Gig report: Decapitated ‘Cancer Culture Over North America 2024’ tour @ Calgary, Canada

Gig report: Decapitated ‘Cancer Culture Over North America 2024’ tour @ Calgary, Canada

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This tour was announced in January 2024 in support of the latest Decapitated album “Cancer Culture” (2022) with such bands as Kataklysm, Septic Flesh and Allegaeon in support.

As soon as I saw Calgary in the list of the cities, the rest of the winter I spent waiting for this event and, believe me, these months didn’t pass easily 🙂 Finally, the day X came and I went to the show.

The event was held in Back Alley Nightclub. To tell the truth, I hadn’t paid much attention to the venue before the show as I was sure I would visit it anyway. So, when I found out that this would be the place I had never visited before, I was interested to see it.

The door opened at 5.30 p.m. and around 6.30 p.m the first band Allegaeon appeared on the stage. It was seen that they were really awaited as a crowd gathered under the stage at least 15 minutes before the start of the show.

Allegaeon is a technical melodic death metal band formed in 2008 (Colorado, USA). This is the only band from the whole line-up I hadn’t heard before. So, my impression of them was fully built by their performance. What can I say, they absolutely correspond to the genre they are representing. All members of the band are talented and technical musicians. Their music is fulfilled with challenging twisted riffs which are constantly intersected by melodic lines. Not surprising they are often named as a progressive metal band as well. I also want to underline the charismatic behavior of their vocalist Ezra Haynes and the level of the band’s dedication to the audience in general. All of them interacted with the crowd from the first song till the last. The only thing I was missing was the lack of aggressiveness in their music. The one you expect to receive by listening to death metal bands. So, for me personally, they were really good but not enough to make them one of my favorite melodic death metal bands.

Kataklysm is a death/melodic death metal Canadian band, well known and loved by thousands of metalheads around the world, was the second band to enter the stage and they delivered what I’d missed in previous performers – the powerful riffs and the all-consuming, wild energy. The crowd reacted to the change of mood immediately. The headbanging and slamming became even more active under the stage. Maybe the fact that Kataklysm hadn’t performed in Calgary in a while also played its role. The way Mauricio Iacono (lead vocal) communicated with the crowd was so plain, so honest, so warm that I had a feeling that it was not a big show but some inner circle party which absolutely made their presence on the stage even more welcomed. In general, this was my first time seeing them alive and I can tell that I received even more than I expected.

Septic Flesh (Symphonic metal from Greece) was the third band in the line-up and I think it was a really great idea to put them between Kataklysm and Decapitated as they gave a chance to have a little rest and to dream to the music and just enjoy their dark consuming atmosphere. It was so impressive to observe how people, like in some kind of transe, were singing Anubis and other songs together with the band. This was the 3-rd time I had seen them and again, as in previous times, I could tell that listening to them and seeing them are 2 different experiences. Both are great but you definitely should see them live at least once, if you like such kind of music.

Finally, Decapitated, the veterans of Death Metal from Poland, started their performance. This was the band I was expecting the most and I couldn’t wait to see them alive as this is one of my favorite Death Metal bands. Observing how people flooded under the stage I realized I was not the only one like that. It looked as if everybody, even the metalheads sitting under the tables in some dark corners, gathered under the stage to have a blast under the good old death metal. Of course, Decapitated slightly shifted their music to more melodic style nowadays but it’s still such a familiar and loved band with their powerful energy. The majority of songs were from the last album but they also played some older stuff too. This is where I fully lost control and started the headbanging which my neck still reminds me of 😉

Speaking about organization and the venue itself, the event was well advertised (I constantly saw the ad in FB, for example) and the ticket price was really good, if to take into consideration the line-up (about 50 CAD). I also liked the sound, every band was clearly heard. But there were also some drawbacks (as without them!)). I’ve started my review with the words about a new (for me) venue and to tell the truth I think that it was not very good for such a massive show with such incredible bands. The place has an interesting but not very comfortable space. For such a big show the space for slamming was small, there weren’t a lot of place under the stage either. It has a big amount of sitting places, 2 or 3 bars, which is probably great for some kinds of shows, but for this one more space for metalheads to hang out would be great. Also, I was a little disappointed by the types of beer at the bar. There were only 2-3 kinds of lager beer in cans and that’s all, nothing delicious or interesting for craft beer lovers.

To sum up all this a little, the evening went really great! The atmosphere was positive and warm and even the size of the venue played a nice note here. Band members were hanging out on the street, taking photos with fans which would be not so easy with the bigger venues.

I went home satisfied, with the feeling, this spring ending was absolutely incredible and with the wish to listen to my favorite albums and songs of these bands again.

Here is more information about the bands:

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About the author

I have been listening to metal music since my childhood, thanks to my father and 2 elder brothers. Every year my love and passion for music was growing up and in the teenage years I started playing some instruments myself. During those years I also found out how huge and strong the metal community is. Since then I’ve never quitted visiting concerts and festivals all around the world and hanging out with metalheads. Being a musician myself, I have an idea of how it looks behind the scenes, which makes every visit to the new event even more interesting for me.

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