Professor Emeritus Credit: T.R. Guillen

I admit a mea culpa for not getting around to this Chicago band’s 2017 debut, Take Me to the Gallows (No Remorse), a little bit earlier. The album strides into the fray with a handily segmented heavy-duty toolbox; they seem to know just when to gallop in a Iron Maidenly way, lay down some heavy doom like they’re still searching for the brown note, or present melodic power-metal that’s just shy of a ballad. Front man MP Papai sells the classic sword-and-sorcery vibe (or Lovecraftian horror, as in “Rats in the Walls”) with howling, histrionic conviction, and the guitar work balances out his excess with even more excess—which is what you want, really. Tonight, Professor Emeritus appears on a strong bill with fellow locals Ancient Seance, who just released a solid demo, Cryptic (available on their Bandcamp page); Colorado power-metal stalwarts Jag Panzer headline.   v