Cannibal Corpse + The Black Dahlia Murder + In Arkadia @ O2 ABC, Glasgow

Cannibal Corpse + The Black Dahlia Murder + In Arkadia

@ O2 ABC, Glasgow

March 15, 2018

Review by Pete Mutant

Photography by Graham Hilling

It had been almost a year to the day since I had last been to the O2 ABC and that was to see Gojira, Code Orange and Carbomb and that was a massive night of fun and metal fueled shenanigans. I kind of got nostalgic when I walked back up the stairs and got into the main hall with the iconic disco ball. An ever present fear of that thing dropping from the ceiling was always on my mind. And why not? There have been some massive gigs played here with some of the loudest and heaviest bands on the planet bringing the black clad masses to our wee brutal congregations. Tonight was going to be no different as Cannibal Corpse were back and it had been five years since I had last seen them when they supported (for some reason) Devil Driver. They were the top dogs that night, but would they be top dogs tonight?

Of course they were, but this was heavily assisted by their choice of supporting acts on this tour with French deathcore/thrash outfit In Arkadia opening (again for some reason) and The Black Dahlia Murder who I had seen on Halloween night last year when they headlined at the Rickshaw in Vancouver. That was my first taste of TBDM and it was a really enjoyable show but I wouldn’t say that they could yet be considered in as high a regard as Cannibal Corpse. Certainly not but they do have bags of talent and a massive following so it was all set to be a solid night of music for the fair cit of Glasgow.

In Arkadia [3.0/5] started us off and it wasn’t really my thing but they were good at what they do. The two vocalists had a sizeable presence and were very animated when delivering their potent gutturals and screams.
They timed their movements to the bursts of bass that would drop out in a cacophony of sonic assault almost like dubstep to a degree but with some riffs thrown in for good measure. They were pretty heavy, that was certain and they had some very core themed elements that were there in abundance throughout the music.
Loads of breaks and beatdowns but with some electric elements thrown in as well. It was a very modern sounding style but they did have roots in some darker styles. Their guitarist Mirfin may have caused quite a stir with some people as he had his face painted black whilst sporting a Burzum top.
Edgelord or just his thing is up for debate but his guitar style at times reflected the fast and harsh paying of some second wave black metal bands.
They had recently released their latest album in ‘Lions’ and we were getting a fair dose of it with ‘Gangbangers’ which went into ‘Lions’ which had some shattering blasts coming from drummer Florent Marzais.
We kept to their latest efforts with ‘We Are Lions’ which they announced was just released as a single with a new video which brought more of that lightning paced strumming from Mirfin and some nice drumming to galvanize the rhythm.
The band ended their set with ‘Recurrence’ from their previous album to ‘Lions’ in ‘Eyes Of the Arcehetype’ and all I could think was “fuck me, £4.40 for a pint of Carlsberg”, but they went out in style and were well received by the skeleton of a crowd that came down early to see them.
 
In steps The Black Dahlia Murder [4.0/5] who were a much brighter prospect and they wasted heehaw time as they kicked into ‘Widowmaker’ with some highly charged rhythm and choppy/notey riffs, the newer stuff was in full swing and we were in store for a good amount of the new gear on this night.
Next though, we did go back to nearly the beginning as a bit of melody started and Trevor Strnad was calling for a circle pit -the first of the night- before it all oped up and ‘Contagion’ took the night to the next level.
We kept on the album ‘Unhallowed’ for the next track ‘When The Last Grave Has Emptied’ which was another belter of a track with some supreme lead coming from lead dude and all round good guy Brandon Ellis. Things had started well but we were going to skip back to their latest album for the next couple of tracks.
 
There was a lot of thrash in those tracks and the crowd was spurned on to keep a good level of friendly violence going. We had crowd surfer after crowdsurfer after we went past the title track for the new album ‘Nightbringers’ and then went into ‘Matriarch’. Trevor’s vocals were consistent throughout as were the rest of the band who had it all down to a science.
Before we kicked on with the tenth track of the set, Trevor gave a shout out to some of Glasgow’s finest underground bands in Man Must Die and Scordatura and a few of them were in the crowd for tonight so that was nice of them wasn’t it folks? We got some more new stuff with Catacomb Hecatomb before ‘Everything Went Black’ from one of the fans favourite albums ‘Nocturnal’.
It had been a blinder of a set which seemed to flash by in an instant before we arrived at the last track of their performance in ‘Warborn’. It was a moody way to end their music but it all went down beautifully and the crowd, which had grown to a sprawling mass at near capacity, was very much willing to continue the onslaught and sent a few more crowd surfers to the front until they took their leave and left the stage.
 
