Mayhem Fest July 18, 2014 – The Rave, Milwaukee, WI

By Sgt Deth
This year’s lineup sucked me in, I could not miss Body Count or Cannibal Corpse. I have never seen BC live and every time I have ever seen CC live, it has been tremendously awesome. I would have made the almost 4 hour round trip to see either one of them by themselves. This year Mayhem Fest was on a Friday night and we had to leave a little bit late. But, my friend and I still witnessed a lot of killer mosh pits, some really loud thrashing tunes, and some very talented bands showcasing their metal prestige.

Luckily, the Rave Ballroom stage schedule was running about 15 minutes behind, so we didn’t miss much of Body Count’s show. We walked in right at the end of “Bowels of the Devil”, which brought me back and got me in the mood for some more from their first CD. I was not disappointed as they broke in to the title track of their first CD, “Body Count”.  They proceeded to tear the house down with their rare single cover track, “Disorder”, which they originally recorded with Slayer. However, we did not get the pleasure of Kerry King helping out with that tune. Then, of course, they had to play the heavily promoted song from their new release, “Talk Shit, Get Shot”. That is when the band started in with their antics and really put on a good show. They only had a 40 minute show and they didn’t waste any time finishing up with their famous, “Cop Killer”, which really got the crowd moving.
Now it was time to head downstairs while they changed the main stage set and check out one of the second stage bands.

We did not get a chance to see any of the third stage (Rave bar) bands. The second stage lineup this year was a little out of my league. All except Mushroomhead, which we also had to miss as they played when Body Count was on the main stage. In my opinion, the second stage was full of these up and coming metal bands that sometimes just doesn’t sound metal to me at all. My kids, in their twenties, would tell me that I have not evolved yet. Well, we endured two songs from Veil of Maya, and decided we had enough and went back upstairs to the Rave Ballroom main stage to await Cannibal Corpse. Veil of Maya’s musicianship was novice level at best and we both agreed the vocals sounded like a cow dying on a barbed wire fence, and just as monotonous.

Wow, all I can say every time is wow. Cannibal Corpse brought the house down in their usual fashion. The mosh pit was a furious blur of head banging souls colliding in a frenzy. This is only seen when driven by pure death metal professionals. Death metal mosh pits are always my favorite. They are always fast paced and brutal. This was a true contrast from the last band we saw. It shows where many years of touring experience will separate the men from the boys. Corpsegrinder never stopped doing the helicopter unless he was blasting out his powerful macabre vocals, and the rest of the band were no slouches either. It was non-stop energy while they ripped out favorites like “Hammer Smashed Face” and “I cum blood”.
Took a little break to get a beer as they changed the stage up for Trivium which brings me to a point that they really have gotten this down. The crews can flip out a stage in no time compared to previous Mayhem or equivalent fests. Trivium was at the top of their game that night. They blistered through old song and new and did not waste much time stoking the audience as the crowd was already very much in riot state by this time. Trivium is another band that I prefer to hear live. In fact, I do not listen to them much, but I really enjoy them live. In the large Rave Ballroom the acoustics were perfect for this style of metal, and the sound was set up much better than the last Mayhem Fest that I attended there.

We stayed to see the headliners, “Asking Alexandria” on the main stage to see what the hype was about. I have never heard them at all before the Mayhem Fest. It was a little whiny for my taste. Also, they started doing the crowd manipulation crap only one song in, which both me and my friend thought was a little ridiculous. We came there to see metal being played, not the crowd being played. After they got done playing around with the crowd and then crooned out their second lame song, we decided to leave for our two hour trip back home. Overall, it turned out to be worth the long road trip just to see the mighty Cannibal Corpse and the long awaited Body Count. And I will not leave out Trivium as they were impressive to see live.