Year 2011. Novi Sad Fair. Me:
I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism…″
It was hard to memorize Hippocratic Oath even in Serbian, so I will stop here.
Year 2019. Novi Sad Fair. Me:
Make them suffer
While they plead for cessation
Entirely demoralized and close to mass extintion
Damned to please supremacy
The reason for their martyrdom they will never know.
Yeah, the butchers are back in Serbia after four long years! This time in order to promote their latest release ″Red Before Black″.
But, before I start to eulogize US death legends, let′s spin the wheel of time. Belgrade, 6 P.M. Our Chauffeur Dujke (founder of one of the oldest Serbian active death metal bands), undoubtedly chose memorable crew. It became tradition to travel with him around Serbia on concerts. Each time different people, adventure guaranteed.
Meeting point: Belgrade Arena. Extremely hot day, abnormal humidity. And as I stepped out of the public transportation where it feels like you got sauna for free, it started raining! Oh, joy! I spotted few people, and of course, I knew we are all going in same direction. It turned out some of them I have met somewhere in Budapest. Recalling memories and time to leave Belgrade.
When we reached Novi Sad, we realized hall 6 is at opposite direction. Ok, let′s walk. We passed circus and although some might say we belong there, that night it wasn′t our destiny to show acrobatic skills. Next gate, hall 6. When you hear word hall, you expect some big space, bright, well equipped… This one was big, and that was all.
This hall looks like it was used at least 30 years ago for the last time. Mobile toilets outside… Ok, let′s hope exterior will surprise us. Yes, it did! Unpleasantly.
Autopsy Night has already started their set, and even if in ″hall″ were only 20 to 30 people it was already as hot as hell. Before the concert I tried to find some information to yet unknown band for me. In XXI century if I need band info, first I search band page on FB. Nothing! Strange. Ok… Search for more… Encyclopaedia Metallum. Oh… Now everything is clear. Russia! In XXI century limited internet options. God bless Putin! Two EP′s, one live and three full length albums. The last one was released in 2018. I am too tired to search Russian letters, so I just guess they were promoting that album. Surprisingly, they sounded great. From what I have heard, if I would have to describe you their music style, than I would say: Russian Cannibals. It is obvious who their idols are and it seemed they were perfect solution for warm up (like we were not already overheated). The lyrics are, of course, in Russian and it seems guys do not speak English well. Announcing next show instead next song… How hard that English can be? Overall, good job guys!
Next one, well known Sacramental Blood. How to be objective if I know band leader from past life? Let′s test myself. Even Sacramental Blood is from Belgrade, it seemed they transformed to international band in the meantime. Bass guitar player-Croatia, drummer-Hungary. Vocalist & guitarist surprisingly from Serbia, to be precise, Vojvodina. Different world, trust me. Better.
In Serbia you need to have connection everywhere if you want to finish some job, so Milan Nekrofil Dobrosavljević, band founder, was too kind to send me Sacramental Blood set list day before the concert. Not that I need to prepare myself, but to start writing report. Always two steps forward.
Serbian bands, especially ″old″ ones, have constant problem: to keep the band members. Everyone played with everyone, ″people grew up″, got married, found jobs, family… Excuses, excuses… So, I guess that is the reason why they need to search abroad for new guys. Bass guitar player, Domagoj Domazet, is well known to me, but as a guitar player (Bugarska skupština, Scaffold). Last time I have seen him live was in Zemun with Scaffold and I was surprised as hell when I saw him last night. I need your diet, please! And your hair!
To be serious for a moment. Again, sound was great considering the work environment. That hall might be only good for demolition, nothing more. No fresh air, no ventilation, no AC, nothing. The bands had ventilators, but I think it was not enough. So, everyone who was on stage at that place called hall is a hero. The band got the maximum and the sound seemed to be a little problem. Do not get me wrong. Drummer Balázs Botyánszki gave his maximum, but somehow guitars were louder and his skills left in shadow. When it comes to vocals, Srđan Todorović build his style on Chuck Schuldiner′s legacy. The last, not the least important, band founder and guitarist, Milan Dobrosavljević, who had pumping blood in Sacramental veins over than 15 years, survived the test of time and showed our generation is still alive and kicking.
Sacramental Blood setlist:
1. Nearest to the God
3. Chaos Trinity
4. Destroyer of Thought and Form
6. Imposed Resurrection
Short break to take some oxygen, drink some beer, resurrect and finally time for Cannibal Corpse! The band has long and interesting concert activity in Serbia. In 1998 their first show in Belgrade was cancelled. Apparently they were forbid to cross the border. In 2004 the concert was late for almost a day. How? They supposed to play on October 14. Again, they were hold on border on their way from Ukraine, so the concert officially started after midnight, so October 15. No one could kill their will, so after the show they were hanging with fans in front of tour bus. Unfortunately, Spawn of Possession, announced as support band, did not play. The next show was in 2007. Do not think I have that great memory in my age! I have a little help from my ticket album. And the next one… 2009, than 2015, and here we are in 2019, “European Summer Tour”. Summer we have, but it seems we will never be a part of EU.
Although I have met Erik Rutan years ago when he had been to Belgrade with Morbid Angel, I still see him as deity, not human being. So, just in case, I told my colleagues photographers, to pay attention if I faint down. Sorry, Pat, I love you too, but Erik is my hero! Four years passed since last CC show, and when I saw them, it looked like it passed more. Alex Webster with gray hair, Paul Mazurkiewicz with no hair (there is hair, but comparing with what he had in past, so no hair),. I am afraid to comment Corpse Grinder BMI, hahaha… And my old friend Rob Barrett, who was extremely surprised when someone stole his beer in 2007, it seems also put some weight one. More Cannibals for us!
However, no matter they aged a bit, they still have an energy they had 30 years ago when they started playing. You can say what you want, but Corpsegrinder is unbeatable in headbanging. Years of headbanging made him a champion in discipline, which is clearly when you see his neck. My pit bull would be ashamed and jealous if he would see Corpsegrinder′s neck. “Code of the Slashers” opened the show and if there were people who were not wet as pigs by that moment, they could not avoid the destiny. Of course, as Cannibals were promoting their last album, “Red Before Black” was on set list. Ma favorites: “Skull Full of Maggots”, “I Cum Blood”, “Wretched Spawn” and “Make Them Suffer” led me to certain death. If I did not climb on fence, I can guarantee there will be no report.
I really have no idea how those guys managed to survive over 40°C. Professionalism it calls? Love? Dedication? Life?
At the end of the story, we all were like shredded humans. An hour drive to home, shower, some sleep, job, extreme heath… I forgot that damn venue, lack of air, humidity, heath, inhuman conditions. Ask me now, and I will go again!
Cannibal Corpse setlist:
1. Code of the Slashers
2. Only One Will Die
3. Scourge of Iron
4. Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead
5. Wretched Spawn
6. Devoured by Vermin
7. Unleashing the Bloodthirsty
9. Kill or Become
10. Skull Full of Maggots
11. Evisceration Plague
12. Firestorm vengeance
13. Death Walking Terror
14. I Cum Blood
15. Make Them Suffer
16. Stripped, Raped and Strangled
17. Hammer Smashed Face