Cannibal Corpse are one of the constants of the metal universe, a perfect example of artistic conservatism as a life path. Their music has remained essentially unchanged since their 1990 debut album, Eaten Back To Life: they play fast, aggressive death metal, but somehow manage to shoehorn just enough melody into their songs to make them memorable beyond a head-down blur of riffs and blast beats. They don't really have one representative album to recommend to newbies, though everything since 2006's Kill has been ridiculously impressive.
Jena Cumbo for The Village Voice A fan awaits Cannibal Corpse's set in the sold-out crowd of Webster Hall. Photos: Metal Reigns Over Webster Hall
Behemoth, their partners on this tour, are a different story. They've evolved substantially since beginning as a black metal band in the early Nineties, moving closer to death metal and getting more and more sonically and compositionally ambitious. Their most recent album, The Satanist, is their best by a long stretch. They've also got a better story: frontman Nergal recently triumphed over leukemia, an experience that has clearly affected him. After the first song of their set at a sold-out Webster Hall, he asked the crowd, "How does it feel to be alive?"More »