CANNIBAL CORPSE – Oslo – Vulkan Arena

CANNIBAL CORPSE – Oslo – Vulkan Arena

A death metal evening is usually the cause of painful necks, heads and/or limbs for the following days and Cannibal Corpse/Revocation/Aeon concerts live in Oslo were no exception from this rule. Especially since the concert took place on a Saturday day and allowed people to party hard and long. The concerts took place at Vulkan arena, a decently sized stage that allows for a good amount of people to stand in front of it and even to start a moshpit. The biggest disadvantage of the evening was that they dedicated no space for the wardrobe and since it was puring outside, it wasn’t the best experience to have to hold on to your wet coat. Nor to try to walk through the wet crowd, especially in a tshirt.

One thing to mention for anyone else who might go to a concert at Vulkan and hasn’t been there before and arrives a tad late (meaning after everyone in the queue entered the venue): watch out for the fact that the entrance to another venue, Pokalen, is a couple of meters away and it might not be too obvious that they are two separate places. A friend of ours had to pay the entrance for both concerts due this mistake. Luckily she realised in good time that the bands at Pokalen didn’t really have a death metal logo, nor a death metal sound for that matter.

At Vulkan stage, the night was opened by the Swedes from Aeon and, to my surprise, it was rather crowded for a first band. But it didn’t take long to understand why after paying attention to the way they play and to the sound overall: very very intense and technical. At the level that you could hardly follow the fingers on the guitars and you wonder how do they manage that themselves. I didn’t hear much of the vocals most of the concert so that allowed me to focus on the rest of the instruments and especially on the tightness of the drumming. And now I read that it is actually Emil Wiksten who sits on that chair and then it makes sense that he sounds so out of this world. 

Once the standards of aggresivness and technicality levels were nicely set, Revocation took the stage and managed to maintain and even increase the level at times. They have a vocalist/guitarist and that makes things even more exciting to watch as I personally find it incredibly hard to sing and play an instrument at that speed. But then again, the voice wasn’t really the highlight of the evening. Besides that, they’re an extremely talented bunch of guys who rarely bother to make any breaks in their songs and when they do, they seem to fill them with interesting solos that never abuse your patience and even manage to take your mind a bit away from he death metal realm. Altogether a very cool mix and a great amount of energy on stage. Another plus is that they stirred the crowd well enough to start a moshpit and that was a very impressive sight among a usual dead Oslo audience.

No mater how many Internet memes I see nor how often I watch Cannibal Corpse live, it’s still impressive to see George Fisher on stage. And then to watch him and the rest of the band perform. He really sings in the true death metal fashion and has one of the most incredible head bangings (or well, head spinning) styles ever. I guess everyone must have noticed the size of his neck. I think he even made a headbanging ‘contest’ with the audience, but I doubt anyone stands a chance. Once you get dizzy watching him and start paying attention to the rest of the members and try to figure if a song is newer or older. Not easy if you are not familiar with the band’s discography, but interesting to notice how some songs are more ‘riffier’ than others, but without losing any of their technicality. The music kicks the hell out of your senses and makes most of the people in the middle of the arena to go wild in the moshpit, while the ones in the front rows look like a very uncontrolled wave of hair. It was very nice to hear that the guards in front of the stage actually gave some water to the kids who were headbaning by the fence. Finally, Norway is starting to learn the spirit of metal concerts.

As I left the concert area for a nature call and decided there’s no way I can swim back through all the crowd, I stayed and watched from the back. That’s when I realised that most people I saw leaving were walking funnily and I can only guess it was the result of the moshpit. But they looked happy and maybe even wetter than when they came in from the rain. But that’s how a death metal concert should be, right?