Next review: » Cannibal Corpse - Evisceration Plague
Released: 2009, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Anyone looking for a change in direction, sound or style from Cannibal Corpse need look elsewhere as the death metal veterans continue their swath of destruction and domination on their eleventh studio CD, EVISCERATION PLAGUE. Clocking in at a trim 38 minutes, the album is all killer with no filler. The individual songs are typically shorter, as well, with nearly half coming in at less than three minutes. This is not music for the ADD crowd, though, as the technical flair to Pat O’Brien and Rob Barrett’s guitarwork is mind-boggling in its delivery. Throughout the dozen tracks, Cannibal Corpse rarely lets up, going full-bore, but always with a keen sense of rhythmic grace, too. The lyrics are as grim as ever and Cannibal Corpse’s patented blend of speed, aggression and brutality torpedoes the listener from every angle. Returning from his production stint on 2006’s KILL, Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal) is once again at the helm and brings out the finest audio pillaging from the Tampa-based band, separating the instruments and giving each a rightful place in the maelstrom. Essentially, EVISCERATION PLAGUE is more of the same from Cannibal Corpse but when death metal is done this well, why rock the boat?
As he has done on previous releases, George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher opens the record with a blood-curdling shriek on “Priests of Sodom.” Fisher’s double-tracked vocals resonate like a wild animal in distress and the band shifts between roiling intensity and a laid-back groove. Hitting fast and hard, “Scalding Hail” steamrolls along but it isn’t until the song’s conclusion, with Rob Barrett and Pat O’Brien engaging in rapid-fire leads, where things really take off. “A Cauldron of Hate” is one of those slow, seething tomes of malevolent evil Cannibal Corpse is so great at. The chugging death metal groove is just brutal from beginning to end and Fisher lets loose with a scream at the midway point that confirms his position as one of the genre’s top throats. The title track is just as ominous with its marauding riffs and crushing tempo. The sturdy rhythm section of Alex Webster and Paul Mazurkiewicz lock into a jackhammer pace on “Carnivorous Swarm” with relentless blastbeats and a snaky bassline reminiscent of “Staring Through The Eyes of The Dead.” Stepping out of the booth, Erik Rutan slaps down a guest solo on “Unnatural” which nearly outshines the throbbing bass of Webster and the band’s seemingly effortless manner of switching tempos fluidly.
As the individual band members approach forty years of age, Cannibal Corpse surely shows no signs of slowing down on EVISCERATION PLAGUE. The lyrics typify the usual blood, gore and horror themes with touches of religion and war the band has turned into a science for over twenty years and Erik Rutan’s stellar production job makes a good thing even better. The band has earned its spot as the elder statesmen of death metal and not through merely being grandfathered in. EVISCERATION PLAGUE is as vile, brutal and technically inspiring as any other record in their swelling catalogue which, when looking back at the impressive history of Cannibal Corpse, is a bold statement.
KILLER KUTS: “Priests of Sodom,” “Scalding Hail,” “A Cauldron of Hate,” “Carnivorous Swarm,” “Evisceration Plague,” “Unnatural”
1. Priests of Sodom
2. Scalding Hail
3. To Decompose
4. A Cauldron of Hate
5. Beheading and Burning
6. Evidence In The Furnace
7. Carnivorous Swarm
8. Evisceration Plague
9. Shatter Their Bones
10. Carrion Sculpted Entity
12. Skewered From Ear To Eye
George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher—Vocals
Released: 2009, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Do you really need an incentive to listen to the new Cannibal Corpse record? No, of course not – but it doesn’t hurt that the band’s 11th full length studio release, EVISCERATION PLAGUE is an amazing, career defining record for the band. I’ll admit that for a while there, I’d all but given up on “the Corpse.” Up until 2006’s phenomenal KILL, the band’s recent releases had left me feeling despondently “meh.’ Sure, they were fast and brutal, but so were a bunch of other bands that were coming up in the scene. KILL combined the band’s patented brutality with the maturity that comes from being death metal’s elder statesmen and showed audiences everywhere why they are the icons for the whole genre.
EVISCERATION PLAGUE not only surpasses the standard that its predecessor set, it hacks that standard into bloody chunks with a rusty machete wielded by a disemboweled zombie. Do you see where I’m going with this? EVISCERATION PLAGUE is at the same time both characteristically and uncharacteristically “Corpse.” The band has stepped up their game both in the songwriting and complexity departments, adding new elements and ideas that up until now hadn’t really been explored much. But the album is immediately identifiable as Cannibal Corpse. Songs about dismemberment, bone crushing, bloodletting, and more dismemberment – there’s no cause for concern, it’s all covered here. The first three songs on the disc should be enough to merit adding this to your collection. “Priests of Sodom” opens with a main riff that has a serious groove to it (gasp!) that will stick in your head for days, while “Scalding Hail presses the accelerator well past the speed limit and is over before you can breathe. “To Decompose” mixes the fast, mid-tempo, and slow in a pot of boiling human stew goodness. The title track is the most consistently mid-tempo track out of the 12, but its slow, chugging heaviness makes it completely effective and a true standout. “Skewered from Ear to Ear” has some great rolling riffs and closes the disc in a flurry of soloing and shredding. The guitar team of Rob Barrett and Pat O’Brien are exceptionally talented axe men independently, but have rarely sounded as tight as a team as they do here.
The album itself sounds incredible, with much of the credit due to producer Erik Rutan (a death metal luminary in his own right). The mix is perfect – the guitars are crisp and buzz saw sharp and Alex Webster’s bass sounds clean while managing to stay in the background. Vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher is the star of the show, sounding front and center. He delivers the goods with his blend of pronounced guttural utterings, pained shrieks and wailing death throes. Chris who?
Cannibal Corpse is an anomaly in music world. Name another death metal band that’s sold over a million albums, been the whipping boy for the Republican Party and shared the big screen with Ace Ventura - My point exactly. If there are any complaints about EVISCERATION PLAGUE, it’s that the album is over too quickly. Let’s face it; you’re going to check this out regardless of whatever I recommend anyway. But hey – getting the opportunity to review the album gives me a reason to listen to it one more time. This is death metal at it’s finest.
1."Priests of Sodom"
4."A Cauldron of Hate"
5."Beheading and Burning"
6."Evidence in the Furnace"
9."Shatter Their Bones"
10."Carrion Sculpted Entity"
12."Skewered from Ear to Eye"
George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher – Vocals
Rob Barrett – Guitar
Pat O’Brien – Guitar
Alex Webster – Bass
Paul Mazurkiewicz – Drums