Cannibal Corpse with special guests Dark Funeral, Immolation, and Black Anvil at The Vogue in Indianapolis on Tuesday, December 6, 2022
George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher: Vocals
Erik Rutan: Guitar
Rob Barrett: Guitar
Alex Webster: Bass
Paul Mazurkiewicz: Drums
Violence Unimagined. The title tells you everything you need to know about Cannibal Corpse’s fifteenth hellish opus. Comprised of eleven tracks, it is state of the art death metal played with passion and breathless precision, making for another flawless addition to what is inarguably one of the premier catalogues the genre has thrown up. “It really follows the path we’ve been going down for a few years now,” states bassist and founding member Alex Webster. “I think we approach the writing in a similar way most every time: each of us try to write the heaviest, most memorable songs we can. We want each song to have its own identifiable character. Showing my age, I like to say you can ‘drop the needle’ on any point of one of our albums and quickly tell which song you’re listening to.”
Ever improving on the genre they helped define, 2017’s Red Before Black stands as one of the highlights of their career. Following it up wasn’t exactly easy, but Cannibal Corpse have somehow managed to raise the bar yet again. The opening “Murderous Rampage” lives up to its title while the uglier than hell “Condemnation Contagion” practically falls over itself in its hurry to draw blood, and alternately, the lurching, catchy and gloriously chaotic “Ritual Annihilation” is pulverizing. While they continue to do what they do with aplomb, the one substantial change to Cannibal Corpse in 2020 is the addition of guitarist Erik Rutan to their ranks, joining Webster, founding drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz, guitarist Rob Barrett and vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. Known for his roles in Morbid Angel, Ripping Corpse and most notably fronting the mighty Hate Eternal, Rutan has long established himself as one of the most dynamic forces in contemporary death metal. Simultaneously, he has built up a reputation as one of the most in demand producers in metal, having previously produced four Cannibal Corpse albums, alongside the likes of Goatwhore, Soilent Green and Belphegor. Filling in live on guitar since 2019, in 2020 he became a full member, contributing to the writing process. “I think the most noticeable difference on this record will be the addition of Erik to the band. He wrote three full songs for the record, music and lyrics, and his song writing and guitar playing have added something new, and I think his musical style integrated into ours very well,” Webster enthuses. This is not all that he brings to the band. “He’s a great friend of ours, so on a personal level, he’s been a perfect fit, as we knew he would be. Beyond that, he’s one of the hardest working people I know, in music or otherwise, and he maintains a high energy, positive demeanor in challenging situations where other people might go in a negative direction. This energy and great attitude rubs off on the rest of us as well. That’s really a perfect situation to have when you add someone to a band, or any kind of team: someone who’s great at what they do, and also inspires the people around them.” Already well known for the level of extreme technicality they bring to every record, on Violence Unimagined, Cannibal Corpse have further upped their game, particularly in Mazurkiewicz’s drumming. “I think we all pushed ourselves a bit technically on this one, with Paul probably pushing the hardest. This album is probably the most drum-intense album we’ve done yet. Part of that could be a result of Erik joining the band. His song writing style often features technically challenging drumming, probably owing to his years of experience in high speed death metal.” And with typically dark and warped lyrical content, Mazurkiewicz came up with the fitting title of the record, “summing up what the band is about in every facet, and taking violence to another level of extremity.”
With Rutan in the band, having him produce the record was a no-brainer at Mana Recording in St. Petersburg, FL – his central base of operation. Using the studio for pre-production, rather than their rehearsal space as usual, was a great benefit early on, allowing them to come into the actual recording process better prepared than ever before. However, their plans to record the album entirely together were interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with Webster forced to record his bass tracks in his home studio. “I live on the other side of the country now, and that hadn’t been an issue prior to the pandemic, I was still able to go to Florida whenever I needed to. So, I was scheduled to fly down for the recording in early April 2020, and of course that was at the very beginning of all of the lockdowns and travel restrictions in the USA, so I didn’t go. Fortunately I have a lot of experience recording bass tracks at home, so it didn’t affect the sound of the album at all. I stayed in close contact with Erik and the other guys throughout the process, and it actually wound up being quite smooth. Of course I’m looking forward to tracking in the big studio with the guys for the next album, but I’m glad this option worked well for us.” And it would not be a Cannibal Corpse album without striking artwork from Vince Locke, and Violence Unimagined is no different – this time, the cover featuring a mother eating her own baby, though Webster concedes that for censorship reasons, they have had Locke do a complimentary piece that will be more widely released.
Now in their thirty-second year of existence, Webster still has the same hunger to tour, and though unable to do so while the Covid-19 crisis continues, the bassist hopes that not too much more time passes before they are able to get back on the road. Regardless, he is looking ahead and not to the band’s past. “We’re very excited to continue this new chapter of the band with Erik on board. I think that a band should always be working to improve and trying to make whatever they’re currently doing the best thing they’ve done, so that’s what we’ll do.”
