Macabre as it may be, we love violence. Throughout history, men have been entertained by the spilling of blood — from ancient Rome’s Coliseum to the torture-porn of modern horror films. On albums like 2007’s Dead in My Arms and 2008’s The Diseased and the Poisoned, San Diego death-metal band Carnifex tap into this continuum of cruelty, summoning the spirit of medieval executioners and channeling it through pummeling guitars, skin-threshing blast beats and yowling vocals that sound like a burning cat. Add a lyrical philosophy in which words like “putrefaction” and “deicide” are spoken with reverence, and themes of suicide and homicide play kissing cousins with twisted love songs, and you’ve bound yourself to a pretty specific audience. Much like their dark namesake (“carnifex” is the Latin word for “executioner”), Carnifex have a higher duty than simply swinging an axe, employing an impressive sense of theatricality to entertain the masses. And the spectacle doesn’t relies only on the five performers onstage. There’s no million-dollar light show, no pyrotechnics — just insanely tight musicianship displaying viscera of human emotion. Miss May I, Underneath The Gun, Conducting From the Grave and Molotov Solution open at 6 p.m. at Peabody’s Down Under (2045 E. 21st St., 216.776.9999). Tickets: $10 advance, $12 day of show. — Nicholas Hall
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