Before the Foundation plays Thursday, February 21, 6:30 p.m. at Water Street Music Hall, 204 N. Water St. $5-$10. waterstreetmusic.com.

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