The kings of death metal have SOLD OUT 2 straight shows in Vancouver this week.  There is no doubt that Cannibal Corpse still lay claim to the most popular death metal band in the world,

They are playing at Vancouver’s Rickshaw theatre with a stacked lineup which includes Black Anvil, Immolation and Dark Funeral.  Cannibal Corpse were last here in 2019 at the Vogue Theatre as I believe this is their first ever appearance at the Rickshaw,  Previously, they had a streak of shows at the Commodore or the Croatian Cultural Centre (which is done with metal shows)

George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher

This time around they come with a new album from 2021 called Violence Unimagined (Nuclear Blast) and we are certain to hear a few key tracks from this one.

The band itself is the same as the last appearance with Alex Webster (bass), Paul Mazurkiewicz (drums), Rob Barrett (guitar), George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher (vocals) and Erik Rutan on lead guitar. Erik was made officially a member in 2021 replacing Pat O’Brien. Not only is he a stellar guitarist and vocalist (listen to Hate Eternal), he also has produced albums for many bands too.  Did you know that Erik produced the last 5 out of 6 Cannibal albums? It was an easy decision to have him onboard.

Erik Rutan

Tonight Erik arrives onstage first with a big fist pump to excite the audience and takes his spot on the right side of the stage (audience view right) and Barrett on the left with Webster in-between them. Then, Corpsegrinder last, who is then greeted by death vocals from the crowd which almost sound like a loud groan.

Unlike most bands that like to start off with a new song, Cannibal starts off with “Scourge of Iron” from 2012’s Torture album.  George does the same moves, usually hangs in the center of the stage and doesn’t jump around or pose.  He is still the master head banger and like he says later in the show “try to keep up with me, you will FAIL MISERABLY!” He’s right, he is the best.  As a photographer in the photo pit, George creates his own turbulent hurricane with his windmilling style.  George was wearing a T-shirt tribute to Trevor Strnad of  the band Black Dahlia Murder who passed away this past May 2022.   I notice also that Rob Barrett is wearing the exact bandana he wore at the 2019 show.  Maybe he should have Barrett Bandanas in the merch?

Rob Barrett

Not until song 3 do we finally hear a new one (they play 3) with “Inhuman Harvest” which is a lovely song about “…reaping vital body parts, Surgical precision taking all that will be sold…”,   I love that part at approx. 2 minutes in where they really gear down low, that gets heads banging hard.  Erik’s solo work tonight is dead on and pronounced.

Another highlight was “this one is for the ladies tonight” called “Fucked with a Knife” off 1994 album The Bleeding.  They haven’t played that one since maybe 2015 here so that was the bomb.

Alex Webster

“This is about shooting blood from your cooooock!” as they blast into song 9 “I Cum Blood” from 1992’s Tome of the Mutilated.  They do hit some deep cuts (no pun intended) like “Gutted” from 1991’s Butchered at Birth and “Skull Full of Maggots” from 1990’s Eaten Back to Life.

They do take a few lengthy breaks between songs, which is out of the ordinary for most bands but Cannibal is getting older, like it or not, and playing insanely fast takes a lot energy.  I get exhausted just watching them at speed!  They hit 13 albums with 18 songs, so they have to pace themselves.

Paul Mazurkiewicz on drums

Tonight was everything you would expect from a Cannibal show.  A big backdrop, dudes in jeans, no crazy lighting, and a wall of distortion from Boss Metalzone distortion pedals.  I have seen this band play ever since the Gallery of Suicide tour in Winnipeg (nothing off ‘Gallery’ tonight), and they have changed very little.  So you know what to expect every time.  I think they do need to change up George’s talk track as we have heard that exact same in-between song banter on previous shows but it’s still hilarious.  I would be thrilled to see some drama, say in “Kill or Become” (song 8) and have someone chain sawed?  Maybe that would infringe on GWAR?

They end the night with, you guessed it…..”Stripped, Raped and Strangled” (video at the bottom of this article) and of course “Hammer Smashed Face” (Songs 17 & 18).  Am I the only one that thinks Jim Carey (Pet Detective Movie) when i hear that song?

If your one for extreme music like death metal and black metal, this is the tour that you need to attend.

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