Taiwan metalheads finally got the chance to get to see Cannibal Corpse on home turf. The band are touring their new album, Torture, and were joined by Sigh from Japan and locals Revilement. The lineup was meant to include Impiety from Singapore, but unfortunately they couldn’t make it due to the visa problems.
The day before the Day of Reckoning show, my head was stuck on what the night might bring. I could think of nothing else. Remembering back about a decade ago, I stood in the record store looking at Cannibal Corpse’s grotesque and bloody album cover and thought “What kind of sick fuck would listen to this kind of music?”
A decade later, and I almost broke my neck from headbanging too hard at their show.
Revilement struck first. I was at the venue lending them a hand while they rehearsed before the show and each band member seemed extremely stressed. There were about 300 people when the show started, and Revilement quickly triggered a large vortex of headbanging, and flailing hands chopping like knives in the air ⎯ that’s the spirit of brutal death metal. They played one new song, Chemosynthesis, which is not as complex as their older tracks, having a strong element of old-school death metal, and I wonder if perhaps it’s Revilement’s next direction. A great performance!
According to a friend in Japan, Sigh is a band that rarely performs live, so it’s indeed lucky for us to see them on stage. Their show is very “dramatic”. Two vocalists fully dressed up; Mirai looking like a vampire and Dr. Mikannibal wore sexy pink fishnets and not much else, though she later smothered herself generously in fake blood and candlewax. The other three members were just like the accompaniment for a musical, or lesser characters in some weird Japanese cult film. The setlist included Shingontachikawa from Ghastly Funeral Theatre, while much was taken from their later works after Hangman’s Hymn. Their finale was a cover of Venom’s classic, Black Metal, and every metalhead in the room sang along.
While waiting for Cannibal Corpse, the soundman played Iron Maiden’s 2 Minutes to Midnight, and again, we sang along. Seeing the Mesa Boogie head with Marshal amp stacks, I predicted a holocaust and it arrived as soon as the curtains opened.
The former half of the set list comprised nearly all new songs, but after I Cum Blood came an assault of old classics! Between songs we bantered with the band, including some Cannabis Corpse (a tribute/parody band) jokes while others shouted out for their favorite track. The crowds were soon drenched in brutal, blood-heavy riffs, and frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher seemed satisfied with our furious reaction. After an hour-long mosh pit massacre, he shouted “Soooooooffaaaaaar”, the intro of Make Them Suffer, the grand finale of the night – Hammer Smashed Face!
“This is the last song of tonight, keep fucking supporting death metal.”
George’s lines and delivery were exactly the same as on the Live Cannibalism DVD, and we saluted the band with devil horns, just as the crowds did on the DVD. Alex Webster’s bass solo on this song was so clear it gave me goose bumps. After those massive bombing riffs I thought the show was over (we were exhausted!), but then George shouted again, “Raped, Stripped and FUCKING STRANGLED!”, and we were treated to another.
If you're not familiar with Cannibal Corpse, perhaps you saw them in the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (Jim Carrey is reportedly a big fan and had them put in). Anyway, this is a show that you can’t keep calm during, and with overwhelming volume they play the finest death metal on earth. This was not the grotesque, sick band that their album covers suggest, but it was bloody, bloody fun.