Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Aeon, Tribulation | House of Blues | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Aeon, Tribulation 

When: Fri., Feb. 20, 5:30 p.m. 2015
Price: $29.50
The five current members of Florida death-metal institution Cannibal Corpse have been in the band for a total of 106 years—and two of them, drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz and bassist Alex Webster, were around for its founding in 1988. On their 13th full-length, A Skeletal Domain (released in September on Metal Blade), they’re as dialed-in as they’ve ever been—picture a colossal threshing machine that can outrun a bullet train, cloaked in a clotted spume of blood and bone chips, with the ragged, bludgeoning roar of front man George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher bursting out of it like detonations of black ash from a smokestack. The album is exhaustingly, almost absurdly relentless—even what might’ve otherwise been an almost languid progression at the start of “Funeral Cremation” gets battered with a thundering double-time kick drum—but once your ears get used to the band’s gory assault, you can pick up on the technical intricacy and athletic joy in their playing. Webster and guitarists Rob Barrett and Pat O’Brien share the bulk of the songwriting, and you can practically hear them trying to one-up one another: “Asphyxiate to Resuscitate” seesaws between clusters of five and seven pulses; “Bloodstained Cement” groups its beats into two tens and a 12, then trades sevens and eights; “Icepick Lobotomy” opens with spidery, pell-mell stair-stepping in the guitars; and “Hollowed Bodies” tosses together a salad of odd bar lengths. Cannibal Corpse range widely in their back catalog for their set lists, but unlike certain other elder statesmen of death metal, they won’t need to go light on material from their new album (cough, Morbid Angel). Coheadlining are Behemoth, Poland’s kings of blackened death metal, whose performance last April made my list of the top five metal shows of 2014. —Philip Montoro
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