GIG REVIEW: CANNIBAL CORPSE, OBITUARY, etc. Live at Baltimore Soundstage
Dawn 'Mama Love' Brown
Cannibal Corpse has been billed in some circles as “the biggest death metal band in the world” (as seen in Metal Hammer UK, 2009). So, it’s only natural that they dominated the evening’s festivities, which made for a fantastic Valentine’s Day at the Baltimore Soundstage. Granted, not many couples were there celebrating the day, but it was still a momentous occasion.
With only four bands on the bill for this show, we were guaranteed to longer set times for each band and more orderly transitions in between. The crowd was filling in nicely when the first of the night’s line-up was introduced. Abysmal Dawn, a four-man death metal group out of Los Angeles, CA., started out strong with a set consisting mostly of songs from their most recent album, ‘Obsolecense’. Charles Elliott’s vocals were spot-on, while his riffs and solos were positively blistering. Marry that with the amazing drum skills of Scott Fuller and the backing guitar and bass of Andy Nelson and Eliseo Garcia respectively, and you’ve got a collection of stellar musicians poised for greater success.
After an interesting respite outside in the smoking area with Chicken Dude and someone who resembled an elderly Vince Neil, Cryptopsy – a technical death metal band out of Montreal, Canada – was up next. It was at this point that we were relegated to our spot by the stage as the crowd became so packed that moving around the room was next to impossible. Not being familiar with Cryptopsy’s catalog was to our detriment as Matt McGachy’s vocals were so gruff and growly that only one familiar with the songs would know what was being played. Despite this fact, Cryptopsy banged through a brutal set complete with a raucous mosh pit and the occasional crowd-surfer. Obituary followed in succession, pounding out selections from multiple albums such as “Don’t Care” from ‘World Demise’ and “Inked in Blood” from their latest release.
When Cannibal Corpse hit the stage, it was immediately apparent that these guys are every bit the giants of death metal that their reputation foretells. Opening with “Evisceration Plague”, the ‘Corpse blew the minds of all witnessing this spectacle of metal – from frenzied fingers on guitar frets to flailing heads of hair – both on the stage and in the crowd. There was not one person standing still in the entire room.
With a setlist also culling from many of the 13 studio albums credited to their name, Cannibal Corpse barreled through songs like “I Cum Blood”, “Icepick Lobotomy”, and “Death Walking Terror”, finally closing with “Devoured by Vermin” which literally worked the fans into frenzy. The crowdsurfing was off the hook and rather dangerous, with event staff appearing to be minimally trained on how to grab a crowd-surfer safely. George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher dominated the stage with ease, masterfully supported by Alex Webster (bass), Pat O’Brien (Guitar), Rob Barrett (guitar) and Paul Mazurkiewicz (drums) which culminated in a powerful performance of Corpse classics. They proved to be brutal, visceral and thoroughly entertaining.
Bottom Line: This show was the death metal fan’s equivalent to being a kid in a candy store. Each band on this bill ground out highly energetic and entertaining sets. Aside from the packed crowd and slightly confrontational fans, this show had no drawbacks at all. Two thumbs up.
Check out our Photo Gallery of this gig here!