The Black Dahlia Murder / Job For A Cowboy / The Red Chord / Gorerotted
11 December 2007
Astoria 2, London

Gorerotted were just thanking the crowd as we entered the Astoria II, though to a very different crowd to what they are likely used to. There were backpacks, strategically slightly off centred caps and styled hair everywhere tonight, with a very young crowd who look like they’ve raided Top Shop on the way here. The Red Chord cheekily ask for a show of hands for how many people pay more than $50 for their hair cut.

The sound may be crap when The Red Chord hit the stage, with what I think was Clients, but it didn’t slow frontman Guy Kozowyk down who had dived into the crowd during that first song. His return was not so graceful, being flung into the photopit and emerging back on stage with a cut finger.

Still with a smile on his face, Kozowyk announced “We’re here for fun and chicken bhuna next door”, as Responsibles sees another twist of schizophrenic aggression. Finally Antman signals some clarity with the sound and the guitars of Mike McKenzie and Mike Keller begin to cut through. The crowd seemed to be getting into it too, bouncing along to the start of Bone Needle, until it gets fast and technical and then there’s reserved contemplation.

Kozowyk was not giving up and order the people from the balcony down unless they were paralysed and then ordered the crowd to “make a sandwich” to Nihilist. A new one on me I have to say. Dread Prevailed was a highlight of the set whilst the brooding end to Pray For Eyes closed the set in style with bassist Greg Weeks taking a leap into the crowd.

The Red Chord set list:
Clients / Black Santa / Responsibles / Antman / Bone Needle / Nihilist / Dread Prevailed / Dreaming In Dog Years / Pray For Eyes

A bit of confusion next as Job For A Cowboy had closed the UK shows on this tour to date, however they took the earlier slot tonight. It was apparent that this was who the bulk of the crowd were here to see. I should say from the start, I hadn’t much of a clue what the band played as frontman Jonny Davy would say “This one’s called…” and then switch to his death vocal for an indecipherable naming of the song.

As the first song came in, the phenomenon that is Job For A Cowboy became more perplexing. This sounded like a Morbid Angel song, without the memorability, which is something I also found with their album Genesis. It’s not that they’re bad, but they’re a lot of better death metal bands and that is what Job For A Cowboy are. They exist in some bizarre bubble, where seemingly the rest of the genre doesn’t exist to their fans.

Certainly their fans were enjoying it, one even depositing a shoe on the stage after what I think was Reduced To Mere Filth. Between nearly every song, some background music was played and the band all crowded round the drum riser. Presumably this was meant to be atmospheric, but actually killed off the connection with the audience.

After becoming a bit bored, the familiarity of Bearing The Serpent’s Lamb picked things up and the band definitely finished with Knee Deep as Davy actual announced it in a clean voice. The phrase “last song” injected a bit more life into a now tired looking crowd and whipped things up to close the set. Not a bad band by any stretch, but not remarkable either. A copy of the latest Aborted cd should be passed out to all attending.

Job For A Cowboy set list included (I think!):
Reduced To Mere Filth / Blasphemy / Altered From Catechization / Strings Of Hypocrisy / Martyrdom Unsealed / Bearing The Serpent’s Lamb / Knee Deep

Whilst a proportion of the Job For A Cowboy fanclub did filter to the rear of the venue, the crowd remained strong for The Black Dahlia Murder. As opener Everything Went Black drew to a close, it was apparent it wasn’t wild enough for Trevor Strnad who demanded “Wake the f**k up!”.

The Blackest Incarnation took us back to the band’s devastating debut Unhallowed, with Strnad darting around the stage acting like Jack Black. “Shake your f**king cool hair” he amusingly quipped as Elder Misanthropy followed.

Guitarists John Kempainen and Brian Eschbach have the Scandinavian sound down a tee, quite an achievement for a bunch of guys from Detroit. Not that you ‘d know looking at the album sleeve for latest album Nocturnal, who’s title track was up next. Employing Kristian Wahlin to paint the cover, gives it the look in line with his other great work for Dark Funeral, Dark Tranquilliy and of course At The Gates, who are the most obvious point of reference listening to The Black Dahlia Murder.

The set peaks with the memorable What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse and stand out track from Miasma, Statutory Ape which really got the crowd going. At times, and particularly given the sound is far from perfect, an element of deja vu creeps in when considering The Black Dahlia Murder’s set. However the delivery and energy were both of high quality.

The Black Dahlia Murder set list:
Everything Went Black / Blackest Incarnation / Elder Misanthropy / Nocturnal / Miasma / Closed Casket Requiem / Warborn / What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse / Statutory Ape / I’m Charming / Miscarriage / A Vulgar Picture / Deathmask Divine / Funeral Thirst

Metal Blade Records
Job For A Cowboy
The Black Dahlia Murder
The Red Chord