Cattle Decapitation Teaches Us A Lesson

12:51 November 29, 2019
By: Emily Hingle

Yes, it was a Monday night. But as one of the musicians of the night remarked, "New Orleans Monday is more fun than anywhere else's Friday." The bill was full to the brim of heavy bands, each with their unique flavor of metal, ready to rock The Parish to the ground floor.

This guy never ceases to amaze. Tristan Shone's homemade contraptions used for his one-man band Author & Punisher took over the stage; he stood behind them so focused on his craft, never stopping to peek at the audience before him. He looked like a mad scientist in the laboratory working maniacally to complete his monster that will unleash hell in the city. That's what his music sounds like, really: a horror movie soundtrack with heavy industrial elements, extremely distorted vocals that just sound like muffled electronic screams, and spooky, doomy drone. If someone hasn't asked him to provide the soundtrack to their film yet, I'd be amazed.

Atheist started up before I was even born. Though they weren't always active throughout those many years, their sound is still as tight as ever, especially with the addition of some new blood. Vocalist/guitarist Kelly Shaefer kept up with his newest band members, even overshadowing them at times with his lively performance style and ability to get right in peoples' faces in order to engage them. The band let loose such numbers as "On The Slay," "Second to Sun," "Unquestionable Presence," and "I Deny."

Cattle Decapitation was rather frightening. The Parish isn't a big room, and it had some ambient lighting. Still, when Cattle Decap took the stage, it was scary. Why, you may ask? Travis Ryan, the long-running vocalist, looked kind of like a demon up there. He was only visible as a shadow; there was no light on him from the front throughout the entire show. He was backlit which emphasized his fast, spastic movements, his wild hair, and his extreme gestures. Like I said, demonic. I guess it's something you just have to see if you haven't already. Throughout a dozen or songs including "A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat," "One Day Closer to the End of the World," and "Not Suitable for Life," the band shred the human race to pieces. We are destroying the planet, so let Mother Earth destroy us, they related. Their ethos could be summed up with the song, "Bring Back the Plague." It's hard to say who in the crowd just likes how they sound and who actually holds these beliefs, but everyone seemed impressed nonetheless.

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