Swedish Black Metal pioneers DARK FUNERAL have blazed a path of Satanic ritualism and anti-religion that has endured for nearly three decades. Now, on the band’s seventh studio album, ‘We Are The Apocalypse’, they find themselves reaching for their most immersive and unrepenting journey to date. Led by the songwriting and technical ferocity of founding guitarist Lord Ahriman, Dark Funeral takes aim to surpass the new foundation they laid forth on 2016’s ‘Where Shadows Forever Reign’ – their first release with current lead vocalist Heljarmadr.
Recorded at Fredrik Thordendal’s (Meshuggah) Studio 33, ‘We Are The Apocalypse’ sees the band once again partnering with legendary producer Daniel Bergstrand. For Ahriman, the creative challenges presented by this newest offering can be broken down into a few core objectives: forging new ground by creating bigger soundscapes through rhythmic components, and finding symbiosis between the vocal passages and melodic sections. “A lot of death/black metal, it’s kind of stiff and straightforward – I find that boring. I feel like the vocals need to follow the melodies, and on this record, I think Heljarmadr fucking nailed it.”
‘We Are The Apocalypse’ starts things off with the decimation and unforgiving brutality of “Nightfall”, one of Dark Funeral’s heaviest and fast-paced tracks to date. Drawing influence from a lesser-known mythos and a forewarning of the sheer darkness to come, the song brims with a cohesive hellfire that echoes from Heljarmadr’s blood-curdling howls, reverberates through Ahriman’s pummeling guitar chords, and thuds with dread via Jalomaah´s skull-crushing drum rattle. Throughout these opening salvos, be it the unforgiving darkness of “Let The Devil In’ or the defiant visceral offensive of “When Our Vengeance Is Done”, the band stays true to their promise of delivering Dark Funeral’s most epic and engrossing hellscapes yet.
Approaching the midway point of Apocalypse, Ahriman & Heljarmadr reach deeper into the dark energy which defines them. This comes to the forefront on tracks like “Nosferatu” and “When I’m Gone”, with the latter of the two drawing back the veil on the band’s songwriting process while also exploring untraveled territory. “It’s a first, but we used some clean guitars on this record (on “When I’m Gone” and “Leviathan”) because it just fit so well with what the music was doing. I’m not sure if people have picked up on it yet, but I write pretty much all the riffs acoustically. I do that because I need to hear the tones as they are in order to find the harmonies that I had in my head. It’s only after doing this that I can transform these harmonies into my own Satanic symphonies.”
On “Nosferatu”, Heljarmadr would find inspiration for his lyrics after revisiting the preeminent forefather of the horror film genre. “I revisited a bunch of Dracula themed films. What I came to find is how the whole genre has been corrupted by romantic crap over time, yet the very first film, Nosferatu, is so fucking dark and evil. It’s magnificent. I wanted to resurrect that evil and this is my homage to the good old blood sucker.”
Throughout the new album, certain themes and priorities begin to make themselves apparent. Chief among them that a title as urgent as ‘We Are The Apocalypse’ is not taken lightly, and that Dark Funeral intend to make this otherworldly undoing as tangible for their audience as a great film or a gripping piece of literature. The watery grave invoked on “Leviathan” builds menacing from its early haunting notes into an utter cacophony thanks to rhythm guitarist Chaq Mol and bassist Adra Melek, while the sociopathic fervor explored on “A Beast To Praise” prowls and bludgeons with bloodlust. The record closes with a deafening cataclysm brought to life on its title track, “We Are The Apocalypse” – unwavering in its intention to draw listeners into a realm of true evil and lament. That is where Dark Funeral are, and have always been, their strongest.
Just as one can smell a storm swelling on the horizon, the cataclysmic tremor that is IMMOLATION approaches to unleash its latest, immense creation: ACTS OF GOD. Due to be released in winter of 2022, this 11th studio album serves as the next chapter of IMMOLATION’S Death Metal epic. With 5 long years passed since the most recent studio album, ATONEMENT, ACTS OF GOD vigorously showcases IMMOLATION’s ability to consistently create fascinating sounds, while still keeping their feet firmly rooted in the old school, New York Death Metal for which they are renowned.
Emblazoned with a haunting new masterpiece by artist Eliran Kantor, ACTS OF GOD displays a trifecta of angelic beings desperately trying to prevent one another’s flesh from melting in a blackened light from above. The muted colors and ethereal images will ring familiar to fans of IMMOLATION’s previous album covers. “We wanted this cover to feel much darker; more melancholy and hopeless. The music has always been very dark, and a lot of Kantor’s work had the feeling that we were going for; the semi-surreal colliding with a classic, almost renaissance feel,” explains founder and vocalist/bassist Ross Dolan. “It’s unnerving. It really reflects the music perfectly,” agrees founder and guitarist Robert Vigna.
The album’s third track “The Age Of No Light” is a powerful, hard hitting song with an extreme yet catchy melody. “It’s quick, hits hard, and gets straight to the point” explains Vigna. Consistently changing speeds and patterns throughout, the song is short but remains both dynamic and memorable.
