Released: 2012, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
There’s an old showbiz recipe for success: “give the people what they want.” And Cannibal Corpse has arguably perfected this recipe better than any other band in the metal underground. You don’t get to become the most successful death metal band in the world by incorporating dub step beats or by collaborating with Lou Reed. No sir, Corpse fans want fast, brutal, gory, and uh, brutal. So it should come as no surprise that the band’s latest platter o’ splatter TORTURE gives the fans exactly what they want – lots and lots of fast, brutal, gory and brutal. That being said, there’s not much to differentiate these twelve new tracks from anything else in the band’s recent body of work, but Corpse is as Corpse does, and the end result is still pretty potent.
At its core, TORTURE feels a bit more feral and instinctual than the last few records. Much of that has to do with a more raw sounding production mix and a general focus on f@#! you in the skull hole speed. The end result sounds like a bridge between the full frontal hostility of albums like GORE OBSESSED and the high caliber songwriting and technical proficiency of EVISCERATION PLAGUE. As a whole, the album’s reasonably successful, with the songs themselves ranging from simply par for the course to some truly stellar metal moments. Thankfully those high points are strategically positioned across the album so you don’t have much time to focus on the filler. Not that the filler’s bad per say, but when compared to standout cuts like “Encased in Concrete,” “Rabid,” “Demented Aggression,” and “As Deep as the Knife Will Go” (which totally has a sing-a-long chorus), it’s a night and day situation.
TORTURE may not be the best we’ve heard from Cannibal Corpse, but even a mediocre Corpse record is better than much of the competition. The band plays their collective asses off with some truly stunning displays of speed, complexity, and precision, and that dedication to their craft gives some additional weight to an already capable batch of tunes. And it’s what the people want; another album of blood and guts for their legion of fans across the globe to devour.