Words & Photos by Nathan Katsiaficas
Spring is approaching (or so I’m told–judging from the weather here in New England, I’m inclined to disagree), and while there are loads of great metal tours kicking off soon, there are a a few great winter tours that are still wrapping up. The heaviest and most exciting of these, without a doubt, is the co-headlining tour featuring Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse with support from Swedish bands, Aeon and Tribulation. Having lain waste to Canada, the tour made its way south to the House of Blues in the frigid, snowy city of Boston, Massachusetts on Friday, February 27th. This would be my first time seeing Poland’s finest Behemoth, live.
Unfortunately my night got off to a rough start. Due to the ridiculous amounts of snow that Boston has been getting, the subway system has been plagued by delays in recent weeks. I got to witness these firsthand on my trip to the House of Blues, and missed opening band, Tribulation. Aeon were up soon after I arrived, and wasted little time in launching into their set with the fast-paced track “Satanic Victory” from 2005’s Bleeding the False. Frontman Tommy Dahlström was a sight to behold, perched menacingly at the stage-edge, growling out each and every line. The band continued on to play “Living Sin” off of 2007’s Rise to Dominate, and “Forgiveness Denied” from 2010’s Path of Fire. These Swedes were relentless in their auditory assault on the audience, blasting through several more tracks before closing with “Forever Nailed.”
Thanks to Aeon, the audience was ready for blackened death metal giants, Behemoth to take the stage. As the crowd waited, incense wafted out from atop the stage, helping to set a dark mood for the music that was to come. The set began with frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski kneeling before a microphone stand that was fashioned like an altar decorated with two cobras–one on either side, poised as if about to strike. As he stood up, the opening notes to “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” rang out and the crowd went nuts. Nergal threw his fist up in the air, exorting the crowd to cheer along with him, and they were happy to oblige. This type of scene would play out again and again throughout the set, with an energetic Nergal interacting with the crowd at every opportunity. The onslaught continued with “Conquer All” off of their 2005 release Demigod, “Ben Sahar” from their latest album, 2014’s The Satanist, and “Decade ov Therion” from 1999’s Satanica. Despite the extreme complexity in Behemoth’s music, the band was unbelievably tight live, not missing a single note as they blasted through the remainder of their set, which would go on to include the fan-favorites “Ov Fire and the Void” and “Slaves Shall Serve.” The band returned for an encore with “O Father O Satan O Sun!” off their latest record. About 4 minutes in, the lights went dark. As the song kicked back in, the lights came back on to illuminate the band, clad in hooded cloaks with masks and horns, matching the costumes from their music video for “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” (see photos below). Their set was one of the most amazing performances, both visually and musically, that I’ve ever witnessed. As Behemoth departed the stage, the crowd continued to chant “One more song!” but alas, there was one more act to go, and the venue lights turned on as crew members began to change the stage over for Cannibal Corpse.
After a bit of a wait, Florida death metallers Cannibal Corpse emerged to play a crushing 14-song set, beginning with “Scourge of Iron” from 2012’s Torture and following with “Demented Aggression” and fan-favorite “Evisceration Plague.” There are few live bands more brutal than Cannibal Corpse, and this night’s performance was easily the tightest I’ve seen them play. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the obvious similarities between frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher and fictional Dethklok frontman Nathan Explosion–both with that “stand and deliver” stage presence punctuated by brief intervals of hair-windmilling and headbanging. Highlights of the rest of their set included “Icepick Lobotomy” and Cannibal Corpse hit songs “Make Them Suffer” and “Hammer Smashed Face.” Catch this tour before it’s over, the remaining dates are included after the photos below!
Remaining Tour Dates:
3-Mar The Fillmore Charlotte, NC
5-Mar The Masquerade Atlanta, GA
6-Mar Jannus Live St Petersburg, FL
7-Mar Revolution Live Fort Lauderdale, FL