Concert Review – Cannibal Corpse (The Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, ON, 11/06/2022)

And there we had another fantastic night of sheer brutality and blasphemy in Toronto spearheaded by the Corpse. 

OPENING ACTS: Black Anvil, Immolation and Dark Funeral

What a fantastic night of sheer brutality and blasphemy at The Danforth Music Hall yesterday in Toronto! If you’re a diehard fan of Death and Black Metal you must attend one of the concerts of the North American Tour 2022 this fall with the bands BLACK ANVIL, IMMOLATION, DARK FUNERAL and the unstoppable, unparalleled CANNIBAL FUCKIN’ CORPSE, with the sold out night yesterday in Toronto proving how strong extreme music still is even with all the bad music that’s dumped onto us everyday by the “specialized” media. The weather was perfect and the line to get into the venue started to form really early, maybe even before 4pm, showing it was going to be indeed an unforgettable night to all 1,500 fans who were lucky enough to get a ticket.

The first band to hit the stage was New York-based Black/Thrash Metal outfit BLACK ANVIL, but I had to miss the first few minutes of their setlist due to the massive line to buy merch. Unfortunately, the never-ending merch lines seem to be the new norm as that has happened in every single concert I’ve been to after the end of the pandemic, which makes me wonder if the fans are willing to spend a lot of extra money with shirts and other merch fearing that a new pandemic might hit anytime, or that the organizers have no clue what they’re doing and can’t put together a decent way to serve all fans that want to buy some merch. Anyway, back to the music, as soon as I was able to get into the main hall I could enjoy Black Anvil’s straightforward, no shenanigans performance, with their drummer stealing the spotlight with a solid performance. They’ve just released a new album this Friday, entitled Regenesis, which was basically everything they played last night, so if you know nothing about them and are attending one of their concerts opening for Cannibal Corpse you must listen to their new opus. Well, you should listen to it even if you’re not attending any concert, as those guys are great.

Setlist
The Gates of Brass
In Two
The Bet
29
8-Bit Terror
Grant Us His Love
Castrum Doloris

Band members
P.D. – vocals, bass
Sos – guitars
Travis Bacon – guitars
R.G. – drums

After a very short break (and the main reason for that is because all four bands had to finish their concerts by 11pm at the latest due to the neighborhood where the venue is located), it was then time for American Death Metal masters IMMOLATION to crush our souls with their extremely aggressive and technical creations, blending songs from their newest album Acts of God, such as the title-track An Act of God, Shed the Light and the closing song Apostle, with old school stuff including one song from their 1991 debut album Dawn of Possession, the fulminating Burial Ground, which ignited one of the most ravenous mosh pits of their infernal performance. Vocalist and bassist Ross Dolan was on fire throughout their entire set, while his bandmates made sure the electricity kept flowing between the band and the crowd. I’m sure it won’t take long for Immolation to return to Toronto,  and whenever that happens I’m sure I’ll be there to slam into the pit once again to the sound of their visceral music.

Setlist
Abandoned
An Act of God
The Age of No Light
Swarm of Terror
Noose of Thorns
The Distorting Light
Overtures of the Wicked
Burial Ground
Shed the Light
Of Martyrs and Men
When Halos Burn
Apostle

Band members
Ross Dolan – vocals, bass
Robert Vigna – guitars
Alex Bouks – guitars
Steve Shalaty – drums

Of course I was at The Danforth Music Hall last night mainly to see the headliners Cannibal Corpse, but I was also very excited to witness the scorching Black Metal by Sweden’s own DARK FUNERAL for the very first time live, and let me tell you it was indeed a unique experience as the band spearheaded by the talented frontman Heljarmadr delivered endless obscurity and blasphemy to their avid fans. Promoting their awesome new opus We Are The Apocalypse, Dark Funeral fired a great fusion of their early days and more contemporary creations, with songs the likes of Leviathan, The Secrets of the Black Arts and Let the Devil In receiving a huge roar back from the crowd showing all their admiration for the band. It was also funny seeing Heljarmadr asking every single fan at the venue to scream “HAIL SATAN!” together with him, and I can’t imagine what the girls at the bar and the guys from security felt during such inspirational moments. The top moments of their performance for me were the neck-breaking, evil tune My Funeral, and the closing song Where Shadows Forever Reign, turning Toronto into the worldwide Black Metal capital for one night and, therefore, guaranteeing Dark Funeral will return to the city to darken the skies once again with their undisputed Black Metal in the near future.

