TVD Live: Black Cobra with Zoroaster at the Black Cat, 12/15

I wasn’t fortunate enough to be able to catch the first opening act of this show, but as soon as I walked in to the back room of the Black Cat on Thursday night, I was overtaken with low end bass and bright green lazers as the sludge metal band Zoroaster overtook the tiny stage and enthusiastic crowd that was present.

The slow drone of the music formed dissonant echoes, and the front row of eager fans started to headbang in near-unison as if they were worshipping the band on-stage.  It wasn’t clear just how rhythmic all of this was until the power abruptly went out mid-song, and each audience member shook their head and looked around as if they had just awoken from a trance. The situation was quickly resolved, however, and as the band lept back into their song, the crowd cheered and threw up devil horns, swiftly resuming their worship of the underworld.

Once Zoroaster finished their set and a small break/beer re-fill had taken place, Black Cobra began to play. As I mentioned in my preview for this show,  it is hard to believe that this band only comprises two members, as they filled the room with the vibrations of pummeling doom metal.

Compared to the lasers and epically heavy ambience Zoroaster emitted during their set, Black Cobra’s stage presence seemed to hail from a more classic era of barbaric-sounding riffs, plain black t-shirts, and shaggy, unkempt hair highlighted by a simple white spotlight. If there had been a patched jean jacket with the sleeves cut off among them, I would have thought we had time traveled back to Dave Mustaine or Dio’s heyday.

Of course, neither Dave nor Dio incorporated the low Southern sludge sound that this metal band fervently uses, adding that dark modern twist of extra doom and gloom. That is something you can only see and hear if you pack yourself into the blackened back room of a bar or venue in 2011. (Or in two weeks, 2012!)

Photos by Amy Willard

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