Napalm Death, Cattle Decapitation/Pack of Wolves, Lions of Tsavo

Live Shots

Cattle Decapitation
Cattle Decapitation (Photo by John Anderson)

Napalm Death, Cattle Decapitation/Pack of Wolves, Lions of Tsavo

Emo's/Red 7, April 26

South by Southwest Sabbath, 2009: Red 7 hosts a metal assembly longer than your average workday as headlined by Chicago instrumentalists Pelican (at Emo's May 19 with Isis and post-SX bill mates Tombs) and stolen in swirling red smoke and candelabra fury by Olympia, Wash.'s Wolves in the Throne Room (Emo's also, June 7). A month of Sundays later, Red River hosted a measly seven hours of metallic shitstorm, starting with a free dinner and show at Red 7. Locals Curse the Heavens demonstrated the efficacy of three, the density of the trio's lumber balanced by its modulation of speed and tempo. Austin quartet Lions of Tsavo upped the ante exponentially with two guitarists pushing a sonic firewall powered by drummer Josh Dawkins' punishing assault, which brought to mind early Mastodon. More agro, Pack of Wolves goes for the throat with frontman Trey Ramirez's larynx shred, the River City fourpiece debuting new material that relegated current LP Betrayer to mere warm-up for vicious bursts of convulsive rhythm kitted by pounder Adrian Carrillo. Closer "Swine Flu" killed. Emo's could only muster nine bands on two stages over five hours, not including the Anarchy Championship Wrestling beat-down in the venue's courtyard beforehand. Swine Horde, "the only local band on the bill" according to one of the under-21 quintet's two singers, excelled at nascent bolt-throwers screaming butchery. Louisville, Ky., trio Coliseum opened the outside stage in an oft-galloping metallic punk paradigm, while back indoors, Ohio's Woe of Tyrants practiced Euro metal arpeggios. In the big room, early faves Toxic Holocaust pumped classic 1980s thrash (Megadeth, Exodus) retrofitted for contemporary headbanging by the Portland, Ore., trio's bedroom-mirror hair god Joel Grind on "War Is Hell" and "Nuke the Cross." Cincinnati scream mongers Rose Funeral and Montreal's generic death metalers Kataklysm only delayed their respective stages' headlining sets. Inside, San Diego quartet Cattle Decapitation pancaked speed prog into the evening's most arresting execution of ear-shattering metal madness. That left the last set to uncontested gig schoolers Napalm Death, whose patented grindcore shuddered with mouthpiece Barney Greenway shaking and jowling like Richard Nixon as the Birmingham, UK, quartet compressed wood-chipper metal with Black Sabbath underpinnings and lyrics "95 percent written in South Austin." New track "Life and Limb" sacrificed nothing less to an annihilating night shift.

More Cattle Decapitation
Cattle Decapitation
The Anthropocene Extinction (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Aug. 14, 2015

More Music Reviews
Summer Jams Clearance Sale, Part 2
Burial Wraith
Kneel to the Witches (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 18, 2017

Summer Jams Clearance Sale, Part 2
Doom Side of the Moon
Doom Side of the Moon (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 18, 2017

More by Raoul Hernandez
ACL Review: White Reaper
White Reaper
Clash meets Go-Go’s meets Pixies meets Thin Lizzy

Oct. 16, 2017

ACL Review: Thundercat
Bass prodigy resurrects Seventies fusion

Oct. 8, 2017


Napalm Death, Cattle Decapitation, Lions of Tsavo, Pack of Wolves

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)