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AMON AMARTH, CANNIBAL CORPSE, OBITUARY, FROZEN SOUL In Portland, OR With Photos!

By Krishta Abruzzini, Pacific Northwest Writer
Thursday, May 23, 2024 @ 7:59 AM


The Metal Crushes All Tour Hits The Theater Of The Clouds On April 26th

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All Photos By Krishta Photography

Let me preface this review by saying that I am not a super heavy death metal fan. I've never gotten into that genre. I've never understood it. This review literally is coming from the absolute perspective of someone not knowing anything about this style of music, other than I've always defined it as "scary songs for the angry", which seems like a bad combo honestly. This angsty testosterone laden, man heat scene has just never been something I was interested in attending.

While I've been a photographer for a few decades now, and have seen my share of heavy bands with mosh pits and folks flying over the barricade, me dodging constantly to avoid a foot to the head while shooting, I guess I've always envisioned Death Metal as more of a boxing match. The music starts, and ding, ding, ding, it's on. Everyone mosh hard and run into each other and fly over the barricade, with large, burly bearded men the size of football players making eye contact while pummeling into each other at a full run. Meanwhile, the music is on full throttle, with deep, guttural vocals encouraging this frenzy to take place. From the encouragement from a friend who not only loves this music, but is also married to one of the guys that plays in one of the bands on this bill, I decided to give it a whirl, scary music and angry dudes be damned.

Opening the night was a band from Dallas, Texas called FROZEN SOUL. It was a very early show, starting at 6:30 PM, and I always feel somewhat bad for the openers on these tours, as the audience is typically sparse with waning interest. They're also typically stuck playing in front of the next band's gear, which often seems awkward. On the photographer's side of things, the opener is typically a great way to get the settings on the camera dialed in, and take test shots prepping for the next band. There was a shoutout from the vocalist screaming to get the "Swamp ass whirlpool going", (ummm, no please), to basically (thankfully) a lukewarm audience with little participation. None of that suggestion sounded great to me and I was grateful the audience was on a more gentle, delicates cycle, allowing me to test the water before the plunge. Let me ease into this please. It was only 6:30 PM after all. I didn't catch the full set of this band, nor did any one song I did hear stand out for me. Also unfair, as this being my first Death Metal band I've seen live, I came away after shooting 3 songs, not sure of what I just heard. The band does have an album out titled, Glacial Domination, and I would recommend checking them out here to form your own opinion: https://www.frozensoultx.com/.

Next up was Florida's OBITUARY. Founded by brothers John Tardy (vocalist) and Donald Tardy (drummer), the band was out supporting their latest album, Dying of Everything. OBITUARY brought a definite heavier presence, despite their pre-stage entrance song of Pat Travers' "Snortin' Whisky And Drinking Cocaine", which I found the juxtaposition of this to be just funny. I loved that they did this so much, I realized I was actually smiling, at a Death Metal concert. Was that normal? I was having a great time. On the photography side, I loved shooting this band and one of my shots is now in my top favorites with Trevor Peres flipping his hair up at the perfect timing. (See attached photos) Check out OBITUARY here: https://www.obituary.cc/.

SETLIST:

  • "Redneck Stomp"
  • "Barely Alive"
  • "The Wrong Time"
  • "My Will to Live"
  • "Slow Death"
  • "War"
  • "Dying of Everything"
Up next was another Florida band, considered the Godfathers and founders of Death Metal, CANNIBAL CORPSE. With song titles such as, "I Cum Blood", "Stripped, Raped And Strangled", "Hammer Smashed Face", is it truly a mystery why I've shied away from this genre of music? I wasn't sure again what to expect with this band. Being friends with one of the band members, who is truly one of the kindest, gentlest vegan souls on this planet, then by contrast plays what I call, 'super scary music', it was really fun to see this side of him. It doesn't seem to fit his personality at all, which I think is just pretty funny and uber cool. Singer, George Fisher, whose moniker is 'Corpsegrinder', windmills his hair between growling the lyrics donning a shirt that says, "Respect the Neck", with a picture of himself on it. By this time, the audience was in full participation. Folks were flying over the barricade, being caught by security guards that were the size of tanks, with chaotic music blasting at full decibels. I've been in active photo pits many times, but honestly I forgot how much I love the energy being in such a situation. Trying to capture a picture of someone's face in between hair spins and "Cousin It" moments, all the while watching your back for flying human feet. It's crazy and so much fun.

The mastery of musicianship was a cool thing to witness as well. While I don't at all understand the music, watching these guys come to a complete stop for a minute during a song, only to turn around with complete precision and begin playing the many notes together, was astounding. Almost mathematical.

CANNIBAL CORPSE has a new album out titled Chaos Horrific. Check them out here: http://www.cannibalcorpse.net/.

SETLIST:

  • "Scourge of Iron"
  • "Blood Blind"
  • "Inhumane Harvest"
  • "Evisceration Plague"
  • "Death Walking Terror"
  • "I Cum Blood"
  • "Summoned for Sacrifice"
  • "Stripped, Raped and Strangled"
ENCORE:
  • "Hammer Smashed Face"
Last and headlining was the band AMON AMARTH. To say I loved these guys is an understatement. They were honestly one of the most entertaining bands I've ever seen. They are a Swedish melodic Death Metal act. The stage looked like something out of a set on The Northman with everything Viking themed. Frontman Johan Hegg dons a kera (viking drinking horn) on his belt with a long white beard and locks to match. The drum riser for Nico Kaukinen was a full viking shield with horns and lit up eyes that sat nearly 15-feet high. An undulating sea monster appears onstage during their performance of "Twilight of The Thunder God", in which Johan ultimately defeats. There are high-tech inflatable props that look real with 30-foot tall inflatable warriors that look like stone carvings. During the song "Put Your Back Into The Oar", the entire audience participates as if they're on an imaginary rowing machine. It was just fun and I'm now a fan.

AMON AMARTH's last album was 2022's The Great Heathen Army. For more info: https://www.amonamarth.com/.

I am so grateful I got to witness this show. Not at all what I expected. A big pro to these shows? The line to the women's restroom was nearly non-existent. Not to say that there aren't women at these shows, but yeah. I witnessed so many folks having an absolute blast. Two of my favorites were a couple of young teens laughing their heads off, dancing in their own mini mosh pit, throwing each other around. They'd run up to the front and crowd surf their way to the pit, running to the side to do it all over again. I'd imagine there's some psychology to folks that listen to this style of music as well. Working out aggressions through music perhaps.

Would I listen to Death Metal as my first choice? Probably not. I still think it sounds scary. Although a friend told me he'd take me to a Black Metal show, and then I'd know true fear. Seriously? There's something actually heavier than Death Metal? I'll pass on that one.

SETLIST:

  • "The Pursuit of Vikings"
  • "Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags"
  • "Guardians of Asgaard"
  • "Raven's Flight"
  • "Blood Eagle"
  • "Deceiver of the Gods"
  • "As Loke Falls"
  • "Find a Way or Make One"
  • "Put Your Back Into the Oar"
  • "The Way of Vikings"
  • "Heidrun"
  • "War of the Gods"
  • "Shield Wall"
  • "Raise Your Horns"
ENCORE:
  • "Twilight of the Thunder God"
Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Krishta Photography


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