After New England has taken the beating of a lifetime from Mother Nature this winter in the form of tons of snow, and frigid temps, it was good to feel the warmth of a venue again. This night was not just poised to be a memorable metal concert, but it was my two-year anniversary with my girlfriend Tara. Keep your flowers and candy; I can’t think of anything more romantic than a night of top-shelf death metal, gore and blasphemy, and my beloved agrees, so off we went to Boston for the show.
I had access to the House of Blues Foundation Room for me and lady on this night. I had some preconceived notions about what the experience was going to be like: corporate and sterile. I could not be more wrong about the unassuming, funky Indian-themed environment. I had a blast and would do it again.
Tribulation opened the show and they were killer. It seems like the band is poised for bigger things here in the US and it was great to see so many fans in the venue super into them. Maybe it’s because Johannes Anderson kind of looks like Evan Peters from American Horror Story. No, that’s not it. They played an awesome set of a few favorites and one new song from their forthcoming album Children of the Night, dropping in May from Century Media.
Aeon just flat out destroyed! From the first note to the last they just brutalized the audience to death musically. They were the “aha” band for many when this tour was announced, some fans I know claiming they would leaved after the heavy Swedes were done exsanguinating us all. In the mean time this band keeps killing it big time year after year. They played a brilliant, if too brief for me set with happy little tunes such as ‘Satanic Victory’, ‘Living Sin’, ‘God Gives Head In Heaven’ and ‘Forever Nailed’. I caught up with Tommy Dahlstrom backstage for a quick interview between bands and he said he’d never been happier with a tour. You could tell from their performance it was true.
Behemoth was next and I thought right off the bat it would be hard for them to live up to their performance for last spring. In my mind that was as flawless a performance as I might ever see in Death Metal, and I have seen some great ones. Well they certainly came close again tonight. On the even bigger stage of the House of Blues, Nergal and his comrades in Behemoth certainly seemed like larger than life heroes. Milking every ounce of energy and adulation the audience could give, Nergal cajoled cheers and demanded attention with every dramatic arm movement and pose. With the set list now comprising at least half of 2013’s The Satanist (Nuclear Blast) plus the “hits”, it would be nice to hear the band play more from their classic, 90s material. But alas, I doubt we will hear too much of those songs in the future, which is a shame. Still, if the show had ended here I wouldn’t have complained.
Nearly any other band would have been hard pressed to follow the performance just witnessed. Cannibal Corpse does live what they have done every step of their career: play technical death metal with effortless mastery. After 25 years it says a lot that they can play a brutal set of 14 tracks and, still leave you wanting more. Newer cuts like ‘Evisceration Plague’ and ‘Kill or Become’ flow perfectly with ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ and ‘The Wretched Spawn’. The pits were consistently awesome for the Corpse, as opposed to Behemoth, but that is likely due to the up and down tempos of the co-headliners. Although I have seen the band countless times, they never fail to amazing with putting on a great set. Corpsegrinder was hilarious as always with his in between song banter, allowing him to be the foil, while his bandmates focus on playing. They continue to be the gold-standard of all death metal band and arguably the best ever.
WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES