Cattle Decapitation - Denver, CO, 6th January 2012
|Written by:||D.T. Metal|
Cattle Decapitation - Denver, CO, 6th January 2012 by D.T. Metal (19)
2011 was done and over! But not even a week into 2012 and I was already plagued with "gig withdrawal symptoms" and eager to begin this year's concert shenanigans. Luckily I didn't have to wait that long!
First weekend in 2012 and I found myself driving down to Denver, CO for a show that could have been "all local" except for one little ingredient; California's Cattle Decapitation was on the bill; SCORE!
And no, you didn't miss their tour announcement because they actually didn't tour. The guys traveled from San Diego, CA to the Mile High City to record their new album with Dave Otero at Flatline Audio and played some shows while en route.
Now we all have been to shows where the room is somewhat empty for the local acts until the national bands appear on stage. I am glad to say this was not the case at the Marquis Theater in downtown Denver, CO that night. I am guesstimating around 300 metal heads in attendance from start to finish; kudos to all for supporting local metal!
But since I haven't seen Cattle Decap since Oct. 2010 and I was super stoked to catch up with the dudes this sadly meant I totally missed the local openers IronHorse, Cattleist and Clinging To The Trees Of A Forest Fire. Minus points to me for not covering the opening bands!
The vibe in the club was exhilarating and to the point of over-boiling with young as well as older fans trying to catch their breath especially after Clinging to the Trees. I caught the end of their last song for the night with the mosh pit still going strong and people assuring me that I have missed a great set. Dudes, next time; I promise!
Anyhoo, a little before 11pm and the mighty Cattle Decapitation was ready to kick things into even higher gears with vocalist Travis Ryan's statements "We love playing here in Denver" and "We thought playing some of the new songs before everyone else hears them". His point was taken and the audience went ape shit as they played their first two new songs back to back.
Cattle Decapitation, with their progressive, extreme death, grind or whatever core sounding music and vocals who can curl one's toenails kept the fans guessing on what's coming next with mixing new songs and oldies but goodies all night long. As a matter of fact, the whole night was a lot of improvising , with Travis asking the crowd multiple times on what they wanted to hear next and the fans rewarded this asking with screaming, shouting and clapping.
The non violent (yeah!) mosh pit was seriously out of control at times, and with the sea of devil horn hands stretching onto the stage it was somewhat difficult to get good pictures. (and the only-red stage light sure didn't help!)
"Testicular Manslaughter" off To Serve Man (2002) as well as "A Body Form" off their last album The Harvest Floor (2009) are always crowd pleasures and were no exceptions that night. In addition they played 8 new songs with titles like (and I might be wrong) "Life Stalker", "Projectile Ovulation" and "Forced Gender … something". But let me tell you this; the new material sounds fucking awesome and I am pretty sure I am not alone with this opinion. Do I dare say there is more melody in it without alienating every old school fan of the band?
And before I forget, from what little I heard by the local openers to the kick ass performance by the headliner, the sound at the Marquis Theater was awesome with Brian Hopp (Cephalic Carnage) being the man behind the knobs for the evening!
There is absolutely no room for error when a band only has one guitarist but Josh Elmore was just the master of riffing that night. Clearly not easy to play those complex technical lines with the occasional chuggity chug breakdowns but mastered perfectly nevertheless. And speaking of technical; the bassist was sporting a Necrophagist T-shirt and I heard someone in the audience compare Josh's shredding to them; well grass hoppers I am sorry to say, nobody is as technical as Necrophagist, period!
While Travis and Josh have been in the band forever and drummer David McGraw made his debut on their last album, bassist Derek Engemann will be the newbie of the recording session and I am looking for great things to come. Dude seriously shreds on his weapons, a standard 4 string and a mammoth 6 string bass guitar and did I mention he only plucks with his fingers? Yes sir, no pick and this alone makes for a heavy, deep sounding bass line which rattles your entire body.
Speaking of rattling; the drum duties in a band like Cattle Decap can be demanding to say the least, but Dave made it look like it was a natural thing for him. Blast beats up the ass and just a general great drum performance that night.
But as usual, the proof is in the pudding which leads me to vocalist Travis Ryan, and I am using the term vocals lightly here. He growls, he grunts, he squeals and after he spits out a slimy glob of spit he shrieks. Call him what you will, but his dynamic and versatile vocal abilities are what makes Cattle Decapitation unique in the vast sea of their peers.
To sum it up in a nutshell; this was a great gig all around and I can't wait to hear their new album.
Review and pictures by D.T. Metal
Written on 14.01.2012 by
Professional concertgoer ... dangerously armed with a camera!
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