Review Summary: Kill Pt 2: The Sequal That Tops The Original
There are some bands that refuse to die off. Some enduring bands that can survive many line-up changes, and never once stray away from the path they started on twenty years previously. Cannibal Corpse may well be the best example of this, producing solid brutal death metal albums since their ground breaking debut Eaten Back To Life, released in 1990. In 2009, they released their eleventh studio album, Evisceration Plague, the follow up to the critically acclaimed Kill, which marked a switch to much sharper production and even more technical riffs. Evisceration Plague should essentially be viewed as Kill Part 2.
Everything that made Kill such a good release is found on Evisceration Plague. There are many catchy vocal segments from Corpsegrinder (Evidence In The Furnace, Scalding Hail), some superb riff work, displaying an incredible degree of technical talent from the band (Carrion Sculpted Entity, Unnatural, Priests Of Sodom), and some slower moments that really do give the songs a more complete feel (Evisceration Plague, A Cauldron Of Hate, To Decompose). The ultra sharp production found on that album is here as well, giving the guitars that razor sharp tone to them that was found on Kill. However, Kill only felt like a semi-complete album to me, whereas Evisceration Plague is definately a huge step up in terms of overall quality.
Not once in this album is there a song that could be considered filler, by any wild stretch of the imagination. From Priests Of Sodom right the way through to Skewered From Ear To Eye, every song feels essential to the album, and contributes something to the overall picture, whilst at the same time being individual masterpieces of technical death metal. Each song has at least one praiseworthy factor, be it the rapid fire vocal delivery on Scalding Hail, the incredible drumming found on Shatter Their Bones, or the absolutely insane guitar work found on the aforementioned Carrion Sculpted Entity.
The songs themselves vary from Good (Beheaded And Burning, Unnatural) to stellar (To Decompose, Shatter Their Bones). My person pick for the best song on this album would be the title track, Evisceration Plague. This song is, for the most part, much slower than the rest of the album, but it makes up for that with its riffs and catchiness. The guitar work is amazing, with the rather creepy opening riff, through to the end of the song, and the vocals are very nicely done as well, with some gorey lyrics to go alongside them. This song had a video produced for it, which is also very well done, and also rather gruesome.
To Decompose has the very fast vocal delivery that is a George Fisher trademark, with even the slower lines being faster than much of the death metal out there. It remains incredibly catchy, however, and will stay in the listeners mind for a while. Carrion Sculpted Entity is just an exercise in how to take the listeners face off with its incredibly fast and technical riffs, that this band has been known for since The Bleeding. Following straight on from this is A Cauldron Of Hate, which, halfway through, stops with a cymbal hit from Paul, before launching into an incredible high scream from George Fisher. This is one of the most shocking moments on the album, as it is entirely unpredictable, and works to perfection.
The weakest song on the album is Beheaded And Burning, which is a fast number, but is a little too quick for its own good. However, in the context of the album, this song works perfectly, and therefore it can not really be singled out too much. Same goes for Unnatural, which comes off sounding half lazy, but still manages to fit in with the rest of the songs really well. Beheaded And Burning can be overlooked completely, however, for the song that comes directly after it.
Evidence In The Furnace is quite possibly the catchiest song on the album, and really will remain with the listener long after the song finishes. The chorus to it is completely memorable, with George following the cymbals with his growls, and a great riff in the background. It may not be the finest song on the album, but it is certainly the one where all the elements that make Cannibal Corpse the band they are come together perfectly. This song is one of note, and possibly the one song that should be listened to on its own, as it gives a fair inclination to the sound of the band.
The musicianship on this release is as tight as the listener could hope for. Pat O'Brien and Rob Barrett are as good as ever, being two of the finest guitarists in death metal today. Paul Mazurkiewicz lays down some solid drum patterns, and it really is baffling how many people seem to hate on his drumming. Alex Webster is as freakishly talented as ever, despite his bass not being as prominent in the mix as usual. George is on top of his game, vocally, on this album, being as energetic as ever.
This album is certainly one of the finest in the band's catalogue, but is not their most recommended. Listen to Kill first, as this is essentially a follow up to that album, and then give it a shot. Some people consider this to be a poor album, but that is not the truth. It simply does not hold up against The Wretched Spawn or Vile.