Two Corpses, One God and No Flesh
Cannibal Corpse, Marduk, Angelcorpse, Aeternus and Defleshed at the Hafenbahn, Offenbach, Germany November 6, 1999
by: Matthias Noll
Call me dumbass. Once again I missed the first band of a killer package, this time Darkane, and so the show did start with Defleshed. I think their new record, _Fast Forward_ [reviewed in this issue], is fantastic, but the impression I got from their gig was that they are one of those bands that shouldn't leave the studio or the basement where they probably practice. Their singer / bass player fucked up the first three songs in a row with constant timing problems and throughout the whole set the band acted very static and seemed to be painfully under-rehearsed. Although I have nothing positive to say about their live performance, I highly recommend their new album.

Aeternus also failed to deliver anything better than average. Partially, it might not have been their fault, because the sound was so bass laden that it was impossible to hear much besides the constant double bass drumming and snippets from Ares' vocals. What was audible sounded OK, but that was it.

From make up time to killing time: Angelcorpse were simply phenomenal and only after this show I was able to really appreciate their new record _The Inexorable_ [CoC #44]. Not only does the band look dangerous, they mutate to manic beasts on stage and their _Altars of Madness_ on adrenaline style completely blew me and the majority of the audience away. Unlike their two predecessors, Angelcorpse benefited from a good sound, but this alone didn't explain the greatness of their performance. Seldom before have I heard something similarly rabid. "Stormgods Unbound", "Smoldering in Exile" and "Wolflust" are total killer songs and tonight they sounded like they should -- a spiralling ultra-brutal madness which left all witnesses breathless. One snippet from the "Wolflust" lyrics brings it to the point: "Eat, fuck, die!". One last word: do me a favor, guys, and look for a new producer -- Scott Burns is just not capable of giving you the sound you deserve.

True black metallers Marduk were the unofficial headliners for a huge part of the audience. I hadn't seen the band before, but both _Nightwing_ and _Panzer Division Marduk_ are pretty impressive records from my point of view, so I expected at least a good amount of violence from these Swedish grunts. Unfortunately, what happened on stage was rather a defensive battle fought by a tired "Volkssturm" battalion than an assault by a Panzer Division (for hate mail see my e-mail address above). Rather than pulverizing me with grinding slabs of black metal, Marduk sounded powerless and simply average. I admit, fast they were, but it was neither brutal nor heavy, but formulaic, exhausted, pretentious speed for the sake of speed instead. Produced by Tagtgren, a kindergarten melody played on a gazillion beats per minute can have a devastating effect, but tonight the band was trying to catch up with the intensity of their recorded material and, in my opinion, lost the race. In the process their weaknesses became painfully obvious. Legion is definitely the worst and most monotonous vocalist I have ever seen. Excessive posing doesn't make it any better and I wonder how long he has trained the silly "two arms form an inverted cross, one hand shows the devil's sign while the other flips the bird" move. Try learning a second note instead. The guitar totally failed to crunch and/or sound powerful while the bass work was at least looking impressive -- but hardly audible. The drummer's speed was amazing, but on slower parts he unveiled a major lack of feeling for groove (maybe that's only a black music thing) and failed to add the necessary drive to such simple songs as "Dreams of Blood and Iron" from _Nightwing_. The black metal part of the audience was completely freaking out and chanting for "Christ Raping Metal" in between every song, but for me Marduk were a major disappointment.

Death metal veterans Cannibal Corpse followed shortly after and, like Angelcorpse, ruled completely. Sound, stage acting and musicianship were nothing but perfect and the band's back catalogue does contain enough killer material to play for hours -- even if the band's first three records are banned in Germany and they aren't even allowed to play anything from those albums live. Astoundingly for me, CC unleashed such power that even material that's rather average by their own standards (a couple of songs off _Vile_ and _Gallery of Suicide_) sounded absolutely killer. Vocalist Corpsegrinder, like the rest of the band, was in top form and entertained the crowd with humorous announcements like "This is for all the women in the audience... "Fucked With a Knife"!" My personal faves this evening were "Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead", "Unleashing the Bloodthirsty" and their final gem "Hammer Smashed Face", which the audience had been demanding from the beginning. With this show (and I think their new album does likewise), CC have proven that they still belong in the premium league of death metal and can easily stand their ground against all newer or younger contenders for the throne.

(article submitted 15/1/2000)


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