DEFTONES, Cult Leader – South Side Ballroom, Dallas, March 20th

DALLAS – Along with Saint Patricks’s Day and spring break, the month of March also brought The Deftones to Texas for five select shows. TTL caught up with the band during the third stop, at the South Side Ballroom in Dallas. A few months earlier, the metal band, Cult Leader announced that they would be supporting The Deftones on four of the five Texas dates, including Dallas.

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A three-band lineup is the norm, so with only a sole opener, the pressure to “bring it” is practically insurmountable. Not only do you have to warm up the crowd, but you also have to keep them going; in effect performing double duty. Well, holy-fucking-shit, did Cult Leader bring it!clsml_7134

The lights went red as the first chord was struck and the elbow-to-elbow standing-room-only crowd went fucking insane. Listed as a “rock” band on Wikipedia, these guys are about as close to “rock” as Napalm Death or Slayer are. Cult Leader are metal as fuck; they are progressive crust, to be exact. Even when the band throw’s you a curve ball by like the Type-O-esque/King Diamondy ballad “You Are Not My Blood”, they still are metal and they still kill it.

cl_snl_7210Cult Leader’s songs, leaning more towards “death metal”, are typically dark but they aren’t some mindless dribble. Not only are the songs badass, they have actual substance- something that has been dwindling in the metal world recently. Often short, yet never simple, Cult Leader’s allegorical lyrics are thought-provoking and insanely deep. The composition is something else and uniquely their own; these guys are brilliant musicians; they’re smart and know what works. Rightfully so, three quarters of them have been playing together for over a decade.

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Cult Leader was started in 2013 by percussionist Casey Hansen, guitarist Mike Mason and bassist Anthony Lucero; all bandmates from a previous project. Lucero took over on vocals and the group hired Sam Richards as their new bass player.

The band released their first EP, Nothing for Us Here, in 2014 and a three-song 7”, Useless Animal, the following summer. Cult Leader’s first full-length, Lightless Walk debuted last October. Following the simple, yet genius plan of near-constant touring from the get-go, backed by pumping out a steady stream of recorded material, Cult Leader has managed to get their music out there to the masses and have built an impressive fan base in a very short period of time. Visit their site for tour dates and check out their music on Deathwish Music’s YouTube channel.

After a brutally righteous performance by Cult Leader, it was The Deftones turn on the stage.

def_SMLnolens_7425The band opened with “Rocket Skates” and then into “You’ve Seen the Butcher”. In addition to playing the obligatory hits and fan favorites, The Deftones also played a few tracks off their upcoming, Gore, due out on April 8th.

dEFsml_7475Doomed User”, the new single which debuted on Saint Patrick’s Day and “Prayers/Triangles” were both well-received by the fans in Dallas.

defsml_7347 As expected, The Deftones gave an incredible performance, putting on a tremendous show and proving that they still have what it takes.

defsml_7258The band closed with “Hexagram” and after a short interlude, returned for an encore where they played “Root” and an extended version of “Engine No. 9”, which part of “How Could I Just Kill a Man”, by Cypress Hill, mixed in. Check out tour dates here. Pre-order the first Deftones album in three years, Gore, at their music store.

 

Ryan Javier
Dallas-based photojournalist.
https://www.facebook.com/ryanjavier.photography/
http://rrj.crevado.com/

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