Review Summary: The same generic, boring, mediocre crap all over again...
Personally, the gorier subgenre of death metal was always at its best when bands didn't take it too seriously. The genre had always featured bands that excelled at speed and sheer brutality, but there was a time when it was fun too. Taken Cannibal Corpse's debut, Eaten Back To Life
. That album was evil, and despite some production issues, pretty brutal in places too. It was proof that Cannibal Corpse showed the much needed potential to write nasty songs about car crashes and maggot-filled body parts whilst still selling albums. But somewhere along the line, someone came under the impression that the viler the subject matter, the better the album. Thus began the perpetual gross-out war that continues to rage to this day: legions of death metallers attempting to outdo one another with tales of grotesque violence and obscene perversion, racing to see who can get banned from which country for what reason. The music is not important now, it's just to see who can write the goriest lyrics. And who's to blame for this trend? It seems that Cannibal Corpse may be one of the prime suspects.
Cannibal Corpse, really, are no more homicidal than Venom were Satanic, no more than Motely Crue were transvestites. Butchered At Birth
was so notorious that it was infamously banned in Germany, as well as other countries due to its lyrical content and album artwork. The album even gained a cult following due to the lyrics, and with tracks entitled Meat Hook Sodomy
and Butchered At Birth
, it's not hard to see why. But I don't orgasm over the lyrics or the musical content, like I usually do. My problem with this album is that the band was so concerned with making it brutal that they forgot to make it listenable, or, as Jack Black said in School Of Rock
they forgot about one little thing... It's called the music!
Cannibal Corpse could write nastier songs about raping dead fetuses and slitting the throat of the dead mother whilst masturbating over her corpse and still sell album. But, this time, they took it to a new level by trying to do it without a solid sound to back up their lyrics. Oh, did they fail... They failed miserably. I can count the interesting riffs from this whole album on one hand. Bob and Jack dish out nearly thirty-six minutes of bland, boring riffage, with a few exceptions. It seems that, on this album, neither one can write a decent solo. And, honestly, this would be a half decent album if it weren't for the production. Bands like Destruction and Kreator had the brutal, balls-out-raw albums just a few years before this. Perhaps it was the crap production, not the lyrics nor album art that got this banned in Germany! The two loudest things on the entire album are the near minute and a half of guitar noises that open Meat Hook Sodomy
and the terrible snare sound, which is constantly being sounded. Alex Webster, the most talented member of the entire band, cannot be heard without straining a trained ear through the ensuing wall of noise. And that leaves us with only Chris Barnes to comment on. And he sucks, delivering his vocals in a deeper death growl than on the debut, he delivers his lyrics thoughtlessly, making them undecipherable without a lyric sheet. The only time the vocals don't suck is when Glen Benton steps in as a guest on Vomit The Soul
. But, aside from that section, Barnes is unbearable, unaggressive, monotonous, like the rest of the album, and boring.
This is boring and generic. Cannibal Corpse try and remake their debut, but end up creating a pitifully mediocre, boring slap of death metal that suffers also from repetition. And with but a handful of unique riffs hardly worth hunting for, it’s pretty much lacking in redeeming value as well. Stick with Eaten Back To Life
; at least there they still had a sense of humour and an ear for a memorable riff.