Gig Review: Cannibal Corpse at Rock City

Words: Richard Davies
Photos: Richard Davies
Thursday 27 April 2023
reading time: min, words

Richard Davies took a trip to Rock City to review Cannibal Corpse's energetic set...


Another trip to Rock City tonight to witness something quite special. Not a night for the faint-hearted as legendary Black Metal band Cannibal Corpse hit town.

A packed house is expected and a larger than usual crowd are here for the first band Storm Ruler. From St. Louis in the US and with two excellent albums behind them already, 2021’s Under A Burning Eclipse and 2022’s Sacred Rites & Black Magick, they set us off in fine style. With twin guitars blasting out the furious riffs, there’s a nice mix of instrumental sections - melodic and downright heavy! Something for everyone and the crowd were enjoying every second of it. It was a thoroughly enjoyable opening set.

The crowd grew larger with Manchester’s own Ingested up next… the noise levels were about to go through the roof. Formed in 2006, they’ve released six albums so far, the most recent being 2022’s Ashes Lie Still. Vocalist Jason Evans dominates the stage as he delivers his guttural vocals, amping up the audience more and more. Their style is insanely powerful, but technically excellent too, and the crowd eagerly lap it up.

The crowd were enjoying every second of it

Midway through the set, Jason orders the crowd to split down the middle and they comply. On command, they rush forwards as the vocals scream out and chaos ensues in the crowd, as a human swarm circles round and round.

Much to the ‘delight’ of security, Jason goads the crowd on and demands that they ‘send them over in waves’. As the hardcore metal starts up again, wave after wave of fans surf over and are helped down into the pit by security. The intensity doesn’t drop, and the waves continue right to the end. It’s spellbinding to watch from the sides.

It was one of the most insane, and hardcore, sets I’ve seen. Ingested are incredible live, and if you get the chance I’d highly recommend seeing them.


Another brief break to clear the stage lets everyone catch their breath and grab a drink, before the arrival of Dark Funeral, a Swedish black metal band formed way back in 1993 by Lord Ahriman. All dressed in black leather with black and white face paint, the band walk slowly out onto the stage, and immediately there is a different, darker feel. They dive into the set with venom and vocalist Andreas Vingbäck (Heljarmadr) being an imposing figure front of stage. Not moving much, it adds to the dark feel and intensity of the set.

The drumbeats are blisteringly fast, and the classic black metal guitar riffs seem to drip off every beat. Still, the waves of people continue over into the pit.

Finally, it’s time for the main act… the one we’ve all been waiting for. Waiting to the side of the pit, security tell me they’ve had 1754 surfers over already. I’ve not seen anything as intense before, and I’m sure by the end of the night the total would have been well over 250.

The band walk slowly out onto the stage, and immediately there is a different, darker feel

We head into the pit and the lights dim and turn red. Slowly Cannibal Corpse come out onto the stage, finally joined by vocalist George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher. The crowd go absolutely wild as they dive in to Scourge of Iron from 2013’s Torturing and Eviscerating. Right from the off Corpsegrinder is headbanging, with the most insanely intense windmills you could ever see, his long hair flicking around. I have no idea how he does it.

Code of the Slashers from 2017’s Red Before Black is a brutal track, with shifting tempos demonstrating how good the band technically are. The most recent album, 2021’s Violence Unimagined, is represented with Necrogenic Resurrection which has some of the most intense, fierce, and fast riffs of the night.

As the set comes to an end, the old school fans get to enjoy dark, brooding track Stripped, Raped & Strangled, taken from 1994’s album The Bleeding, before we end on a classic, and perhaps their best-known track Hammer Smash Face from 1992’s brilliant album Tomb of the Mutilated. The blisteringly fast guitars and the dirty deep and heavy bass sections elicited cheers from the crowd.


And before we know it, it’s all over. One of the wildest, most insane shows I’ve been to, but one of the best. The energy levels were off the scale right form the start, and all four bands delivered exceptional performances.

Cannibal Corspe delivered, and then some. They show no signs of slowing down, and I look forward to seeing them again. Long live Death Metal!

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