Concert Review: Cannibal Corpse – Skully’s, Columbus Ohio 11-16-2010

Show #5 of the Reverend on Tour – Cannibal Corpse. This was a true bucket list show, as I’ve ALWAYS wanted to see the mighty Cannibal Corpse in concert but had never made it to a show. I mean, who am I to argue with Jim Carrey, right?

First up was Devourment out of Dallas, Texas. Brutal & pummeling (as was everyone on this bill), Devourment reminded me a lot of early Cannibal Corpse with their incoherent, gargling vocals and guitar riffs that drop like concrete. Sludgy & molten heavy – an excellent example of Death Metal-y goodness.

The unholy Vital Remains were up next, unfortunately sans Glenn Benton who was in the studio with his OTHER band (Deicide!). Playing Blackened Death with intricately woven layers of guitar pyrotechnics, Tony Lazaro & co. blasted a mind numbing set both uncompromisingly dark & intensely powerful. Live vocalist Scott Wiley had the unenviable position of filling in for Benton, something I think he did as well as anyone could. As a whole, the band were simply amazing. I’ve thought ‘Dechristianize’ was a veritable opus since the first day I heard it, was blown away to see it performed live (even with sound problems, which made Tony just shake his head when I talked with him later).

Next up, and quite possibly stealing the show, were the incredibly noisy threesome known as Dying Fetus. Folks, these boys took no prisoners with excruciatingly heavy riffs, bludgeoning drum beats and alternating vocals between guitarist John Gallagher (no relation to the bros. in Raven) and bassist Sean Beasley. What I think makes Dying Fetus stand out from so much of the Elmer Fudd – grade Death Metal are very strong & melodic grooves, a musical sensibility that transcends the uber-heavy nature of their genre. DF proves you can be heavy as fuck but still produce songs that make people tap their feet without thinking about it. Don’t take this the wrong way, but they were almost ‘danceable’. I became an instant fan!

Last to take the stage were the gorehound’s poster boys – Cannibal Corpse. Often imitated, inspiring legions of followers (Dethklok’s animated lead singer Nathan Explosion is based on vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, for example) – and I’m happy to say I was witness to them living up to every bit of the hype. George was menace incarnate as he vomited guttural vocalizations, pin-wheeling his hair with his trademarked (and spine snapping) moves. Backing him (no pun) was the most stable Corpse line-up in years; guitarists Pat O’brien & Rob Barrett, bassist Alex Webster and drummer extraordinaire Paul Mazurkiewicz. Face meltingly brutal but played proficiently, fast & tight, we were treated to a veritable smorgasbord of Cannibal Corpse hits; “The Time To Kill Is Now”, “The Wretched Spawn”, “Evisceration Plague”, “Priests of Sodom”, “I Will Kill You”, “Make Them Suffer”, “Death Walking Terror”, “I Cum Blood”, “Devoured By Vermin”, “Shatter Their Bones”, “Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead”, “Hammer Smashed Face” (OF COURSE!) and “Stripped, Raped & Strangled”. I probably missed a few in there but WHOA, what a set list. Totally awesome! I will NOT miss a Corpse show again when they next come to town, but honestly the entire night’s lineup was just freakin’ amazing.

As an aside, I’d like to mention how impressed I was with a buddy of mine – Jeff, who made out with a young lady for 2 complete songs during Cannibal Corpses’ set. It’s not just any couple that finds the vocal stylings of Corpsegrinder as . . . romantic. Especially standing that close to the pit! Well done!! To celebrate, I give you “Priests of Sodom”. . .

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