Cannibal Corpse concert impresses fellow metalheads

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A horde of metalheads descended on the Riddell Centre to see legendary death metal band Cannibal Corpse on May 24. Passers-by grimaced, ears rang, and The Carillon’s office directly above the show shook apart.

Cannibal Corpse is currently on the second Decibel Magazine Tour with Napalm Death and Immolation.

The Friday night began with opening act Beyond Creation, who I missed, unfortunately, because I worked. Friends who had already made it to the show and random metalheads in The Owl told me that the Montreal-based group was good, with a technical drummer the highlight of the set.

As more people filed into the university, Immolation took the stage. They had a good sound, but they never really caught my interest. Although their set was enjoyable, it was textbook death metal, musically and lyrically, including religiously critical lyrics.

The mighty metal legends, Napalm Death, last played in Regina on the night of the American election. I remember because I was hosting an American Election Party as part of the Political Science Students’ Association. You can bet all your metal shirts that metalheads clad in black deterred some shyer politically astute types from entering The Owl that night.

Napalm had a bit of personal change since their last stop here. Their main guitar player, Mitch Harris, was away. Vocalist Barney Greenway explained that Harris had commitments with his other band that night, and Shane Embury, the group’s usual bass player, switched to guitar. As Greenway joked in his distinct Birmingham accent, “it’s not his chosen plank.” Filling in on bass was a man named “Vern” who was the target of Greenway’s onstage banter all night.

For such a drastic switch, Napalm Death played amazingly, playing songs from all corners of their discography up to Utilitarian. As they started to come to the end of their set, I was itching with anticipation. “The Wolf I Feed,” my favourite song by them, was approaching. LoudWire had rated the song as number 49 in the list of top twentyfirst century metal songs. As it turns out, and to my dismay, I’m guessing they didn’t play the song because of the line-up change. Harris, not Greenway, is the main vocalist on the song. I was crushed, but then I realized they did the right thing: it’s better to not play the song than to play it how it wasn’t meant to be played.

The lights dimmed, evil hung in the air. The 25-year-old death metal band, older than a good chunk of the audience, prepared to launch their sonic assault. Cannibal Corpse was everything I expected them to be. The influential act played many of their classic and don’t-show-your-mom-the-title songs, including “Addicted to Vaginal Skin,” “Hammer Smashed Face,” and many others.

Vocalist and frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher was an entertaining frontman, cracking jokes and spurring the audience on. The show was one of the better sounding metal shows I’ve ever been to, which is a nice change. Although for my taste, I don’t enjoy the same type of song at relatively the same tempo for an hour and a half.

As far as musicianship goes, Alex Webster is extremely underrated. The bass player’s finger picking playing style is refreshing to watch. Webster, the main songwriter, deserves much more credit than he gets.

As the night drew to a close, Fisher explained to the crowd that Regina’s show, and the larger tour, is dedicated to metal’s fallen brother, Jeff Hanneman, the late guitarist of Slayer. Rest in peace.

 

Article: Michael Chmielewski – op-ed editior

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