“Blooded” has all the usual IMMOLATION elements: the slow, the fast, the explosive, the big overlaid sections of groovy harmony eventually dropping into evil, ripping guitar work. “It’s a little powerhouse,” describes Vigna, “it’s straightforward, and it has all the elements you would expect from us in a nice, neat package.”
A song like “Immoral Stain” is a slightly mid-paced track with an intense, creepy atmosphere. Equipped with plenty of unusual moments, the beat is catchy, dark, and echoing. Searing guitar starts to recite a story and then quickly begins a conversation with thunderous vocals and a vociferous beat. “That whole section of build up just needed to be done exactly as it is. That’s what makes it sound different and interesting,” describes Vigna. Much like the rest of the album, while the lyrics cover the usual, general topics of genuine evil and the great deception of religion, the specifics are most certainly left to the listener’s interpretation. Fortunately for IMMOLATION fans, there is no shortage of corruption and catastrophe in this world.
Fittingly, the concluding track “Apostle” was the last song written for the album. “Some of those chorus sections have a weird almost dream-like quality,” describes Dolan. Its steadily growing momentum discharges rounds of guitar solos and relentless vocals which eventually lead way to an explosive finale to the album.
The creative journey for ACTS OF GOD began with years of notes, and an abundance of inspiration. With Vigna at the helm of the structural writing as usual, further composing and concepts were tossed back and forth amongst all 4 members. Eventually, they began to skeletonize the beginning of what would become a full length, studio album. While the recording process and entering the studio can be a very sterile experience for some musicians, the ferocity of the demos combined with the expertise of long time friend and recording counterpart Paul Orofino of Millbrook Studios (BLUE OYSTER CULT, BAD CO, GOLDEN EARRING), assured that this would not be an issue for IMMOLATION. “Having such a level of comfort is key,” remarks Dolan. Final touches were brought about on the mixing and mastering by Zack Ohren of Castle Ultimate Studios.
Firmly aligned with Nuclear Blast Records, the often coveted sound of IMMOLATION has reemerged from the depths of a cursed and cruel world to illuminate our minds and ears with exquisite, sonic destruction.
Formed in 2007 in New York City, Black Metal troupe BLACK ANVIL released their debut album, Time Insults the Mind, on Monumentum/Reflections Records in September 2009, and later that year signed to renowned independent label Relapse Records. After a re-release of their acclaimed 2009 debut, BLACK ANVIL unleashed their first proper full-length Triumvirate in September 2010. Recorded with engineer ‘General’ George Fullan (The Rolling Stones, Dream Theater) at Mark ‘The Animal’ Mendoza’s (Twisted Sister) Diamond Drop Studio on Long Island, NY, Triumvirate received critical acclaim and was hailed as an “all-around monster metal album.” Pitchfork even stated, “Black Anvil’s an amazing live band… and their songwriting’s as strong as their stage presence.”
Triumvirate was followed in 2014 by Hail Death, a 70-minute journey of intensity that further established BLACK ANVIL as a modern Black Metal powerhouse and was praised by publications including Noisey, Pitchfork, Stereogum, Metal Injection, and many more. Constantly bringing their live ritual to the masses, BLACK ANVIL has participated in numerous high profile tours with Black Metal legends such as MAYHEM, WATAIN, URFAUST, and MARDUK as well as dates with AURA NOIR, NACHTMYSTIUM, IMMORTAL, EYEHATEGOD, CANNIBAL CORPSE, and many others. Additionally, the band has appeared at various festivals including the Scion Rock Fest, Beyond The Gates in Bergen, Norway and the renowned Roadburn Festival in The Netherlands.
In 2017, BLACK ANVIL dropped their fourth studio-album, As Was, the staggering 50-minute follow-up to 2014’s Hail Death. Atmospheric and melodic without relenting on any of the ferocity BLACK ANVIL have always been known for, As Was seamlessly weaves through eight monumental passages of extreme metal art. More diverse, complex, and thought-provoking than anything they’ve done before, As Was is a stellar representation of modern Black Metal, and of BLACK ANVIL’s continuous progression and songcraft. Featuring cover art by Metastazis (Behemoth, Watain, Morbid Angel) and recorded at Menegroth by Colin Marston (Krallice, Gorguts, Panopticon) with mixing and mastering done by Tore Stjerna at Necromorbus Studio (Tribulation, Funeral Mist, Watain).
By 2021, the band formed an unholy union with Season of Mist, opening a new chapter in the band’s brutal history. The black metal cultists have completed work on their latest full-length, which will be revealed in late 2022. Stay tuned…
CANNIBAL CORPSE with special guests DARK FUNERAL, IMMOLATION, and BLACK ANVIL
DECEMBER 6, 2022
THE VOGUE THEATRE
TICKETS AT THEVOGUE.COM
THIS SHOW IS GENERAL ADMISSION AND SEATING IS NOT PROVIDED. YOU MUST BE 21+ TO ENTER THE VENUE WITH A VALID FORM OF IDENTIFICATION. ALL TICKETS ARE NON-TRANSFERABLE AND NON-REFUNDABLE. TWO FORMS OF IDENTIFICATION MAY BE REQUIRED FOR ENTRY.