Devildriver, Cannibal Corpse, Black Dahlia Murder, Hour of Penance – O2 ABC Glasgow – 10/03/13

Due to my having to work tonight, I approached the venue a mere 5 minutes before the doors open, so the line is stretching away from the door, around the corner and up the hill clearly this show is highly anticipated by the locals.
Unfortunately by the time I’ve interviewed Devildriver guitarist Jeff Kendrick (listen here)and then gotten in to the cavernous main hall of the venue (complete with the world largest glitter ball!!) I’ve missed nearly all of opening band Hour of Penance.  The Italian death metal outfit are playing their hearts out and clearly winning over new fans.

It would appear that I’m not the only one on a tight schedule because it’s no sooner have the stage crew cleared and reset the stage and  then also line checked all instruments than the house lights go down for The Black Dahlia Murder.  The band are clearly loved by the crowd as they instantly open up a pit and there is nothing but a blur of bodies and hair as they show their appreciation to opening track A Shrine To Madness, even vocalist Trevor Strnad referring to the assembled masses as “Sheep Shaggers” fails to dull the mood.  This band are obviously happiest on stage, the way Trevor almost seems to conduct the audience whilst dual guitarists Brian Eschbach and Ryan Knight and bassist Max Lavelle stalk the stage enjoying their craft and the wry smile from drummer Alan Cassidy hints that he’d love there to be a way to play drums that doesn’t involve sitting at the back of the stage.  Closing track I Will Return kicks off a major circle pit leaving both band and fans drained by the end of it.

Set List –

  1. A Shrine to Madness
  2. Moonlight Equilibrium
  3. Statutory Ape
  4. Miasma
  5. On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood
  6. What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse
  7. Necropolis
  8. Everything Went Black
  9. I Will Return

Having been in the business for 25 years Cannibal Corpse must have an eye for experienced stage crew as they have everything on stage changed and checked in ample time so when the house lights go down bang on time, there is a near deafening roar from the floor as the crowd show who they are really here to see. Cannibal Corpse are as loud and as brutal as you would expect them to be and the audience does well to keep up, even during slower more grinding songs like Scourge of Iron the pit is no less brutal. With 12 albums in their back catalogue to choose from picking a set list must be a nightmare for this band.  A majority comes from their last 3 albums most notably 2012’s Torture.  Cannibal Corpse are not a band famed for their between song banter, and it’s not until front man George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher stops to introduce Disfigure that there is any interaction with the crowd.  As The Time To Kill Is Now is introduced, a huge area of the floor is cleared to make way for the biggest circle pit of the night (so far).  For I Cum Blood “Corpsegrinder” issues a challenge to the front few rows, a head banging challenge.  It’s simple – keep up with him.  Now if you’ve seen Cannibal Corpse before you’ll know that this is an impossibility, the man’s neck is simply massive and us mere mortals have no hope of getting anywhere close to him in that regard.  As riotous as the pit has been so far it’s obvious by the reaction that it’s the classics like Hammer Smash Face and Skull Full of Maggots that these fans are here to see.  Set closer Stripped, Raped and Strangled is a classic Black Metal epic and when you add the vocal power of The Black Dahlia Murder’s Trevor Strnad it gets kicked up a whole other notch.  Cannibal Corpse have set the bar exceptionally high for their tour co-head liners I can’t help but wonder if they’re up to the challenge.

Set List –

  1. Demented Aggression
  2. Sarcophagic Frenzy
  3. Scourge of Iron
  4. Disfigured
  5. Evisceration Plague
  6. The Time to Kill is Now
  7. I Cum Blood
  8. Encased in Concrete
  9. Pit of Zombies
  10. A Skull Full of Maggots
  11. Priests of Sodom
  12. Unleashing the Bloodthirsty
  13. Make Them Suffer
  14. Hammer Smashed Face
  15. Stripped, Raped and Strangled

As Cannibal Corpse leave the stage and monotonous low pitch drone oozes out of the house P.A.  There is no background music being played between the co-head liners tonight just the continued almost ominous drone.  However as the house lights go down for the final time tonight a twisted country and western tune picks up and lasts roughly 15 seconds before a demonic laugh stops it immediately and Devildriver take the stage to the instantly recognisable intro to End of the Line.  This song has become the bands staple opening track over the years and judging by how the crowd reacts is it’s easy to see why.  It also sets the tone for the rest of the set.  There are flying bodies and hair everywhere.  No one is standing still, if they’re not in the pit that covers over 50% of the floor, they’re crowd surfing or head banging like they are trying to hammer rail road spikes into the floor with their forehead.
A kilted Dez Fafara commands the stage and as the band segway into Cry For Me Sky he tells the pit to slow it down so that he can “feel the groove”.  The crowd respond to his every whim, but Dez is far from being an arrogant rock star.  He stops mid way through the set to thank all the crews for their work through out the tour as well as to heap praise on the open band for their aplaudable work ethic in the face of adversity (pointing out his band were where those bands are now not so long ago)and to finally pay homage to tour mate Cannibal Corpse.
Devildriver plough through a set of classics including Head on to Heartache (which is dedicated to all the women of the audience tonight) and their ode to the legalized Marijuana of Southern California the frankly epic Clouds Over California.  Track such as Dead to Rights and Horn of Betrayal even seemed to win over the death metal purists in attendance who had turned their noses up at a band some have previously scene as a “wanna be death metal band”.
Devildriver (in my opinion) are a no bullshit metal band that have to be seen live to be fully appreciated, and they prove my point right at the end of the night.  Singer Dez announces “We dont do bullshit encores, this is it motherfuckers come Meet The Wretched!!!”  If you’ve seen this song performed live before then you know what’s about to happen.  80% of the floor is cleared to make way for the biggest and fastest circle pit of the night.  This is what Devildriver do best and it’s the perfect way to end what has been an epic night of metal.

Set List –

  1. End of the Line
  2. Cry for Me Sky (Eulogy of the Scorned)
  3. Dead to Rights
  4. These Fighting Words
  5. Horn of Betrayal
  6. Not All Who Wander Are Lost
  7. Head on to Heartache (Let Them Rot)
  8. I Could Care Less
  9. Pure Sincerity
  10. The Mountain
  11. Hold Back the Day
  12. Clouds Over California
  13. Meet the Wretched

Special mention has to go to PIT TROLL.
I’ve seen this guy at nearly every metal gig in Glasgow, but tonight is the first I’ve seen him identify himself as “Pit Troll” with personalised t-shirt and mask.
He stands easily 6 foot 6 and controls every pit during every band tonight, he is even picked out from the stage to take charge.
Cheers big man, it’s good to see someone is teaching the kids how to pit properly \m/ \m/

There’s tons more pics from the show HERE.  Go check them out.

About Del Preston

So there I am, in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn't go on stage that night. So, Jeff Beck pops his head 'round the door, and mentions there's a little sweet shop on the edge of town. So - we go. And - it's closed. So there's me and Keith Moon and David Crosby, breaking into that little sweet shop, eh. Well, instead of a guard dog, they've got this bloody great big Bengal tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shop owner and his son, that's a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business really. But sure enough, I got the M&Ms and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show.
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