Following a two year hiatus and a bitter split with Victory Records, Carnifex is back in the saddle with a new album and revived touring aspirations courtesy of the world renowned Nuclear Blast Records.
Touring the US with metal mainstays, Devildriver and Whitechapel, Carnifex played at The Rave/Eagle’s Club. Nine year veterans of the deathcore scene, Carnifex are veterans to the venue and were welcomed to the stage by a horde of screaming fans.
Opening their 10 track set with fan favorite, “Dragged into the Grave,” Carnifex’s stage presence was explosive. Guitarists Corey Arford and Jordan Lockrey spun their heads like a windmill, while bassist Fred Calderon and singer Scott Lewis sprinted back and forth across the stage banging their heads. A showman by nature, Lewis struck atop amplifiers and risers while urging the crowd into a frenzy shouting commands such as “I want to see that pit!” and “I want to see this entire place jump!”
Acting upon Lewis’ orders, the most hardcore of fans opened up a mosh pit much more brutal than the average metal show. From time to time, fans suffering from busted lips and bloodied noses were escorted down the press trench following a rogue fist or elbow from a thrashing mosh pitter.
“I try to push people away so they don’t get hurt but shit happen,” said one energetic fan after safely leaving the pit following the end of a song. “This isn’t a regular metal show, this is deathcore, man. We don’t just shove and circle around, we thrash!”
Due to the culture clash that comes from the difference in age and style of metal music, there was an incident in which a man was struck in the face by a thrasher seemingly by mistake. The mistake, of course, led to the near outbreak of fist fights that were quickly settled without ejection.
At the end of the show, Carnifex took the right of the stage to greet a mob of fans seeking an autograph. A majority of the fans flocked singer, Scott Lewis, prompting drummer Shawn Cameron to jokingly remark during a signing, “I guess I have my invisible clothes on today.”
When faced with the all too regular question, “Is the rock star life really all just sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll?” during an interview after the show, Cameron was quick to denounce the old adage, remarking that while Carnifex plays music for a living, they couldn’t afford the cliché rockstar lifestyle. This was evident by the fact that Carnifex does not tour in the comfy bus like a few of their tour mates, but a van barely big enough to fit all five members.
In the end, Carnifiex gave Milwaukee’s deathcore fans a night to remember. Though some walked away with bloodied shirts, broken noses, and bruised ribs, that’s exactly what the hardcore fans came for.