Cannibal Corpse/Cattle Decapitation/Soreption/Dark Star Coven
Vinyl Music Hall, Pensacola, 11/6/2015
ZOMG! I was there!
Don't know Cannibal Corpse? Weird; I thought they were a household name. Family friendly, good-time party rock. Well, for those of you who live under rocks, here are a few facts:
- Cannibal Corpse has been a band since 1988. You people likely forget how much terrible, terrible music there were in the late 80s. It's my job to keep you people in touch with reality, and I take that responsibility very seriously. Anytime someone tells you, "Oh, I love 80's music!" first, tap them on the forehead with the ball end of a ball-peen hammer, and then tell them they're not remembering all the top 40 manure traveling over the airwaves at the time.
This is what inspired, nay, necessitated, the formation of Cannibal Corpse.
- If you've ever wondered what it would sound like if Cookie Monster sang death metal, then Cannibal Corpse is the band for you. Seriously. "Cookie Monster vocals" is a thing, look it up.
The kids love him!
- They were in the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. A lot of people saw that movie, so odds are you've seen Cannibal Corpse and didn't even know it. Look at you! You're a gore metal fan already.
So, there's just a little background info for you. Please ensure you bookmark this page, or print it out, or at the very least, commit it to memory. If you haven't found yourself in a heated argument over what year Cannibal Corpse formed yet, trust me, it's going to happen, and you're going to want to be prepared. Again, I do these things for you because I care. I want you to be armed and ready for anything that may come your way.
I'll spare you a long-winded writeup of each band, but I will say, local doom-sludge metal group Dark Star Coven were good and the singer of Swedish death metal outfit Soreption looked ready to beat everyone's ass.
California grindcore group Cattle Decapitation (tied with Pig Destroyer for my favorite band named after a horrible-sounding animal mutilation) followed Soreption, and as a result of the off-putting name, it should probably be noted that they are staunch supporters of animal rights and taking care of the planet. If you could understand vocalist Travis Ryan's vocals (which range from Cookie Monster to Dani Filth), you'd hear stories of forcing humans to go through what we put animals through in the interest of meat consumption. Harrowing, disturbing subjects, to be sure, but the music is pure death-grind-core mayhem. Watching them put it together on the small stage at Vinyl Music Hall Swas fascinating to me. With so many shifts in tempo, tone, vocal styles in every single song, you just wonder, how do they do it live? How drummer Dave McGraw does what he does boggles my mind, quite honestly. (In fact, I told him that after their set, to which he said, "You can do anything you want to, if you just believe." Wait, no, that's not what he said. I don't remember what he said. Maybe it was something about how nice my eyebrows looked that night? My memory fails me.)
Cattle Decapitation guitarist Josh Elmore, NOT playing Skynrd.
Punishing, insane, awesomeness from drummer Dave McGraw
Just throw ya hands in the ay-uh...wave 'em like you just don't cay-uh!
After Cattle Decapitation finished blowing the faces off of the crowd, it was time for the headliner, your mom's favorite band, Cannibal Corpse. (Trust me, she loves the song "Icepick Lobotomy" off CC's latest album, A Skeletal Domain.)
Comic Sans, because that's what your mom would use.
'bout to get all gory up in here.
Cannibal Corpse came and headbanged their way through at least fifteen songs (almost all of which contained the words "death," "mangled," "bloody," "violence," and/or "brutal." None of which contained the words "dat booty," "lovin'," "bae," "cuddles," or "good times.")
It was punishing, as it should be. You don't go to a Cannibal Corpse show for a lighthearted, fun time with your significant other. You go to get your ears split by guitars, your gut to be pounded by machine-gun drumming. Every Cannibal Corpse song is a gory little horror story, and if you listen closely enough, you can hear Tipper Gore rolling in her grave. Wait, is Tipper Gore alive or dead? Meh. Doesn't matter - none of you whippersnappers get the reference anyway.
What was I saying? Oh, right, Cannibal Corpse are still very heavy, very brutal, very passionate about what they're doing, 27 years into a controversial run as the premiere death-gore-metal band. They blew the place away with a near-set ending version of "Hammer-Smashed Face," one of their most well-known tunes (thanks to Ace Ventura, Death Metal Detective).
All in all, it was pretty awesome. Yes, that's right. I'm a 43-year old father of four daughters, and I just said a Cannibal Corpse show was "awesome." If you find that strange, well, too late, sucker - you've already read the whole story. Now look at these pictures:
George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher doesn't care if you like him or not.
Nor does guitarist Pat O'Brien.
Bassist Alex Webster definitely doesn't like you.
Time for some Hammer-Smashed Faces. Good friendly violent fun for all.
P.S. I forgot the battery for my nice Canon DSLR, so I stood there like a tool, taking these pictures with my iPhone 5s. If you have any complaints about photo quality, see the picture below.
Remember: Every time you listen to Taylor Swift, Cannibal Corpse beats an angel to death with a guitar. Is that something you want on your hands? Can you live with that?
Hugs n' kisses until next time, kids.