Setlist
Unchain My Soul
Hail Murder
Leviathan
My Funeral
The Secrets of the Black Arts
Open the Gates
When I’m Gone
Nail Them to the Cross
Let the Devil In
Where Shadows Forever Reign

Band members
Heljarmadr – vocals
Lord Ahriman – guitars
Chaq Mol – guitars
Adra Melek – bass
Jalomaah – drums

CANNIBAL CORPSE

And finally there they were, three years after their hammering performance at The Opera House back in 2019 (which was by the way my last concert before the world went to shit with the pandemic), Buffalo, New York’s one and only Death Metal institution CANNIBAL CORPSE took the city of Toronto by storm once again with their rage, speed, heaviness, precision and groove, driving the entire floor section mental and, consequently, igniting a massive circle pit that lasted for their entire performance. Frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher (armed with his monstrous neck and his beyond cool T-shirt “Respect the Neck”), guitarists Rob Barrett and Erik Rutan, the bass phenom Alex Webster, and drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz were in absolute sync from start to finish, turning up the eat at the venue to the point you would sweat even if you were not moving at all.

What I love about Cannibal Corpse is that their setlists are always a journey through all of their phases, mixing classics the likes of Unleashing the Bloodthirsty and Stripped, Raped and Strangled with newer stuff such as Kill or Become and Inhumane Harvest, this one form their most recent album Violence Unimagined. Corpsegrinder had the crowd in his bloody hands instantly, delivering not only a savage vocal performance but also interacting in a very fun way with all fans, either by throwing bottles of water to them or by challenging everyone to try to beat him in a headbanging duel during I Cum Blood (and of course, we all failed miserably as Corpsegrinder himself predicted). Another fun moment with Corpsegrinder was before Fucked With a Knife, when he dedicated it to all women and instead of hearing guys cheering that, he actually listened to A LOT of women screaming at the venue. He commented on that by saying there are usually only 20 women in their concerts, which is already a lot in his opinion, and when he asked the ladies to scream again they were even louder. Well, after such nice moment, the circle pit kept moving ferociously to Fucked With a Knife, as expected.

Every single time I write anything about Cannnibal Corpse I need to say how much I admire Mr. Alex Webster and his wicked bass lines, and yesterday in Toronto he proved once again why he’s the best bass player of the entire Death Metal universe. That man is a beast on bass, and the best part is that you can actually listen to each and every note coming from his bass clearly. And while Mr. Webster was demolishing our ears with his bass during masterpieces the likes of Devoured by Vermin, A Skull Full of Maggots and Hammer Smashed Face, the rowdy crowd in Toronto kept having a very good time inside the circle pit in the name of first-class metal music. It’s so nice to be a fan of a band like Cannibal Corpse, as not only all of their albums are amazing, but their live performances are a thing of beauty. There should be a law for the band to play here at least once a month, but as that’s not possible I’m happy if they kept releasing ass-kicking albums and keep coming back to Toronto every couple of years. LONG LIVE THE CORPSE!

Setlist
Scourge of Iron
The Time to Kill Is Now
Inhumane Harvest
Code of the Slashers
Fucked With a Knife
The Wretched Spawn
Gutted
Kill or Become
I Cum Blood
Evisceration Plague
Death Walking Terror
Condemnation Contagion
Necrogenic Resurrection
Unleashing the Bloodthirsty
Devoured by Vermin
A Skull Full of Maggots
Stripped, Raped and Strangled
Hammer Smashed Face

Band members
George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher – vocals
Rob Barrett – lead and rhythm guitar
Erik Rutan – lead guitar
Alex Webster – bass guitar
Paul Mazurkiewicz – drums

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Album Review – Holocausto Canibal / Crueza Ferina (2022)

The legendary Portuguese purveyors of extremity celebrate 25 years of existence with a new opus featuring 19 tracks of flesh rending Brutal Death Metal and skin flaying Grindcore.

Featuring 19 tracks of flesh rending Brutal Death Metal and skin flaying Grindcore, Crueza Ferina, meaning “ferocious cruelty”, is the sixth full-length album from legendary Portuguese purveyors of extremity, pioneers of brutality, Porto-based horde Holocausto Canibal, highly recommended for fans of Haemorrhage, Nasum, Lay Down Rotten and Cliteater, among others. Utterly unstoppable and completely irresistible, Crueza Ferina was produced and engineered by João Ribeiro and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege Mastering Studio, sounding absolutely devastating from start to finish while adorned in the shocking image of a dead pig killed in a barbaric ritual of traditional slaughter. Far from their sadistic imaginations turning to the torture of animals though, vocalist Orca, guitarist António C., bassist Z. Pedro and drummer Diogo P. have embraced a vegan philosophy, with Z. Pedro telling Loud Magazine in a recent interview that “for us, the only blood we continue to accept to see is human”.

