CANNIBAL CORPSE – Bergen – Hulen

CANNIBAL CORPSE – Bergen – Hulen

International Death Metal bands are not a common sight in Norway, and when they come, it’s mostly for a quick pit stop at Hole in the Sky or Inferno. Over the last years we got Autopsy, Obituary, Decapitated, the list is short. Still waiting for more brutal death bands like Krisiun or Vital Remains, real live-bulldozers, and Deicide, that I never managed to see live despite them touring often when I was still living in Paris.

Cannibal Corpse is now on a European tour with some festivals and mostly dates in central Europe, in places nobody has heard about before. Four dates in Norway: Trondheim, Drammen (det er bedre med en dram i timen…), Bergen and Oslo.

This is THE band of the semester for Hulen, and THE extreme metal concert of the semester for Bergen with Slayer/Gojira playing the week after at Bergenhus Festning. Full house. A lot of kids, a lot of famous faces, and some people traveling from over the hills. We have seldom such big bands in such small venues, that means locked up backstage and extensive chat to get to the photopit.

The party started with Trondheim-based band No Dawn. Melodic Death Metal they said. This not being my cup of tea I had no big expectations. But they delivered a powerful and straight in the face set in front of an already nicely filled-up venue, and are to me much more Death Metal than "Melodic". They got a very positive response from the public, especially from a devoted front row. Alex Webster had apparently seen the band earlier at Wacken and ask them to tag along on the Norwegian dates. The band managed to be more than an appetizer for CC, kudos to them.

It’s now time for Cannibal Corpse to take over the stage for a packed crowd screaming the name of the band during several minutes. And there it goes for 20 pieces of headbanging for both the audience and the band. I don’t know what came first: Corpsegrinder’s large stone chopped neck or Corpsegrinder’s headbanging. I just hope for him his family has no stroke history.

I won’t go here for a song by song review as I doubt anybody can by heart the span of their 12 albums, but I would say although they began stiff and tight,  the band grew much better during the concert, the frontman being talkative and joking – still, it’s not  Åkerfeldt, but it’s always the same jokes – and O’Brien having a little chat with the front rows. The rest was just slaughter, and that’s what we asked for.

From the time to "throw blood out of your cock" (sic), things got more serious, Corpsegrinder reminding the most lazy ones that fuck, this is fucking death metal and you gotta move your ass, even if one can hardly compete with him in terms of headbanging. "Unleashing the Bloodthirsty" hammered then another spike in our casket and stays as one of the highlights of the concert. For those who already saw them live, we all already know that he does it better than us and fuck women with a knife, but this time on "As Deep as the Knife will Go" and not on the eponym song.

When comes the time of "Hammer Smashed Face", I can just remember that as a kid, watching Ace Ventura, I would not have expected this band to be a real one. But the fun thought quickly goes its way. George asks then for a moshpit, and gets it at last. But hey, It’s still Norway, so no circle pit, no crowd surfing.  Stripped, raped, and strangled. And then it’s time to go home.

A gig that was not to be missed for those unfamiliar with the live band, despite a barely audible bass and drums, and for most of the musicians, the feeling that they were bolted to the stage. The fingers work still well but not everything seems to follow. It’s square and painless, but you feel the band is aging.

To me the band lacks memorable riffs and tempo switches as the Floridian scene has, and keeps being on autopilot, both on stage and on CD. But the road roller Cannibal Corpse works well, and is still going strong.


Yes, the first 6 are tuned in G#, and no, I didn’t found out all the songs by myself, the tour manager being nice enough to give me a setlist.

Demented Aggression

Sarcophagic Frenzy

Scourge of Iron


Evisceration Plague

The Time to Kill is Now

Crucifier Avenged

Covered with Sores

Born in a Casket

I Cum Blood

Savage Butchery

Encased in Concrete

As Deep as the Knife will Go

The Wreteched Spawn

I Will Kill You

Priests of Sodom

Unleashing the Bloodthirsty

Make them Suffer


Hammer Smashed Face

Stripped, Raped, and Strangled