It had been a few weeks since I got my ass out to see a good show, so I was sorely overdue. And what better way to get back in the swing of things as 2017 winds down than with the mighty CANNIBAL CORPSE, POWER TRIP, and GATECREEPER live at Theater of the Living Arts? And who better to share the kickass metal with than our awesomely talented photographer (and my great friend!) Kelly Sharadin? I picked her up and we made it to the venue just as GATECREEPER was starting. They play a fiery cocktail of Old School Death Metal with some Doom elements thrown in there.
I admittedly hadn’t given their latest album Sonoran Depravation too many listens, but all it took was seeing them perform to shake the cobwebs. This is a great fucking band live and you’d be crazy not to catch them whenever they hit your town. Kelly was over the moon as she was super-pumped to see them, and it was hard to stop my head from bobbing to their massive grooves. This band really mixes it up and keeps you on your toes, and count me in next time they’re in town. That album has also been in rotation since the show, and it’s a great one!
Up next was POWER TRIP, hailing from Dallas, Texas. Can you believe I lived there for almost three years, was a fixture on the local metal scene, and yet never once saw these guys live? What the hell is wrong with me? Well I’m glad I finally remedied that because this band is AWESOME!! High-octane, kick yer ass Thrash Metal that never lets up is the best way I can describe them. Touring behind newest album Nightmare Logic, the band ripped through a killer set. I even saw A&GS writer Inquisitor crowd surfing and going HAM in the pit like a madman!
Now it was time for me to see a proper CANNIBAL CORPSE show. The first time I caught them was at the 2014 Mayhem Fest, but I was too busy running around to truly focus. So to be able to take in a 15-song set was perfect for me. Opening with a trio from new album Red Before Black the group tore into “Code of the Slashers”, “Only One Will Die”, and the title track, much to the delight of the faithful in attendance. “Evisceration Plague” was next, followed by “Kill or Become”, one of my favorites from 2014’s A Skeletal Domain. It sounded fucking ferocious as vocalist Corpsegrinder screamed “Fire up the chainsaw!Hack their fucking heads off!”
“Scourge of Iron” from 2012’s Torture was up to bat next, and then one of the true standouts from the new disc was upon us with “Scavenger Consuming Death”. This one really grabs you by the throat on tape and live it did not disappoint. “Devoured By Vermin” from Vile was another show highlight, and I daresay it was one of the best songs of the night. Being as this is Kelly’s favorite record, she was grinning pretty big when they played it. And anyone who wasn’t going batshit to “Pounded Into Dust” was nuts.
Corpsegrinder was very engaging and funny the few times he did speak between songs. The band clearly meant business and didn’t want to waste too much time talking, opting to let the music do that for them. The triumvirate of classics to end their set was legen-wait for it……dary! First up, “I Cum Blood”, which was introduced as, “a song about shooting blood…out of your cock.” Then he goes, “Yeah, yeah, it’s all fun and games until it happens to YOU.” The band then continued the pummeling with “Stripped, Raped and Strangled” and finally “Hammer Smashed Face”, both of which sounded incredible.
And then, sadly, it was all over. Man, I can’t believe I missed CANNIBAL CORPSE the last few times they were here in Philly. But you can be damn sure that won’t happen again. Riffs that tear your head off, a rhythm section that pounds you in the chest, and death growls that will cut your balls off and feed ‘em to you made for one helluva night of Death Metal, which is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered. There are only a few more dates left on this run, so catch them while you can!
LIVE IMAGES: KELLY SHARADIN
LIVE WORDS: THE MAESTRO