HEROIC HORNS OF “HOW DO?”, SEMI-SIMIANS!
We’re been over and over Cannibal on DIAG here, but luckily my main mode of operation is to dig up what kind of dingy hovels and crusty corners brought to light the assemblage we see today. As a music miner, you tend to listen for the variance or similarity in tone between bands when a member moves from one outfit to another. Most people know that prior to being Cannibal Corpse, half the current member made up the band roster to Tirant Sin:
Previously called Satan’s Angel, they were a highschool band that practiced out of a storage unit filled with cockroaches and rats where they would practice six tah’ seven days out of the week. The practice space had several other rooms which where also occupied by other bands, including the very successful (despite having just a demo) Leviathan. Now, Leviathan were the hometown heroes. Every chance Cannibal had to be in their room watching them practice, they took. Leviathan released the four song demo called “Legions Of The Undead” which gained and maintains a cult following. Small college radio stations like that of “Psycho’s Metal Mayhem” on WBNY at Buffalo State college, who ended up being the first station to actually play CC, were the place where people would tune in religiously. You would be graced by not only the big radio metal bands, but local acts as well. If you wanted to know when shows were gonna be, you listened or asked. If you wanted a cassette, you snail-mail wrote the band or a station who had their tape, and then that person burned you an increasingly worse quality copy (which you would love).
Chris Barnes even joined Leviathan for a period of time, before coming back to reform Tirant Sin as Cannibal Corpse (a name Alex Webster came up with).
Another footnote on the way to death metal supremacy was Beyond Death. Paul Mazurkiewicz and Alex Webster were already on their way towards moving from Thrash into what would be Death Metal.
After following around big tours and throwing down flyers on thousands of vehicles outside Metallica and Queensryche shows, Cannibal Corpse and their Technicolor flyers had their first show at the River Rock Cafe, which they not only sold out, but ended up turning away people who wanted to see them.
Mike Faley, the president of Metal Blade Records was also from Buffalo, along with Brian Slagel from MBR, and through some strange twists of fate the first CC demo ended up on Mike’s desk. If Brian put out your band, it mean’t you were the best of the best. Bands at the time on their label like Helstar, Lizzy Borden, The Goo Goo Dolls, Armored Saint, Flotsam and Jetsam, and you know. . .SLAYER. then one dreary morning in October of ’89 a record contract in a slim envelope slipped through Barnes door, and then the first American Death Metal band, was signed.
SORTA ‘BOUT CORPSE.