Cannibal Corpse [4.5/5] were the main prospect and the crowd had grown fat and stuffed with some good metal so far and were ripe for the picking as the band took to the stage. I was preoccupied getting a beer by the time they had started with the opener ‘Code Of The Slasher’ from their latest album ‘Red Before Black’.
Wise choice as his was one of the picks from the album and was hyper charged with blood soaked menace in the lyrics and the pace of the song. There was no letting up as we kept to the new stuff with ‘Only One Will Die’ and by this point I was right by the action near the front, stage left and admiring the solid musculature of Corpsegrinder’s massive neck.
He is renowned as a savage windmill and was in full flow this night whilst screaming out his vocals like a banshee on steroids. Corpsegrinder took a short pause to announce the title track as our third serving of Cannibal Corpse this night. We drifted into slightly older stuff next with ‘Scourge Of Iron’ which had such a filthy groove which left barely a static skull in the venue.
 
Pits? Of course there were pits, the pits had pits and those pits within a pit were having pits break out in a swirl of loving hatred. We were getting driven on at each other with some swift and brutal music with some definitive differences in styles between the old stuff and the newer stuff which we were scaling in no one direction towards as ‘Pounded Into Dust’ went into ‘Kill Or Become’ before we went way back in their discography for ‘Gutted’ which really brought the memories of old school corpse back.
It was pretty relentless as well with the opus being fixed towards the music with Corpsegrinder not engaging in too much banter apart from when throwing bottles into the crowd and then laughing at our poor attempts to catch the bottles of sweet cooling relief.
 
‘Corpus Delicti’ was our last taste of new music as the band were steering us towards their much older material which I’m sure we had all been waiting for. ‘A Skull Full Of Maggots’ took us all the way back to the beginning and all we were missing was the synchronized head banging although bassist Alex Webster was showing that he still had the skills as did Corpsegrinder of course.
Next ‘I Cum Blood’ was announced and people lost their heads as the pits were getting amped up and were swallowing more and more victims into its midst. The music was bang on and these legends were whipping out some big guns and took us forward a bit to the album ’Kill’ and the song ‘Make Them Suffer’ before were entering the realms of the dreaded encore.
Thankfully, not much time was wasted and they never left the stage. We also got the addition of Trevor Strnad who was going to help with the last two tracks of a highly successful night.
It was pit time for everyone including myself as the band belted out ‘Stripped Raped And Strangled’ so it was hard to tell what was going on apart from the rotating wall of human bodies tangling and colliding with each other as the music roared on. It was all there was in that world, music and violence which is one overly simplified way to sum up Cannibal Corpse as a band so in the end it’s a sort of poetic justice or a systematic result of mad inspiration and reciprocal specimens willing to take up the charge.
Naturally, and it was practically mandatory, we ended with ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ and the band were not messing about and made us well aware that this was their last song of the night so, naturally, we were going to put all that we had left in the tank towards smashing into each other with nihilistic fervour and it was fun.
So much fun. Too much fun? Nah, all is well and good when you come out of that alive and well with only some minimal bruising and a sadistic grin staining your face. Five years had passed which was a long wait but this was a cracking gig to make up for lost time. Let’s hope we all don’t have to wait a long time for their next visit.
Setlist:
1. Code of the Slashers
2. Only One Will Die
3. Red Before Black
4. Scourge of Iron
5. Evisceration Plague
6. Scavenger Consuming Death
7. The Wretched Spawn
8. Pounded Into Dust
9. Kill or Become
10. Gutted
11. Corpus Delicti
12. Devoured by Vermin
13. A Skull Full of Maggots
14. I Cum Blood
15. Make Them Suffer
16. Stripped, Raped and Strangled (with Trevor Strnad)
18. Hammer Smashed Face

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