Concerts inside venues can be a real challenge when the day is extra hot and the air-conditioning lacks the desired effect. The attractive package of this particular evening though, was a strong motive for overcoming such obstacles. Thrashers, Blacksters and Deathsters all gathered inside Academy and the masked Dr. Living Dead! posse assembled on 19:15 sharp, drawing first blood.
How can you describe such an act? Crossover thrash tornado, constant motion on stage (and off stage too since the guitar player joined the moshpit towards the end of the show), cheerfulness, jokes and teasing between band members. All these elements wrapped with a very convincing late 80s crossover façade that owes a great deal to Anthrax and Suicidal Tendencies. Let alone Nuclear Assault! A gang of Swedes that managed to own something so American. That alone speaks volumes on how successful they are.
The next act represented a quite different sonic landscape. Ice cold melodic Black Metal laid by the resurrected Ancient. Although this band started from the very source (Bergen), somehow failed to drink from the water of Black Metal recognition. I personally attribute this fact to the constant line-up changes and numerous relocations for Aphazel himself. Many hoped that Nicholas Barker would appear behind the drum kit but that wasn’t the case. Nevertheless the band appeared more than adequate and served the setlist with fidelity while Aphazel’s figure (now Zel) remains iconic.
Now, concerning the headliners, there are very little to be told. The Cannibals are definitely one of the most consistent live acts of the genre. No matter how many times they step on stage, they will always have awesome sound (the beginning was a bit shaky but things quickly came around). Surgical precision and solid stage presence. This time the Titan that answers to the name Corpsegrinder, had a worthy companion in relentless banging and bashing. No other than Erik Rutan (Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal, Ripping Corpse), a Death Metal cornerstone.
Rutan stepped in O’Brien’s shoes and filled them in the best way possible. He is definitely the ideal contestant in case Pat won’t be able to surpass his recent trouble. Old-timers Mazurkiewicz, Webster, Barret tight as reinforced concrete. All five members resembled bulldozers in a fully coordinated choreography. For almost an hour and a half the band cornered the audience against the ropes and punched everyone to smithereens. And to think that these guys do this routine night after night with the same devotion and sheer power. When you try to think which band is the boss of the genre, there is no way that CC won’t make it to the very top of the list.
Photos: Lefteris Tsoureas (rockhard.gr)