5.26.11: All Shall Perish x Animals As Leaders x Cattle Decapitation x Abysmal Dawn

A few weeks ago, Strikeforce combatant Josh Barnett put on a benefit show for the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami that happened earlier this year. All of the proceeds would be going to Red Cross and the lineup consisted of All Shall Perish, Animals As Leaders, Cattle Decapitation, Abysmal Dawn, Internal Corrosion and Thrown Into Exile. A pretty good lineup that had something for everyone, if you ask me.

I missed the first two bands due to Los Angeles traffic and Abysmal Dawn was the first band I happened to catch. Leveling the Plane of Existence has pretty much been the only Death Metal album I’ve paid attention to this year, and I considered it enjoyable. With that said, I had to remind myself that I was going to see a Death Metal band. From what I remember, Death Metal bands don’t put on too interesting of a show, regardless of what the music sounds like, and that night was no different. What they lacked in stage presence, though, they sure as hell made up for in musicianship. To say they were precise would be an understatement. Charles Elliott’s voice sounded as threatening and violent as it does on record, but was incredibly clear and the guitars and drums were as on point as you’d expect. As their set was winding down, Charles shouted out that their closer would be “Leveling the Plane of Existence.” I had a real “oh shit” moment when that was announced because the lines “…the waters will rise, your cities will crumble/ Washed away with the tide, drift off into nothing…” might have been considered insensitive for some, seeing as how this was a benefit for the Japan tsunami/earthquake. Gladly, no one noticed because, let’s face it, no one pays attention to metal lyrics. AD’s set wasn’t bad. I heard what I wanted to hear, and watched Josh Barnett pummel some people in the mosh pit. Click here to watch Abysmal Dawn performing “Leveling the Plane of Existence.

Cattle Decapitation came on next and I was completely uninterested. After I captured their opener, “Gardeners of Eden,” (watch by clicking here) my pal and I headed outside to talk shit, and count black shirts when Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa pulled up to the House of Blues for (non-existing) God knows what. It was a real trip to see him amongst a few dozen long hairs that were wearing Goatwhore and Rotting Christ shirts, smoking cigarettes and using the foulest of four letter words. Before I could ask him something stupid, or high five him for the stylish suit he had on, he was whisked away by two of LAPD’s finest. That was a very surreal moment for me, and I’m sure my friend and I were the only two people who noticed him there. After a few minutes of playing the “Who does Villaraigosa listen to?” game, we ventured back into The HOB to catch Animals As Leaders.

I don’t get the hard-ons that everyone does for djent. I can appreciate the technicality of the music, but most of it just strikes me as emotionless and robot-like. It fails to give me any kind of feeling, like the way Dragged Into Sunlight can depress the hell out of me, or the way Municipal Waste makes me want to crack open a tall can and have a good laugh with my buddies. Throughout AALs set, I kept questioning whether I really liked them or not and what it would be like if they had a vocalist. Their set also left me wondering what it would be like if Tosin Abasi was to write stuff that wasn’t considered djent, or even metal. He’s a talented guitarist and I’m sure his creativity knows no bounds. I wasn’t enjoying myself much because there was too much thinking going on, which is unfortunate because people around me were clearly enjoying it and all I could do was ask, “Really? Going crazy over this?” Click here to watch Animals As Leaders perform “Tempting Time,” and Tosin Abasi diss Godsmack.

After the intermission and some words from Josh Barnett, All Shall Perish came out to the crowd chanting …ASP, ASP… and wasted no time jumping into “Never… Again.” Kids where swinging their arms in the retard manner, and I even saw a young fellow catch a roundhouse kick to the face.He was carried off by security. Hilarious, but that dude got hurt for no reason. I didn’t stick around too long after  because I’m not a fan of the band or style of music they play, but I have to admit All Shall Perish were putting on a pretty great performance. While the members of the band were wreaking havoc on stage, the light show that accompanied them was almost seizure inducing. Fun times! Everyone seemed to be into it, and Josh Barnett appeared to be White boy wasted as he was pummeling folks in the mosh pit. Check out the video I captured of All Shall Perish that night.

I wasn’t crazy about the night as a whole, but the show was for a great cause and I was happy to be able to help out, no matter how miniscule my donation may have been.

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