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Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, Evocation, Obscura - European Plague Tour
Dying Fetus released the death metal record of the year and Cannibal Corpse is an ever entertaining death metal band, so I found it a good idea to visit the last two shows of this tour on the European mainland in Bibelot Dordrecht and Hedon Zwolle. This review is about the latter one, the date on which CC and DF said goodbye to their two rotating opening acts.

This eve German progressive death metal band Obscura had to open the ball. Some of its members had flu and fretless bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling was absent due to his busy schedule, but the band found a good replacement in Jacob Schmidt from Defeated Sanity, and played a flawless show. Their playtime was reduced compared to previous times I saw them, and I must say that unless their amazing skills I dig it better when they keep it short and powerful. The sound tonight was quite brutal and in-your-face and the instrumental passages maintained to be interesting. Nonetheless they didn’t really gain much crowd response, I already wondered how far the success of this band can reach. The Cannibal Corpse audience won’t be the main target though. Ending their set with ‘Centric Flow’ I can say that they were, despite their illness, in good condition.

Evocation from Sweden is a band with a history. They formed in the fall of 1991, recorded a couple of demos and despite the fact that several labels contacted the band they disbanded in 1993 due to musical differences. At that point they were considered as one of the most interesting death metal acts from Sweden. In the summer of 2005 the band reformed and by now they've released two full-lengths and are on tour with Cannibal Corpse. I saw them once before and so did I the day before this one, but actually all of the shows were really bad. Their music sounds too easy, with an Amon Amarth-like groove and annoying melodies that sometimes tend to metalcore. The vocalist seemed to loose his voice towards the end of this tour and a silly devilhorn action by the whole band made me just laugh at them. I really hope to not ever see this band live again.

My statement that Dying Fetus wrote the death metal album of the year is of course very personal, but it’s undeniable that this Maryland trio strikes again with the release of Descend Into Depravity. Tonight the band pleased both old and new fans with classics like “Intentional Manslaughter”, “Praise The Lord (Opium Of The Masses)”, “Pissing In The Mainstream”, “Grotesque Impalement” “One Shot, One Kill”, but also newer work like “Homicidal Retribution”, “Your Treachery Will Die With You” and the brand new single “Shepherd's Commandment”. The addition of gravity blasts couldn’t really be heard during the wall of sound this band produced, but the brutality splashed of stage and had a clearly aggressive influence on the audience. Drummer Trey Williams played as an angry kid, bashing the shit out of his kit with great energy and also John Gallagher and Sean Beasley were in top form, John varying between his utter brutal grunt and his extreme guitarlicks while Sean’s powerful voice also couldn’t be denied. I’m glad that DF is planning some European festival appearances next year!

After Dying Fetus’ devastating show it was time for the legendary Cannibal Corpse. A sold out Hedon was awaiting them, and tonight they couldn’t do anything wrong. As soon as the band got on stage, an even more violent pit than during Fetus was formed and maintained till the very last song of their set. Highlights were new track “Priests Of Sodom” and unquestionable classics like “Fucked With A Knife”, “I Cum Blood” and “Hammer Smashed Face”. Also 2006’ Kill album was well presented with the songs “The Time To Kill Is Now”, “Make Them Suffer” and “Death Walking Terror”. The sound wasn’t optimal, ‘cause without earplugs it was too noisy. Not too loud, but the mix just wasn’t clear enough, the groove was only well audible with earplugs. Also, the band took minutes between the songs to tune their guitars - or should I say ‘recover’ - but that were the only downsides. During the songs the band, with George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher first, treated us on some fine entertaining death metal. They came, saw and conquered, again!