13-08-2015 - WERKSTATT, Cologne, Germany

In an increasingly unstable, confusing world, there are pretty few things you still can rely on. The so called world order we almost started to accept as eternal? It collapses before our eyes. The stability of our economical and political systems? Seeming more fragile every day. God? No way!


On this Thursday night, between festival shows in Europe, the Tampa Bay five-piece plays an exclusive club gig in Cologne’s „Werkstatt“ and by the time I arrive (being an ignorant, old fuck I missed the two support bands on purpose), the small, sweaty venue is packed with people. The outside temperature is around 30°C, inside it's easily 10° hotter, and the band isn’t even playing. By the end of the show, everyone in the place will be wet (and I mean dripping wet) from just standing around. I’m not sure how those crazy motherfuckers in the rad mosh pit even survived this  - maybe they’re just younger than me. 

But first, CANNIBAL CORPSE enter the stage in their typical, no-bullshit way. No intro, no stage props, just five guys in army pants and bandshirts picking up their instruments and destroying the place. The Florida Death Metal stalwarts might not be kvlt enough for everyone, given the fact that they are easily the most successful real Death Metal band of the planet. Still, the way they have been forging catchy songs without compromising a single bit in terms of brutality and technicality for 27 years straight now is fucking impressive and the tightness of their live presentation is matched by very few bands in all of Metal. The guitar playing of Rob Barett and especially Pat O’Brien is stellar, what Alex Webster pulls off on his bass guitar is simply not of this world. The setlist features the finest cuts from every period of the band’s almost three decades of existence. „Disposal of the body“, „The wretched spawn“, „Unleashing the bloodthirsty“, „Addicted to vaginal skin“, „Stripped, raped and strangled“. Every single song is a fucking hit, name second brutal Death Metal band on whose shows you find yourself shouting the words to every track.  George ‚Corpsegrinder‘ Fisher is one of the best frontmen of the scene, his stage acting, gestures and song announcements as well as his impressive size make him seem like a zombie that just crawled out of one of the band’s album covers. The extreme heat forces the band to some prolonged pauses between songs and when Alex wrings out his soaking wet sweatbands you can imagine how close to collapsing the musicians must be. „Sentenced to burn“, indeed. Despite the inhuman conditions, CANNIBAL CORPSE hack and slash their way through to the closing „Hammer smashed face“ and „Devoured by vermin“ before they leave an exhausted, but happy audience behind. Being butchered never felt that good. Fire up the chainsaw!