It’s as much fun to scare as to be scared.Vincent Price
The Decibel Magazine 2019 Tour
Winter 2019 brings us the eighth annual Decibel Tour, which has provided metal fans across the U.S. with a variety of lineups over the years to get their live metal fix. High on Fire, Napalm Death, Abbath, Behemoth, Wolves in the Throne Room, Carcass, and many other stalwarts of loudness have been on the Tour.
The 2019 lineup is all about death metal, and it’s a fine assemblage of veterans and the recently emergent. The tour features Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Necrot, and Blood Incantation, and runs February 17 to March 14, with Immolation taking over for Cannibal Corpse from March 8 onward.
Chicago had a great turnout for this show; the crowd was packed pretty densely right at the outset. Blood Incantation have established themselves as one of death metal’s most interesting bands; acclaim for their most recent release, Starspawn (Dark Descent Records, 2016), has been enthusiastic and widespread, so it’s no surprise that people got to the show early to catch their set. They didn’t disappoint. They have a keen sense of atmosphere and dynamics throughout their songs, and know exactly when to turn up the speed.
Second up was Necrot, who I was excited to see live since I recently checked out their album Blood Offerings (Tankcrimes, 2017) and immediately loved it. Tons of riffs, tons of filthy guitar tone, and plenty of hooks. I heard something in the sound that reminded me a bit of Acephalix, and, as it turns out, bassist Luca Indrio is also in Acephalix and Vastum (two more killer bands well worth checking out).
Morbid Angel then took the stage, and sped right into high gear with the first three tracks off of their Kingdoms Disdained album (Silver Lining Music, 2017). They had a solid setlist, only omitting songs from the Domination and Illud Divinum Insanus records. Morbid Angel have always impressed with their ability to play such frenetic music with so much precision, and this show was no exception.
Last up was the almighty Cannibal Corpse, who delivered a sonic beatdown as only they can. The band is currently touring with death metal legend Erik Rutan (Ripping Corpse, Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal) on guitar in place of Pat O’Brien. It would have been neat to see Rutan jam on a song or two with his former bandmates in Morbid Angel, but I believe he joined the tour on pretty short notice and had to quickly learn the Cannibal Corpse songs. As usual for a Cannibal Corpse show, the crowd was frenzied and vocalist George Corpsegrinder Fisher was egging them on; in this instance jokingly reminding Chicago of its 2019 NFL postseason loss. They played a wide cross section of their catalog, finishing things off with their brutal classic, Hammer Smashed Face.