It has been quite a while since both bands on today’s bill have been to Lisbon and so the excitement in the air was almost palpable, even before the doors opened. The crowd was growing fast and a big line outside Paradise Garage was fidgeting to get inside and unleash hell.
The last time SUICIDE SILENCE played in Portugal was in 2008 and we would risk to say that at least half of tonight’s crowd was not old enough to have been there. So not only have they been absent from our country for about 7 years, most of the fans present probably have never seen them live before. From the first punch with “No Pity for a Coward” the band performed a competent, intense and non-stoping show. One hour of fast riffs and a band with great stage presence was the recipe for madness their fans were crying for, wall-of-death moment included during “Disengage”. It was impressive to see how so many people knew the lyrics back to back and how every chorus was shouted out loud, with highlights such as “Wake Up”, “Cease to Exist”, “Slaves to Substance” or “You Can’t Stop Me”, the title track of their latest album. Towards the end of the show, frontman Eddie Hermida told the crowd “Stop making me smile. You’re not supposed to smile when your playing metal and that’s what you’re making me do”, such was the energy coming from the other side of the pit. They said their goodbyes with hugs and handshakes and “You Only Live Once”, sure proving they know how to put on a great live show.
Speaking about bands that haven’t been to Lisbon for a while, CANNIBAL CORPSE were up next and if the energy was already high with Suicide Silence, now it was about to go through the roof. Again, one could risk to say a big part of tonight’s crowd hasn’t had a taste of what was to come but they sure were waiting for it, and those who have witnessed a Cannibal Corpse gig before, kew it was worth the wait. The already veterans of death metal came on stage to much applause and shouting from the crowd and the opening notes of “Scourge of Iron” came through the speakers.
There’s not much to say about Cannibal Corpse and their immense, brutal live shows that hasn’t been said over the years and there’s even less to be added about how much they have become one of the world’s death metal leading names. For starters, they’re called Cannibal Corpse. Second, their first album back in 1990 was called “Eaten Back to Live” and contained one of their true cult classics and that they still play live, “A Skull Full of Maggots” – so much badassery in one band, one album and this was just the beginning. Third, Corpsegrinder is a frontman of gargantuan proportions, being one of the best vocals in death metal and one of the fastest necks we can see on stage. He keeps threatening us into keeping up with him and we try, only to fail, obviously. To add assault to injury, let’s combine this with some top notch musicians – Alex Webster, Pat O’Brien, Rob Barrett and Paul Mazurkiewicz – and a killer show is bound to happen.
But if you think we are talking about one of those bands that rely on their past to decide what goes on their setlist, you can think again. Their most recent albums produced some instant classics that have now a mandatory presence in their live shows – “Sentence to Burn”, “Kill of Become” or “Sadistic Embodiment” are there to remind us of that fact. Adding to that, we keep seeing young people showing up to their shows – I know I was younger when I first saw them and I keep coming back – and that can only be a sign of each new album conquering a few more fans to join the already vast horde.
Classics like “Stripped Rapped and Strangled”, “Addicted to Vaginal Skin” and “I Cum Blood” (a love song, in the words of Mr. Fisher) were also present and were very much welcomed by their fans. With the night coming to a close, the crowd guessed that the inevitable “Hammer Smashed Face” was up next, to witch Corpsegrinder jokingly responded “How could you have possibly guessed that as the last song?!” and then demanded to see everybody slamming front to back to this song and we could do nothing but obey! “Devoured by Vermin” wrapped up the show and we were left with a reminder of why these five guys are already achieving a status of living legends within extreme music. And yes, in case you were wondering, I am a big fan of death metal and Cannibal Corpse and I could not force myself to pretend I was not whilst writing this text – deal it with, there is much worse going around. Keep supporting death metal!
Text & Photos: Joana Martins