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.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

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

Michael Toland, Aug. 14, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Sabbath Crow
Carrion Highway Weird Sun (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Aug. 16, 2019

Texas Platters
Matamoros (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Aug. 16, 2019

More by Raoul Hernandez
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Austin Corn Lovers Fiesta, Kady Rain, More Eaze, Pusha T, and more non-ACL shows

Oct. 7, 2022

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Californian Genius or Affront to ACL-goers?
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Californian Genius or Affront to ACL-goers?
Writers go pro/con on RHCP's third ACL Fest in a decade

Oct. 7, 2022


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

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle