By Andrew Bansal
August 25th 2015, Complex, Glendale CA: Towards the end of a short 10-day run of shows, San Francisco-based sludge/doom metal duo Black Cobra visited Glendale for a headline show at Complex, with local openers Behold! The Monolith and Solar Wimp last Tuesday August 25th, presented by Church Of The 8th Day. Black Cobra have finished work on their fifth full-length studio album, due for release on Season Of Mist, and are presenting some of this new material at these shows to solidify their standing as one of the most devastating live acts going around. The LA underground faithful turned up in good numbers on this Tuesday night, and they got treated to a diverse, high-decibel evening of live entertainment.
Doors opened at 8, and at 9 PM, Solar Wimp began proceedings in front of a sizable gathering. They sounded nothing like the bands that followed, which was a positive aspect, and came across as a smoothly flowing gravy of prog jams skillfully put forth by the three members that together presented well-crafted tunes through a simple guitar/bass/drums setup. Local underground heavy music fans know very well that any opener on a Church Of The 8th Day show is worth giving a chance to, and Solar Wimp turned out to be yet another gem unearthed by them. Shredtastic awesomeness galore.
Next up, Behold! The Monolith took the stage to perform material old and new, including some from their upcoming full-length ‘Architects Of The Void’, slated for September 29 release date. The full-stack amplification of riff-master Matt Price’s guitar work, the thunder emanating from bassist Jason Casanova’s setup, Chase Manhattan’s hard-hitting drum fills and frontman Jordan Nalley’s fiercely expressive vocal delivery combined to deliver a skullcrushing set that was hugely appreciated by the audience, a majority of which consisted of fans of this band. Behold! The Monolith come a long way from the version that opened for Armored Saint at the House Of Blues in 2010, as this incarnation is not only (arguably) the heaviest band in Los Angeles, but is also the most dynamic it has ever been in terms of the musical progressions withint each song and through any given set. If anything, the bass sound in this particular performance was a little too overpowering at times and engulfed the guitar and vocals in its wake, but despite that, it was a tremendous set that augurs well for the future of the band.
And lastly, Black Cobra appeared on stage with their minimalistic two-piece setup to do what they do best, proving to be sonically more powerful than most bands with many more members in their lineup. No amount of praise is sufficiently descriptive for the phenomenon that is Black Cobra, but the most commendable aspect of their musicianship is that they are no Slayer or AC/DC, and incorporate newer elements on every album, enhancing the live show on every tour as a result. When opening for bigger bands, they are able to cross over to a variety of audiences, which can also be clearly noticed from the crowds they draw to their own headline shows. Black Cobra’s fifth full-length has been anticipated for a long time now, and promises to capture the band’s expanded musical horizons acquired through countless touring adventures all over the world.
Interview with Black Cobra drummer Rafael Martinez coming soon
All in all, a flawlessly enjoyable and supremely heavy evening of live music brought to you by Church Of The 8th Day and Complex, of which there shall be several more in the near and distant future.
Remaining Tour Dates:
8/28 – Oakland CA @ Golden Bull