I remember it like it was yesterday. Last year in September Cannibal Corpse announced their upcoming album, “Red Before Black”, and a few days later a European tour as well. I was freaking out. From that moment until the show I’ve been counting down the days. As you can see I’m writing this as a Cannibal fan. The band doesn’t need any introduction. Paul Mazurkiewicz & co-released their 14th album with “Red Before Black”. They did stick to their formula, but they have been perfecting it through the years. Like always it’s extremely catchy. While ignoring the “Code of the Slashers” videoclip, I can say that with “Red Before Black” they delivered once again.
On March 9th the Buffalo Death Metal legends played venue Trix in Antwerp together with labelmates The Black Dahlia Murder and the support of the French band In Arkadia. Before In Arkadia started their set, Webster was walking around at the venue greeting fans and taking pictures with them. After being active for exactly 30 years I appreciate seeing band members still doing this. I’m sure it gave the younger fans an unforgettable experience.
When it was finally time for Cannibal to start firing up their chainsaw, they opened with three tracks of their new album: Code of the Slashers, Only One Will Die and the title track, Red Before Black. First I thought it was kind of risky to already start with three new ones, but the audience soon confirmed the success of it. Like always they never really took any breaks, only Corpsegrinder asked the crowd if they were ready for the next song a few times.
Then they played some classics from his era like Scourge of Iron and Evisceration Plague, followed by another new track, Scavenger Consuming Death and The Wretched Spawn. The crowd got wilder by every song they played. Safe to say, Cannibal made them suffer! Also when George Fisher asks for a mosh pit, you can’t ignore that. Antwerp knew what they had to do.
Although Corpsegrinder is known for his articulation as a death metal vocalist, he didn’t sound at his best. Other ex-Monstrosity member, Pat O’Brien, played extremely tight and his solos made everyone’s jaw drop. Next to that Paul‘s iconic double bass sound was never disappointing. It looks like growing up between drumming family members and playing for 39 years himself definitely pays off. He had, still has and always will have a huge impact on death metal drummers. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that Paul writes most of the lyrics, which is something you don’t hear often about drummers. People have been discussing about the band since forever. If not about the discography, then about their live performance. The bass god sounded as tight as always and so did Rob Barret. While people’s favorite World Of Warcraft player’s voice didn’t sound at its best, one thing is still for sure, Cannibal made venue Trix their own skeletal domain that night.
Surrounded by disgust, pounded into dust to the next track from their Bloodthirst album. After that one the audience had to kill if they wanted to live or become and so they did. Kill Or Become is another classic from the Corpsegrinder era where the audience continued their pit of zombies. Next they played some old school tracks and also another one from their last album. Starting with Gutted, Corpus Delicti and Devoured by Vermin going to other classics like A Skull Full of Maggots, I Cum Blood and Make Them Suffer.
Like always they ended with their two most known songs Stripped, Raped And Strangled and Hammer Smashed Face. The first one is my personal all-time favorite track by them and I believe it is for many Cannibal fans. There has always been something special about the first four albums. Most of the time between fans it ends up in a discussion about Butchered at Birth or The Bleeding being their best. For me it’s definitely the last Barnes album. So when they finally played my favorite track, I was a little disappointed Trevor from The Black Dahlia Murder came on stage to participate. To be fair I knew this was going to happen in advance since he does it every show, but as a fan I’d rather have seen the Cannibal line-up totally go for one of their most known songs. It’s so aggressive and when they play together it becomes more something funny. So for me that way it loses the power it has. Cannibal and The Black Dahlia Murder have been on tour together several times, so I also get they’re just friends having some fun. Both will be touring Europe during festival season, so now everyone has something new to count down to.
They played 5 songs of the new album, 5 of the Barnes era and 7 Corpsegrinder classics. This means they played 17 songs in total. Playing 5 new ones was a risk they took, but hasn’t Cannibal always been about risks? As you can see, taking risks leads to success and they’re the living proof of it.
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
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
17. Hammer Smashed Face