Cannibal Corspe / Behemoth / Aeon: Theater of the Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA, March 1, 2015

Cannibal Corpse / Behemoth / Aeon

Theater of the Living Arts

Philadelphia, PA

March 1, 2015

Review by InfamousButcher, Photos by SheWolf

CC and Behemoth

Any time Cannibal Fucking Corpse comes to town, it’s a must see! For 25 years, the band has been consistently cranking out the heaviest, sickest metal known to man. Their 13th album, A SKELETAL DOMAIN, was released last Sept and in typical Cannibal Corpse fashion, the slab of gore and violence fucking delivers. These guys are at their peak of popularity now – 2 million units sold (fucking amazing and impressive for death metal), part of the Mayhem Fest last Summer, and now a co-headline tour with Poland’s blackened death metallers Behemoth. I was pumped for this one – a Cannibal Corpse show means intense, unrelenting brutal death metal and violent mosh pits! FUCK YEAH! FIRE UP THE CHAINSAW!

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Tonight’s show is at the Theater of the Living Arts (TLA) on South Street in Philadelphia. Good venue for a show even if they tend to overfill the fucker. Holds about 500 people, standing room downstairs with good sized pit, seats upstairs in the balcony are first come first served. Stage is low but there is a barrier and photo pit, so stage diving is verboten. Sound quality is good and loud, ears were ringing for the remainder of the night after the show. Despite the terrible ice / snow mix we got hit with Sunday afternoon, the faithful metalheads made the trek and the place was very close to sold out. Cannibal fucking packs them in!

AEON

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Sweden’s Aeon was up first. Although they’ve been around for more than 15 years and have 4 full length albums, I was not familiar with them and had never seen them before. What a great band! They tore into their set with “Satanic Victory” and never let up. Sounding more like American death metal than Swedish, the band reminded me of Malevolent Creation a bit. Frontman Tommy Dahlstrom stalked the stage growling and screaming his head off while guitarists Zeb Nilsson and Ronnie Bjornstrom just fucking shredded us with killer riffs. Drummer Emil Wiksten was quite impressive with his blast beats and Tony Ostman’s bass tone was awesome. Great set, just wished there was more. I’ll definitely pick up an Aeon album or two soon. Quality old school death metal here folks.

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BEHEMOTH

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Behemoth is very popular for an underground band. Their 2014 album THE SATANIST was at the top of many best of 2014 lists and these guys headlined last year’s Metal Alliance Tour and have played big touring festivals like Mayhem in the US. The crowd went nuts as Behemoth took the stage and opened with “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifier”. Musically, Behemoth is hard to categorize. Melodic blackened death metal maybe? Although not my style of extreme metal, Behemoth’s performance was impressive. They were tight, together, and powerful. I just prefer my satanic metal to be sans corpse paint and fucking brutal like Deicide.

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Encore:

 

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CANNIBAL CORPSE

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Finally time to get slaughtered! Cannibal Corpse took the stage and surprised the shit out of us with the ultra-heavy slow “Scourge of Iron” from TORTURE! It was fucking sensational! George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher stood at the center banging his head in rhythm with the music, stopping only to deliver his sick, powerful growls which were clearly heard above the chaos. The band was in complete lock step precision with the riffs, bass, drums, and vocals, and it was like that the entire set. These guys are a death metal killing machine, always in full bomb mode, all out, able to start and stop on a fucking dime. Just amazing to watch, killer energy, nobody else does it like that. Crowd response was rabid with intense moshing and crowd surfing! Keeping with newer material, the band went into “Demented Aggression” (I DON’T THINK YOU’LL LIVE!) next, with insane riffing and solos from Rob Barrett and Pat O’Brien. What a way to kick things off! THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME!

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About 5 songs into the set, Cannibal showcased material from A SKELETAL DOMAIN, the best of which were “Kill or Become” (FIRE UP THE CHAINSAW! HACK THEIR FUCKING HEADS OFF!) and “Icepick Lobotomy” (SCALPEL, ICEPICK, and DRILL!). Corpsegrinder proved once again he is the best headbanger ever. I’ve never seen anyone spin their head around like he does for 75 minutes night in and night out. No wonder his neck is so big. His vocals were loud and guttural with the occasional ear piercing shriek, sounding heavier than the albums. In addition, he is a superb frontman with a great sense of humor. During the set, he spotted a dude wearing a rubber horsehead mask (Josh, I know the guy) and thought it was hilarious. He said he was trying to be serious when introducing songs, but he couldn’t because of the horeshead! Alex Webster’s unique bass playing style is a sight to behold, intense, fast, precision picking. His reputation as one of the best in extreme metal is deserved. Drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz is a master of the blast beat and he bludgeoned us all night long. Longtime guitarists Rob Barrett and Pat O’Brien are a great one-two punch of shredders, riffs just ooze out of these guys!

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We got a great mixed set of material that spanned Cannibal’s entire catalog. My favorites of the evening were “The Wretched Spawn” (The groove of this one got me fired up, so into the pit I went! SPAWN OF THE WRETCHED, BORN OF THE RAPE!), “Addicted to Vaginal Skin” (TOMB OF THE MUTLIATED is my fave, so I love hearing anything from that one live! Sick shit and good pit action!), “A Skull Full of Maggots” (great drumming by Paul and high pitched mayhem from Corpsegrinder – MAGGOTS!!), “Hammer Smashed Face” (most violent pit of the night, about 6 people were on the ground in a sweaty pile, CRUSHING CRAINIAL CONTENT!), and “Devoured by Vermin” (last mosh of the night, spilled my bucket on that one! DEVOUR!). “Hammer Smashed Face” was announced as the last song and Corpsegrinder encouraged us to boo them to get another song. We obliged, hey this is Philadelphia, if we know one thing it is how to boo! “Devoured by Vermin” closed out the set, we were drained but happy. It was rough out there but no cheap shots or stupid karate going on. I did get rolled up once like an offensive lineman, someone fell into the back of my ankles and I hit the floor knees first. It’s part of the price you pay for metal.

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Afterward everyone was stoked about the killer show we had just seen. Cannibal Corpse is one of the best live acts around, catch them when they come to eviscerate your town and pick up a copy of A SKELETAL DOMAIN, more sick gore from the masters!

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