I’m still kind of reeling, days later, under the weight of the bill that was last Friday’s show – Cannibal Corpse AND Obituary. One would have been enough; two just feels like cheating somehow. Apparently I wasn’t the only one unable to handle the excitement of seeing such genre giants though. A death metal devotee did exactly what any of us would have done had we just been freshly released from the clink (like he had) – got his ass to a Cannibal Corpse show! Unfortunately he had more in mind than just chainsaw guitars and guttural vocals as he decided to take a chunk out of another attendee, in cannibalistic fashion of course, when he bit them. Our freshly re-incarcerated friend (he was picked up by the RCMP immediately following the incident) also took this chance to stab his chosen snack but somehow, the bite looked far worse. Right? Devoured by vermin indeed. Anyhow, let’s talk metal show shall we?
Abysmal Dawn started off the highly anticipated night, proving they are a far more polished act than their position on the bill would indicate, managing to generate a respectable circle pit early in the evening. That’s a pretty impressive feat given that a large portion of people at any given show at this time are more interested in soaking as much liquor into their bodies as they can in preparation for the headliners than pretty much anything else. I’ve been to plenty of shows, particularly at the Commodore, where even the headliners can’t elicit half the reaction Abysmal Dawn received. Their set wasn’t anything groundbreaking, but when I come to a show like this innovation isn’t exactly high on the list of things I’m after. They came, they riffed, I was entertained; we all win.
The last time I saw Cryptopsy was in a smells-like-piss-and-twenty-years-of-cigarettes dive bar in a town that smells almost as bad some days. Apparently this marks the point in my life where I become “that guy” talking about the scene “back in the day”. Fuck. What that urine smelling show didn’t have though was a true warrior of metal eating a Club sandwich with a side of fries, while all the chaos inherent to a metal show went on around him in full force. He’s my new hero and really represents the best of us. It’s really kind of a toss up over which is the better environment to see them in though. The Commodore wins for sound and lights (and having my hero on site), but who doesn’t love a actual factual shitty dive bar? Either way, Crytopsy delivered their technical death metal as expertly Friday night as they did in that bar years ago to an appreciative crowd. It was a different long haired maniac than it was years ago providing the provided the screams, but he and his ridiculously long hair command just as much attention as his predecessor.
Obituary are pretty much the physical representation of Florida death metal in my mind. Fun, fast and full of riffs on riffs on riffs; something you can really bang your head to. Or windmill your hair if that’s your chosen method of celebration. Co-headlining the tour with Cannibal Corpse, Obituary proved song after song that there was a very valid reason their name was one of the first to do it and still one of the best in the game. Their set was as high energy as you could have asked for, with front man John Tardy stalking the stage with a practiced prowl honed by decades of destroying audiences. Anyone who doubts their power in 2016 need only see them on this tour to be proven wrong.
Like a good number in my age demographic (see: millennial scum), my first exposure to Cannibal Corpse came in the form of Ace Ventura. Come to think of it, that was probably my first exposure to extreme music in general. Thanks to Jim Carey for having brutally good taste and ensuring these types of bands got exposure in a time when exposure was a lot harder to come by. I’m not really sure of what can be said to describe Cannibal Corpse’s performance that hasn’t already been said over the past almost 30 years they have been in existence. Corpsegrinder is still a monster and Nathan Explosion in human form, they still destroy all comers with their chainsaw onslaught, they still inspire circle pits that threaten to engulf all in attendance. That really pretty much covers it. Cannibal Corpse in 2016 is like Cannibal Corpse in any other year: unabashedly brutal. This is likely the premiere death metal tour of the year and you’d be a fool if you skipped out it. We’ll be talking about this show for months to come.
– photos by oldblackgoat