DevilDriver / Cannibal Corpse / The Black Dahlia Murder
7 March 2013
The Forum, London
Bit of a weird gig for me this one as I ended up arriving late and leaving early due to personal matters, thus missing openers Hour Of Penance and closing act DevilDriver.
In fact The Black Dahlia Murder were well into their set by the time I arrived in front of the stage. Making my way from the back there was a strange change in attitude. At the back there were a lot of people with arms folded looking a bit bored but the nearer you got, the more interested the crowd were, until you hit the floor in front of the stage where pits were being whipped up.
I had trouble picking out what the band were playing the sound was so appalling, a common problem at The Forum. Aside from struggling to pick out the guitars, Trevor Strnad’s vocal seemed to drift in and out of the mix. Whilst his vocal may occasionally disappear, Strnad himself did not. Barrelling across the stage with his shirt off, the less than lithe frontman was like a kid loose in a candy store.Or maybe it was cereal he was craving, having once comically blamed his physique on Cap’n Crunch.
It was bassist Max Lavelle's Birthday and Strnad comically tried to hook him up with the ladies in the crowd. Such a good natured approach seemed to rescue what could have been a lost cause considering the sound issues.
The Black Dhalia Murder setlist:
A Shrine to Madness / Moonlight Equilibrium / Statutory Ape / Miasma / On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood / What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse / Necropolis / Everything Went Black / I Will Return
I’d actually expected DevilDriver to be on next not Cannibal Corpse and most seemed in The Forum seemed here for the latter. It was something as a surprise when the death metal legends took to the stage. Whilst on past performances you’d expect that, in their words “The time to kill is now”. Things didn’t quite pan out like that. Technical issues hampered the early part of the set with a lengthy pause delaying proceedings.
However, when Cannibal Corpse’s engine was started, pits seemed to break out everywhere as they pummelled us with the first three tracks from their latest album. Much like Evisceration Plague from their previous album which appeared later, Scourge Of Iron’s mid paced grind tore the place apart. The band’s ability to take the foot off the gas every so often added real variety to what could otherwise have been one dimensional.
In contrast to Strnad, movement should not be expected from the members of Cannibal Corpse. As ever it was like their boots were nailed to the floor, but the fixed line kill team works and you just couldn’t imagine Alex Webster running round and pulling off his dexterous bass runs.
Cannibal Corpse are truly dependable and Corpsegrinder’s banter is on a Kiss level where the crowd say it along with him. His usual catchphrase in relation to headbanging, “Try to keep up …you will fail” and after the supposed last song, “When I told you that was the last song …I lied”, appeared like old friends.
However, unlike many bands who fall into that you know what you’re going to get category, Cannibal Corpse keep churning out excellent new music and their wealth of gems to play or have to miss from their live set just seems to grow.
Cannibal Corpse setlist:
Demented Aggression / Sarcophagic Frenzy / Scourge of Iron / Disfigured / Evisceration Plague / The Time to Kill is Now / Encased in Concrete / I Cum Blood / Unleashing the Bloodthirsty / Make Them Suffer / Hammer Smashed Face / Stripped, Raped and Strangled
At this point I had to leave just prior to DevilDriver’s appearance. I look forward to catching up with them at Bloodstock however Johan was on hand to shoot them.
End of the Line / Cry for Me Sky (Eulogy of the Scorned) / Dead to Rights / These Fighting Words / Head on to Heartache (Let Them Rot) / Not All Who Wander Are Lost / I Could Care Less / Pure Sincerity / Horn of Betrayal / Hold Back the Day / The Mountain / Clouds Over California / Meet the Wretched