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Cattle Decapitation, PSYOPUS, Book of Black Earth @ Thee Parkside, 1/24/09

January 25, 2009

Beyond the fact that I’ve burned out almost every person I know on accompanying me to see live music, offering up a band called ‘Cattle Decapitation’ at an event produced by ‘Whore for Satan‘ is a tough sell. So I went at this alone.

Usually, this isn’t a big deal at the larger venues- I do it all the time. But it’s kinda hard to get lost in the crowd at Thee Parkside, which only holds a few hundred people, many of which were regulars, in one of the bands that were playing, or in a large group. So, it was a night of metal and bad pick up lines. Literally, some of the worst I’ve ever heard in my life.

“It was exactly what I wanted to hear on a Saturday night”

I arrived just in time for Book of Black Earth to take the stage. 5 guys on that stage in no small feat. Guitar raises practically poke holes in the ceiling. The front row- one synchronized headbang- looks like they are getting their hair tangled in the guitars. As a whole, it seemed like the crowd was most into their set. It was exactly what I wanted to hear on a Saturday night. It was dark and intense, the band looked the part and had a good audience connection. At the end of the set, the voice of metal God piped over the PA, “5 more minutes”, which kind of broke the mood a bit.

Video (from another show)

“Their guitarist was awesome to watch”

After a lovely break where I had to tell off no more than 3 guys, PSYOPUS hit the stage. Wow, they are really trying to be like DEP. Unfortunately, they are missing something…the X factor. You just either have it or you don’t. Their guitarist was awesome to watch, though. People were mostly still for this entire set, except for a few in the front that were enjoying having their faces screamed at and almost getting punched by the microphone. The metal God spoke again, this time it was “2 more minutes”, for which someone shouted “5 more!”, and I think they really did squeeze in 2.

Video (from another show):

“he spits in the air and lets it land back on himself”

Cattle Decapitation took a long time to set up, to my dismay. By this time, I was hovering in the corner. When they finally took the stage, once again- I was in awe of the guitar work. But, the lead singer really got on my nerves. First, he did what I would refer to as ‘breaking character’ by stopping mid roar and telling the sound guy in his rather pitchy voice “can you turn this mic down”. Second, the faces that this guy has to make in order to emit these sounds are rather ridiculous. He uses his tongue when making the high pitched sounds, and his eyes roll back in his head. It’s a wonder that he doesn’t scream away his voice and make himself blind every night. Oh yeah, and he spits in the air and lets it land back on himself. Like a real cattle decapitation, it wasn’t pleasing to watch. It really sounded like animals getting murdered in slow mo, then in fast forward, all layered on top of some awesome guitar. Mid way through the first song, Thee Parkside broke out in what looked like one of those bar fights in a western, where people were getting punched and spinning around and falling on the floor. About 5 or 6 songs into it, I could feel the level of testosterone rising, and decided to split. Plus, Cattle Decapitation gave me a giant headache.

Video (from another show):

Cattle Decapitation performance: 7/10
PSYOPUS performance: 7/10
Book of Black Earth performance: 8.25/10
venue (Thee Parkside): 7.5/10
crowd/scene: 5/10
value ($15.00/ticket): 8.5/10
memorable: 7/10


  1. HAHA! You had cojones to go solo to that show; although my friend had the same “solo girl” experience with dudes at the Dethklok – Fillmore show.

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