Skip to main content

Cannibal Corpse, live in London

Support: Revocation, Aeon

Some guy dressed as a pensioner DJs outside Camden tube station, gaggles of tweens queue up for Elliot Minor's Underworld gig and we spend Halloween in the company of death metal's biggest exports. There is also a man dressed as a willy.

Sweden’s Aeon [5] are given the unenviable task of lubing the crowd up, but they go at it with vigour and it’s received excellently – aforementioned man dressed as a willy hurls himself into the pit and gets battered about like, well, a willy. It’s all very meat and potatoes in its delivery (nothing wrong with that – we’re at a Cannibal Corpse show, remember!), but there’s something about Aeon’s performance that just doesn’t sit right. Maybe it’s the horrendous sound that makes every one of Zeb Nilsson’s solos sound like they were cut and pasted into the mix using Microsoft Paint, but either way, their death metal dirges don’t quite stand up to their usual live prowess.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Revocation [9] rock up and proceed to melt minds with apparent ease. Exuding a smorgasbord of styles ranging from punk to death metal and thrash to grindcore, the quartet dip into a seemingly endless range of influences without descending into a mess. Much of this is thanks to frontman/guitar god David Davidson – the man’s caustic barks are a call to arms within the circle pit, turning the entire venue into a whirlpool of sweaty bodies during Dismantle The Dictator. Elsewhere, he manages to pull off all sorts of cool shit – whether it be blues guitar breaks, mind-fucking solos or sneaking The Simpsons theme tune into closer No Funeral, Davidson is an absolute star. This dude is a grossly overlooked player and Revocation deserve your attention.

And then we have Cannibal Corpse [8]. No blues guitar here – this is 90 minutes of pure, unadulterated brutality. Kicking off with a gruesome rendition of Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead, the Corpse spare no time for fannying about; Fucked With A Knife rears its head two songs in, sending the already hyperactive Forum into a state of complete, wonderful anarchy.

For a band with thirteen full-lengths tucked under its mangled belt, Canninal Corpse serve up a surprisingly consistent – albeit gory as sin – smattering of death metal. There’s no stuff from Butchered At Birth (boo!), but almost all other bases are covered; it’s the new stuff that really pulverises the brain, though. George Fisher’s instantly recognisable Cookie Monster growl sounds as potent as ever during newie Kill Or Become – how many bands do you know that could seriously sing the lyric: ‘fire up the chainsaw!’ and still look hard as nails? This may be due to Fisher’s brick shithouse stature, but you get the idea.

The crowd is contested to keep up with Fisher’s headbanging (they fail, FYI) during romantic ditty I Cum Blood, the bass-heavy rumble of Hammer Smashed Face incites flaying limbs all the way back to the bar and Paul Mazurkiewicz spends his entire stay on the drumkit being goaded by a roadie in a morphsuit. It’s a beautiful display of violence seldom seen in bands nowadays; Cannibal Corpse are the Tarantino of heavy metal, provoking conservative snobs the world over in their eternal quest for blood. Call them repetitive all you like – they’re the biggest death metal band to ever do it.

Cannibal Corpse Setlist

Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead Fucked With A Knife Stripped, Raped And Strangled Kill Or Become Sadistic Embodiment Icepick Lobotomy Scourge Of Iron Demented Aggression Evisceration Plague Dormant Bodies Bursting Addicted To Vaginal Skin The Wretched Spawn Pounded Into Dust I Cum Blood Disposal Of The Body Make Them Suffer A Skull Full Of Maggots Hammer Smashed Face Devoured By Vermin