Monday, December 22, 2014

Cannabis Corpse, Mammoth Grinder, Inanimate Existence, Artillery Breath

December 18, 2014 • Ace of Cups, Columbus, Ohio

Concerts this year were sadly slim. It looks like things might pick up next year, though. Anyway I was excited to finally hit another death metal show—as I've said before, I think death metal is one of my favorite genres to watch live, if only for the sheer insanity some bands bring out on stage.

Artillery Breath

The token local opener, and pretty decent stuff to get the show started at that. They're kind of like a death-metal-oriented Kvelertak—lots of heavy grinding extreme metal with old-school high-energy hard rock riffs, with that same sort of high-energy performance and silly and fun attitude. They're not really the kind of thing I'd spin very often on my own, but they were definitely good to watch and a great opener.

Inanimate Existence

The obligatory second band playing that I'd never heard of but wound up liking the best. (Weird how often that happens.) As I soon as I saw them breaking out the seven-string guitars and warming up with some jazzy lines, I could tell it was going to be good. This band falls much more into the brutal/technical death metal side and have a much more serious stance than the other bands playing, but what they were playing was ridiculous—the kind of complicated wall-of-sound riffing where the drummer is somehow the sanest one playing. I did my best to keep up with what the guitars and bass were doing, but the complexity and fluidity was too much, as if they were just waving their fingers over the fretboards at random but still having something awesome come out. This sort of very-long-form through-composed material isn't for everyone and it can be tough to get through at a show, but in this case I don't think I ever found myself anything but engrossed. So yeah, they're good, very good, if you can stomach the wall of intensity.

Mammoth Grinder

This band was the primary reason I went to this show, as they were the only one who I'd heard before. As it turns out I don't really like them at all. I'd listened to their 2009 album some time ago and forgotten about it, and now I know why. Their particular style of modern metallic crust punk isn't really my thing at all. There are some good bits here and there, but most of their music is pretty flat and to be honest they aren't really that fun to watch, either. Oh well. If they're already your thing, it's probably worth it to check them out, but don't stress about it.

Cannabis Corpse

It's been ages since I heard any Cannibal Corpse, but if I remember them right, these guys are (musically) by far the better band. They're pretty traditional death metal with a little bit of groove metal fusion going on, and clearly with a lot of songwriting talent. On the other side of the coin, though, I'm not a stoner, and unfortunately most of their fans are, and we don't get along. I am not a real big fan of moshing, but at many shows I wind up standing right where people want to open a pit, which is usually in a prime spot for, you know, just watching. So I was forced to stand in the back where I couldn't really see, and at that point you might as well just go home and listen to it on YouTube. Usually the audience at metal shows I go to here in Columbus is pretty reasonable, but not this time. Shame, because the band themselves seemed like pretty cool guys. Oh well.

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