Puzzlers are given a series of North American cities paired with clue phrases. Every clue's solution is a punny phrase that is also a heavy metal or hard rock band's name missing one letter.
Ex.: "This Olympics mascot dude hasn't eaten enough food"
The above clues to the answer THIN IZZY. The phrase is one letter short of the hard rock band Thin Lizzy. So from this clue, we extract the missing letter: L.
Clues are given in alphabetical order by their answer. Additionally, each clue is also associated with a North American city. These locations, when drawn onto a map, describe a somewhat ellipsoid set of points around the continent – indeed, it is a tour route! The first city listed in the puzzle is Toronto, ON. Toronto is also the only listed city outside the US.
When the missing band letters are placed on a map and read in the cyclic order of the route, they will spell out the fully extracted clue: WRITERSOFTHEPILLORIANAGE, or "Writers of The Pillorian Age". The Pillorian Age is the sole album released by Norwegian black metallers Abysmal. The puzzle's answer, then, is ABYSMAL.
The full table of clues, their answers, and their associate bands follows:
|Geographical Order||City||Clue Phrase||Clue Answer||Band||Missing Letter|
|1||Toronto, ON||It could use a seraph scratch?||ANGEL ITCH||Angel Witch||W|
|2||Worcester, MA||Van Halen singer in disco boots||GO-GO ROTH||Gorgoroth||R|
|4||New York, NY||Bread bowl and bear claw bakery||PANERA||Pantera||T|
|5||Richmond, VA||Like Vader Ripple or Chocolate Chip Maul||ICE DARTH||Iced Earth||E|
|6||Charlotte, NC||Beirut, to some||PONG||Prong||R|
|7||Savannah, GA||Sometime Kardashian beau||ODOM||Sodom||S|
|8||Jacksonville, FL||Doctor Who's Astrid||PETH||Opeth||O|
|9||Mobile, AL||Production site for Vulcan prosthetics||EAR FACTORY||Fear Factory||F|
|10||New Orleans, LA||Apostle acts nosy||JUDAS PRIES||Judas Priest||T|
|11||Austin, TX||Curve foe||ARC ENEMY||Arch Enemy||H|
|12||Pecos, TX||Instrumental composition on coniferous tree||RHAPSODY OF FIR||Rhapsody of Fire||E|
|13||Carlsbad, NM||Used to be||WAS||Wasp||P|
|14||Phoenix, AZ||He's between a king and a vassal||LORD||Lordi||I|
|15||Los Angeles, CA||A day of rest for your spine||BACK SABBATH||Black Sabbath||L|
|16||San Jose, CA||This olympic mascot dude hasn't eaten enough food||THIN IZZY||Thin Lizzy||L|
|17||Portland, OR||Popular princess||DI||Dio||O|
|18||Seattle, WA||Positively charged damsel||ION MAIDEN||Iron Maiden||R|
|19||Helena, MT||Oscar-winning Monster||THERON||Therion||I|
|20||Fargo, ND||You can hear it drop||PIN||Pain||A|
|21||Minneapolis, MN||Chinese leader's struggle||MAO WAR||Manowar||N|
|22||Madison, WI||Pant edge that belongs to me!||MY HEM||Mayhem||A|
|23||Chicago, IL||Deep red Carrollian parrot||CRIMSON LORY||Crimson Glory||G|
|24||Detroit, MI||Military branch of flesh-eaters||CANNIBAL CORPS||Cannibal Corpse||E|