Cannibal Corpse // Dark Funeral // Ingested // Stormruler // The O2 Kentish Town Forum // London
Cannibal Corpse – Dark Funeral – Ingested – Stormruler – O2 Kentish Town Forum – 22nd April 2023
Tonight London was held witness to a blood-soaked massacre.
Every once in a while a perfect tour package will be announced & will leave my jaw on the floor & tonight’s show was just that.
Featuring the long-awaited return for the titans of death metal Cannibal Corpse, the band have teamed up with the teachers of the mystic arts Dark Funeral to create the brutal metal tour of the year. Rounding out the tour are the ever-monolithic slam kings of Manchester, Ingested & melodic black metallers Stormruler.
Opening tonight’s proceedings is St. Louis-based Stormruler. Sometimes opening bands can fold under the pressure of sold-out venues like the forum but tonight Stormruler bit the bullet & destroyed it. Opening with “Reign of the Winged Duke” was a high-speed gut punch to the audience. Normally Stormruler is a two-piece project but rounding out the live show with a second guitarist & bassist Derek Engemann gives the live show a thick, heavy & furious sound.
Vocalist & guitarist Jason Asberry’s shrieking high blackened vocal pierces the air & cust through the heavy tone of the band’s sound tonight. Closing their set with “Internal Fulmination of the Grand Deceivers” leaves the crowd with an epic feel, Big chords & classic black metal style tremolo riffing that engages the ear and has the audience circle pitting & throwing the horns up high! These guys know how to put on a show for sure!
Next up is the ever-fantastic & reliable Ingested.Whatever show Ingested is one they always are able to make a huge impression. With over a decade of touring the world, a big show like this is easy for them. As soon as the band smash into “Rebirth” they have the crowd in the palm of their hand. Vocalist Jay Evans is charismatic as usual. His vocal range is always impressive & his interaction with the crowd is second to none.
“Shadows in Time” from the band’s new album “Ashes Lie Still” makes a huge impact & sees the crowd give the most in the mosh pit. The melodic elements in the track work really well. Giving the band an extra layer makes the band’s overall sonic live sound more brutal but elegant.
Capping off their insane performance with their new pitting anthem “Echoes of Hate” was a great choice. A newer track & it leaves a huge impression. Guitarist Sean Hynes’s technical abilities on this track is unbelievable but also live with Lyn Jeffs’s always mesmerising drumming just shows how much of not only an awesome album band Ingested is but just how phenomenal of a live act the slam kings are!
Now for the black metal Swedish legends that are Dark Funeral.
A band I’ve wanted to see live for some time & tonight they didn’t disappoint. Seeing “We Are the Apocalypse” straight into “The Arrival of Satan’s Empire” gives the crowd a glimpse of new & older tracks from the band’s arsenal & how they have only got more blasphemous & together over the band’s 30-year career.
Guitarist Lord Ahriman still has a strong stage presence & helps command the stage with fellow stage-left guitarist Chaq Mol.
Heading into the classic “The Secrets of the Black Arts” see the crowd erupt & go even harder with a circle pit.
It’s great to see a legendary band still play their “hits” with such vigour & integrity even this deep into the band’s live career. They can still give a great performance & keep the energy high, a real match to rival the next Titans to hit the stage. The Mighty Cannibal Corpse.
As the lights dim & the band takes the stage. Already a sold-out crowd starts moving like a horde of zombies. The band smashed right into the heaviest track on earth “Scourge of Iron”.
Running straight into “The Time to Kill Is Now” & “Inhumane Harvest”, a great three-song intro gets the crowd foaming at the mouth. There’s no warming up for these guys. Being such a legendary band with years of touring they are just a flawless juggernaut live band.
Cannibal Corpse always gives the fans a few deeper cuts on every tour & this time it’s the classic “Gutted” from the “Butchered At Birth” album. Now with the band’s 2023 sound, it’s more brutal than ever to hear such a classic with a modern tone.
The noteworthy thing about this Euro / UK run is Erik Rutan’s debut in London. Getting to hear his guitar work on “Condemnation Contagion” & “Necrogenic Resurrection” shows just how much of an underrated guitarist he just is & his live performance is unmatched. Mouthing along to Corpsegrinders lyrics shows just how much of a Cannibal Corpse fan he is himself which is fantastic to see.
Tracks like “Unleashing the Bloodthirsty” & “Devoured by Vermin” feel like a chainsaw to the frontal lobe. Nothing but low-end brutality from bassist Alex Webster & drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz, the two are such a tight team holding the bottom end & keeping the pulse of the band heavy & punishing.
Closing out with the death metal anthem “Hammer Smashed Face” gives the crowd one last chance to break a few more bones & circle pit that one last time. The track might be the most known death metal track of all time but the band still keep it brutal as ever & show just why after 35 years they are the undisputed kings of death metal.