The Decibel Magazine Tour tORONTO - tHE pHOENIX - mAY 31, 2013
Written by: Kirsti Heitz June 3, 2013
Yes, the Decibel Magazine Tour has graced us with its presence for a second round but this time with a more death metal edge. With bands that will give any metal fan wet dreams such as Cannibal Corpse, Immolation and Napalm Death, not to mention the rotating openers Beyond Creation, Cretin and Magrudergrind, it is no wonder that metal fans have been hoarding these tickets for months. The tour pulled into full gear on May 10th in Houston, Texas and found its way to the Phoenix Theatre in Toronto by May 31st. I have to say, the excruciating wait was well worth the toxic night of energy, sweat, and hair.
The Toronto show night kicked off with the Quebecois Progressive Death Metal band Beyond Creation. Though I only got to check out the end of their set I have to say they were the perfect start to a heavy night. I’m partial to synchronized head banging and Beyond Creation definitely had it down to a peg. Their heavy sound kept well with the death metal theme of the night while the progressive elements in their riffs and doomy melodies slowed down the pace at times, allowing fans to store their energy. Not that energy was lacking at this show: far from it. The Phoenix was a steam room of excitement that intoxicated fans with anticipation. And when I say steam room I mean it. Just from stepping through the doors you were hit with a wall of heat and a wave of sweat.
The New York based Death Metal band Immolation was next up. With a quick “Hello Toronto” they blasted into their set with the fast paced “Kingdom of Conspiracy.” Their powerful intro brought an insane response from the crowd. Though each person was head banging to their own rhythm everyone was windmilling in unison for the chorus and breakdowns while vocalist/bassist Ross Dolan whipped his waist long hair back and forth while. I loved Immolation’s straight to the point attitude and needless to say they ended their set just as unceremoniously as they started with a simple “Thank you Toronto.”
Next up was the Brit band Napalm Death who are known for mixing their British influence of punk with the heavier elements of Metal. Napalm Death definitely proved to be masters of the two minute song as they crammed at least double if not triple the amount of songs into the same time frame allotted to Immolation. However the energy given off from the crowd did not seem to be reciprocated from the band itself. Though this may be more of their punk influence rearing its head, Barney Greenway paced the stage shaking his head to no beat while Shane Embury and Mitch Harris simply kept to their instruments. I definitely was expecting more of a show from them after listening to their intense sound, but the crowd more than made up for the lack of energy.
Finally the moment we have all been waiting for. Anticipation was ripe in the air along with a lot of body odour and the occasional whiff of weed. As soon as the lights turned off to announce the beginning of the set pandemonium broke out. Cannibal Corpse started off with “Skull Full of Maggots,” a badass song off their first album “Eaten Back to Life,” creating headbanging madness all around. Having a pit half the size of the venue proves the level of energy Corpse fans have in response to their brutal sound. A huge pit also makes it easier to squeeze up front as long as you can hold your own, which is where I found myself for their set. There is nothing like being in the center of it all at a Cannibal Corpse show, it is the pit of chaos. Whoever isn’t moshing is headbanging and absolutely everyone is sweating, even the dudes from Cannibal were literally dripping sweat.
Trying to keep up with the King of windmilling was near impossible but George Fisher’s taunts only made fans try all the harder. Not only did Cannibal Corpse make sure everyone was having a good time by provoking fans into moshing madness but intervals between songs were filled with Corpsegrinders’ humour as he called out the dude crowd-surfing to no song and the chick who kept on requesting “I Cum Blood” after they had already played it. Needless to say George Fishers’ call out to recently deceased Slayer guitarist, Jeff Hanneman, riled up fans into a chant of “Jeff” that touched many fans. The night only got more insane as they played top favourites such as “Demented Aggression,” “Encased in Concrete” and “Hammer Smashed Face.” The set was ended in perfection with the all time favourite “Stripped, Raped and Strangled” in which everyone spent their last bits of drunken energy in creating a toxic pit of frenzy.
Cannibal Corpse doesn’t only live up to my greatest expectations and their brutal reputation, but they rise above them. After one show this band turns into one of those shows that you make sure to never miss.