Kentish Town, Halloween and Cannibal Corpse. That’s the kind of convergence of circumstances that death metal fans live for. On this Halloween night, The Forum was packed with zombies, scary clowns and also a guy dressed up as a giant willy waiting to go nuts on each other in the pit.
Cannibal Corpse roared into the venue with two great support acts, Aeon and Revocation, ready to satisfy the perverted desires of every bloodied heart in the audience.
Aeon – [4/5]
The Swedish death metallers have been steadily etching their name into their fans’ minds with their technicality and sheer ferocity. The five-piece certainly made their presence known across Kentish Town with their hate-fuelled bursts of tremolo-picked riffs, punishing bass lines and tormented shrieks. They went on to violently shake the crowd into life, harnessing the room’s energy. Aeon’s music is brutal and is heavily ridden with anti-religious messages, so one would expect them to put on a rather straight-faced performance – however, vocalist Tommy Dahlström worked the crowd throughout the entire set with his body language, obscene gestures and his requests for everyone to join in, whipping up some pumping fists and furthering the mood for the headliner.
Having said that, their set did have some sound problems affecting their usually razor-sharp riffing. It was really hard to put a finger on it but Nilsson’s guitar solos weren’t sounding quite right – a drawback for a guitarist known for his intense style of playing. He hardly missed a note, but it sounded like the solos were abruptly cut-and-pasted into the mix.
However, Aeon‘s set was immense and they still made the most of a half-full venue and proved that they can be headliner material in their own right.
Aeon’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aeon666?fref=ts
Revocation – [3.5/5]
The Boston four-piece bounced onto the stage next, spreading their endless energy throughout the room like a rolling wave. Revocation’s seamless hybridisation of tech/prog/thrash/death metal styles highlighted their impressive compositional and instrumental abilities. It’s great that this lot don’t get all that worried about which sub-genre of metal they fit into, but instead just get on with it. They provide a mix that draws you into the music and the moment without having to think too much about how it all precisely sounds.
Revocation‘s style of metal was definitely different from the rest of the line-up but it was still widely enjoyed as they brought something else to the night than just death metal. They sounded tight and even though a small percentage of the crowd seemed to be let down by their less intense style (especially after Aeon‘s opening), Davidson‘s shouting vocals gave us another set of undeniably good headbanging tunes. He was a true master of interaction as he bounced ecstatically all over the stage and he not only nailed his high pitched screaming but his lows were also wonderfully guttural and earth-shaking. Revocation gave it their all and they definitely got our attention.
Revocation’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Revocation?fref=ts
Cannibal Corpse – [4.5/5]
Cannibal Corpse annihilated London in the manner to which we have become accustomed over the years. We can’t heap enough praise on a band that keeps their legacy as strong as it was in their heyday, and trying to describe one of their concerts to any death metal fan who has not been to one would probably be a fruitless endeavour. They know how to deliver a ton of brutality with their straight-up, no remorse approach. Kicking off with ‘Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead’, the quintet delivered an hour and a half of relentless, full-throttle aggression.
Cannibal Corpse reached into their large catalog to perform gems such as ‘Fucked With A Knife’ and ‘Stripped, Raped And Strangled’. Even newer songs like ‘Kill Or Become’ seem to have already become favourites and slipped seamlessly into their set. It was a bit disappointing that they didn’t pick out anything from Butchered at Birth but all in all they did a great job balancing the old with the new.
Fisher’s vocals were on top form, he growled and screamed performing Barnes-era songs honorably, while the crowd tried (in vain) to keep up with his headbanging. In the studio work, he doesn’t always use the same type and pitch of growl, so having him delivering that in a live performance is a great indication of the level of his technicality. Quick and vicious rhythmic drum pulses, heavy guitar distortion and complex bass-heavy rumbles took us through a night of legal neck torture in a limb-destroying moshpit.
After all, when you’re dealing with a band that’s as unparalleled as Cannibal Corpse, then you know what to expect, whether it’s an album or a live set. It’s just pure and focused death metal energy at its best.
Cannibal Corpse’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cannibalcorpse?fref=ts