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Cannibal Corpse
The Wretched Spawn
February 2004
Released: 2004, Metal Blade
Rating: 4.8/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

There is a saying that there are 2 things that are inevitable in life: death and taxes. I would like to officially add another inevitability: a killer release from Cannibal Corpse. Over the past 14 years, the band has unleashed some of the heaviest music in metal and their new CD, THE WRETCHED SPAWN, is no exception. George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher’s blend of death metal growls and high-pitched screams are once again played over superb riffs, meaty bass lines and thunderous double-bass drumming. The ever-gruesome lyrics and imagery are found on such tracks as “Frantic Disembowelment,” “Festering In The Crypt,” “Nothing Left To Mutilate” and--all males ready yourselves for a collective wince--“Blunt Force Castration.”

Without sacrificing heaviness, Cannibal Corpse has incorporated some semblance of rhythm to their music since original vocalist/lyricist Chris Barnes was fired in 1996. By the time they had reached THE BLEEDING, they had mastered the “cookie monster” vocals, hyper-speed riffs and blastbeats. On VILE, they began exploring with memorable riffs and better song composition that kept them from being a one-trick pony, albeit a mighty fine one. The title track from the GALLERY OF SUICIDE album and “When Death Replaces Life” from 2002’s GORE OBSESSED actually had some groove to them. This welcome addition to their sound is again carried over on several tracks on THE WRETCHED SPAWN.

“Severed Head Stoning” opens with an instantly memorable riff that cuts through you like a saw blade. Breakneck fast, too! Corpsegrinder’s vocals are of course nothing less than stellar. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite Cannibal Corpse tracks ever! “Psychotic Precision” features another excellent riff and an absolutely blazing solo. The band has filmed a video for “Decency Defied” and it is certainly the most accessible track on the CD (by Cannibal Corpse standards, anyway) for Loud, Uranium and other music channels to pick up. “Cyanide Assassin” is another brutally fast track that will put any naysayers in their place who claim the band has softened their sound. “Festering In The Crypt” begins and ends as a slower, doomy number and Fisher’s vocals are the real standout here. The band has written some of their greatest lyrics to date on this track. Don’t miss the speedy middle section and killer solo on this track, as well. “Nothing Left To Mutilate” is one of my favorite tracks on the CD. The lyrics about a stalking cannibalistic killer (“her young flesh is so divine”) are truly frightening and again are some of the band’s best. Paul Mazurkiewicz’ blastbeats highlight the melodic breakdown sections, while Fisher’s vocals are perfectly fitted to the sound and style of this track. Fisher’s crowning vocal achievement of this CD is found on “They Deserve To Die.” He unleashes some impressive screams when belting out the title, but he holds a scream for 16 seconds! Skip ahead to the 3:04 mark and listen to it! UNBELIEVABLE!! Don’t miss Alex Webster’s brief, but cool, bass solo at 1:28, either!

Expect THE WRETCHED SPAWN to chart highly in the listings of 2004’s best CDs. It has everything we have come to expect from the band: intense vocals, mind-boggling solos, a heavy rhythm section and more blood, guts and gore than a slaughterhouse. Fifteen years in and Cannibal Corpse has proven once again that they are the true kings of death metal.

KILLER KUTS: “Severed Head Stoning,” “Psychotic Precision,” "Decency Defied," "Frantic Disembowelment," "Festering In The Crypt," "Nothing Left To Mutilate"
Track Listing

1. Severed Head Stoning
2. Psychotic Precision
3. Decency Defied
4. Frantic Disembowelment
5. The Wretched Spawn
6. Cyanide Assassin
7. Festering In The Crypt
8. Nothing Left To Mutilate
9. Blunt Force Castration
10. Rotten Body Landslide
11. Slain
12. Bent Backwards And Broken
13. They Deserve To Die


George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher—Vocals
Jack Owen—Guitars
Pat O’Brien—Guitars
Alex Webster—Bass
Paul Mazurkiewicz—Drums

Next review: » Cannibal Corpse - Torture
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