On Feb. 20, 2013, Cleveland's House Of Blues hosted "The Ophidian Trek 2013 2nd Slithering". Once again, this tour did not stop in Columbus, so this examiner joined the crowd in Cleveland for a night of transcendental music from some of the most unique, and technically progressive acts in metal; Intronaut, Animals As Leaders, and Meshuggah. For many in attendance Wednesday night this experience was more of an esoteric revelation than a metal show.
The evening started off with an energy filled set from Intronaut, who are touring in support of the upcoming release of their fourth studio album. "Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones)" will be available March 19, 2013, through Century Media Records. Many crowd members were unfamiliar with Intronaut previous to their performance, but left with a lasting impression that will drive them to a long relationship with this band.
Next up, Animals As Leaders kept the crowd in awe as they performed their set of instrumental progressive tunes. The three piece absolutely blew everybody away, reproducing every song note for note, never missing a beat. Animals As Leaders is a band that offers more manners than mayhem. For their entire set Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes wore placid smiles, while drummer, Matt Garstka beamed like it was his birthday. It was charming and highly infectious. Instead of the typical, raging experience of a metal show, crowd members stood transfixed just taking it all in. Crowd members eyes were alight with the smile that spread across their faces. There was no hint of anger anywhere in the venue. It was the perfect prime before the main act.
Meshuggah enters finally, in a burst of precise frenzy that shook the crowd to its' core. Starting with "Swarm", "Combustion", and "Transfixed", was a fifteen song set list, that did not disappoint. The crowd was a writhing mass of bodies. The poly rhythmic beats had some fans keeping time with the drums, others with the guitars, some moshing, some crowd surfing. The crowd was pulsating back and forth like the tide of the ocean. Audience members were grabbing a beat where they could, or merely standing mesmerized by the presence of the monolithic Swedish rockers. The rest of the set list was as follows; "ObZen", "Behind the Sun", "Do Not Look Down", "The Hurt That Finds You First", "I Am Colossus", "In Death - Is Life", "In Death - Is Death", "Shed", "Bleed", "Break Those Bones Whose Sinew Gave It Motion", "Straws Pulled At Random", and "Dancers to a Discordant System".