Bridging the generational gap between bloodsoaked worlds, Cannibal Corpse and The Black Dahlia Murder unify generations young and old with their signature Death Metal. Engrained in their being, the former being one of the corner stones of Death Metal initiation, that latter fast becoming a contender for the best modern day Death Metal act. Having released both Nightbringers and Red Before Black respectively, both bands are firing at the top of their game. Making a dynamic duo in the eyes of Death Metal fans, you simply couldn’t ask for a better line up.
The counterpart to Cannibal Corpse’s lumbering aggression, The Black Dahlia Murder are flight footed, swift and tactical in their execution. After a DIY set up, drummer Alan Cassidy gives the all clear for the mayhem to start as the imperious introduction of “Widowmaker“, instantly conjures an air of malevolence. Led by the undead conductor himself Trevor Strnad, a man who is making a name for himself in the Death Metal genre, the band are launched out baring teeth. Sinking into the audience with precision that bands these days just don’t seem to have anymore, each element of The Black Dahlia Murder‘s attack is clinical, yet never feeling impersonal.
As the crowd roars back the first “Hey, Hey, Heys!” of the evening with the lugubrious sections of “On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood“, it would be enough to convince any naysayers of this bands unrelenting power. Never faltering in their ability following the rapture inducing “What A Horrible Night to Have A Curse“, its when resident lunatic Brian Eshbach screams “EVERYTHING WENT BLACK!” that our second Nocturnal delivery is unveiled and the crowd positively lose their minds. Though after Strnad asking fans to jump up and down and I quote “like an asshole”, myself included, that groove in “Nightbringers” could prove to be one of the bands finest songwriting achievements. . Nightbringers cuts fly through thick and fast alongside pitch perfect solos with the likes of “Kings of The Nightworld” and “Jars” showing that not only is Brandon Ellis a capable replacement for Knight but now an integral piece in The Black Dahlia Murder make up. Saying goodbye with an absolutely thundering “Warborn” leaves an everlasting imprint on everyone here tonight. Reassuring everyone here tonight that The Black Dahlia Murder are one of the luminary Death Metal acts and well on the way to reaching Death Metal god status.
If it were anyone else I would be somewhat worried for the follow up. Contrasting against the short sharp shock of Detroit’s finest, Cannibal Corpse open up their set with the world swallowing drawl of “Code of The Slashers” a perfect metaphor for their immovable, truly dominating sound. As Corpsegrinder awakens from Death Metal cryostasis to deliver the most incredible, stoic performance yet, the stage security are thrown to the lions with the arrival of “Only One Will Die” and “Red Before Black” as the crowd surfing numbers get into the double digits. Proving this certainly isn’t for the faint hearted. Unrelenting in their delivery, there is simply not one single band out there are as devastating as Cannibal Corpse.
Hitting the brakes you might think that the savagery might let up, yet with “Scourge of Iron” its merely moulded differently as the dissonant, sounds mimics that inescapable assailant. No matter how fast you might run, Cannibal Corpse might be walking at five miles an hour and they’ll always catch up to you. A testament to just how reliable a band they are, material old and new interlock working perfectly with the likes of “Kill of Become” sounding just as deadly as “Devoured by Vermin“. Following the ominous din of “Scavenger Consuming Death“‘s introduction the relentless pace is upped once again, proving without a doubt that the band are at their most mature songwriting stage to date.
As we trudge towards the tail end of the show, Corspegrinder speaks, only to reveal what we all already know “This next song is about shooting blood from your cock! You can try and keep up, but you will fail“. Surely enough that General Sherman of a neck out headbang’s every member of the audience before diving headfirst into “Make Them Suffer” and of course the classic “Hammer Smashed Face“. However if ever there was a moment to epitomise Death Metal and its ironic sense of brotherhood, the arrival of Trevor Strnad on stage for “Stripped Raped and Strangled” is the highlight of the night. Two Death Metal legends coming together, student and master, proving that Cannibal Corpse certainly aren’t living in the past and with The Black Dahlia Murder, we’ve got a seriously bright future.