No. 32

March 01, 2016

What could be better for a Valentine's Day celebration than a death metal bashing with Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, Abysmal Dawn, and Cryptopsy at Baltimore Soundstage. After a long trek to Baltimore, I was excited to see some of the greatest death metal bands for the first time. Cannibal Corpse is a death metal band from Buffalo, New York, formed in December 1988. The band has released thirteen studio albums, two box sets, four video albums and one live album. While having had little radio or television exposure throughout its career, a cult following began to build for the band following the release of their 1991 album Butchered at Birth and their 1992 album Tomb of the Mutilated. As of 2015, they had achieved worldwide sales of two million units for combined sales of all their albums making them the top-selling death metal band of all time. I was most interested in seeing Obituary, one of the pioneering bands of the death metal genre hailing from Tampa, Florida. Obituary have had nine studio albums, gaining a strong fanbase since their first album release Slowly We Rot in 1989. The band secured their legacy with their three following albums Cause of Death (1990), The End Complete (1992), and World Demise (1994).

Arriving at Baltimore Soundstage, the crowd was pouring into the venue and the opening band Abysmal Dawn was already into their set. The quintet metal group from Los Angeles, CA. had a strong set promoting their new album ‘Obsolecense’, riled up the crowd, and set the tone for the evening. Their music is heavy, refined, and one cannot help but notice the talent of drummer Scott Fuller who blasted the crowd with his masterful beats. Following their departure from the stage the crowd became thick, cementing my permanent position for the rest of the evening. Cryptopsy took the stage next. They are a technical death metal band from Montreal, Canada who have sold more than 300,000 units from their seven studio albums since 1994. The band has gone through a slew of band members, experimenting with changes in their sound, finally returning to their technical death metal roots in 2012. The band is planning to release a series of EP's and are touring in support of their 2015 release The Book of Suffering - Tome 1. They took the stage with high energy and delivered a monsterous set, driving the fervor of the crowd into a brutal mosh pit.

Finally the time arrived for the big boys to take the stage. Obituary were relentless with their brand of death metal delivering a wide-range of songs from their large collection of album releases. Let it be no secret that Obituary are one of my favorite death metal bands and after years of craving to see them live, it was a pleasure. Donald Tardy had the crowd hooked and keep them mesmerized throughout a high energy set of heavy grooving rhythms, blasting drums, and ominous growling and screams. While I like their new album Inked In Blood and they songs they performed from that release, nothing was more spectacular than watching them perform one of my all-time favorite songs "Don't Care".

Ending the night, Cannibal Corpse took the stage and it was clear why they were the headliner. The packed venue was wired with rabid fans and the room was alive as the band took charge unleashing a hellstorm of fury in blazing guitars and blast beats complete with headbanging and whipping hair. Vocalist George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher was thoroughly entertaining. The fans were fired up, surfing the crowd in a matter barely within control of venue security. At one point I was nearly kicked in the eye by a zealous crowdsurfer and found myself having to pay closer attention to the crowd than the band. Through their lengthy set they covered songs from their many albums, performing "The Wretched Spawn", "I Cum Blood", "Death Walking Terror", "Make Them Suffer", and "Devoured By Vermin".

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