Tonight is a night of firsts. It’s the first ever edition of the Metal Hammer sponsored Destroyers Of The Faith tour featuring the weighty line up of Job For A Cowboy, Enslaved, Triptykon and the legendary Cannibal Corpse. Tonight is also the first time that my best friend and fellow TINAS writer Greg has been to a death metal gig, so you could say that tonight is some form of social experiment and Greg is very much a sheep among the wolves.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that tonight’s show is a big deal and is the first step in launching another yearly touring package under a fan friendly banner, as far as opening salvo’s go this is definitely one of the finest ever assembled.

Starting at the criminally early time of 6.45 Job For A Cowboy are tasked with the unenviable job (no pun intended) of waking tonight’s growing crowd up, it is a job however that the band is more than capable of handling, they waste no time hitting and hitting very fucking hard indeed, as they rip through a brutal albeit very brief seven song set that sees them touch upon their well known material with tracks such as ‘Constitutional Masturbation’ and ‘Embedded’ being aired alongside new material from the bands forthcoming album “Demonocracy” in the form of ‘Black Discharge’ Job For A Cowboy have come along leaps and bounds in the last couple of years and have made great strides to become one of Death Metal’s brightest new hopes.

Up next are Enslaved who come on a bit like a none more black Version of Children Of Bodom, or perhaps its Children Of Bodom who sound like them, as I’m not sure who the chicken or the egg is in this particular situation. Either way they are a slightly less heavy prospect than the aforementioned Job For A Cowboy, but still manage to evoke some movement from the crowd and show that they deserve a spot on this particular bill,they even throw in a cover of Led Zeppelin‘s ‘Immigrant Song’ for good measure which serves as a highlight.

Up next is Tryptikon fronted by the enigmatic Tom G. Warrior, who looks like he is leading the masses into battle tonight. Tryptikon are another band that  I am somewhat unfamiliar with, but after a few minutes of watching them I can understand why they are a popular band as they are a great live band and Tom G. Warrior certainly knows how to work an audience, towards the end of the set the band brings out Cannibal Corpse frontman George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher for a brief run through which further heightens the excitement in the room and sets the stage nicely for tonight’s headliners.

There isn’t a whole lot that you can say about Cannibal Corpse nowadays that hasn’t been said a hundred times before, so you just kind of have to stand back and just let the band do what they do best and they is absolutely destroy everything in their path, opening with a savage rendition of ‘Evisceration Plague’ the band sets its stall out nice and early and lets everyone know who the kings are. Last time I saw Cannibal Corpse it literally felt like Hell on Earth and tonight is no different. The band showcases new material from their monster new album “Torture” and if its even possible the new material sounds even more brutal live than it does on CD and just literally cuts through you like a knife.

The most surprising thing about Cannibal Corpse is that given the amount of time they have been in the scene the band seems to keep pushing itself harder and further, whereas a lot of their peers have slowed down or faded away, the band plays with the kind of intensity usually reserved for the newer kids on the scene, which once again proves why they are the undisputed kings of the genre and why tonight they are the rightful headliners. Cannibal Corpse are a force of nature and a band that you either love or love to hate, but on tonight’s evidence I fail to see how any self respecting metal fan could deny them their place and at the very least respect all they have done for our beloved genre.

The inaugural Destroyers Of The Faith tour was a huge success that showcased just what a healthy state heavy music is in right now, whilst still offering fans something to look forward to in the future.

Photos taken by Sabrina Ramdoyal at Manchester Academy – March 9th 2012