I have to say I was a little perplexed when I saw that Skeletonwitch, Ghoul, and Black Anvil would be going on tour together. Regardless, I found myself standing under the glowing, rocking ‘R’ with a line that snaked down the block.
Perhaps it was feeling thankful the weird stage banter of the opener, called Doesn’t Matter, was over, or that Black Anvil seemed fresh in comparison to the 1001 times I’ve seen Skeletonwitch and Ghoul combined, and definitely because I was ready to see Hail Death songs live, but when the curtain lifted on Black Anvil, I found my waning enthusiasm reinvigorated. This was quickly followed by the musty smell of death. Yes, this was our domestic brand of black metal with the bells & whistles of the imported variety. Blood, sweat, and screams swirled into the intro to “Still Reborn”, as death came alive on stage. I think Hail Death is Black Anvil’s strongest album yet; it isn’t afraid to stick it’s creepy, bony fingers into areas such The Eighties Power Solo or The Contemplative Hard Rock Bridge. Black Anvil were positively on fire that night, and the LA crowd stood there in shock and awe. It was a fog-filled, pink and green lit set to impress, and I was transported away from the glitz and glamor of LA (except for when I discovered who the parents of one of their touring guitarists are!).
Oh look, someone filmed the whole set!
This would be my second time seeing Ghoul at The Roxy this year, and from their first note and spurt of fake blood the crowd looked like an ant’s nest kicked over. Ghoul’s smart and crass humor, fun costumes, and catchy riffs make them enjoyable to see every time. And their ability to roll with the punches shined tonight, as there was a pretty major bass outage and one of the big monsters said “fuck it” to putting on the bottom half of his costume, presumably due to space issues. But I don’t think anyone noticed. In fact, some fans in the front threw money on the stage, which is, oddly, something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before in my several million shows (drugs and underwear, yes). There were to be no safe zones tonight, as even in the corner I was doused in a nominal amount of odd colored fluids. However, as one of the band members would say as I was leaving, “You are way too clean to have just been at one of our shows! Next time, we’ll get you!” Uh-oh! Busted.
Oh look, that same person filmed the whole Ghoul set, too!
Life would prevent me from staying for the Skeletonwitch set, but I’m sure they destroyed what remained of the crowd just fine without me in it.