Over one minute of an infernal screeching pig ignites the opening tune Ad Bizarrem Morem before the band begins hammering their instruments in such demented intro, setting the tone for Êxodo Mortuoso, or “deadly exodus”, featuring guest guitars by Robert Vigna of Immolation, a lecture in Brutal Slammin’ Death Metal led by the inhumane gnarls by Orca and the razor-edged riffs by António. Epicédio Madrigaz (“madrigaz epic”) is as pulverizing as its predecessor where Diogo sounds bestial behind his drums, offering Orca exactly what he needs to crush our souls with his deep guttural, whereas Sinaxe do Sepúlcro Tafófobo (“synax of the taphophobic sepulcher”) lives up to the legacy of old school Grindcore with a D-Beat Crust touch, showcasing a sensational performance by António with his incendiary axe. Then drinking from the same fountain as Cannibal Corpse in their early days, Z. Pedro blasts his bass manically making the earth tremble together with Diogo’s massive beats in Ancestrais Ritos Hipóxicos (“ancestrals hypoxic rites”), and it’s time to slam into the circle pit in the name of Grindcore to the sound of Apresto Executório (“executive preparatory”), with António once again slashing our ears with his riffage. Diogo takes the lead one more time in the venomous Aniquilação Suídea (“swine annihilation”), sounding absolutely heavy and devastating from start to finish while spiced up by Orca’s visceral growling, followed by Ávida Tragação (“avid gulp”), keeping the album at a high level of dementia and gore and being perfect for breaking your neck headbanging like a true beast. And Congregação da Flama Felídea (“congregation of the felid flame’) is yet another fast and furious creation by Holocausto Canibal where Diogo sounds utterly possessed behind his drums accompanied by the ass-kicking guitars by António.

Psicótico Interlúdio (“psychotic interlude”) is an instrumental bridge that provides Orca with a break before he comes back ripping in Anátemas Nefandos (“nefarious anathemas”), bringing forward less than 40 seconds that will certainly crush your cranial skull so heavy and frantic it is; while Esquartejado em Segundos (“quartered in seconds”) is even shorter and more brutal than the previous songs with its 25 seconds of sheer savagery. In Prenúncios da Vingança Cavicórnea (“harbingers of cavernous revenge”) the band is back to their streak of “longer” songs, with Diogo’s blast beats hitting you in the head mercilessly, and there’s no time to breathe as the band continues their sonic devastation in Suprema Dominância Taurina (“supreme taurine dominance”), with António, Z. Pedro and Diogo being in a beyond blackened sync while the song’s ending sounds like the soundtrack to a gore flick. The band darken the skies with the truculent Campas do Negro Breu (“pitch black graves”), offering us all Brutal Death Metal at its finest spearheaded by the flammable riffage by António while Orca keeps vociferating the song’s evil words like there’s no tomorrow; and Girândolas da Agonia Profunda (“whirlwinds of deep agony”) is as deranged and heavy as it can be, showcasing another round of sheer brutality blasted by Z. Pedro and Diogo with their demonic kitchen, followed by Miasmas Onanizantes (“onanizing miasmas”), another song that lasts for less than a minute but that is enough for Holocausto Canibal to smash us all with their infuriated sounds. António leads his bandmates with his metallic riffs in Quérulo dos Finados (“kerulus of the dead”), a song that will certainly leave you completely disoriented after all is said and done, and the venomous bass jabs by Z. Pedro dictate the rhythm in the closing tune Sortilégio da Perversão (“perversion spell”), less puissant than the rest of the album but still brutal and grim.

If you think you have what it takes to face the brutality, heaviness and grind blasted by Holocausto Canibal throughout their hellish new album, you can purchase it from the Selfmadegod Records’ BandCamp or webstore as a regular CD or as a CD + shirt bundle, adding an extra touch of violence and gore to your personal collection. Hence, don’t forget to also follow those Portuguese butchers on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know info about their career and their music, and to stream all of their wicked creations on YouTube and on Spotify. Put differently, brace yourselves for impact and let’s celebrate 25 years of utter extremity with Holocausto Canibal to the sound of their visceral new album, as the band remains as unflinching and uncompromising as ever.

Best moments of the album: Êxodo Mortuoso, Aniquilação Suídea, Congregação da Flama Felídea and Campas do Negro Breu.

Worst moments of the album: Psicótico Interlúdio and Sortilégio da Perversão.

Released in 2022 Selfmadegod Records

Track listing
1. Ad Bizarrem Morem 2:42
2. Êxodo Mortuoso 2:13
3. Epicédio Madrigaz 1:27
4. Sinaxe do Sepúlcro Tafófobo 2:23
5. Ancestrais Ritos Hipóxicos 0:57
6. Apresto Executório 1:11
7. Aniquilação Suídea 3:10
8. Ávida Tragação 1:26
9. Congregação da Flama Felídea 1:25
10. Psicótico Interlúdio 2:00
11. Anátemas Nefandos 0:38
12. Esquartejado em Segundos 0:25
13. Prenúncios da Vingança Cavicórnea 1:21
14. Suprema Dominância Taurina 1:35
15. Campas do Negro Breu 3:14
16. Girândolas da Agonia Profunda 1:14
17. Miasmas Onanizantes 0:51
18. Quérulo dos Finados 1:49
19. Sortilégio da Perversão 3:30

Band members
Orca – vocals
António C. – guitar
Z. Pedro – bass
Diogo P. – drums

Guest musician
Robert Vigna – guitars on “Êxodo Mortuoso”