Oh for the heyday of metal: the delectable double-bass drumming, the thrashing, the ooblongs, the hair! Those were some good times. Luckily, in this decade of soft shuffles and whispered refrains, we have Tarantula A.D. to represent. Not that they’re just metal — led by Danny Bensi, a cellist with a wicked loop pedal, which he uses to enhance the sharp guitar hooks, Tarantula achieves a symphonic majesty reminiscent of fantasy metal at its musical best. And, with their epic Century Trilogy, which features Sierra from CocoRosie, Devendra Banhart, and Brooklynite band Inouk, they’ve got the aesthetic (screeches and wails soaring above a dark murky bass, talk of the expanses of time, grandiose allusions to fate) nailed down. Audible even through the most intense overtures on the album is Danny Bensi’s classical intuition; at all times the sound is balanced and musical, the execution impeccable. Book of Sand proves Tarantula A.D. to be a band with its head and heart in the right place (metal) and a force to be reckoned with.