This was the opening show of the Noise tour presented by bringthenoise.com, a music blog subsidiary of LiveNation. Cannibal Corpse’s show was held at the Masquerade Friday, Feb. 12, upstairs in Heaven, where there’s always something heavy and thrash going on. The night before, At the Gates came through town on tour and the guys starting their own tour Friday made sure to get into Atlanta a day early to check it out.
The show was a great start to the tour. Abysmal Dawn, a four-piece death metal band hailing from Los Angeles, opened the night. The opening act is tough, because the audience is cold and your set is shortest. Nevertheless, they put on a high energy performance, interacting with the audience and each other throughout their set. The crowd enjoyed their set and there was some moshing going on. I love dueling guitars, and they did a little of that, also.
Cryptopsy played next, and put on an absolutely brutal show. Over its 25 year lifespan, Cryptopsy’s lineup has gone through some major changes (technically, not a single original member remains, although drummer Flo Mournier has been with the band since 1992, so I guess that counts.) They’ve been a four piece for the last few years, and don’t seem to lack much without the second guitar. They’ve got a new EP coming out, The Book of Suffering – Tome 1, the first of several EPs they expect to release over the near future, supported by an indiegogo campaign. They’re also offering lessons before each show, and you can see more here.
Obituary was next up. These guys are legends in the death metal world, and there were a lot of older guys who grew up scaring people in the 80s out to support. They started their set with a heavy instrumental jam, and the center mic was empty. Vocalist John Tardy came in for the second song, “Centuries of Lies” and they kept the energy up throughout their set. At the end of their set, they tossed picks, drumsticks and set lists into the audience.
Finally, Cannibal Corpse took the stage. They ripped through a career-spanning set with tunes from their most recent album, A Skeletal Domain, all the way back to Tomb of the Mutilated, which came out in 1992. It’s weird to hear the vocalist talk in a normal, tenor speaking voice between songs. Then again, it would also be weird to hear someone growl “Thank you for your support, please buy some t shirts.” The crowd was loving the show. A huge circle pit formed in the center of Heaven. Crowd surfers bobbed and pitched on the sea of people towards the stage, to be helped down by security and sent to the sidelines. I saw one young woman, clearly having just finished her first crowd surf, run through the photo pit to the welcoming arms of her friends as she said “oh my god, I did it!” She, and a couple of her friends, proceeded to go back six or eight times for more crowd surfing fun.
I’ve been going to metal shows a long time, although not as long as some of the folks out Friday night (I was 9 when Cannibal Corpse released Eaten Back to Life). The crowd has changed as the genre has aged. It’s still predominantly awkward white guys in monochromatic clothes, but I’m starting to see more diversity of gender and culture, if still not a great deal of racial diversity. Death Metal has been going strong for more than 25 years. Like it or not, it’s left a lasting legacy. There are now fans that span generations. We all wondered what would come of the brooding kid wearing all black, sitting in the corner listening to Cannibal Corpse (so shocking!) on his walkman. Well, now we know: He still wears black shirts and so does his 11-year-old daughter, who also has a matching black bow in her hair. She wanted to come with her dad to the Cannibal Corpse show, and they were right up front, having a great time together. No matter who you are, what music you listen to, parents want to share that which is important to them, with their children.