For the better part of the decade, San Francisco's Ludicra has cultivated a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest and most forward-thinking bands in the contemporary underground metal scene. They were one of the first inspired by the second wave of Norwegian black metal to fuse that sound with punk, traditional metal, and neo-folk elements, and alongside the now-legendary Weakling, they put Bay Area metal back on the map as a hotbed of artistic fervor. The band is comprised of experienced musicians who have traveled the underground for years: John Cobbett (Hammers of Misfortune), Ross Sewage (Impaled, Ghoul), Aesop Dekker (Agalloch), Laurie Shanaman (Queen Cobra), and Christy Cather.The Tenant, their fourth album, finds Ludicra at the height of their musical prowess. Possibly their most metal-sounding release yet (thanks in no small part to some infectious Metallica-esque dual guitar harmonics), the record also features a strong progressive edge reminiscent of 2006's Fex Urbis Lex Orbis--not to mention a return of the raw, punk-inflected black metal vibe with which the band first made their name. It is bound to be one of the most memorable releases of 2010.