It was the last day of Wacken Open Air and the sun had finally decided to show itself. The whole area had been mashed up pretty hard. Non-stop rain had liquefied, then rubberized the ground and uncharacteristically cold weather had prevented it from drying out. This didn't stop the German metal hordes from their usual sport-drinking and chanting, but it definitely restricted the space you could hang out in without getting your beer rained on. The sunny Saturday definitely felt more positive and the genuine Wacken vibe began to show itself.

That evening death metal superstars Cannibal Corpse played a crushing ninety-minute career retrospective set on the Party Stage. I'd already seen them play WOA a couple of times, including a particularly memorable after-dark set in 2007. This time the sun was just setting and on a much smaller stage, but the band easily eclipsed every festival set I've seen them play with an amazing display of musicianship and technicality.

Photo by Alex Morgan

Earlier that day I met up with drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz in the VIP area and we talked about the reception of their latest album A Skeletal Domain, their intense touring schedule, and how their lyrics still get them into trouble after all this time.


Cannibal Corpse will be hitting the road in the U.S. with Cattle Decapitation and Soreption this fall. A Skeletal Domain is available now on Metal Blade Records, and you can practice your zombie-walk along with the video for "Kill or Become" below.