Obscure and Violent Canadian Supremacy
CoC reviews Death Across America Featuring Gorguts, Oppressor, Cryptopsy, Days of Mourning and Endless
at the El Mocambo in Toronto, Ontario, September 10, 1998

by: Paul Schwarz
Well, yeah. There is bad news to this story: Nile were supposed to be on this bill. But, thanks to criminal records, cash shortages and borders, Canada was deprived, just as the CoC crew who made it to Metalfest was, of seeing Nile. Fuck. Maybe some other time in some other country; we'll see.

Tonight began with two Toronto acts. Endless were first and their mix of death and doom wasn't bad. They interestingly switched lead vocals and showcased some decent live presentation and playing. The sound, which I though was exceptionally good this evening, showcased competently written, though not particularly stand-out, songs. They filled time, although, to be honest, with the stereo blaring such classics as Terrorizer and Nocturnus, I'm not sure whether it would have been more pleasantly filled without them. Days of Mourning showcased a more interesting sound composed, as I heard it, of hardcore, grind and death metal. Not leaning -too- far to any one sound proved to be to the band's advantage and kept their set more interesting than the previous one. A band whose music on CD I would be curious to hear.

Cryptopsy time. Whatever dick stuck these home grown and, quite honestly, supreme death band on -before- Oppressor (an average-as-hell Morbid Angel-esque death four-piece) deserves to be tied down, have his balls cut off (or, be it a woman... you can imagine) by a rusty knife wielded by Grandpa from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Cryptopsy were Cryptopsy: amazing. The sound allowed me to hear every note of every solo and the playing was phenomenal. Mike DiSalvo looked like he'd been possessed by some of the demons that also evidently got into the band's new album, _Whisper Supremacy_ (see review this issue). Classics like "Defenstration", "Slit Your Guts" and "Crown of Horns" were aired along with brilliant new tracks "White Worms" and "Flame to the Surface". Though there was a little crowd derision to Mike -- one person saying "Lord Worm is the king", to which Mike, in true Cryptopsy style and humor, responded "Lord Worm is dead" --, it was unwarranted and the performance obviously made someone's mind up with "Nah, you're better than Lord Worm" being a comment that came near the end. There was one problem: 30 minute set. Oppressor got 40 minutes. Well, I could do with a rest from the crowd and standing, so I went and talked to fellow CoC-ers and other friends. Oppressors were competent but boring: it is shameful that a two-album boring band can be placed after a three-album amazing band, but I guess that's the advantage of touring with Cannibal Corpse.

So it was time for the actual and rightful headliners, Gorguts, to take the stage. Hailing from the same city as Cryptopsy (Montreal), Gorguts are yet more proof, if any were needed, of the quality of music Canada has to offer. They were first, though -- when Cryptopsy were still making demos, Gorguts were making albums which would later fall into the tomes of death metal history. However, virtually none of Gorguts' hour long set was drawn from either of their first two releases and was therefore composed nearly entirely from their new _Obscura_ album. No problem, musically, here, though; as you may be aware, I was astounded by how original and how amazing that album is, and I also am not too familiar with their older material. After a number of excellent songs from _Obscura_ and a few old songs, including the title track, Gorguts closed their set with "Illuminatum", the album's excruciating closer. A truly gripping end to a night filled with almost total perfection and near total disappointment -- the contrasts were as brutal as the music.

(article submitted 1/10/1998)


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