Death metal pioneers Cannibal Corpse completed their 2022 US tour with a sold out visit to Jannus Live in their adopted hometown of St. Petersburg, FL on Saturday. The band, which formed in the Bronx in 1988, show no signs of slowing down and remain as brutal as they have ever been.
New York metal was well represented by the first two bands, Black Anvil and Immolation. The crowd was already thick when Black Anvil emerged. Drummer Raeph Glicken hyped up the crowd, a rarity for a drummer and definitely refreshing to see. The music was fast and loud, everything needed for exceptional metal. Immolation was next and kept the heads banging and horns raised.
I don’t normally get personal in my reviews, but I have to with this one. I’ve seen a lot of metal shows (a LOT!), but I have never seen Swedish black metal. I can no longer say that. Dark Funeral played next and, while still metal, were different than anything I’ve ever seen. Swedish black metal is a creature of its own. Formed during the second wave of black metal, Dark Funeral continue the tradition of anti-Christianity rhetoric and visuals. However, this was the last night of the tour and that always means shenanigans. As lead singer Heljarmadr was telling the crowd to get ready for the devil, the guys from Cannibal Corpse emerged dressed in Bucky Beaver onsies and skulking around the stage like silent movie film villains.
After a brief set change, drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz, bassist Alex Webster, and guitarists Erik Rutan and Rob Barrett took to the stage, but the crowd noise went from riotous to deafening when lead singer George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher emerged, walked to the front center of the stage, and immediately threw his head forward. As the first song “Scourge of Iron” kicked in, his head spun like he needed an old priest and a young priest (yes, that was a The Exorcist reference). They proved why they have been at the front of the death metal scene since the late 80s, thrashing through songs new and loved. The pit was one of the largest I’ve seen at Jannus and one fan even climbed a pole to show his love.
Not to be outdone by Bucky the Beaver costumes, the guys from Dark Funeral shed their makeup and came out during “Code of the Slashers” to sit on the monitor wedges and eat bananas while enjoying the song. As the song came to a close, George Fisher smiled and exclaimed that it “is all about beavers and bananas”.
2023 looks to be the year of European tour dates, but when they come back stateside, go check them out. They have always been and still remain one of the greatest acts in metal.
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