Cannibal Corpse + Dark Funeral + Ingested + Stormruler – Rock City, Nottingham on 23rd April 2023


A concert bill stacked with four brutally heavy bands has been blazing a trail across the UK, and has left a series of scorched stages in its wake. This leg of the tour winds up in Nottingham and Stormruler set a dangerous precedent for the coming evening with their ferocious brand of black metal. Cut from the same cloth as bands such as Naglfar and Dawn, this crew are all studs and spikes, and deliver a sound that’s equally arresting. Vocalist and guitarist Jason Asberry confidently commandeers centre stage and delivers his words in vein-popping style. Tonight’s set is mainly culled from latest long-player Sacred Rights & Black Magick, but the band find time to repay a few roots with a cover of Dissection’s ‘Where Dead Angels Die’ which curtails their set in style.

Adding a touch of good olde fashioned British aggro to an international bill are Manchester’s Ingested. That city has a thriving hardcore scene, and I don’t know if the band have been influenced by that movement but they certainly display a similar kind of urgency. But make no mistake, Ingested are all metal and they proceed to dish out an abject lesson in brutality. It’s the musical equivalent of a street fight with ‘Rebirth’ and ‘Invidious’ hitting particularly hard. Singer Jay Evans has the kind of wide-eyed stare that only comes from meth users or the criminally insane (take your pick) and he whips the crowd into such a frenzy that the waves of crowd surfers crashing over the barrier soon becomes a tsunami. Closer (and latest single) ‘Echoes Of Hate’ is a crushing bruiser and it ensures Ingested won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Now celebrating their 30th anniversary, Sweden’s Dark Funeral require little introduction, and the reputation that precedes them causes the air to crackle and fizz. There’s a buzz surrounding the band’s appearance that causes some to lose their cool, and that feeling is only heightened by the opening refrain of ‘Nosferatu’. When the band appear, they are bathed in ice white and mortuary blue lights, and the sound they deliver is equally frostbitten and brittle. By the time the band break out ‘The Arrival Of Satan’s Empire’ they are firmly in the groove, and they seem to have got the whole crowd under a case of mass hypnosis as those at stage front punch the air and sing in unison. Vocalist Heljarmadr in particular looks like he’s conducting a Satanic ritual, and his slow, deliberate movements gives the evening a sinister feel. Although guitarist Lord Ahriman is the sole original member, this incarnation of Dark Funeral lock in extremely well and deliver a razor-sharp sound that slices like a steely knife, and the band have delivered a black metal masterclass.

The word “legendary” doesn’t do headliners Cannibal Corpse justice. For over three decades they’ve forged a unique path, and have played by no one’s rules but their own. That’s precisely the aesthetic they bring to their live show, and they provide an experience that’s just as uncompromising as their albums (if not more so). This crew aren’t the type of band to make a fancy entrances with elongated intro tapes or other such nonsense and they get straight down to business with opening shot ‘Scourge Of Iron’. That’s the cue for all present to go crazy, and the whole floor turns into a seething mosh pit that writhes and ululates like some huge, dangerous creature. ‘The Time To Kill Is Now’ follows, and if you think that things couldn’t get any wilder, then think again. A whole line of security guards have been assigned to ensure that the crowd surfers have a safe landing, while the less-than-hardy souls emerge from the pit battered, bruised and slightly dishevelled.

Cannibal Corpse

If you want to know why Cannibal Corpse have stayed top of the game for so long, then just listen to the sound that’s bursting from the PA. Tonight’s set is a real career-spanner and is compiled from 13 different albums, but what stitches them together is the pure visceral rage with which they’re delivered. ‘Fucked With A Knife’ and ‘I Cum Blood’ are played with an aggression that can’t be faked, that integrity feeds into the crowd who respond in kind, and a vicious circle is created where band and audience feed off the other’s energy. Vocalist George Corpsegrinder is a headbanging maniac who unleashes plenty of unearthly growls, while the band get their collective head down to deliver some of the sickest beats. If you were a depraved serial killer on a murderous rampage then ‘Unleashing The Bloodthirsty’ would make the perfect accompaniment.

Cannibal Corpse Set List:

  1. Scourge Of Iron

  2. The Time To Kill Is Now

  3. Inhumane Harvest

  4. Code Of The Slashers

  5. Fucked With A Knife

  6. The Wretched Spawn

  7. Gutted

  8. Kill Or Become

  9. I Cum Blood

  10. Evisceration Plague

  11. Death Walking Terror

  12. Condemnation Contagion

  13. Necrogenic Resurrection

  14. Unleashing The Bloodthirsty

  15. Devoured By Vermin

  16. A Skull Full Of Maggots

  17. Stripped, Raped & Strangled

  18. Hammer Smashed Face

Dark Funeral Set List:

  1. Nosferatu

  2. The Arrival Of Satan’s Empire

  3. My Funeral

  4. The Secrets Of The Black Arts

  5. When I’m Gone

  6. Nail Them To The Cross

  7. Unchain My Soul

  8. Let The Devil In

  9. Where Shadows Forever Reign

Ingested Set List:

  1. Rebirth

  2. No Half Measures

  3. Shadows In Time

  4. I, Despoiler

  5. Impending Dominance

  6. Invidious

  7. Echoes Of Hate

Stormruler Set List:

  1. Reign Of The Winged Duke

  2. Sacred Rites & Black Magick

  3. Upon Frozen Shores

  4. Internal Fulmination Of The Grand Deceivers

  5. Where Dead Angels Lie