Cannabis Corpse and Friends
Cannibal Corpse / Brutal Truth / Immolation / Oppresor
at the Showplace Theatre in Buffalo, New York

by: Adrian Bromley
I was actually quite excited to see this show, having seen most of the bands (minus Oppressor) back in NYC at Deathstock 3 in November with Adam Wasylyk (CoC writer). This show it was time for both founding members of CoC (Gino and myself) to cross the US/Canadian border (a 2-hr trek) to the get a heavy dose of metal imbedded into our heads. Mission accomplished.

Show openers Oppressor (from Chicago) started off with quite a lackluster set, playing some older material from their _As Blood Flows_ (1991) days, but managed to liven things up when the more more solidified newer material (off their latest Lp _Agony_) was mixed into the set. A lot heavier and more brutal than their older material, the newer stuff seemed to add the "kick" that was needed to keep the band's momentum going. Songs like "Passage" and "I Am Darkness" went over well with the hundreds of fans who arrived early.

Second up was New York faves Immolation. The band's sound was muffled from the beginning and that didn't change much throughout the bands 45-minutes set. This was a problem. While the band has a definite ability to mix both raw and emotionally charged grinds of death metal into their sound, it is the craftsmanship of the band's playing that helps keep the band afloat on record and something the band is capable of doing live and that helped somewhat to preserve the set and keep it from going to some awful level of sound and deliverance. Let's just say they were much better in New York City.

Next came Brutal Truth's 50-minute set, definitely the highlight of the night. Charged and eager to rip hard and fast at the fans in Buffalo, the New York grindcore/death four-piece lashed out furiously playing material from their classic Lp's _Need To Control_ or _Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses_ and a good assortment of selections off their latest Ep _Kill Trend Suicide_. The band is just soooo awesome live: whether it be Rich Hoak's thunderous wallops on the drums, Dan Lilker's massive bass grooves or singer Kevin Sharp intense live performance. This band rules live. The thing that makes BT such a great live act is that no matter how intense or spastic the material seems to gear towards there always seems to be a hidden groove in their somewhere.

Closing this rather impressive collection of metal bands was the infamous (and quite popular) Cannibal Corpse. Led by new singer "Corpsegrinder" (ex-Monstrosity) the band stormed with ease through material off of their latest Metal Blade release _Vile_. While I am not a big fan of CC, the band did play well. It sounded heavy, it sounded raw and most importantly it sounded real smooth - no real problems transfering the material off LP to a live situation. The band also pleased fans with a few choice selections from the _Tomb Of The Mutilated_ and _Butchered At Birth_ days. For a little more than an hour the band led fans through savage assaults of some vicious, ear-bleeding numbers. My only problem with Cannibal Corpse - no real stage presence. Besides focusing primarily on their 'Hair-twirling 101' classes, the band has a rather dull live performance, other than "Corpsegrinder" posing like a WWF wrestler every once in a while. Nothing big but something the band may want to work on.

Was it worth the trip to Buffalo from Toronto, Canada? Sure was due to the fact that both Gino and I got to see a good metal show - something very rare in Toronto - we also finally got to see Brutal Truth live (I saw bit of them at Deathstock 3; Gino has never seen them before) and we got to meet up and chat for a while with longtime CoC reader and e-mail pen pal Rich Hoak, Brutal Truth's drummer. That ruled.

(article submitted 16/3/1997)

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